How long have I been doing this? In January 2013, it will be 9 years since I started this last weight loss journey. NINE YEARS!! Nine years of reading and researching how to do it, anything and everything about food and nutrition, various types of diet theories (Weight Watchers, paleo, vegetarian, raw food, intuitive eating, low carb, calories in/calories out, whole grain, you get the picture,) the whole psychological component to weight loss, why some people succeed at maintaining weight loss and what and how they do that, oh, and exercise. I’m sure I left something out. But you know. Its a LOT of information.
And the thing is…all of it is useful. Even the stuff I have decided is not true for me.
Yes, it is frustrating that there is not more definitive information about obesity, its causes and cures, and weight loss maintenance. But still, we have an awful lot of knowledge to draw upon. Layer upon layer, I have added all this to the base of my eating and exercise habits. When I decided to try The Hunger Game, I did not throw away everything I knew about good nutrition and what works in my favor. If anything, I am using that information more than ever.
It kind of drives me nuts when people who have been doing this a long time figuratively throw their hands up in the air and act like they do not know anything. We know a LOT.
Part of what I know is that it is hard work to maintain a lower body weight. It is hard because as you age, something or other goes on in your body (more efficient? slower metabolism? hormones?) and your body holds onto weight. Helen reminded me that you don’t need to eat as much when you get older, and the next day I got an article in the mail saying that women who have gone through menopause need 200 calories LESS a day! Oh my goodness.
It is hard work to maintain a lower body weight if you have previously been very overweight for an extended part of your life. That is a theory I believe because of the overwhelming amount of objective information available (evidence gathered by various scientists, and also the testimony of many many people who have lost weight and maintained that loss with varying degrees of success.)
I know a LOT about food and nutrition and how the body processes food. (Oh, side rant: I know many of you would be more comfortable believing that the body is a machine–that you can input certain food or exercise and you will receive the same results every time. I’m sorry, but that is simply not true. The body is closer to a work of art than it is to a machine. Period. end rant.) So at my best, I am easily able to choose healthy, balanced whole foods that will keep me satiated for 3-4 hours.
I know a lot about exercise, and what part it plays in weight loss (very little) and weight loss maintenance (a lot.) I know that the body gets accustomed to the same exercise and gets more efficient at how it processes that exercise (not fair!) so that it is good to continue to challenge your body with exercise by increasing the intensity or by changing the type of exercise periodically. I know that it is good for your heart and your mind. I know that it keeps me from becoming stiff as a board, so I keep doing it!
It took a while, but I do understand very well the part that the mind plays in food choices and eating. I learned that for me, anxiety was the single largest factor in why I overate. Just learning that was a tremendous step forward in changing my relationship with food.
So I know all this stuff. I did not discard one bit of it when I decided to WAIT UNTIL I WAS HUNGRY to eat. Honestly, it just makes sense to me. Just one more piece of the puzzle.