Everyone has the "perfect" diet in their back pocket. I have noticed that if you talk to almost anyone, you will find that they have the answer. It could be paleo, weight watchers, counting calories, vegan or a million different options.
I have tried all of these things. I have also failed at all of these things.
Counting calories has helped take off about 60 lbs, meal planning helped me take off the other 40. Paleo makes me feel amazing but does not seem to be super sustainable. I would be the meanest person alive if I ever try to be vegan again.
I have gone through a bit of a journey over the last year with my weight loss. Some good things have happened (more weight loss, sustained weight loss) and great exercise things have happened (half-marathon and marathon.)
But I would be lying if I said I'm not feeling stuck right now. For the last 4 months or so, I have lost absolutely nothing.
I know why. I don't really believe in the elusive weight loss plateau. I believe there is always a reason. I believe my reason is that weight loss is like business..you have to continue evolving or you won't make any progress.
Calorie counting did great things for me for a long time. When I was super overweight, just counting was really enough to lose. But when you get to a certain weight, the math evens out. Now I either have to spend years on the treadmill or significantly deprive myself to reach weight loss goals in this way.
As I have tried to make one of those things work (hours and hours on the treadmill or eating salad every day), I find that I HATE life when I do these things.
As I was getting really discouraged and entering the cycle of insanity again and again, I decided to try Crossfit. I wanted to try it just because it was different and it would at least take me out of the cycle of insanity. (It was a tough decision because Crossfit is EXPENSIVE).
Now I've been doing Crossfit for about two weeks and I've learned something: maybe this whole process needs to be fun again.
I've done things in Crossfit that I haven't done since I was a kid. Even though it's hard, I love trying to pull myself up on rings and I find stepping on a band and pulling myself up over a bar to be extremely exciting. As I am enjoying my workouts again and learning my body again, I started to remember why I began this journey in the first place.
I wanted a healthy, normal relationship with food.
Counting calories was a good jumping off point, but it's not where I want to be forever. I want to learn to listen to my body. I don't want to force food down my body if my body doesn't want it. I also don't want to only eat spinach when my body really needs a burger (I tend to crave burgers when I'm feeling depleted, I eat one and am energized right back up)
I decided 2014 is about learning my body, not being scared of food and having FUN with my fitness. I put the scale in my closet, I don't need it for me now.
Yesterday was the first day I started intuitive eating. I found that I really just wasn't that hungry. I ate gluten free oatmeal for breakfast with coffee, chicken/veggie homemade stew for lunch, nuts and raisins for a snack, and an orange for dinner. I just didn't really want a big dinner. Today, I had chipotle for dinner. I found I was a lot hungrier. But what I'm finding in this process is that I don't have a desire to eat an entire bag of cheetos. I know that this will make me feel like crap if I do this.
But the entire bag of cheetos is the result of the "I'll start tomorrow" diet mentality. That's what I was trying to get away from when I began this journey.
And I know I'll make mistakes. I'll probably have days where I'll emotionally eat too much food and days when I'll maybe eat food that isn't as good for me. But my hope is, that by the end of the year I'll have a healthy, happy, normal sized body that loves movement and isn't scared of anything that is sitting in the cupboards, the grocery store or on my plate.
Cheers to 2014!
I'm thankful that I don't have to ask, "Is Wine Paleo?"