So today was the day I returned to careful counting and weighing after a week-long hiatus during which I recorded and weighed nothing, simply ate when I was hungry and upped my exercise level. I did this to get past a month-long stall that was beginning to make me despondent.
I want to say a big THANK YOU
to everyone who suggested that I try this, because I learned a ton.
While I don't think a diet hiatus is a panacea--and I was on "hiatus" only in that I didn't count/measure/record, not in eating everything in sight
--it really did help in a lot of unexpected ways:
I really noticed the fat loss.
When I no longer had a scale by which to judge, I became more aware of other things about my weight loss--my rings sliding off my finger, seeing my collarbones, wrapping a standard towel around myself with ease. I'll still weigh to keep an eye on myself, but I will no longer let that number influence me as strongly. Instead I'll look in the mirror--really look--and see forty pounds gone.
Habits are good; ruts, maybe not so much as I'd thought.
While I didn't go nuts with food this past week, I did move a little beyond my staple foods. Stuff that I'd previously left alone because although I could
have it, its caloric cost seemed so high that I chose not to, I now ate. I felt more inspired to cook creatively; although I wound up making healthy and low-calorie stuff, it was NEW healthy and low-calorie stuff.
I enjoyed my exercise more.
Yeah, I know I've said before that I like to keep exercise and weight loss separate, but in the back of my head, I did think, "Hmm, all this swimming is bound to pay off with some weight loss." This week, I just thought, "Wow, it is awesome
to be in a pool for the first time in over a decade!" I really felt and appreciated how much stronger, more limber, and more physically capable I am now than I was just forty pounds ago.
I missed keeping track.
Keeping track of my calories and writing stuff down gives me a sense of security. I thought that I'd feel freed of an obligation, but instead I sort of missed that little bit of structure. If I ever believed that "I don't want to count every little calorie for the rest of my life," I no longer believe that counting is an onerous chore.
I'm less difficult to keep in line than I'd thought.
I feared eating too much of this or that because I considered certain foods triggers to eat more-more-MORE. I was surprised to find that I can now get half a dozen Triscuits and a couple of spoons of eggplant caviar because that's all I want, not because I must keep my inner eat-beast on a short leash. I didn't test myself with serious junk food, but that's because I didn't really want
the junk food. I genuinely preferred a few whole-wheat crackers and some vegetable dip to cheez-its. Total shock!
I lost a pound and broke a month-long stall.
Actually, I might find I lost more than that; I ate a pretty salty dinner last night and had cheese as a snack, so all that sodium might have left me all watery. I'm now officially at forty pounds gone. Happy, happy, joy, joy!