Well that covers it all doesn’t it? I can hardly believe that its been eight years since I started this last journey of weight loss. And it doesn’t seem like its coming to an end anytime soon.
When I am in Haiti or Nairobi, it seems absolutely ludicrous that I or anyone else would spend a minute of time thinking about food. What’s the best food to eat, and at which time? Should certain foods be eliminated and which ones should you eat for the fastest weight loss? I’m telling you, it seems ludicrous. And yet, here I am, home for a week, and this topic looms large in my mind. I can’t help it.
So. I wanted to be sure to share a brilliant quote by my friend Lori. I swear, some of the best stuff is found in the comments on blogs, and I am always afraid it will not be seen by enough people. On Lynn’s blog entry about “The Mental Price of Skinny,” Lori commented,
“real maintenance is not clutching to weight with white knuckles, but learning to live with the ups and downs that come with it.”
And that seems to be what I am doing right now. I have done the clutching and the white knuckle thing. I have been embarrassed that as a “successful maintainer” I have been not so successful at maintaining the 100 pounds I lost. I have tried to lose some of that weight, and only succeeded in gaining a little bit more. I have eliminated certain food groups, and I have eaten mindfully. I have refined and changed my diet over the years so that now I eat mostly unprocessed food (that’s a good change!) And all that time I observed myself, and made note of what worked for me and what didn’t, sometimes IN SPITE of what the ‘experts’ said.
This Me Diet thing seems to be working. If it stops working, I will try not to panic and white knuckle it, but will try to roll with the ups and downs, maybe tweaking this or that, and continuing on this never-ending journey that we call maintenance.
Lori also posted a link to a very interesting podcast. A couple of experts were talking about recent findings in weight loss. Of course I found it very interesting, because their findings seemed to validate my self-observations.
Paraphrasing, they said:
- Calorie for calorie, fat does not relieve hunger that well.
- Protein is the best calorie buy for hunger relief.
- For the satiation factor, a low fat/higher volume of food works well.
I am definitely paraphrasing here, so check out the podcast for yourself. But these were points that I had observed in myself and so tried to incorporate them into this new diet plan.
I originally lost weight on Weight Watchers. Whether that was their goal or not, what I learned was that I could eat a bigger volume if I would eat a very low fat, high fiber diet. After I left W.W., I was encouraged to try adding in some healthy fats. There is no doubt about it, fat just makes food taste good! But I tend to get carried away with fat. (Some of you might recall my love affair with walnuts.)
I knew the information about protein, but I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it. Adding the two mid-day meals with 20 grams of protein in 170 calories has made it easy to NOT think about food so much during the day. Its important to me that these are foods that I truly enjoy.
And finally, when I thought about my breakfast choices, I made some changes. I LOVE breakfast. I had quite a variety of nutritious breakfasts that I enjoyed, and most of them came in around 300-350 calories. Nothing wrong with that. Except that I noticed I was often over-full after eating them. So I started cutting some of them back, and developing a new breakfast menu that was lower in fat, but still high in volume. Most of them come in at less than 200 calories. And this seems to be working perfectly for me.
So I guess what I started out to say is that sometimes weight loss is PART of maintaining. That’s just life.