Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cutting back on calories

I've achieved a milestone in my weightloss, I have dropped 10% of my body weight. I'm starting to feel more energy, it's much easier to get up the stairs and my knees are happier. My blood pressure has dropped a little. But the weight is definitely coming off more slowly. Sometimes, it's so laborious to work out so much and not even lose a pound some weeks. I think it's time to cut back my caloric intake.

I've been examining how much I eat. Granted, I'm a tall woman, nearly 6', so I get to eat more than most women. But my body is an efficient machine and doesn't like to give up anything without a fight. Exercising more really isn't going to make that much of a difference at this point. But cutting calories will. And I can afford it, with all the 'stored energy' to burn. I have been keeping my intake between 1850 and 2000 calories per day. I think I'd like to drop it back to 1600 calories. I've noticed that there are still occasions when I eat because it's what everyone around me is doing and has nothing to do with feeling hungry. Now that I'm back in California (as of last Thursday), I don't have to go to any cocktail parties or other food-oriented events. I can listen to my body and not worry about anyone questioning or watching me.

This morning I held off on eating breakfast until after 8 a.m. I just wasn't hungry yet. My kids wanted to go to the local outdoor cafe we like to go to for breakfast on occasion, so I agreed to go if everyone was willing to walk there. By the time we arrived, I was definitely feeling empty. I drank a cup of coffee with a shot of cream. That actually helped me because I was feeling more hypoglycemic than hungry, and I was in danger of ordering the entire menu. That little bit of cream got me in touch with my brain again. I ordered a 2 egg omelet. It came with toast and hash browns, but I didn't eat that stuff. I didn't even finish the omelet. I was actually full, even a little over-full. But I didn't beat myself up over that.

After breakfast, we walked home, and I set about getting household chores done. I didn't feel hungry again for five hours! I thought that this time, for lunch, I'd tap into what I really wanted to eat instead of chosing what I had planned on making. I wanted Greek egg-lemon soup with some shredded chicken breast and brown rice in it. It took me 40 minutes before it was ready to eat, but I concentrated on making lunch for the family (sandwiches) and then got to settle in to have my lunch. It was really satisfying!

So now it's been three hours since I had my lunch. The kids want pizza for dinner tonight, but I don't. I think perhaps I don't actually like pizza. I think there are elements of pizza that I like. I like the melted cheese, which is like heroin for me. So I'm not going there! I like sausage and pepperoni, which actually makes me feel bloated and gives me a headache from the preservatives in it. I like the crispy, thin crusts that have garlic in them. Garlic good...white flour bad for the blood sugar. Even with all the marks against pizza, when there's one in front of me, I can't stop at four slices. Actually, I can stop at two, but then I spend the rest of the night wishing I could have more and feeling sorry for myself. It's easier for me to just not partake.

My alternative: let the family go get their pizza and eat it there while I stay at home and eat my planned meal, a nice salad (which sounds so good to me). I don't want the salad bar at the restaurant. It's totally lacks the fresh factor that I want, they don't have olive oil and lemon juice, and all I can smell is pizza. I want the full experience of my crunchy, fresh salad with my own favorite dressing. The boys can eat their pizza and sit around and be boys in all their smelly glory and I can stay at home and pretend to be dainty and watch a girl movie all by myself! I'm comfortable with that choice.

At one point in my dieting history I attended the Weigh-Down Workshop, which is a faith-based weightloss method. They support choosing to eat exactly what you want to eat, when you are truely hungry, and stopping when you are satisfied. I lost 45 lbs. while I attended the workshops, and learned a lot about my eating behaviors. I was able to work through a substantial amount of my angst over eating during that time. While I don't agree with their religious ideas (eating when you're not hungry is a sin that comes between you and God), it did help me put a lot into perspective. I think that I am going to revisit some of the methods I put into practice back in those days to help me reduce the amount of food I'm eating.

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