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Saturday, August 11, 2012
The most frustrating part of my journey to lose weight is that nearly every minute of every day is focused on what food I need to eat and when I need to eat it.
I would have assumed that in order to lose weight I would need to NOT focus on food . . . but it is the exact opposite for me.
Before starting this new weight loss journey, I didn't hardly think about food . . . to the extent that I would often find myself at 2:00 in the afternoon realizing that I hadn't taken a bite of anything all day. Seriously. Happened all the time. My body just does not get hungry.
I would often eat just 2 meals per day, and never have need to snack.
What this did, though, is to put my body into "starvation mode". I couldn't lose weight because my body never knew when the next bite was going to come.
Now . . . I must pay close attention to every bite that I'm going to eat.
I TRY to eat breakfast . . . but still find myself often not having my first "meal" until 11:00 am or so. Then, I need to fit 4 more meals into my day, and do my best to be done eating by 8:00 pm or so. This leaves me eating every 2 to 2 1/2 hours, which helps my body stay out of starvation mode.
But, I can't just "grab a bite to eat" every couple of hours. Oh. My. No. I must weigh and measure everything. I must calculate how many calories I need for each of my 5 daily "meals". I don't want to eat too little . . . and realize at 8:00 pm that I've only eaten 600-700 calories. But, I also don't want to use up all 900-1,000 calories by 5:00 pm, and then spend all evening craving something . . . or anything. I've done both.
In order for me to lose weight, I must keep my calories between 950 - 1150. Some days I even gain weight after eating only 1000 calories. But, I also gain if I go under 900 calories, because my body goes back into starvation mode. Therefore, it is very important for me to weigh and measure everything that I eat. Even putting 1/4 cup of cheese on an omelet rather than 1/8 cup can make the difference between loss or gain for the day.
I also must plan protein as the main portion of each and every meal. If I want to eat carbs (fruits and vegetables even), I need to eat them for breakfast or lunch; and then do my best to have a "protein-only" dinner, which keeps my body in "fat-burning-mode".
There are definitely days that I just want to reach into a bag of chips and eat a handful . . . or two . . . or the whole bag. There are days that I'd love to throw a banana in my shake, but know I can't eat the extra 120 calories. There are days that I would rather grab a fruit-filled yogurt rather than a plain, Greek yogurt.
There are days that I just want "easy". I want to eat what I've fixed for the rest of the family, rather than spending their whole dinner hour preparing a separate meal for myself, only to sit down to eat as they are all finishing up.
There are days that I just want to say, "I'm done." "I don't care any more." "I'm tired of counting every. single. calorie."
I remind myself that I have lost nearly 20 pounds.
I remind myself that my blood pressure has dropped significantly.
I remind myself that my clothes fit better (and that I hope to be out-growing many of my clothes very soon).
I remind myself that my sweet friend Sarah has lost nearly 40 pounds . . .
and I don't want her to pass me up on her way down the numbers on the scale. (smile)
I'm trying to figure out how to go through my days withOUT focusing on food every. single. minute.
I'd love your prayers as I stumble my way along this difficult journey of Takin' Care of Mama. Sometimes . . . it is just easier to take care of everyone else, and not worry about myself.