Today, I took my fourth weekly photo for my progress collage. I can really see changes, even if the scale hasn’t budged in over a week. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for exactly one month.
This week, I found a really inspiring blog. Over at canyoustayfordinner.com, there’s a beautiful woman who has maintained a 135 pound weight loss for 5 years. She started with Weight Watchers, learned portion control, and branched out from there to counting calories because she wanted more freedom. Her only exercise is walking and she tries to keep each meal under 500 calories. Her before and after photos are shocking. She looks absolutely perfect in a bikini. The way she and I are doing it, there are no gimmicks, no quick fix, no deprivation. Nothing is off limits. There is no catch. Everything in moderation. It is so encouraging to see a long standing example of the calories in calories out approach to weight control and maintenance. Except I’m really dumb and I have one cheat day per week, which I’m going to rant about in another paragraph.
After another frustrating day (at least where dieting is concerned), let’s just say that through circumstances, I am an observer of many people on low carb diets. I follow reddit.com, and there is a low carb subreddit which I have skimmed out of curiosity (reddit.com/r/keto) and the members there can’t say enough about how much they love it. So I do have that impression of it not being so bad, but in my every day life, I see lost people with hundreds of pounds to lose fork over way too much money to whom I see as a fraud. I see them living off of processed meats and cheese, refusing apples. They call it “proteining” and they drop a few pounds and then gain twice as much and come right back, determined to start over on Day 1. I don’t know if I just happen to see the people who don’t care, who don’t take the time to understand what they are doing. My head could explode watching these people fail, pay their hard earned money to someone who seems to have flushed their Hippocratic Oath down the toilet and gain more weight again. I get to know these faces and it’s been the same story every time.
My tools so far have been completely free. True, I spend more money at the grocery store, but that’s because I go out to eat about 99.9% less than I did before. It requires meal planning and preparing and diligent counting. I can tell that I’m learning how to estimate portions and can mentally tally up my meal counts and I just add that number into MyFitnessPal rather than painstakingly search for each ingredient. My weight loss is slow but hopefully steady and I can join the ranks of the blogger I just mentioned, and maintain my weight loss forever, just by eyeballing my plate, until I am old and get that old lady fanny pack of fat around my hips when I pull my jeans up to my boobies.
Alas, there seems to be studies for this and studies against that and the proponents on each side have tales of success. Then you have me, writing this blog to help others, while I am still drinking bubbly chemical water, sugar free this or fat free that. One thing I’m trying to maintain is accessibility. I once went vegan for a couple of months and it was impossible for me to sustain that. Once my snowball of doubt got rolling, I felt overwhelmed. I’m doing this vegan diet, but now I have to worry about vegan shoes? I can get a vegan bean burrito at Taco Bell, but what about the company’s practices where they get their beef and the impact on the agriculture industry, thus animals?
So yes, right now, I’m just exploring the world of wholesome foods, suspect substitutes and ultimately, hope to eventually have a wholesome diet without weird chemicals. I hope that even though Boca veggie crumbles are made of textured vegetable protein, then that is much better than fatty red meat. Remember my strawberries on toast the other day? Classic example where I refuse a sugar free substitute for the real thing.
Hey, it’s my cheat day. And I feel fucking miserable. I have eaten horrible food that I don’t want to talk about. I feel like I’ve gone from really happy to a depressed slug.
It is almost embarrassing posting these lessons for the world to see, but hey, I’ve always learned the hard way. New solution: cheat days every week and a half. I don’t know why I have to hold on to this stupid idea of a day where I’m free from structure, but right now, I do. When I’ve had a long day and feel like it’s so fucking stupid of me to live in a developed country where I can pretty much have access to any amazing organic and nutritious food that I want at any time of year, and I’m lamenting over what to have, I have to remember that there is a day coming up where I can just eat without thought. Another thing that I really related to over at canyoustayfordinner.com, was that she missed the complete lack of thought surrounding food when she was 135 pounds bigger. Suddenly, now everything is preplanned and structured and you can’t just eat whatever you want that instant. I do secretly hope that when Cheat Day rolls around, I’ll remember this feeling and I won’t want to be so gluttonous.
I did make myself take a 30 minute walk around my neighborhood where the hills are steep, and even though my stomach felt disgusting and full, I could tell my legs are so much stronger when I was trucking up the hill! It was a nice reminder of what I’m working for and that the way I feel right now is part of a lifestyle I am going to leave behind.
This is Apollo the American Pit Bull Terrier. He is content and exhausted after our walk.
This is Powder, the Chihuahua, earlier today on his way to the Pup Parade!
The Pup Parade ended up being open to anyone and was a quick, very awkward conga line down a closed off street with vendors and such set up at the Summer Solstice Fest. Two pups attacked each other for all of 5 long seconds, another pup shit all over the middle of the street, but this was me anyway:
I love dogs so much! Powder LOVES being around small dogs and he met a few. A female Chi in a dress rejected him immediately but he got a massive ego boost when an Italian Greyhound mounted him. Powder gets humped a lot. I am going to make sure all his shots are up to date asap and take him to a small dog park that just opened.
On the way home from the antics. Already asleep!