I never saw myself as heavy, but I was. Birthing three babies and cooking & baking for my growing family, sampling as I cooked, put on pounds. End-of-day munchies and after-dinner snacks invited small fat cells to grow bigger. But as I aged, even though I shopped for clothes in the Woman’s Department, no longer in Misses, I never viewed myself as overweight, or as…obese. (What a nasty word!) Maybe it was ego, or arrogance, but I did nothing about my weight gain, except shop for more clothes to disguise my bulges. (Another nasty word).
Humans weren’t meant to be sedentary slugs. We were meant to be active, to use food as nutritional fuel, not to store it as excess fat. When we carry too many bloated fat cells, the body (the mind also I think) ultimately revolts. Finally, my body grew too tired, too sick, to keep on as it was. That led me to my first real diet since age 21.
Diet is another nasty word. So is the term fad diets. They just don’t make sense. Too many folks lose pounds then gain them back when they return to real life. Yo-yo dieters. Keeping weight off calls for a permanent lifestyle change, one I knew I must make. I discovered the key in one word – moderation.
I started my change in deep winter, when I most longed to settle indoors, gorging on rich, homemade beef stew, well-buttered dinner rolls, and home-baked chocolate chip cookies followed by a big bowl of vanilla ice cream. I think it might have been easier to start in the spring, when fresh air and sunshine cries out for activity.
Like others before me, I made a spreadsheet. On it, I charted everything I ate, every last morsel, and included its calorie count and nutritional value. 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day. I wrote it all down. It often took me longer to chart, often looking up nutritional data, than it did to eat.
They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I logged in my food intake for just about three weeks. A real chore but by then I’d gained a handle on what I could and could not eat in a day. Although I now no longer chart my calories, I seem to know how much, and what, I can safely eat.
Fruit is my salvation. I miss homemade chocolate chip cookies until I bite into a juicy sweet, 35-calorie, Clementine orange.
So far I’ve lost over 30 pounds. Slow and steady. More to go, lots more, but I don’t think about that. This is how I must live. No other options. Someone once said “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels!”. While I’m not yet thin, doubtful I’ll ever be really thin, each day I’m happy to simply FEEL better. Shopping is more fun, too. So many more options in the Misses Department!
I hope you will share some thoughts and experiences with your own lifestyle changes. ∞