Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sustainable Sustenance


"And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good."
~John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Food for Thought

When I set out on my journey to blog every week and lose 37 lbs this year, I did not intend to miss posting. Ever. I enlisted the help of a few great friends to keep me accountable, and they have! So, because life is what it is, it so happens that I truly was too busy to write the post. This doesn't mean that I didn't have time to sit down and do it. It means my mind was too busy, and I didn't have the space I needed to contemplate. But it's OK!! Seriously! My mind has been mostly occupied with my students and their exams, which began (for my classes) yesterday and end tomorrow. I'm starting to feel the relief in my brain...so now I forgive myself, I write, I move on. I have a lot of semi-formed thoughts for blog posts, but like I said, not enough brain space. So this post is simply an update on how I'm doing with my healthy eating goals.

I have been following the Weight Watchers plan and continue to lose at a good pace. This is my third go-round with Weight Watchers, and lots of things are different for me now. Though one of my motivations is to look better, front and center is my health and how I feel, physically and emotionally, on a day-to-day basis. Instead of resigning myself to the idea that I have to be hungry to lose weight, I have found ways to stay satisfied while still eating within my points range. Heart disease runs in my family, and I really do not want to be a 37 year old victim of a heart attack. I have high cholesterol, and recently have learned that I have pre-hypertension--ugh! The best remedy for all of these is to lose weight and to fuel my body with nutritious foods.

I have continued to stay almost completely away from sweets (with the rare exception of frozen yogurt and dark chocolate), and mostly away from refined carbs. I feel like I can eat this way for the rest of my life because my cravings are gone. Gone! It's easier than ever to say no to the occasional cookie or piece of candy...right now. But I am constantly wondering when it will get tough. I know the drill--feel good about losing weight, reward self with treats, start rolling down that slippery slope, end up back where I started. Or worse. So, the thing I'm contemplating, almost constantly, is how to prevent it. I've never really "maintained" my weight. I lost it, felt great, and almost immediately began gaining it back. How do I stop myself from doing it again? Truthfully, I don't know. But I DO know that I really never thought much about it in the past. My goals were simple. Get thinner, fit into smaller clothes, look better. And, mostly, I did that by eating frozen dinners, 100 calorie snack packs, and drinking low-carb beer. First of all, that's just gross. Secondly, it is totally not sustainable. I feel so much better the way I'm doing it now and it actually does feel sustainable.

Exercise is still pretty much non-existent in my world. I do, however, keep track of my steps with my phone, and I make it a point to get a little extra walking in during the day, even if it just means an extra trip to the copy machine or parking a little further away. It's supposed to count for something, "they" claim. I plan to start walking/jogging a few times a week and to sign up for a yoga class this summer (which is out of my comfort zone, but that's the only way to grow, right?)

I've lost 10 lbs as of this week, which feels good and looks good on paper. And I've done it eating mostly whole foods and making healthy, not just calorie-cutting, choices. It really does not feel like a "diet," and I am trying not to look at it that way. About once a week, I go out and I don't worry much about what I order. I love craft beer and bar food, and because I can't see myself giving it up forever, I am making it part of my plan now. I try to think this daily: if this is not something I'm willing to give up forever, I should not give it up now. The other thing I try to avoid is obsessing--like digging and digging on the interwebs to find an accurate point-count for a food. I eat it, estimate it if I have to, and MOVE on. Obsessing about food is not sustainable, either. 

Thanks for your patience. It's good to be missed, but I hope not to neglect posting again any time soon. Thanks to those of you helping me keep on track!

5.3.15: The Stats

3.23.15: 37 lbs to lose
3.29.15: -4 (33 lbs to lose)
4.4.15: +1 (34 lbs to lose)
4.12.15: -2.5 (31.5 lbs to lose)
4.19.15: -2 (29.5 lbs to lose)
4.26.15: -1.5 (28 lbs to lose)
5.3.15: -1 (27 lbs to lose)*********10 lbs down!!!**********

5.3.15: New Segment! 

What I'm Reading:

East of Eden by John Steinbeck--a comforting favorite.

"I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one...Humans are caught--in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too--in a net of good and evil...There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well--or ill?"

1 comment:

  1. Good work, Leslie! Ten pounds is great. I've been back to Weight Watchers several times, but on the positive side, last time I didn't wait to come back and that saved me pounds and pounds. I'm concentrating now on maintaining my lifetime status. That means I weigh in every month, even if I have to pay. I can't let it get out of control, or I have to start paying for it. That's pretty good motivation for me.