It's been nearly a year since I stopped weighing myself. Guess what? I haven't gained a bunch of weight - in fact, my clothes are looser now. It helps that I was able to start running again this year, but I'm not going to pin everything on that - I think I've finally stumbled into what works for me, and I thought I'd share it with you - not to say that you should do what I've done, but rather, to give you more ideas and options to craft your own way through this weight-loss process.
For years - heck, for decades - I've thought myself to
death with diets. It's exhausting, trying to figure
out what will work for me, seeing what works for someone else and trying
that, tweaking every plan to make it fit into my lifestyle...spending
countless waking hours thinking about what I should be doing to lose
weight, and then, of course, actually doing it. As we all know, dieting
can be a never-ending process. No wonder so many of us give up before we get to our goal! So you might be surprised when I say this: I pretty much eat whatever I want at this point.
It sounds irritating, I know - I'd be irritated too. Isn't this a blog about diet and exercise and maintaining a healthy weight? Who can eat whatever they want and not gain all of their weight back???
Well, not to be flippant about it, but I've been doing it for nearly a year now, ever since I declared myself done with dieting. The struggle with food and all of the "shoulds" (I should eat this; I should NOT eat that) has eased tremendously. I think that by giving myself permission to eat, I've been rewarded with learning to trust in my instincts. I'm beginning to understand how naturally thin people do it. You see, most of the time I want fairly
healthy food - while I've gotten lazy about eating a perfectly balanced diet on a daily basis, if I add everything together for a week, it pretty much evens out. I don't count calories, and I
don't actively restrict myself from eating this or that, but I AM aware
of what I'm eating and my portion sizes. I also have been known to skip a meal if I'm not particularly hungry, or just have a little fruit instead. In my not-too-distant past, I would have dismissed that notion as crazy. But it's part of a balancing act that seems to work, without it being too much work, if that makes sense.
We all have to find our own way when it comes to losing weight and maintaining a new body. For me, letting go of what was stressing me out (which was always thinking about diet and meals and the number on the scale) has given me the freedom to eat in a sensible way...and to discover that I actually prefer to stay on the side of healthy eating more than I ever realized. One example of this is that last month while I was in California, I didn't have any See's Candies. None. There was ample opportunity, and I still love chocolate, but I just didn't want to get started with them. For one thing, I know they'll be around next time I visit. For another? I'm really liking how my body is shaping up with all of the running I've been able to do, and the chocolate didn't entice me like it usually does. Now that's not to say I didn't have any treats while I was there (french macaroons, anyone?), but I'm getting better and picking and choosing stuff like that, and not going overboard.
I've been so pleased with many things that have resulted from my weight loss - being able to do physical things, like running and hiking and swimming without a second thought of "can I do this?" to getting dressed every day and liking my clothes and how I look in them - sure, that's shallow, but live in an overweight body for a couple of decades, and you'd appreciate fitting into cute clothes, too. It's been really, really nice to not struggle so much over something that we have to do everyday - eating - and I hope that you, my sweet readers, can find your way through it as well.