We have all heard it…you have to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. I remember when I lost 25 lbs I was so proud of myself that I did not even realize the extent of my obsession of counting calories. I was eating 1200 calories a day and I know for some this is ideal, however, I was also running 3-5 miles everyday. My net calories were probably non-existent. When Jarrett got home from his deployment, I decided to stop counting calories and put on about 10 lbs because I was in this cycle of finally being able to eat “bad” food. I had and still have a bad relationship with food. Due to my thyroid disorder, I do not burn as many calories as the normal person and I also gain weight extremely easily. Therefore, I decided about a month ago to start counting calories again but put my cap at 1500 to lean up for summer. After about 2 weeks, I could see myself getting into those bad habits again. I was obsessing over what I was going to eat all day. That is NOT normal.
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I have decided to focus my efforts on choosing to eat whole nutritious foods instead of focusing on the calorie content. I still will enjoy pizza and wine because I know that if I don’t I’ll start what I did last year and go for weeks eating great and then binge eat 5000 calories because my body feels like it may never get these foods again. I am growing my relationship with food in a healthier way and learning to listen to my body. Sometimes I do have to tell it no because no one NEEDS dairy queen every night but I am going to be telling myself YES way more often! My goal is to focus on the cues of my body telling me when I’m full and when I have had enough. If I’m not hungry I won’t eat and if I am hungry I’ll eat.
With society how it is right now, it is so hard to figure out what is good for us. We hear it all the time…we shouldn’t eat dairy, gluten, sugars, we should intermittent fast, we should workout everyday. I truly do agree everything should be in moderation but cutting these things out for me or telling myself I can’t eat certain things does not work for me for long term. Counting calories was the same. I would track everything to the point if I had 300 calories left to eat for the day and even if I was full, I would make myself eat. And of course, vise versa. It became a number game and not a fueling your body type of living. It was draining mentally and physically. My new efforts are to focus on how I feel and how I perceive myself.
My new ideas:
- 80/20 is the new goal. Choosing healthier options 80% of the time but still having fun with friends and enjoying pizza and ice-cream.
- Working out 3-4 times a week. I used to be obsessed and do 7 days a week until I quickly realized I was wearing my body out. It started to become a chore not a fun activity anymore.
- Looking toward my body to give me cues on if I am hungry, full, or needing a workout.
- Focusing on the mirror and how I feel about myself versus what the scales say.