Back at the Beginning…

Back at the Beginning…

A little piece of history

If you’ve been following my blog posts, you know that I’ve tried several things to manage my weight/eating.  I did weight watchers with mixed success for years… I’ve done the 21 day fix with success for several rounds.  I’ve also counted calories and kept a food journal of every bite for very long stretches…

All this is to say that I’m at a point where I feel like I’ve done so much for so little success.

With weight watchers I lost over fifty pounds in about a year.  I never felt deprived, though at times I definitely had to make a choice between immediate gratification and long term goals (little happy now, big sad later).  I would say that WW is my comfort zone.  I know what I’m doing, what to eat, how to find wiggle room, and where to go for help.  The problem is the cost — nearly $20 a month for an online member subscription.  As a person on a budget, this wasn’t going to work for me.

I have considered the option of using my food journal/paper logs to track according to weight watchers points (like Dotti!).  This would give me that “comfort zone” security without the cost.

My only hesitation is that cost wasn’t the only problem for me… For the last year or so, I found myself toying with the weight watchers points instead of maintaining integrity in my eating.  I wasn’t measuring my portions — instead I would guess.  I would tweak my workout minutes by rounding up so I get more activity points.  This playing around took it’s toll — I have since gained back 20 lbs with no one to blame but myself. UGH!

What worked?

Back when I first was determined to lose weight, I was motivated by a photograph of myself at a family function.  I looked HUGE and I vowed that I’d never feel that way again.  I did tons of research and settled on doing weight watchers for free.  I would use resources like THIS to figure out the points of restaurant foods.  I found a rhythm, eating roughly the same things at around the same time each day.  I didn’t “break the rules” or try to tweak the points.  I would measure foods out, calculate their points, and track.  If I wanted something I didn’t have the points for, I’d either workout or wait for another day to have it.This worked well for me at the time.

So what changed?

If weight watchers worked so well, what changed?

  • First, my hubby’s health battle happened — he was hospitalized and I resorted to comfort eating.
  • Second, my career took a left turn — a promotion meant leaving the safety and consistency of my classroom and venturing out on a loosely structured schedule.  This meant some days I was booked solid — so much so I didn’t have time for lunch, while other days I was literally sitting around waiting for something to happen — meaning I would snack all day.
  • Third, drama with my mama left me emotionally broken — which led to a fast feast cycle of comfort eating or guilt fasting.

My current eating habits are out of whack and I need to find a way to calm down and focus in.  What started this reflection period?  Recently, I saw a picture of myself at a work function and my jaw dropped.  How did I get back to a place so close to the weight I was when I started?

What next?

Taking the time to reflect is an important part of moving forward for me.  I know that I don’t want to go backwards any more.  I know what worked and why I think it worked.  I also know that my “excuses” for why weight watchers wasn’t working are just that — excuses.  (Everyone has them and they are always lame).

My next step is what I really should be focusing my energy on.  With all this running training, should I cut myself some slack?  Should I focus in and really clean up my eating patterns?  Should I calm myself down and just eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full?

Perhaps some more reflection is appropriate before settling in on a solution.

What do you think?

Do you eat based on a strict meal plan?

Do you eat whatever you want without a care?

How do you balance life, love, and food?

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