Maybe I was feeling lucky. I decided at the last minute to have whatever I wanted at Thanksgiving. So, on Thursday, I ate very little for the early part of the day, and did exactly that. I ate turkey, cranberry sauce, a roll, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, and pie. Yes, I did. I enjoyed it all. I gained no overnight pounds, and my pants were not immediately tight. I felt no urges to eat more carb-laden food, and I am still not up in weight over Thursday. Today, we had our traditional Saturday Thanksgiving ,which is about food, family, friends, and football. I ate low-carb, but did have two bites of pie, just to taste test it. I was not out of control, and while I did eat a few spoons of whipped topping, I was fine with just meat and veggies tonight. My splurge was three beers, though. Still, overall it was a low-eating, low carb day. I suppose I had about 50 grams today, because of the beer, maybe even 60. I usually worry about anything over 35. I have been waking up every day at 126, though. I had gotten down to 123, but at that point, my face was looking haggard, and I tired of the comments from family that I was ‘withering away’, a complete untruth, I might add. 123 is by no means withering away or even ‘skinny’; not for my height . I have done this before, like on my birthday, and HAVE seen an instant weight gain, so I am not sure what happened this time. Was is purely luck? Was it the ratio of protein to carbs? On my birthday, I ate more carbohydrate than protein, and on Thanksgiving, I simply tacked it on during one meal. I am not sure what the magic combination is. Maybe calories really do play a role, so that eating low carb and keeping calories to a certain range, over a time span of several weeks or months, is the key to maintaining goal weight. I can tell you that in low-carb, I have noticed the same thing that LCC noted- you can gain very quickly but also lose it very quickly if you get back on track in the next day. It is a relief to know that I can celebrate with food, if I keep it to a once or twice-per-month at most splurge. I don’t feel that I need to plan special splurge days, though. I am happy with my low-carb, low sugar plan on the daily.
It will be a surprise if I find that I am heavier tomorrow. I will be sure to report it, and how I got it back off, if that happens. It IS true that I am up from 123 to 126, but this is an acceptable gain for me. I am really not feeling off track.
LCC IS right. I feel like I am NOT the same person I was in terms of food. I have converted my taste buds and preferences to the low- carb lifestyle. I would tell anyone that If you are just getting started with Atkin’s or Paleo, that if you can make it with strict diligence past the first three months, you will find it to be much easier to stick with it. Remember that the salads and other leafy green, red, and yellow vegetables are great for you, and that it’s not all about steaks and butter. Strawberries taste really sweet when you’re not used to Snicker bars and Twinkies. (oops- speaking of the dead is not polite I guess).
So, another holiday of eating has come and gone, and I survived intact. I haven’t even made it to the gym this week, but I feel that I want to, and that I should.
For those who are struggling, here’s what I want to tell you:
When you stop living for food and the experience of pleasure and comfort it temporarily gives you, you gain a new freedom. You start enjoying living more- relationships with people become more important than the one with food. Hobbies and interests can develop when you’re not hiding behind a plate of pasta.
When you push away the comforts and false sense of well-being that food can give, you may find the issues that may have contributed to your overeating rising back to the surface. Like an addict, you may find the urges to eat it all away come surging back. The important part is to recognize the issues, and to start dealing with them. Write the letter, go to counseling, talk to a trusted confidant. Do whatever it takes to get to the root of the problem. This is the same advice one might give an addict to any substance or habit. Some people are overweight because they just ate a little too much over a long period of time. Others are overweight because they use food to stuff down fears, painful emotions, and unresolved issues. So, what’s your reason for being overweight, or trying to lose weight?
Life is a journey of growth and discovery. It is when we are challenged the most and somehow learn to overcome, that we grow in the most profound ways. Having said that, I have to learn to follow my own advice.
My challenge right now is nicotine gum. I have gone from a smoker to a chewer. While the lung damage has most certainly been halted, the addiction remains, as I am so painfully reminded whenever I run out. Would I suddenly crave sweets again like mad if I gave up the gum? If so, it simply means I have given up one addiction for another. One demon to replace another demon is not the same as overcoming the demon. So, perhaps I have chosen the lesser of two evils, but am I truly free? What are the issues that I am running from, or is it simply a physical need at this point? Am I ready to give up all my false comforts? What will it take to get me to go there?