When I started this blog almost four years ago, I was determined to shed pounds without dieting. Some weeks that idea worked, other weeks found me on a diet du jour that I swore -- once again -- was going to work for me. Weight Watchers. Fat Flush. Dr. Cohen's 1st Personal. Beyond Diet. Paleo. Actually, I am counting Paleo four times since there are so many different types of Paleo and I tried at least four. DASH. I even went to a nutritionist.
AND NOTHING WORKED. No surprise here.
You can tell when I was dieting because I did not blog. I felt like such a fraud I couldn't admit that I had once again succumbed to a diet. And if I did write about it, I couched it by saying I was not really dieting -- only finding an eating plan that works for me.
Since January I have shed 26 pounds -- not earth shattering weight loss but steady and consistent. I eat what a want to eat but key here is that I am making really good food choices. I think about everything I put into my mouth. And if it is something that I know can pack on the pounds -- notice I didn't say something I should not eat -- I eat it very slowly and have only one serving. It does not send me into a binge, where I tell myself since I have "cheated" I should just go one eating and start "dieting" the next day.
I never cheat now, because I have given myself permission to have some treats. The next day I wake up and eat foods to fuel and nourish my body. What I am not doing is beating myself up for eating something the night before that I really enjoyed. In fact, that food I ate is out of my mind.
Food is not occupying my thoughts. That does not mean I am not planning my meals. I am. But I am planning healthy, well-balanced meals that make me feel great.
I owe this to Diane Bahr-Groth, the hypnotist I started seeing in February. Diane does virtual lap band hypnosis, and although really pricey, will hopefully save me money in the long run -- money I won't have to spend on medication and hospital stays -- the direction I was heading pre-Diane.
I have also come to terms with the fact that I have an eating disorder and I have to work very hard each day to stay on the track I am on now. I have lots of things to do each day, but it's my life priority so I do them:
1. Before I get out of bed, I listen to one of the CDs Diane made for me, positive reinforcement that my stomach is smaller, that I need less food to feel full, and reminders to eat slowly with intent.
2. I do not go to sleep without reaching 10,000 steps a day. I exercise throughout the day, and I make sure that 30 minutes after every meal I stand up and walk a 12-minute mile with Leslie Sansone -- my favorite DVD exercise guru.
3. I cook. Although I love pizza and going out to dinner, I have been preparing some pretty amazing meals every night, meals that keep the calories low and nutrition up. For lunch, I always make a big salad that includes a protein, usually black beans because they are filling and loaded with fiber.
4. I eat three servings of dairy a day -- feta on my salad and two 6-oz. containers of organic, low-fat plain Greek yogurt. One goes into my morning smoothie. The second is the perfect pick-me-up around 3 p.m. with just a little vanilla extract added for flavor.
5. My other snack of the day is mid-morning: sunflower seed butter smeared on celery sticks.
6. I have dessert every night: An Edy Outshine bar. Every flavor is in my freezer so I never get bored. It is just enough sweet to keep me sated.
There is no magic formula here. Just a desire to get healthy and live and long life, one that will see me dancing at my grandkids' weddings!