Monday, November 05, 2012
Recently a good friend asked me a whole series of questions about how I lost weight and how I am keeping it off. I talked about portion control, increasing exercise, healthiest food choices, and the commitment to quit quitting - no matter what. I mentioned the importance of sleep and water and controlling sodium. Of course, I told her about SparkPeople and how SP helped me get all the way to goal. I gave Weight Watchers credit for getting me started and the YMCA for helping me learn to love exercise. You know, the usual, the kind of things I read over and over in success stories.
But I heard me say one thing that was so true for me and I have never read in any other success story. And that was the importance of grieving. There came a point when I hadn't lost weight for several weeks. I thought about chalking it up to age and genetics and being happy with what I had accomplished. And then I looked at my food trackers -- really looked. Reality stared me in the face. If I was going to continue munching in front of the TV in the evenings, I would weigh more than I wanted. I knew I had already drastically changed what and how much I munched in the evening, but I saw it was still my primary overeating issue.
I decided to give up the evening munching and to substitute a small, planned evening snack if I had enough calories left. It was a hard choice. And here comes the grieving process. I'm not kidding. I felt like I had lost a great friend. My chest hurt right during the time I would have been eating; I truly felt heartbroken. I searched for new activities to keep me busy in the evenings and focused on other things, from computer games to pilates. I found herbal tea and bubble baths and talking to real friends as alternative forms of comfort. I learned that sometimes I just need to go to bed rather than eat.
So in addition to all the usual things, for me I would add grieving the loss of food as a friend as a crucial step on my way to a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle.