8,500-9,999 SparkPoints 8,980

No Streaks But Down Anyway

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I have taken a break from tracking my exercise and nutrients on SparkPeople but I haven't stopped tracking them internally. For that reason, I have lost weight--not a lot, but down is down! When you're using a digital scale, a few ounces makes a difference, and I am celebrating that as I would despair if they went in the opposite direction. I have been watching how I eat, when I eat, what I eat, and most important, if I want to eat which I believe has been part of the reason along with all of the others that I am losing weight.

I find that I can absorb certain mistakes like eating four double oreos in a row (they're in the house--can you blame me?) and still lose weight. That's a great discovery! One night when I'm feeling weak does not mean that the next day I repeat that because 1) I don't want to regularly do that and 2) I don't think I felt the need to eat that the next day and 3) I can resist doing that again because I know it was fluke behavior. I thank G-d that my husband does not bring potato chips into the house because it might be harder, but I find that the more I repeat good behavior, the more I keep myself on my toes and don't eat other food that is easy to eat but don't fit my goals and tastes.

When I first got onto SparkPeople I jumped in with both feet, hands, fingers and toes. It helped that my husband was away, so I could do things like dancing and exercising like a crazy balloon early in the morning and throughout the day, like taking a long bike ride. Exercise was definitely a big part of my program, and so was tracking and reading articles. I was able to live the program in a very strong way, almost a zealous way, which allowed me to establish my goals and follow them commitedly. It helped that I had minimal tugs at my time, since we had just moved here. I had to do no job, but was looking, and was volunteering minimally. My priority-- and energy--could be thrown behind my program.

But now I find that if I am too scrupulous, too focused on a cookie cutter approach that in the real world means that to last, I must find a way to balance my emotions, tastes, tendencies, and cravings, then I must let go a little, like a child letting go of the parent's hand when he's learning to roller skate. I must learn to roll with the punches, fall down and get back up and keep on going. And I find that, having learned a little how to roller skate, I am skating on my own. With tracking, a calorie range, a point system that encourages you, and articles to educate you (not to mention people who do both of the latter two), you learn a system for managing your problem behaviorally, which is what anyone who has a problem needs to learn to do. Whether it's Alcoholics Anonymous or diabetes, you have to learn to manage your problem in a proven way that works. Learning a system of management takes time to get. I believe that three months on the program has taught me this.

I never weighed myself when I began the program because I didn't have a scale in the house but I knew when I moved here that I was too heavy for a lot of my clothes. I hadn't had to wear a lot of business clothes because I was teaching classes where I could get away with casual, stretchy wear. Because we were moving and that was stressful, I let myself eat and did not pay attention to to many other factors. But I knew I was up in weight and at the same time didn't give it a lot of attention. I would have never been able to get to where I am now without learning behavioral management like I have on SparkPeople.

So now I am practicing my program without a daily check-in with SparkPeople, and I am doing okay. You see here that I am not leaving it completely, but I am not obsessed with points or streaks (as if I ever really was?). I am neutral about both, and I am neutral about everything now: balanced might be the best word. Having read the articles that explain that it's what you do over the course of time that makes a difference in weight, I see that four oreos or a half bottle of wine does not set me back that week. One day I may want oreos and four days later I may want wine. But in-between, I am waiting between meals, making wise choices about whether to use oil or not in my cooking, eating less bread, eating more 1% cottage cheese and 12 fat gram yogurt that tastes REALLY good, and just being balanced overall about the food. I read an article about how Matthew Mconnahey (sp?) lost weight for Dallas Buyers Club: it was through a medically supervised diet of 600 calories a day or so (check this for accuracy). That set me thinking that caloric restriction means weight loss. So I thought about allowing myself to go without food at times when I would normally eat in the past, like in-between meals or after a certain time period. And I found that with that attitude I allowed myself to get hungry naturally and that it felt good to be hungry, to be wanting a little. To not always be filled, to allow yourself to feel empty is an analogy for the reason we want to eat in the first place if we have a weight problem. Allowing something that isn't food to fill up that cavity or realizing that empty isn't really empty. That hungry is hungry--and not reacting to times or foods or any other triggers. That's healthy stuff. I'm releasing triggers all the way around and learning to be "healthy stuff." It's a work in progress.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think I have, River. How are you?
    1422 days ago
    Sounds like you internalized the information and the decision-making & awareness is just part of you.
    1422 days ago
    Thank you, Holly!! It is reinforcing when the scale does go down, isn't it? I had about a two-hour bike ride and picked up some stuff for my art projects (on the ground--all nature stuff) and am happy that I have some control over my appetite at this point. Looking forward to a Memorial Day barbeque tonight with my mom and a long-time friend and her friends at her house and I know I'll be prepared to eat tonight. She's a longtime "Weight Watcher," so choices will be healthy, I know. I'm bringing a salad!! Thank you so much for your encouragement and wise words!
    1425 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Great blog! Yes, I agree that when most people start, we do jump in with all we have and it works for many people for a very short period of time. And then real life moves in and unless we learn to flow and grow with the new lifestyle, we will go back to the old one because let's face it, it is easier to eat what we want, when we want, regardless of the calorie content. You must find a way to make it work for you. I love the points and the daily interaction but my husband who is also a sparker doesn't use anything here besides the exercise and nutrition tracker. He doesn't care for the rest but what he does use works for him.
    I think that is what is so great about this site, you find what is right for you and what works and you go with it and we have to enjoy the journey or we will not stay on the path! Have a fabulous Sunday and keep on pushing to be the best that you can be.
    Congrats on having the weight go down! You can do this!
    1425 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.