I have to admit I was hesitant to give details about what I am doing to lose weight this time, for fear of seeming like I am eating "too much," even though I have been losing weight. It made me wonder if, for some people, the real point of dieting is the deprivation itself, and not the weight loss.
At Christmas, my mother-in-law complimented my sister-in-law on her weight loss, and without barely pausing for a "thank you," launched into a story of how she put herself on a 1,000-calorie diet after her first child was born, and spent years following it even when she got into long-distance biking until she finally got sick and had to start allowing herself more calories. It seemed like she wanted to be commended on her self-control. It is fairly impressive to be able to control yourself that strictly, but also potentially dangerous (as evidenced by the getting sick part).
I don't think most people are that good at self-control, they just don't like the idea of a high number of calories. It seems that to many people, having an appetite is unfeminine. I know I have told the story here before about the woman in my Weight Watchers meeting who was complaining that her points allowance of 22 was "too much." I was genuinely curious when I asked, "So how many points do you typically have per day?" She said, "I don't know, I don't keep track." Anyone who is not tracking really has no idea what is "too much" and what is the right amount. It's easy for a lot of calories to sneak in without seeming like a lot of food. Sweetened beverages, alcohol, condiments, salad dressings, etc., can all be real foolers. Somehow everything at restaurants has double the calories of a similar item cooked at home. That's why just keeping an accurate food diary can be a weight-loss technique: I know I have changed some of my habits once I saw the impact that they were making on my numbers.
I definitely will make other adjustments as I go through this plan -- if I stop seeing results, I will definitely cut back further. I'm deliberately taking this slow because I want fat loss, not weight (water, lean tissue) loss. One pound to one-and-a-half pounds a week is perfect, to me. I want to lose the right way this time around, and not just lose quickly to gain quickly again. I also want to avoid that "Who is that person in the mirror?" feeling I had last time. Losing slowly will give my brain time to adjust.