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Monday, October 18, 2010

Weighty Issues

I'm having ongoing issues with weight loss.  And, no, my problem isn't that I can't lose weight, per se.  It's that I feel guilty for wanting to.

You see, my "Weight Loss Journey" started in 1998 when I joined Weight Watchers.  I lost 50 pounds in 2 years, and I did so by being super-strict.  I weighed my food.  I ate Weight Watchers' bars for breakfast.  I had a list of modifications to restaurant orders that would put Sally Albright to shame.  I ate before parties so that I wouldn't be hungry.  I lived and breathed Weight Watchers points.  And I was very successful.

When Weight Watchers stopped working, I switched to simply counting calories.  This made life easier for me as a runner, too, because frankly Weight Watchers does a poor job of accommodating heavy exercisers into their program.  (Disclaimer: I haven't studied the Weight Watchers program since approximately 2004, so I admit things may have changed since then)  I was still strict, I still failed to get along with my in-laws because they constantly pushed food on me (this was my previous marriage).  I was successful, but I gave a lot up.

The problem is that I feel like, more than anything, I do not want to "diet" anymore.  Not one more day.  Not ever.  I want to live my life as a normal person.  In the last 12 years, I've become accustomed to eating healthy and I don't have any problem shunning processed foods, trans fats, etc.  A lot of the healthy eating concepts that I have developed have become second nature.  Isn't that awesome?  However, portion control still remains an issue.  I still eat too much in a serving, or I eat too much in general in a day, even if it's healthy food.  I'm currently about 10 pounds above what I was in April, and that is because I stopped being so strict about my calorie counting and food intake.  Yet, I feel like I'm "normal."

I weigh myself daily, or almost daily.  If I don't weigh myself one day, it's either because I don't have an opportunity to do so, or it's because I don't want to see the weight on the scale.  Yet, at the same time, I feel like I shouldn't CARE what I weigh, and I shouldn't weigh myself at all.  Ever.  But, I still do.

I keep track of my calories when I can.  I do best with my weight loss when I keep track of calories.  Yet, I still feel like if I want to eat something, I should eat it.  Why?  Because life is short.  No other reason.

The thing is, I love cooking.  I love food.  I adore trying delicious things, experimenting with recipes, and making delicious dinners.  I eat healthy, most of the time.  I eat vegetables, lean meats, fruits, nuts, etc.  But, I do love dessert and I try to eat a little of something sweet every day.  Yes, every day.  Because I WANT TO.  I'm generally a happier person when I give myself the freedom to truly eat what I want.  Yet, I feel guilty about it all the time.

The thing is, it's so easy to flounce about preaching "Normal Eating" when you're already weighing what you want to weigh.  It's so easy to say "I don't care what I weigh" when your clothes fit.  I used race times as an excuse for a while, like "I'm not being vain or trying to lose weight in order to look better... No, I just want to be faster."  That worked for a while, but now I don't really have a goal race on the horizon.

So, what do I do?  How do I reconcile all of this grief and guilt?  I feel guilty because I weigh what I weigh, and I feel guilty for caring that I weigh what I weigh.  I do truly believe that the diet industry and the constant pressure from society for folks to lose weight is a dangerous, losing battle that causes more harm than good.  But, I do really want to fit into my pants.


marathonmaiden said...

i wish i had good advice to tell you. except that anytime you really try to grasp something it's a billion times harder to acheive. so maybe relaxing a bit will help? sorry that probably was sooooooooooooo unhelpful!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

You have to do what's right for you. I've been losing weight by counting calories since June and I'm happy about it, because my primary motivator is to stay healthy for my wife and kids. The side benefits of being faster, looking better, and getting to buy new clothes are just bonuses. I haven't really restricted myself in terms of what I eat, so I'd suggest counting calories, eating what you want, and making choices on your calorie availability. Want cheesecake? Eat it and give up something else for the day or go for a run or cycle or swim or something to earn the calories. You benefit by not giving up things you love but eating them in moderation or earning them by doing something healthy. Win-win.

onelittletrigirl said...

OMG- I could have written this post! I lost my weight on WW and now I have gained a little back and that is okay with me actually- but I am afraid to gain more and I don't want to diet. I hate the word diet. I hate the idea of it. But I also dont want to gain. Seriously, I could have written this!

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