My Food Plan: Defining and refining

So, if you’ve read my post about walking 10k steps per day, you know that I’m tiptoeing my way into a healthier lifestyle, as I ease my way into my 40’s. You can read about that personal challenge I just completed, here. I’m still loving the walking and getting in as many steps as I can, each day. As an extension of my personal challenge, I’m also currently completing a company challenge at work to walk 240,000 steps in a 30 day period. I have 11 days left for that and I’m on pace to meet that step goal in the next 6 days. This has been an extra incentive to keep reinforcing the healthy habit of walking. Its working!

As it turns out, I love walking! It is an exercise that I look forward to and it has not caused me any injury or need to purchase equipment. Sometimes I walk around the block. Sometimes I walk around the parking lot at work. Sometimes I walk up and down my driveway if my kids aren’t up for a longer bike ride. Sometimes I walk barefoot and braless in circles, in my dining room. The experience is always the same. I have a great feeling of accomplishment and pride, as soon as my FitBit vibrates on my wrist. I am hoping this is a long term habit. Long term healthy habits are the goal, after all.

That brings me to my next change. The idea is to make several small changes with the hopeful result being improved health and weight. I’ve been toying with a concept that I think I’m going to try. I have been enjoying the video’s and post on a blog called Six Miles To Supper. 

I really relate to a lot of what Kayla has shared in her blog. She was a chubby kid who grew up and had her own kids. After she was done having babies, she held onto the weight and woke up one day startled by a photo she saw of herself and decided to make her health a priority by trying different things to lose weight in a way she was comfortable doing. Like Kayla, I know I won’t stick to a strict, variety limiting diet, but I am willing to make other changes that will hopefully result in shedding some pounds.

I have tried, Weight Watchers, keto, low carb, low fat, etc. They all work for me in the short term but they did not last long. I would fall off the wagon and indulge in one of the forbidden foods after several weeks of avoiding them. Sometimes a birthday party would catch me at a weak moment and I’d eat the cake. Sometimes I would want that craft beer my husband had made. Sometimes I just wanted to eat the dang chips and salsa. Whatever it was, I would fall off the wagon and never get back on. Nothing ever became the lifestyle change that I needed. I was never committed to any of them for very long.

Fast forward to now. I am ready to try something new! So what is it? What am I going to try now? Well, its pretty simple actually. I’m going to do what Kayla did, but not exactly.  I’m going to start cutting down on food consumption slowly. I have no desire to count calories or carbs or fat or macros or anything else! I want to live and eat, “normally”.

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. I am not a dietician. I am not a physician. I am not a physical trainer. I am going to try this as a complete novice and see what happens. At the very least, it likely won’t get worse for me than it already is. I’m weighing in at 271 pounds and eating candy all day long. That is a terrible way to be. 

I have three rules:

  1. Only eat when I’m hungry. Sounds simple right? Well, for me, its actually quite complicated. I want to eat all the time. I eat when I’m bored, worried, scared, stressed, happy, sad, breathing. I eat for so many reasons, but rarely is it related to hunger. This will be harder than it sounds at first, but this one change will result in consuming far fewer calories than I do right now. If you know anything about losing weight, you know that the basic idea is you need to consume less than you burn. Making a change to only eat when I’m hungry might achieve the notion of consuming less. We will see.
  2. Only eat until I am no longer hungry. What does that mean? That means that I will eat until I am no longer hungry but not over eat until I am in pain from a bloated, stretched stomach and not able to button my pants for a couple of hours. There is a big difference there. I eat far too much at every meal. I could cut everything half and be satisfied physically but mentally I always feel like I need to finish whatever it is because I might not get to eat it again for a long time. Thats just nuts. And it is causing me to eat way too many calories in a day.
  3. Eat whatever I want. There will be no limits on the types of foods or drinks I enjoy. Seems crazy right? Well, for a person who has a problem with eating, putting a limit on any one food or food group can actually be counterproductive. If something is forbidden, I spend every minute of the day thinking about it. I dream of it. I lust for it. I eventually give in and eat it and then the shame spiral comes. By allowing myself to eat whatever I want, I suspect I will spend less time in my day thinking about food. I will know that I can have whatever I want and it removes the intrigue enough to keep me from obsessing. Theory, admittedly, but I’m going to give it a try.

This in combination with drinking plenty of water and walking my 10k steps a day, might result in some weight loss.

I am very aware that this could also fail. Any of those diets I’ve tried in the past would work if I stuck to them, after all. So whats different about this? What makes me think, this time is different? Shrug. Nothing is different. This is me, attempting to put action to thoughts rather than giving into the perpetual poppycock of reasons not to do anything. I don’t want to fail. I want to get healthy. The only way to get there is to keep trying. I have to stop doing what I’ve been doing and try something new. That is what this is. I am trying this and if it doesn’t work out, I will try something else. Or, I will bend this to something that does work for me. I just have to keep evolving until I get there.

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