Experiments with Food and Peace of Mind

I haven’t written anything since the night we got back from Pyne. It’s been a whole month, and there have been many ups and downs. Mostly about food. I ate a lot in Pyne, especially in the first half of our stay. I had decided to allow myself to eat whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted. On the third day, I noticed that the food didn’t taste so good anymore and that I automatically ate less. I still ate a lot, but didn’t overeat and stopped when I felt full. What I noticed at that time was a great peace of mind. I was no longer thinking about food all the time. Suddenly, I had my mind free for ideas and notions and musings. I hadn’t even noticed how much I was thinking about food before, but now it was obvious. I knew that I wanted to keep this peace of mind.

In the first week after Pyne, I was in a weird mindset. I had decided that food was not going to be on my mind, that it wasn’t an option. I was eating very little and very healthily, thinking of food only as fuel. And it worked, I didn’t have any cravings or much appetite at all for a few days. But towards the weekend, it all went back to ‘normal’ . Then I read a book about intuitive eating and thought I might give it another try. No more counting, weighing, reading labels, restricting, overeating and feeling deprived! I stopped counting and bought and ate food based only on what I wanted. But it didn’t work at all! First of all, I was thinking about food even more than before. Secondly, I was constantly wondering whether I was hungry or not, whether it was true hunger or false hunger, what I wanted to eat, where to get it, how to prepare it. During meals I had to stay focused, notice cues of fullness, decide when to stop, stop. In the back of my mind I counted the calories of what I had eaten and found that I was eating more than I should. And I never felt truly satisfied. I have to feel physically full to feel satisfied, but according to the book that was too much. It was extremely stressful. I lasted no more than two days before succumbing to a binge and deciding to go back to counting the next day.

On the weekend I spent a lot of time cooking healthy meals and enjoyed it. Then I hurt my hand and couldn’t work for ten days. At first, it was stressful being at home all the time, not able to do anything. I did eat too much a few times. Then I decided to go back to counting, but be a little less strict. I read many articles about dieting on the internet and stumbled upon a great site. It was a bodybuilding site advocating flexible dieting. What I read there made a lot of sense for me: Extreme restriction leads to strong urges to binge. Solution: don’t restrict so much! Don’t be so obsessive about eating healthy food. The thing that really counts with weight loss is eating less calories than you burn. There was a lot more, but this was the essence: Eat less than you burn, allow yourself treats and occasional breaks. I raised my daily calories to 1700-1950 instead of the 1500 maximum I had been trying (and repeatedly failing) to keep up. And I wasn’t so strict with the type of food I ate. So I had bagels, pizza and chicken nuggets when I felt like it.

 I have been able to keep below 1950 calories without feeling deprived and stressed for eight days now. And I do have peace of mind! I get to eat and feel satisfied and can then concentrate on other things. There is no more guilt. I know that even if the scale doesn’t show it, I must be losing fat because I eat less than I burn and I eat enough protein and use my muscles. I am hopeful once more that weight loss, or fat loss to be more exact, is a possibility. Instead of being very strict for a few days and then ‘bursting’ and overeating and ruining my progress, I have decided to be more relaxed and try this approach. Maybe I could lose weight faster by eating less calories and more healthy food, but I can’t keep it up! There is no use pretending: I have been losing the same six pounds over and over for the last four months. Slow weight loss is better than no weight loss.

With all these food and diet ups and downs, there have been other ups and downs as well. At the moment, it’s up. Very much up! I have found joy and passion and a certain degree of self-confidence and just ‘liking myself’ again. I worry less, am beating myself up less and notice more interest in people and the world around me. I have missed this! It’s wonderful.

About annalienor

Lover of beauty, adult ballet student, deliberate creator wannabe.
This entry was posted in Health, Milestone and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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