Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A change is gonna come

Maintenance is a scary thing.  I'm not there yet, but I have less than half way to go before I am.  If I'm going to be successful at this weight-loss thing and not just another statistic, I need to start planning.  From this moment on!  I'm a carbohydrate and sugar addict.  I will need to limit these things from my diet forever.  I'm not saying that carbs or sugar will never pass my lips again.  I need to be realistic and I would be lying if I vowed to never eat another carbie or sugary thing.  But I know my triggers better than anyone.  I know exactly what foods could set off binges.  Those are the foods I need to avoid forever.  I believe that I'm beginning to adopt lots of positive habits that I know I must carry on for the rest of my life.

I keep a food journal.  In my opinion, this is a good habit to develop.  I write in my food journal every evening.  I record what I ate throughout the day and post the times.  I also record the exercise I've done and the amount of water I drank.  I've been doing this since October 2011 (minus 3 weeks in February).  It's definitely a habit now and something just as important to me as brushing my teeth.  This is something I will continue to do for now and evermore.
Here is a page out of a very boring eating day.
I ate the same thing twice...but I had to eat out at  two different restaurants that day.
I don't record amounts for lean protein or leafy greens because I'm allowed to eat those things until I'm full.
I have developed an exercise plan.  Right now I'm a bit addicted to running.  While I'm in the middle of my run (which I started to do 4 times a week), I vow that I am going to quit and never run again.  Then as soon as it's over and I completed it, I'm totally pumped to do the next one.  Every week as I build endurance and distance, I become more and more confident that I'll complete this "Learn to Run" clinic intact and be able to run 5k.  I'm already planning to join the 5k clinic that starts in mid-May with  my running girls!  Between running and yoga I'm exercising 5 days a week.  That is a huge change for me.  I was the biggest couch potato ever and hated all forms of exercise.  Running is something I cannot let go of.  Now that I've found a sport I'm beginning to really like, it's best that I just stick with it.

I have had to make a lifestyle change.  This is not a diet.  I am developing eating habits and gaining knowledge that I will have to use throughout my life.  If I think for even a second that I can go back to eating the way I did prior to starting my lifestyle change, then I am wasting my time.  I might as well throw in the towel now and just eat what I want.  Losing weight is hard. Eating healthy takes planning and determination.  I need to plan my weekly meals on the weekend.  I think about what I'm going to prepare for lunches and dinners and make my list and shop.  I love that I can price match at my supermarket.  I've become a bit of a flyer junkie and save about $30 a week price matching.  This is especially useful for meat, since it's my main food source and it can be so expensive.

I read hundreds of blogs.  There are many folks out there that struggle and need lots support and confidence boosters.  Although I am happy to give a boost when required, if the behaviour continues for weeks and weeks and weight gain climbs, I tend to lose interest.  There's only so much that others can do for us.  We need to be able to help ourselves first.  I have not had a gain since I began the metabolic diet that I'm on.  That does not mean that I'm "cured" or immune to this.  What it means is that I'm currently focused and have found other things to replace food with (blogging, running and yoga).

I had a precarious time in February when I thought I might start full on cheating.  In three weeks I only lost a pound.  I was getting sloppy with my eating and I wasn't journaling.  I knew then that I needed to change things up and get back on track.  I was also thankful that my running clinic started soon.  I fear falling off the wagon just like the rest of you.  Thankfully I have not experienced this yet (this time around).  If that happens, I'm counting on you all to give me the kick in the ass I'll need to get back on track.  Nothing nice either, just the truth.

I have come to recognize that food is no longer the most important thing in my life.  Sounds pathetic, but I'm pretty sure it used to be.  I thought about food from the time I woke up, until I went to sleep again.  The only thing on my mind 24/7 now is my family.  I have a beautiful boy who is way more important to me than any enjoyment that I could get out of gorging myself on pizza or a chocolate cake.  I simply don't put myself in situations where I would normally want to eat.  Primetime was my biggest binging trigger.  I used to snack constantly while watching TV.  I have drastically limited my TV watching.  I have become addicted to reading trashy romance novels instead.  Laugh and judge all you want, but it keeps me out of the fridge.

I challenge you to think about your triggers.  Think about how you can modify certain behaviours to keep on track.  I guarantee that if you find something that can replace food in your life, it makes this journey a whole lot easier...for now.  Remember, these modified behaviours and your determination to execute them are going to make your weight-loss and maintenance programs successful.  You're worth it!