My diet is on track so far for the year. I’m down from a high of 240-pounds to a new low of 181-pounds. I’m pretty happy about that. My weight loss has slowed down to about 1/2-pound a week. This seems rather slow to me, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that many experts say slow weight loss is more likely to be maintained than fast weight loss. If I really want to lose faster I can exercise more and eat a lot more vegetables. My current way of eating is pretty comfortable though, and I’m not eager to make it more Spartan.
I’m not convinced that “dieting” is the most effective method of weight-loss. Sometimes I do “diet” by following my exchange plan. I watch everything I eat, weighing and measuring faithfully, planning and writing down every single meal. I can even keep it up for a month or so, and when I do, my weight loss is usually more expedient. But it’s not exactly fun or easy to plan and write down every single morsel I eat. It’s kind of a pain in the neck, actually.
I’ve found that if I faithfully follow my Un-Diet, that is–make wise food choices, don’t start eating until I’m hungry, and then stop as soon as I sense a hint of fullness, that I tend to lose weight a bit slower, but it still comes off pretty reliably. The secret is identifying full and then acting on it immediately. I’m not able to do that very well on my own power, but with the help of a lot of prayer and sincerely turning my appetite over to God, it’s not as hard as it might seem.
Ideally, this is the way I would like to eat for the rest of my life, using my Un-Diet. But eventually I tend to grow too indulgent and have to get myself back on track by being more strict with myself for a while. I use my exchange plan for that purpose.
I thought about doing a big Blog Extravaganza about weight loss for the New Year, but I don’t feel like I’m capable of that yet. The truth is I don’t know it all. I’m not at my goal weight yet and I don’t feel qualified to tell anyone how to do something that I’m still struggling to accomplish myself. Maybe next year I’ll feel differently.
Losing weight for me is not only about dieting. It’s not about changing the way I eat for a temporary period of time so that I can be skinnier. It’s more about learning the way of eating that makes me feel strongest and which allows me to attain a normal weight. A way of eating that can keep me healthy and satisfied for a lifetime.
I’m not exactly sure what my normal weight might be yet. It might be 150-pounds, it might be less. I think I have to see what 150-pounds feels like before I can make that determination. I’m not exactly sure about the details that make up my “perfect diet.” I’m still tweaking things to get them right. I still feel like I’m in the process and haven’t yet arrived at my destination.
I do know that the way of eating that works for me, is not the one that will work best for everyone. I cannot emphasize that enough. Every body, every person is different and requires an individualized approach to determining the way of eating that is best for them. I suspect that the way of eating that works best for me today, right now, may not be the best one for me 10-years from now. As I change, as my body changes, the way I eat has to change too. I’m only now coming to understand the nuances of this approach.
The way we eat, the foods we choose to put into our bodies, is not something finite and clinical. Instead it’s something that is always in fluctuation. If we are especially active or under a great deal of stress, we may need more or even less food than on a normal day. God designed our bodies and our appetites to work together so we can adapt what we eat to suit our changing needs. An impersonal food plan doesn’t always allow for those types of variances. My problem is that I forget that God is ultimately in charge of this process and I try to be in charge of it myself. The results were morbid obesity and a very sick body. When I remember to let God be in charge of my appetite, my weight diminishes and I feel better, stronger, I might even say, well. And I gotta tell ya’. Feeling well, feeling strong, that is about the coolest thing ever. I like that feeling more than fitting into a smaller size. I like it more than the double takes from folks who haven’t seen me in over a year, while they try to figure out if I’m me or not, ’cause they don’t quite recognize me at a smaller size. Having my body do the things it’s supposed to do, like carry heavy baskets of wet laundry to the line, effortlessly wrestle wiggly little nieces or nephews down for a clean diaper and then carry them on my hip without a second breath or thought. That is the part of weight loss that is my favorite. And if I can get more of that feeling, if I can continue to feel strong and well for a few more decades yet, then that is a wonderful thing indeed. That alone is motivation enough to keep me on my path.
That’s all for now, more later. I’m thinking about my New Years Resolutions and that too, is a satisfying thing to do.