End of Week 4 – The Law of the Food Jungle

Report: Weigh-in date Friday, June 15, 2012.  Weight 292.5.  Down 1.5.  Total loss at the end of four weeks 7.5 pounds.  Had a pretty good week.  Missed one trip to the gym on Thursday because I had an appointment, but I got there in the morning so I didn’t miss the whole day.  Stuck to my eating plan.  Happy Father’s Day!

Well, after a month my “plan” seems to be working, slowly but surely.  I admit I am surprised.  I guess it is time to tackle the “eat less” part of my “eat less + move more = weight loss” equation.

I have created a system that is working for me, but that does not mean it would work for everyone.  I feel there are some rules to follow when trying to find out how you can change your eating habits.  These rules are based on things I have discovered about myself (as you know by now, I am not an expert) and are grounded in practicality.  This is what I do to follow the rules.  What you do may be completely different.

Rule #1 – See your doctor.  Tell him or her what you want to do and ask for advice.  My doctor made sure there was nothing in my medical make-up to prevent me from pursuing my plan.  It did not take anything out of the ordinary; just the normal blood tests I always get for my physicals.  By talking to my doctor I went into this project knowing there wasn’t anything unusual, like thyroid trouble or whatever, that was playing a role in my problem.

Rule #2 – Be honest with yourself about why you overeat.  I am no psychologist, but it does not take a therapist to know that different people will do the same thing for completely different reasons.  This is a process of discovery, and it is not easy.  Hey, I can rationalize with the best of them!  It took me a long time to realize I am a stress eater – and stress eating is fairly common.  I should have seen it right away.  It took even longer to realize I am a “flavor junkie.”  I do not necessarily want to eat.  I want to taste.  I love flavor.  The problem is one usually cannot taste without eating.  Additionally, being a flavor junkie, I LOVE food!  No doubt, no excuses, I love food.  It is just something to which I must adapt if I am going to succeed in this project.  To satisfy my desire for flavor I mix various no-sugar, no-calorie, nutrient-enhanced powders into my water bottles.  I get flavors like cranberry/pomegranate, berry, and strawberry/kiwi along with getting enough water.

Rule #3 – It is not just why you eat.  It is also what you eat and the size of your portions.  I know – cliché.  But clichés have basis in fact.  When examining your eating habits, focus first on when you eat junk food, sugar, excess carbs, etc.  I have a monstrous sweet tooth.  I especially love ice cream and cookies.  I found that when I ate ice cream I would get two helpings and those helpings were not small.  Imagine the calories I saved just by changing that habit.  Great, right?  Miserable is closer to it.  Intellectually I knew I was doing the right thing.  Emotionally, that resentment I mentioned in an earlier post played a big role.  However, I got over it.  Now I find I think every time I am presented with the opportunity to consume something.  It is easier now to refuse things I think might undo the good I have done so far.

Rule #4 – Eat breakfast.  Another cliché based in fact.  I cannot exercise if I feel food on my stomach so I go to the gym first thing, before I go to work, and when I get to work I eat a healthy breakfast that includes protein.  It is not a big meal.  In fact, I use things like Smart Ones (by Weight Watchers) so I do not have to worry about portions.  By the time 11am arrives I no longer feel the food on my stomach and I can go back to the gym.  Nothing I tried worked for me until I figured out how to handle breakfast.

Rule #5 – Get enough sleep.  This was a big one for me.  I did not realize I was eating to make myself stay up later.  When I started going to bed as soon as I felt tired at night; I lost a lot of late-night calories.  I also felt a lot better in the morning, which makes it easier to get to the gym.

I know these rules seem obvious, but until I really looked at my behavior, I did not realize I was not following them.  I thought my eating habits were ok.  I was SO wrong!  It is not easy, and it may be unpleasant, but some honest self-examination is the best way to start on this journey.

Until next week….


1 thought on “End of Week 4 – The Law of the Food Jungle

  1. Quinn remember you are not on this journey alone sister. After reading “The Law of the Food Jungle” it occurred to me that you are definetly going at this with a postive outlook and have set realistic goals. I think dieters should do exactly has you have done. Remember sister you’re not alone, you have your diet buddies that will give you the support and encouragement to keep on going. You’ve got this.

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