In case you haven't guessed from following this blog, dieting is just not my strong suit. I have a lot of habits that are really healthy, don't get me wrong. I don't like fast food. I eat breakfast every day at home. I like vegetables and I love fruits. I cook at home a lot and keep things healthy. I keep very little junk food in the house so I won't be tempted. If I want ice cream, I go out for one cone instead of buying a half gallon to keep in my freezer tempting me. I don't drink heavily -- usually if I have a drink it's one or maybe two. I don't binge.
Of course, I have bad habits too, or I wouldn't be here blogging about them. For me, the big downfall is snacking. I like salty snacks, especially. Cheese and crackers, Sun Chips, tortilla chips, Smartfood cheddar cheese popcorn, nuts. When I'm feeling anxious, I tend to want to eat something crunchy. I also tend to like starch-heavy foods like potatoes, bread, and pasta. Chinese food is the food of the gods. I also go to my sister's bar and eat tavern food once or twice a week, usually pizza but sometimes onion rings or fried fish. I like wine and beer with meals once in a while. Sometimes I enjoy my food so much that I eat a little more than I should. I have a sweet tooth and like to finish off a meal with a piece of dark chocolate or a cookie.
The thing that frustrates me after years of counting points and calories is how quickly it all adds up. Someone my size really doesn't get a huge calorie allowance. Fitting in the indulgences I like, even if they don't seem big, means that instead of being in a weight-loss mode of 1500-1800 calories, I can easily end up in a maintenance or gain mode of 2000-2500. I don't really know how people manage to do the 1200-1500 calorie diets that they blog about. I can do Weight Watchers for a while and get there, but it's hard and I'm really, really crabby. No one really wants to be around me when I'm in my first week or two of a diet. I hate the world.
It's not that my metabolism is slow, obviously. It's that my appetite and habits conspire to keep me about 15-20 pounds overweight. The only way I can manage to trick it into letting me lose is by working out a LOT. There is sort of a sweet spot with exercise where I'm burning enough calories to lose weight without bumping up my appetite. I'm working up to that point.
I just haven't learned yet how to manage things if I want to lose weight without doing so much exercise, or if I'm injured or sick and can't exercise. It's easier in the summer when there's all kinds of good produce around, but this time of year, it's tough. You can eat only so many apples and oranges.
Both my sisters are on Weight Watchers now and I'm happy about that. Type II diabetes runs in our family and we all tend to carry extra weight. It's not that they look bad -- they're beautiful -- but I want them to be healthy and feel good. I'm so tempted to join too... but I feel stupid spending the money on something that I should be able to do on my own.
I guess the thing that frustrates me is that I'm a person who is used to setting a goal and achieving it. In other areas of my life, I don't bellyache around and feel bad for not getting something done, I just do it. Why is this so much different? I keep trying to find a trick to make this easier and it really doesn't seem like there is one. The majority of people I see are my size or bigger, so obviously it's not easy for anyone.
I have made some small progress. Yesterday morning the scale said 171, which is down about 4 pounds from where I started. Still, I'd like to get things going at more than a pound a month! Hopefully the workouts will help get me there. I'm going for a run today, and it's supposed to be nice so I'll probably also get outside for a walk this evening.