Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The easiest and hardest thing about my diet

I seem to be holding steady at roughly 25 pounds of weight loss.  (She says, before going on a cruise.)  I'm pretty pleased with this, as it was all accomplished by changing my eating plan.  I figure once I get around to exercising, I may lose more.  But I'm pretty satisfied with my current weight.  Hell, I don't have to special order jeans any more.

There have been some odd things about the weight gain/weight loss experience (largely that I didn't take off the weight in the same places that I put it on -- this was unexpected), but, knock wood, the weight loss part wasn't all that difficult once I sat down with a Nutritionist who put together a Food Plan Especially For Me.

The bestest thing about the food plan are my 300 discretionary calories.  Which I can waste on anything.  Generally pretzels, popcorn and ice cream.  It's very easy to keep this number at or under 300 -- thanks to those "100 Calorie bags" of various snacks.  Or, I can just use a whole day's worth of discretionary calories on a full-sized ice cream bar.  (Haagen-Dazs just put out a pomegranate ice cream bar in dark chocolate.  Slurp.  280 calories.  I'm sure I'll be reporting back on that in a few days.)  Anyway:  limiting my snacks and desserts to 300 calories per day -- pretty easy.

But.

If you've only got 300 calories for fun stuff for the day, choices gotta be made.  Like, if I'm gonna have that pomegranate ice cream bar, it pretty much means no pretzels while I'm watching "Lost" tonight.  So, would I rather have the pretzels and, say, a 100 calorie ice cream cup tonight?  Or is it a night to forgo the pretzels and dive into the ice cream bar? 

What I try to do in these situations is never go for the discretionary calories first.  So if I'm sitting there watching TV and thinking I'd like a 100 calorie bag of popcorn, I say to myself, "Self, you can have the popcorn if you want, but try a bag of carrots or apples first."

Don't get me wrong -- this isn't a "finish your vegetables before you can have dessert" sort of thing.  These are vegetables and fruits that I actually enjoy.  And sometimes, after I eat the carrots, I'll still want the popcorn.  And sometimes I won't.

But the hardest thing about the diet is retraining myself to think that way.  I've been doing this since last August and my brain still says, "You're hungry; go for the pretzels."  And I have to stop myself and force my brain to look at the healthier alternative.  It's nine months down the line and I still don't think, "I need a snack, where's the carrots?"

I had thought that, after this much repetition, eating healthier would have become second nature to me.  And in some ways, it has.  I always go for my container of yogurt for breakfast (in lieu of my former plan of not eating breakfast at all) and my usual meals at my usual restaurants are all pretty much standard.  And I haven't missed the Cokes.  But when it comes to snacking, I still want to go to the "discretionary calories" first, and I'm starting to think that part will never change.

1 comment:

lanurseprn said...

Good for you!  I'm proud of ya!
Pam