Saturday, May 29, 2010

I told you so

When I started my little weight project, the first thing I did was to go around and find stacks of weight loss blogs, because misery loves company and because I decided I wasn't going to tell anyone in real life what I was up to.  I needed moral support, and if anonymous bloggers are where it's at, fine by me.

I read a lot of blogs, and I started noticing a few very interesting similarities among them.  Specifically, what worked and what didn't.  The bloggers who were the most successful at losing and maintaining all did two things:
  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Cut out most or all carbs and sugars
The most interesting thing to me was that they all came to these decisions independently of each other.  Every blogger talks about how great exercise is, how good it makes her feel, how much better it makes her body look.  And everyone who has reevaluated the role of carbohydrates in her diet has come to the realization that cutting carbs makes the cravings and the binges go away.

We will get to why this is important in a minute, but now I'm going to do a literary swerve and talk about the week I've had.  You may remember that last Sunday, I put up some goals.  Specifically, I had goals regarding my caloric intake and exercise.  Well, I nailed the exercise, but I was a wreck on calories.  Yes, there were some hormones involved.  But I've cut calories before without too much trouble.  For some reason, this week I just couldn't summon up the willpower.  I didn't binge, and I stayed within about 2200 calories every day, which is maintenance level for me.  But I wasn't anywhere near the 1700 cal goal I set.

I was thinking about all this last night and wondering if maybe it was time to take a break from the loss game.  I was thinking maybe I was burnt out.  I know what I've done is nothing compared to every blog I read, both in terms of pounds lost and time spent doing it, but I have worked hard and I have accomplished a lot of what I set out to do.  And let me just say I'm thrilled with the results.  I look better than ever, I feel fantastic, I get compliments, and I'm very very proud.  If I never lost another pound I would still be really happy.

This morning I woke up and started making my breakfast and for the first time in months I thought about the success of my fellow bloggers and how they did it, and I remembered all my conclusions about exercising and cutting carbs.  As I was putting apple butter on my whole wheat english muffin.  Damn.

I'd started eating toast with my eggs at breakfast a few weeks ago.  I was trying to increase my calories enough at breakfast that I wouldn't spend the morning feeling hungry.  Adding some toast seemed to do the trick.  But now I'm wondering if maybe those added carbs are some of the reason that I've been having so much trouble staying within my calorie limits lately.  And I'm kicking myself because I knew this all along.  I knew that almost everyone who was really successful cut her carbs.  I knew that when I was doing well with weight loss I was eating almost no carbs whatsoever.  And yet I completely failed to see the connection between my morning toast and my inability to stick to my goals.

All that said (and if you only read one paragraph from this entry, make it this one), I am glad I set goals and I'm glad I didn't hit them.  If I hadn't made a point to say that I was going to track 5 days this week and I was going to stay within my calorie limits 5 days, I probably wouldn't have been frustrated enough to try to figure out what went wrong.  It was only because I made it a point publicize my goals that I knew full well I should be able to hit that I was spurred into action when those goals went unmet.

So where does this leave me with regard to being burnt out, going on maintenance for a bit, and being generally fed up?  Undecided.  I am frustrated at not hitting my goals and I am furious with myself that I didn't see this connection sooner and I am a bit burnt out, and the fact that I have a new plan of attack isn't really motivating me right now. 

Another lesson I'm learning is patience (another entry for another time) and patience means I don't have to decide all of this right now.  I can take a few days and let this all sink in before I decide on a course of action.  So that's what I'm going to do.  I'm headed off to see a friend for a few days anyway, so I'm going to go to LA, enjoy seeing my friend, and return on Monday and reevaluate.

Have an excellent Memorial Day!

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