Something that keeps plaguing me is why we put so much stock into diets. Part of the reason why it took me so long to lose weight in the first place was because I didn’t want to commit to the harsh bitterness of what I believed a diet entailed. It never occurred to me that to lose weight, you need to commit to healthy eating on top of a healthy lifestyle.
This does not mean that I limit myself, at all. In fact, I think I give into too many temptations sometimes. I’m only human and it’s called chocolate.
After the dedication and commitment I put into these past two years, I know how to eat healthy, cook healthy, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. I don’t regret any of it, and to be honest, I enjoy these foods more than the fried ones and not only because they make me feel stronger and happier.
One thing I still need help on is the debilitating fear of going back to where I was a little more than two years ago. In some ways, with how far I’ve come physically and emotionally, those days seem so far away. Yet, when I meet new people who have no idea what I used to look like, it feels a little unsettling to a point where I can’t quite pinpoint that emotion.
It’s not all the time and it’s usually sprung on me after weekends where I feel as though I’ve indulged too heavily, a little bloated, or I didn’t get my usual sweat going in my workout. Or because winter keeps me inside and stirring with my own mind for too long. Guilt is a terrible thing when combined with fear.
When this sets in, I feel the panic rising in me like little bubbles exploding in my body to mind shouting, “fat, fat, FAT!” That’s the point where I start downloading a food tracking app, worrying excessively about calories and wondering if that apple I ate as a mid-morning snack will put me over the edge.
Back when I was on Weight Watchers and still living in a dorm, I think I had so much success because one, I was spending two hours a day at the gym because I had the time and motivation, and two, because I was eating a lot healthier. Yes, I was technically tracking but I also wasn’t so concerned about measuring every little morsel. I chose healthy foods, accepted what the servers gave me, and ate until my hunger signals said, “Enough!”
When I left school, I got into the measuring thing a lot more. I didn’t need Weight Watchers anymore and I succeeded. But once I cut ties and relied on myself a bit more, panic and obsession infiltrated my conscious. Once again, I went back to tracking, taking the enjoyment and satisfaction out of meals and eating in general.
This happened again. I’m a lot busier, have a lot more on mind, and feeling unsteady on my feet as I look forward to another future of change. This is an exciting time, but challenging, and that means, I start to worry more about what I can control. Food.
After a stressful past two weeks, I deleted the apps. I put fear to the wind and am trying to get back to that happy place I was in May 2012 when I graduated and felt like the world was ready to be my playground.
So if I could offer only one piece of advice about weight loss, it would be this: eat real, unprocessed foods that you put as much time as you can into preparing. Eat slow, enjoy, and let them nourish you. Don’t worry about calories because one serving of almonds might be more caloric and higher in fat than that 100 calorie pack of fake cookies, but deep down we all know what’s better for you.
Diets won’t work because they’re never lasting. I can’t rely on anything but myself to be in a positive, healthy position. This is a battle and a mantra I will have to repeat to myself possibly until the day that I die. And it’s about time I trust my instincts. I lost close to 100 pounds and have maintained for almost two years. Even though it’s sometimes difficult because I’m no longer seeing those immediate results, I need to learn how to still feel them.
Sometimes, you just need a reminder.