I love this painting. It's all about food issues. I was so happy to find one that had the numbers '150' on it. The content is easy to understand if you are a woman who has dieted. She's saying 'I can't eat cabbage soup again!!" Her husband is saying "Honey, it's OK". The child is saying, "I'll just curl up here until Mommy makes mac and cheese."
I didn't want it to be like the first dozen diets. I started the journey by going to a nurse practitioner and we evaluated my eating patterns and goals together.
Originally, the first 13 pounds, were about healthy eating and recapturing some physical acumen I had when I was younger. I also wanted to know what it felt like to be thin. When I was a size ten 148 pounds, I didn't know I was thin. I was put on my first diet when I was in fifth grade. Eight hundred calories a day was my limit. Repeatedly I was told I was fat and needed to be dieting.
I was maybe fifteen pounds 'overweight' -one stone three or so. My senior year in high school I lived and worked and studied in Cambridge, England. In the last six weeks of my stay, I ate half a sandwich a day instead of a whole one, and ate an orange every night. Other than that, I didn't change much. I dropped the weight easily. When I came home, I was told I was too thin. That first night back, I obligingly ate a bowl of ice cream. I put the fifteen pounds back on easily.
At almost 5'11" - one quarter inch shy- 160 was not huge, or fat. In my brain, in my mind, I was enormous. I'd been taught that. So I dieted my way up to 150 pounds overweight.
Out of the blue, kinda, I had the opportunity to have hip surgery and fix bones that had been malformed and working poorly since I was nine. I was excited about the possibility. The physical medicine doctor hedged my caution of disbelief in the ability to lose any weight because of my inability to move.'It's all about portion control" she said. I remembered Cambridge and knew what she said was true. I'd done it once before. I could do it again.
A year later, I had dropped another 24 pounds and because I do not carry my weight around my legs, the surgery was approved.
Standing tall once again, and moving more, post surgery, eating was essential to healing. So for the first eight weeks, with my new hip, I ate no sugar - except for that one night:)- and lots and lots of protein; as much as I wanted. Within the first month, I'd lost three more pounds. I healed really, really well.
Week nine, it's time to get back to it, portion control. I am determined to lose all of it, 110 more pounds, for three different reasons- health, beauty and a desire to feel what it's like to be thin. Since I missed that the first time around, living that experience is essential to my core self knowledge. And I want to look beautiful. Vapid as that may be, politically incorrect as that sounds, I want to be as beautiful as I can be, by MY standards of beauty.
There are things I know about my body, that will make this goal an accomplishment.
*I have to consume most of my calories before two or three in the afternoon.
*It needs some limits on carbs like breads and stuff. It craves sugar a lot. That craving will be satisfied with fruit.
*It also loves chocolate and vegetables and , most of all, protein and dairy.
I feed it what it wants, when it wants in amounts that are just slightly less than what it wants , and the extra fat burns off. Slowly, steadily, reliably, it burns off.
Mentally, the challenge is to never feel deprived. Eating can't ever feel like dieting. So I balance snacks. That's where the blogpost title comes in. Cherry tomatoes and peanut butter stuffed pretzel nuggets are both fair game. So are cranberry with white chocolate drizzle dunkers. Sundays are feast days. I monitor how much digestion feels, but there is a lot of mouth happiness going on.
The element of self disciplined is included only in that I do things, nutritionally, that help my body be healthy and energized. I commit my brain to learning all it can about nutrition and me. I love my physique sometimes, but most of the time I think to myself 'What I look like does not match my personality. I want my body and temperament to match. That is an empowering motivation.
If you want to lose weight, you're going to have to get to know your body. And you're going to have to eat what's healthy for it. Each person is different. And you're going to have to do it one hour at a time, slowly. If you feast one day a week, you will have to learn how to not feast the rest of the days.
It may be another two years before I reach the weight my body wants. That's ok. There are enough cherry tomatoes and pretzel nuggets to get me there. I'll be eating most of my vegetables at breakfast and lunch for the rest of my life. I'll be eating a two ounce portion of 70% dark chocolate for the rest of my life. I'll be eating twice as much dairy and protein as the rest of the first world for the rest of my life. Eventually, my body will have lost the extra fat and just be maintaining what it needs to stay alive.
Not dieting has been wonderful. The only necesarry self discpline was, is, a commitment to do what's healthy for my body. Eating as a pleasurable experience, being in my body as a pleasurable experience, is just remarkable. I take note all the time. I'll keep you posted!