So, a few months ago, I wrote about how I was breaking up with Weight Watchers, my go-to for, gosh, over 10 years for getting back on track with weight loss. Because it never stays lost with me. It always comes back, and year after year, it comes back and brings its friends. When I wrote that post back in October, I had lost the weight I gained after giving birth the year before, but i was stagnating, and feeling like a failure. So a friend suggested that I read this book about mindful eating, called “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat”, by Dr. Michelle May. The idea is that if you learned to eat when your body was actually hungry, your weight would go to where it should, because you are naturally regulating what you eat based on what your body actually needs. I thought this sounded great! No counting! No points! I bought the book on my Kindle and started reading. And it all made sense.
Except I wasn’t actually doing it. Well, I thought about it some, then I would feel sad, and would want to eat. Then I would feel bad about that and give up and eat more. And I gained the weight back, about 15 pounds of it. And then this winter was full of injuries and sicknesses and other things that set me back from working out, and that didn’t help. And I had a moment recently when I looked at myself and wasn’t happy. I looked like someone with my face that ate me. And I thought about going back to Weight Watchers, but not because I wanted to, but because I felt hopeless. And I wrote my really smart friend who counsels people on weight issues, and I remembered that he was the one who suggested the mindful eating thing. And that the reason it wasn’t working was that I wasn’t following it.
So I bought the book again, this time in hard copy so I can make notes, and it is going well. I am learning that if you can pinpoint why you eat and really monitor and take stock of those reasons, you can decide if you are actually hungry. What I realize is that I have made food not about eating, or even enjoying it. I eat when I am tired. I eat when I am celebrating. I eat because other people are eating. I eat because I have extra money in my pocket. I eat because I think I deserve it. And when I eat too much, I feel bad about it, like I have failed. Not a good way to live.
So, I am still going through the book, and but I like the main point so far, which is that ultimately, we are in charge of our lives, and we make our own decisions, but that if we base them on what we need, we will enjoy it more. We went out for my husband’s birthday a few weeks ago, and we ordered queso and chips. And I slowly ate my fill. And I LOVED EVERY CHEESY BITE. And when my meal came, I had it wrapped up to take home, because I was full. And I was fine with that decision. Now, I am eating more well-rounded meals than cheese and chips, but I am learning to take time and think about what I am doing and not letting the cookies control me. This is hard. I have to unlearn things. I still have days that I fall back on eating because it is there. But I am more aware now. I swear, I went to the fridge the other to grab something but I realized that I wasn’t hungry. And I actually got angry, because I felt like I was supposed to eat. But I took a deep breath, and realize I was just avoiding cleaning my kitchen. So I did that. And I ate when I actually wanted food. And my sink was clear. And I actually enjoyed my yummy food and clean kitchen. And I think I can do this. Step by step. I am already feeling less bloated, have dropped a few pounds (I am also back working out), and I just feel like less of a mess. I am riding this to see where it goes. But I like it. And I will keep checking in so you guys can ask me how I am doing. Okay?