First, a disclaimer: This is my journey, my story, of how the decision to lose a few pounds has turned into a desparate need to stay thin and the overwhelming fear of gaining back the weight. This is a journey of weight loss gone wrong and a hope that you won’t find yourself following in my footsteps.
“The grabbing hands, grab all they can, everything counts in large amounts….” (Depeche mode, “Everything Counts”). If you don’t believe that, just watch the church crowd at the buffet counter in a restaurant after the Sunday morning sermon has dragged on a little too long! I’ve seen people, (not on Sunday lunch time) at CiCi’ lunch buffet take the ENTIRE pan of cinnamon sticks to their table and eat it (and nearly the pan too) for lunch!
I’ve learned that with weight loss every tiny, seemingly insignificant crumb of food matters.
You may be wondering what its like to be me in my struggle, what a typical day is like in my life is like. My day consists of thinking about food almost constantly. Thinking about what to eat, how much of it to eat, how to make recipes lower in calories. I have a spreadsheet where I calculate my daily, weekly and monthly intake and can spend anywhere from minutes to hours obsessing over and working on the numbers and what I will eat. I usually forecast what I will eat for the next day and my caloric intake for the next several weeks. I read through numerous newsletters from weight loss websites and, ironically, I frequently read recipes and get newsletters from their websites.
Most of all, I wonder from the moment I get up to when I go t bed, how I can make it from one meal to the next without acknowledging how bloody hungry I am and I pray I won’t lose my will power and Binge.
Right now, because I still want lose weight, I have restricted my caloric intake to 700 calories a day. (I will explain how to get those numbers in my blog over the next few days). Coffee and gum have become my two best friends. Coffee fills me up for a while for only 20 calories – ½ teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of coffee mate, CAREFULLY measured out. Gum keeps my mouth busy. Its strange, but since chewing emulates eating, it satisfies my need eat…but then again, I’m realizing nothing about me is normal
First thing in the morning before I do anything else, I weigh myself, several times and on two different scales, because, you know, measuring my weight on one scale isn’t enough. The reason is the one scale weighs a good 1.some-odd pounds heavier than the other and in my state of mind those few little ounces mean the difference between a good day and a bad one, between cutting another 100 calories or adding some. The bathroom scale just flat out lies so I have to weigh myself on my trusty Wii as well. But even it has truth problems first thing in the morning, so it takes at least two or three tries before I finally get that golden number – you know the one — the one that is the least! Because 97.0 is a much better number than 97.2. Everything Counts.
From that point, I plan what I will eat for the rest of the day, logging it in my spreadsheet and keeping it all in the confines of, please God, 700 calories. The one good thing that has come of all of this, besides weighing 97 pounds and a very strong will power, is I eat really well when I do eat. At 700 calories a day, Everything Counts because it has to. I eat whole wheat bread, lots of protein and vegetables and fruit. Its funny, I find that since I have cut out sweets (desserts), I crave fruit and, right now, cinnamon, lots of it! A while ago it was pineapple, couldn’t get enough of it and put it on everything! Pineapple is GREAT on a turkey sandwich and on chicken! Peaches were all the rage a few weeks ago too. Then basil – had to have basil on my turkey sandwiches. Then Pumpkin – I perfected a pumpkin bread recipe, bringing it to only 58 calories an ounce. Now it unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon. Oh and bread…my second biggest weakness, dessert is still number one. Oh there is NOTHING like a soft, warm dinner roll….I may drown here in a minute on my drool, so quickly moving on…
When I do eat, I weigh nearly all of my food with my digital scale, to the ounce and sometimes to the gram. If I don’t know the calories of something, I will not eat it…usually. When we go to restaurants, I usually go to the ones that have their nutritional information online so I know what to order and most of the time, I end up ordering off of the kids menu. But there isn’t anything wrong with that. If you want to lose weight this is what the experts will tell you to do (okay, maybe not ordering off the kids menu) but they will tell you to set a realistic calorie deficit’s, weigh your food and keep a food and weight loss journal. And honestly, obviously, it works. Keeping track of what you eat and setting a goal will do wonders for your weight loss plans. It’s really simple. Sticking to it is the hard part.
The rest of my day is life as normal. But lately, honestly, I’m so exhausted most of the time that I have to rest frequently because I just don’t have the energy to do much. Even my brain feels tired. I have a hard time focusing and concentrating…so if my blogs are a little loopy, you understand why. I know its only temporary and when I finally hit my desired weight and get to my weigh maintenance calories, I will feel better.
And yes, I see very clearly, that I am bound.
My dear sweet friend Miss A (name withheld to protect her identity) is struggling with this same issue but from the other side. She is gaining weight and doesn’t want to stop eating because she finds great comfort in food. I find great comfort in being thin. Neither of us wants to quit. I have will power to resist food but not to break free. She told me she sees us as chained.
“Each day you hear the sand as it moves and whispers, Come and sail on my golden sea Maybe one day you’ll be just, like me…and that’s free, But still your chains are on…” (Ronnie James Dio, Egypt )
Even still, I pray, Please God, please don’t let me gain weight! Please, I just want to be thin and thinner yet.