Mindful Eating #4: One Year Later

Posted on July 5, 2019

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In my last post about my journey to a healthy weight, I said:

“Going forward, I’m going to try to continue to lose 1-2 pounds per week. I’m weighing myself every other week now. My goal weight seems about 9-12 weeks away. I’m going to be firm but gentle with myself, and I’m going to enjoy the journey. After all, the REAL goal is to be healthy and strong so that I can ENJOY MY LIFE.”

A year has passed since I began this journey of 16-8 fasting and avoiding the Demon Sugar. What’s new?

1st of all: I’VE MET MY GOAL WEIGHT! Woohoo! I now weigh 20 lbs over my weight at age 18. I want to lose 10 pounds more, but I can FINALLY wear the dress that has hung in my closet as a goal! The last time I wore it was in 2006!

2nd: It has become a bit of a struggle to keep losing weight after losing 30 pounds. I’ve gained and re-lost three pounds at least 4 times this year. Not surprisingly, I gained when stress was high, and I ate for comfort. I lost the three pounds I gained in early June, and then I hit a plateau.

I realized that if I want to lose that last 10, I’m going to have to try a new approach. So, for the past week, I’ve increased my fasting time by one to four hours–depending on whether or not I feel hungry. I’ve substituted nearly-naked potatoes for 1-2 meals per day. I also pushed myself to do a couple of intense gardening work sessions and take a walk or bike ride every day to increase activity. It seems to be working. I lost one pound this week.

I can report that I experience ZERO cravings when I eat only potatoes. It’s kind of amazing. I’m grateful to Penn Jillette for talking about his weight-loss journey. Even though I’m disappointed in myself for comfort eating and stalling my progress toward my goal, I am NOT suffering. I never feel like I’m “on a diet,” and, most importantly, as a chronic pain sufferer, I am NOT required to “work out.” No “reps,” no “target heart rate,” no strains, no injuries. Taking walks and bike rides and normal house/lawn work is enough activity to sustain my weight loss. I can’t tell you how happy this discovery has made me! I cannot tell you the NUMBER of times I’ve been losing, only to have progress stalled by injuries and pain that caused me to abandon my work-outs–and my weight loss! I wish someone had told me about this method 35 years ago! My life could’ve been different.

Perhaps you, like me, have a stack of clothes that you’ve kept as “souvenirs”–clothes that you can’t fit, but are too excellent in some way to let go. My “goal dress” was one of those items, but I also had a few pairs of jeans that I kept, even though they only fit over my ankles! Yesterday I discovered that only the smallest pair still doesn’t fit! Woohoo! It’s too hot to wear jeans, but I was excited to move them from the “souvenir” pile to hang next to other pants I can fit!

The Last Time I Wore This Dress (2006)–my acted son like he was going to eat the dog. 😉

My new goal is to lose the last 10 pounds by the end of the year. Then, the new goal will be to continue to firm up the flab, strengthen the core, and maintain the hard-fought goal weight.

What I’ve learned this year is that the ONLY obstacle that stands between me and my optimum weight is that most addictive of substances: SUGAR. A little bit of stress and one hot-fudge sundae can be the catalysts for loss of control, bingeing, and weight gain. I’m not an Olympic athlete; I need to keep my caloric intake low enough to process with the lifestyle I live as a middle-aged woman with physical limitations. I hate how quickly Demon Sugar can trash all my good efforts. The only way to win this battle is to treat it like the addictive drug it is, and for the most part, AVOID it. It’s simple, but not easy. I hope to lose the last 10 without further detours, so I have to be vigilant. Fortunately, summertime produce from the garden makes it a lot easier to eat non-sugared foods that are bursting with flavor.

Wearing the Dress 7/8/19

I’ve been struggling with my weight since I gave birth to my first child 36 years ago, and I have finally found the strategies I need to win this battle, once and for all, thank science! If you are on your own journey to a healthy relationship with food, I hope that what I’ve shared can help you. I’m not an expert of any type; I just care about helping people learn good self-care strategies.

Be well, dear reader. Peace & Love!

Other Posts in This Series #1,  #2,  #3