Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Sometimes I wonder why it's so different for me now. There's moments where I'll think will I ever struggle with my weight again, and it feels like a resounding...NOPE! Sometimes I think is that really true? Am I being unrealistic? I struggled for so long before! And I keep thinking of what makes it different. And I really feel so different. I've mentioned before that I used to feel like being in control of my weight was like trying to hold on to wet soap it always slipped right out of my grasp. So I understand why people feel that way, since I used to too. But I try to put my finger on just what exactly is different for me now. I think it might be several things adding up, there's a few that are big things that I know for sure.
#1 Tracking Input/Output! Going by a Deficit instead of a Fixed Range!
Before I had a certain calorie number I had to stay within or under and I could barely manage it. I remember trying to get 1400 or 1500 and it being SO DANG HARD!!! In fact I don't think I could do that even now! I would feel deprived and quit if I had to stay in that range!!! I think this time using MyFitnessPal showed me how exercise directly effects your calories and using my Fitbit how many steps I take in a day effects my calories too. Now I go for a certain deficit instead and sometimes will let it be higher than my minimum goal for my target loss. The nice thing about going by a deficit is that means that my calorie range to eat can vary! Everyday it can vary a little or a lot, and depending how much activity I have it changes how many calories I have to spend on eating. I prefer to eat within 1700-2000 give or take. If I have less activity I am more careful with spending my calories, if I have a bit more activity then I have a little more either to save or spend the choice is mine. Sure there is only so much exercise a person can do in one day so you still have to be reasonable, know your limits, don't over-train, and budget your calories no matter what. You really can't out exercise a bad diet. But you can give yourself more calories to work with than just being sedentary does! I think this working with my numbers is one of the biggest things that has helped me. I love tracking and don't see it as a chore at all. I've tracked everyday for 10 months and I totally see how if you can text, you can track! I think I will always track in some way, even if it's keeping mental tabs later on when I'm in maintenance and feel confident with how I view food, if there's one thing that tracking does it's makes you aware of amounts and what the calories really are!!! I also measure so I know how much it is to track it. And really if I did track the rest of my life...is that so bad? LOL I actually don't mind it, and enjoy knowing!!! It lets me enjoy and feel calm and happy knowing I am having something and I'm within my budget! It gives me a huge sense of satisfaction that I'm not ignorant of my numbers anymore! And I'm in control of them, I can make choices at any time to support them and balance them! I'm not dieting at all. I'm just eating. Making good choices based on my numbers, needs, and wants. As I've gone on my journey I've learned which foods help me feel full longer, which foods help me reach my protein needs and fiber needs etc. And if I hadn't tracked I'd have never known my protein intake was low. And I should be really proud of myself because I've not had a surplus of calories in 10 months now. I just can't do it. I will occasionally allow a no deficit day, but I just can't bring myself to go over. It would feel like I was going backwards if I did!
#2 Enjoying Food and New Foods
I think finding recipes and new foods that I just love and are perfect for my calorie needs and meet other needs too are wonderful! Not only do I have fun exploring and trying new things, but I find new flavors and new things to crave that are totally supporting my lifestyle! The more I explore, the more I won't get bored and then revert to old things that were higher calorie. In fact I think I've found more food and recipes that I like even better than old high calorie things I had before! Talk about awesome! I like food to feel special! It's fun! Why not!
#3 Enjoying Physical Activity
I think finding things we enjoy is key in the activity area too. If we love it we'll keep doing it. I really enjoy seeing my steps in my Fitbit and making a certain number each day. I feel accomplishment when I reach it! I love doing Zumba! It's so fun and since I have the Wii Games I get to do it right at home and it doesn't matter if I look dumb, I can just go by how I feel like an amazing dancer having fun! LOL And then there's finding the Jeff Galloway Method for Running with Walk Intervals!!! I wish I had known about that sooner too I would have started running a long time ago!!! Makes running really enjoyable!
So those are just a few things I've been thinking of lately. At least the more major ones I can see having the biggest impact. There's probably other things too. Things that are more intangible. Like I was really ready this time, ready to make a change and willing to do what it takes to make it? Maybe I just don't crave a lot of the high calorie things I used to anymore? Not sure on that. All I know is I'm not really missing anything. I do love tiramisu but haven't been wanting to have it because the calories are so dang high. I would probably make it myself, if I really want it, more in tune with the numbers I'd rather have. Maybe it's more maturity now? I'm willing to think about something more rationally like the numbers of that tiramisu? Maybe I've worked through enough emotional stuff that I don't give in to emotional eating? I do sometimes feel the urge, I remember my mom upon feeling upset say "lets have some ice cream" and so sometimes I feel like that too. But I haven't given into it in such a way that it ruins my numbers. Usually I try to realize that's what's happening and do something else instead like read a book to get my mind off it, because really, eating something doesn't do anything for you. But if you read a book it gets your mind on the story instead! LOL So maybe I've learned better coping tactics!
So I'm not sure of all the factors that come into play, I can just guess on a lot of them. But I do know the 3 bigger things for sure have make a huge difference. I don't even think I'd want to go back to how I did things just 10 months ago. I feel happier now, I feel like I enjoy food so much more! I enjoy physical activity! I'm thrilled that I can get 15,000 steps regularly and it's not a big deal! I feel healthier than before! I feel like I'm enjoying life so much more than I used to. Maybe that's why I don't think I'm being unrealistic when I really mean it and say it's permanent this time I can feel the difference in me! I wish I could tell my earlier self all these things, I just might have gotten here sooner...not sure though. What if timing really does factor in, and I was really ready to learn it right now.
Anyway it was nice to write this stuff down. Blogging really does help solidify and get things out there to see clearer!