So I've just completed 4 weeks of my journey to weight loss and better health...and I feel pretty good, mentally, emotionally and physically. This is the first time I have tried to lose weight and it doesn't feel like work (I mean I've tried lots of times before but gave up because it was "too much work"). I feel like I am "ready" this time. I have heard people talk about it being "different this time", "being ready", "being in the right mindset", but I never knew what they meant...but I think I do now. This isn't a regimented diet. I write down what I eat and keep track of it because my personality and my learning style are such that I learn better when I write and read and I retain information better, it's also reaffirming to me to see something on paper. It is also helping me realise what foods trigger my blood sugar to rise and keeps me mindful of portions, although I am really good at eyeballing portion size and test myself every couple of days just by weighing and measuring.
I think the most important thing I learned that if this is to be a lifelong change and not a temporary diet, then the world isn't going to change for me, I have to change my reactions and feelings towards the world (about food, about socializing, about myself). The first time I realised this, my sister had invited us for dinner to her home. She is an amazing cook, everything she cooks is delicious - she and her husband do not have a weight problem and they are both very active so they cook with a variety of ingredients some healthy, some not so much :) I was worried how I would eat her rich pasta and meatballs and dressing laden salad and cheese loaded garlic bread and stay on plan, and how I would not offend her if I didn't eat at all. Part of me wanted to call her and let her know I was doing this - I know she would be 100% supportive and make me something "special" for dinner. Then I thought about it....wouldn't it be better if I just went and found a way to "manage"..after all, unexpected stuff is always going to come up, everyone isn't going to cater to me even if I do ask. I also didn't want to to announce this journey to my friends and family because then I find people watch what you eat, tempt you to try things, "one bite won't hurt", "it's only a little", or the reverse, "should you be eating that?", "is that low fat?" Both extremes are frustrating and not the least bit helpful, however well meaning they are.
So..long story short. I went to my sister's for dinner, decided I would eat whatever she made and do my best to control portions and guesstimate points. Turns out, we ended up ordering in pizza and I did well with three small vegetarian slices. Still it was 12 points for those three little slices, but I felt ok about it.
This week I've eaten out 4x !! Which is the most since I've started this and it was difficult, I scoured menus, I made some bad choices and some good ones -but they were "my" choices, not forced upon me by some diet guru and my "guilt". I ate what I wanted, counted it and moved on and I'm doing ok.
The other new thing about this time around is that I am eating when I'm hungry. I don't sit and think, how many points do I have left? I just ate half hour ago, why I am hungry again? I just pick something that is healthy and filling and eat enough to stop the hunger. Some days I have a snack every 2 hours, other days I go all day with only one snack and 3 meals. This is what life is about, always changing and always different. I think that trying to make each day the same was a downfall for me before. Forcing myself to have a snack because I had 3 points to use, or going to bed hungry because I had none left - that didn't work.
What I'm doing now works. I know there will be challenges along the way, I know some days will be better than others, and some will be terribly terribly bad - but if I take one day at a time and look at each day as a compartment, then it will be easy to put it behind me and move on.