Maureen is like a sister to me and my family. She has her own blog at http://www.mobabyhomeslice.blogspot.com/. She is a lot like me in that she writes from her heart. I encourage you to check her out and support her on her journey. She is a woman of great faith and great courage. I am honored that she gave me permission to repost her post from today.
Making Food “Boring” (and some thoughts on “weight loss envy”)
I’ve been working out very consistently now for the past month. Most people say the first week, or even the second week is the hardest when starting a new program, and in a way, they’re right…but for me, I find that keeping up a consisted program for about a month is relatively easy. It’s continuing on month after month that gets hard, especially when you see results. If you get results, it’s very easy to tell yourself that it’s “okay” to “cheat” now and again…but cheating every once in a while turns into cheating almost every day, which ends up falling off the bandwagon completely, which results in giving up.
I am NOT ready to give up…so now what?
Well, I read a book a few years ago by a woman named Chantel Hobbs. She’s an amazing Christian woman with an incredible story, and a lot of her experiences growing up mirror my own. She developed a system that she used to help her lose 200 pounds. The first 4 weeks are called “Phase One,” and are devoted to simply developing an exercise routine. In phase one, your primary goal is to develop an exercise habit. The goal is to exercise for at LEAST 30 minutes a day, at LEAST 5 days a week. She personally did 6 days a week…which was also my goal. After 4 weeks of consistently exercising, you then move on to “Phase Two.” If you mess up during phase one, you begin all over again until you succeed, then move on to phase two. I am happy to report that I actually DID IT!! I have been consistently exercising for the past month, and while I may have missed about 3 days total, I still managed to hit at least 5 days a week of consistent exercise, and often my workouts were longer than 30 minutes. So…it’s time for “Phase Two.”
In Phase Two, you add the eating component. The idea is to make food “boring.” By “boring,” Chantel instructs people to see food in a different light. Many people who are overweight see food as a source of comfort or pleasure, or a means of fellowship and intimacy (or food can be substituted in the place of intimacy). Instead of being a source of pleasure, comfort, or escape, your goal in phase two is to re-train your brain to see food as simply fuel for your body. Certain foods provide better fuel than others. In order to do this, she severely restricted herself to eating ONLY foods that she had planned out for herself. These foods were divided up into carefully constructed meals, and she knew the exact calorie count of each. Her method was more calorie-based, whereas my Beachbody coach is more carb-based. She still wants me to eat healthy, but she knows that lowering my carbs, especially when I’m first starting out, helps reduce cravings, keeps me full longer, and keeps my blood sugar from spiking. Not that I’m going full-on Atkins, eating way too much fat! It’s pretty well balanced. I just need to avoid things like bread, potatoes, and even starchy veggies.
Food has always been a struggle for me. It’s not necessarily that I eat junk constantly, it’s just that I have a tendency to eat way more than I should! I didn’t really eat out very much as a child, but there were plenty of foods to snack on growing up, and even when it wasn’t a regular meal time, I would find myself snacking throughout the day. Now, my sisters also snacked a bit throughout the day, but the difference was, when it came to meal times, they barely touched their food, while I ate as if I hadn’t eaten anything else that day! I didn’t eat because I was hungry, I ate simply because I enjoyed eating. It tasted good, so why not have as much as I could? After all, if I don’t eat it now, my siblings are going to get into it, and then there won’t be any left!
The good news is…I’ve kind of grown out of that line of thinking. The problem is…the damage is already done. I now have to work twice as hard to get to where I need to be. I need to learn how to manage my groceries better (which helps me financially), and also find a handful of really good meals to pick from that I can maybe cycle or rotate throughout the week, especially meals that utilize leftovers. And I need to keep these foods on-hand so that I’m not tempted to grab something unhealthy out of convenience. I also need to listen to my body. At this point, it’s totally OKAY if I skip a meal because I’m simply not hungry. My metabolism is really very slow. I don’t get hungry very often, probably because I overload my body with too many calories and it spends the rest of the day burning them up. If I find myself not very hungry, say at a regular meal time, it might be better to do a workout instead. Then, once I get my body moving, I can eat a regular meal afterwards and let the workout burn it up for me…hmmm…that’s a thought!
And I’ve found that people up here are actually very cool about me saying “no” to food. In Florida, and in the past, I would try to say “no” to certain foods, and people would pressure me to eat them anyway. I don’t get that kind of pressure here, and I really appreciate it. I can tell that people are behind me and they actually WANT me to succeed. We’ll see how long that lasts. I’ve heard that some people, especially women, experience a little “weight loss envy” when you reach a certain point. At first, it’s all fine and dandy because, while you’re still losing weight, you’re still overweight, and when you have a lot of weight to lose, even a “big” number like 20 pounds isn’t really that noticeable. But the closer you get to catching up with them, the more threatened they feel. That’s when “concerns” about possible “anorexia” and other b.s. start to crop up. Basically, it’s okay for you to lose weight!…as long as you’re still fatter than me…if you pass me, though…Imma get really angry really fast! Oh, I know not everyone does this, but I know there are girls out there who do that! Luckily for me, a lot of my friends are guys, and they don’t seem to have the same issues…and a lot of my girlfriends are not your typical drama-obsessed females that drive me mad, so maybe I won’t experience this one as badly…but that’s a post for another day.