I have another blog that I’ve kept since 2004. I recently skimmed back over the number of entries that were tagged “diet” or “diet 2010” or “diet 2012” – and recognized recurring themes. Defeat and Victory. And Defeat again. And dissatisfaction for where I was currently – even at my lowest weight. Still not good enough.
Most entries described dissatisfaction with the number the scale showed. I was quite focused on that number and whether it was going up or down. If I could just reach THAT number, I’d have succeeded and victory would be maintained of course – because really, wasn’t this just a math thing? Calories in, calories burned. Simple. The number – at least initially – proves that my efforts are being rewarded in a tangible way.
Except that there is a monotony in keeping a food journal, and exercise is mostly dull and certainly – when done right – HARD. Diet fatigue, lack of self-discipline, and self-indulgence tend to reappear eventually.
I never really struggled with weight until I had a few children. I spent a lot of years in denial that this was truly a problem that would not go away without effort. Then there were some short-term efforts.
My sole lengthy success in exercise and weight loss was in 2005-2006/7 and I was proud of my efforts. It tended to be what I talked about, what I thought about – every day. I have since been quite humbled. If I eat what I want when I want in the quantities I want – my “set point” is close to 200 lbs. For now. The years go by and that set point seemed to be rising – thank you Menopause.
So here I am again – exercising regularly – at least 3 times a week ( now starting 40th week – and yes, I am counting) and logging my food (counting again). Thoughts I experience while exercising include “wow, this is hard” and “almost done” and “I KNOW why people DON’T do this – it’s hard”. This time around, in addition to logging my food – I’m trying to pay attention to appetite and reducing portions to what satisfies (vs. what makes me feel stuffed). I do not worry if I clean my plate – even in a restaurant where I’ve paid good money. (this is a challenge since I am cheap) I am taking this process a week at a time. I eat most anything I want but in portions that are budgeted for my day’s allotment. I have an occasional day I go over. I weigh myself daily and record every week or so. I use an online site to log food – and the app on my phone. (myfitnesspal.com) I say no to myself sometimes and yes to myself at other times.
Most days eating less food is hard. But I parent the me that wants to indulge daily and say NO or Not So Much. Discipline is hard for me. Sometimes going to exercise is NOT what I want to do. I cannot ever picture loving it – and it’s not important that I do. That does not mean I cannot make myself do it. (Grateful that I can!)
I encourage myself with goals concerning health and future mobility and clothes that fit better. I try to be patient and not be too concerned with the scale. I try to not talk about it ALL the time. I try not to get TOO hungry or to bake TOO much.
I don’t wonder about why it’s hard to do. I know why. Food tastes good and exercise is hard, and my metabolism is not fast.
I CAN DO HARD THINGS (a day at a time).