20 lbs down: Five things I’ve learned during my first two months of successful Intuitive Dieting
Day 57・Sunday Scales: -2.2 lbs・Total Loss: 22.8 lbs
Having Sunday be my official weigh-in day can be tricky because I tend to eat more at the weekends and there are more challenges when we go out for instance. Last night we went to a friend’s house for a barbecue and unlike other diets before I was not fretting it or worried about ‘blowing it’. I had a rough idea of what I was going to eat and otherwise just planned to have a good time with good friends. And that’s exactly what happened. When we got there I enjoyed a glass of bubbly but did not touch any of the pre-dinner snacks. Once the meat was grilled I had a very tasty German Bratwurst with curry ketchup (it’s a German thing, we love it on sausages) and two side dishes: a green salad with a delicious homemade dressing and sweet kale coleslaw. I savored every bite and felt nicely satisfied. When the brownies made their rounds for dessert I was briefly tempted and if it hadn’t been for today’s weigh-in I probably would have endulged a bit. Which would have been fine. But I decided that I did not want to jeopardize my weigh-in the next morning and you know what? As soon as I made that decision in my head it was fine, I did not hunker after the brownies and simply continued enjoying a lovely evening. That’s agency, baby.
I also walked in the rain last week, I was quite impressed with myself and actually loved it!
So what have I learned from these last two months?
There is only one ‘secret’ to weight loss: get started and keep doing what works. Find an approach that is aligned with your food preferences and lifestyle. Eat less. Move more. Finetune. Keep going. On one hand the beginning can be easy because we are motivated and everything feels fresh and hopeful. But these first few weeks can also be tough for many of us, at least for me it takes a while to really get my head into it. I’ve had quite a few moments where I just wanted to chuck it all in but I was also determined to not break my streak so I kept tracking every single day and focused on eating foods I loved and eventually it became easier. Now, after eight weeks, I finally feel like I am in flow with this, and having lost more than 20 lbs also tells me that Intuitive Dieting is the right program for me and that I am on a good path.
When I count calories I live more in the moment. Resistance to calorie counting is never about the actual tracking – that part is easy with today’s tools – it’s always about my anxieties and yearning to tune out, usually with the help of peanut butter cups! When I get into a mood of “Ugh, tracking everything I eat is so tedious, I wish I didn’t have to do it,” I ask myself what is really going on, what am I trying to avoid or numb out? Counting my calories requires me to be present and to pay attention to what I am doing and that is exactly what I want to be doing more of.
Calorie counting makes me a better cook. Because I now weigh and measure my ingredients I am much better prepared and less stressed when cooking. In the old days I would do the prep as I go along and while that works for some meals I find that the cooking experience is so much more enjoyable when I have everything prepared in advance and can then fully focus on the actual cooking.
Exercise: start where you are, do what you love and it’s ok to be slow. I used to love sports as a kid but then I started having heart palpitations as a teenager and they were often triggered during exercise. It’s why I stopped doing team sports and to this day prefer to exercise on my own, so that I can take breaks whenever needed. Over the years my lifestyle has become increasingly sedentary and it all pinnacled in the last five years when I started my online business that has me glued to a computer for hours every day. Getting my body moving again was a challenge but also something I knew was really important. I started slowly and focused on the two things I enjoy the most: walking and bicycling. Walking of course is not easy because of my ankle arthritis and my dodgy knee but you know what? I am doing it anyway. I just walk at a pace that feels ok and do it consistently, every day. And bit by bit it’s getting better. Same with cycling, at first I put the bike on my car and drove closer to the trails because I was not fit enough to bicycle all the way. Plus I was still dealing with fears following last year’s bicyle accident that had caused the knee injury and rattled my confidence. So I did what I could with what I had. It is no secret that I love bicycling and getting an e-bike has definitely helped a lot, too, because it gives me so much more freedom to move around our hilly town, or to go on longer rides because when my legs get tired I simply kick in the battery and give myself a little help. Over the last eight weeks I’ve built up my stamina and maybe a bit of leg muscle, too. Eventually I might introduce yoga back into the mix, but I am not quite ready for that yet. For now I just enjoy our daily walks and my bike rides 2-3 times a week.
I can eat lots of peanut butter cups and still lose weight! This statement is about so much more than just the fact that I do eat a lot of PBC’s for someone who wants to lose weight. As an emotional eater I always seem to have a food I am particularly addicted to and right now that is Justin’s peanut butter cups (never Reese’s, they taste way too artificial to me). Should I work on this addiction and perhaps go cold turkey and cut sugar out of my life? Maybe. I see others who abdicate refined sugar and do really well on that. But I am not there yet myself and I am not sure I want to even get there. For now eating PBC’s comforts me and I look forward to having them every day. It’s the only refined sugar product I eat and even though stress or anxiety can send me into a little PBC binge it’s overall been a pretty manageable emotional crutch. So I decided to be ok with it for now. As I learn other ways to manage my anxieties my need for this crutch might change and maybe even decrease. I am definitely open for that to happen but I won’t force it.
Well, that’s today’s Sunday Scales report. By the way, if you have a blog that is not in my blog roll list on the right, let me know, I’d love to add a few more!
Have a great week ☀️
Some of last week’s food
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