Eating to Lose

Or why being anal about counting points or calories is not necessarily a good thing.

In my Power 90 update I admitted I was getting pretty frustrated with the scale.  After all this exercise, why was I gaining?!?  I was eating within my points.  I’d cut out this and that.  I’d buckled down really hard.  I was controlling everything in my mouth.

What’s that beginning to sound like?  A diet.  A diet that becomes impossible to stay on because it’s not liveable, because it’s becoming deprivation.

In a way, I was punishing my body for failing to lose when I expected it to.  My first instinct was to cut back even more.  I should eat less cheese.  I should cut out even more whole grains.  I even tried cutting out my half and half to replace with almond milk in my coffee.  (Gag, it made for a nasty chunky sludge.  I love almond milk but NOT in coffee, not even at 40 cals a cup.)

But a friend from Romance Biggest Winner said hey, maybe you’re not eating enough.  I’d already thought that in passing once or twice – especially in regards to protein – but her words made me really stop to think.  The WW point calculation is based on a complex algorithm (that only they know) but a good rough estimate is 40 cals per point.  So by staying religiously under my 33 point – 1320 cal – limit, and exercising 30-60 mins a day, 6 days a week….

Yeah.  I wasn’t eating enough.

Now I could have kept buckled down that low and eventually I probably would have started losing again, but I decided to shake things up.  I’ve been earning those extra exercise points for a reason.  Why not try eating them?  Not in junk food, obviously, but 3-5 extra points a day might just be the ticket to wake up my metabolism and get me losing again.

I even let myself have a few things that I’d cut out – deprivation – because I had the points now.  Like I enjoyed one of Princess’s homemade oatmeal cookies.  Just one.  One night I also carefully measured out 1 oz of Fritos for taco salad.  Oh, my, it was so good.  So wicked and indulgent.  I was afraid, sure.  That opened bag of chips in the pantry was dangerous.  But I kept to my one serving and put the bag out of sight out of mind back in the pantry.

And I lost.  Not just a .2 or .4 loss, but immediately a pound.  The next day, another .6.  The next, .8.  It was crazy.  I was losing my weekly averages (on a good week!) each day, just by eating a little extra.  Enjoying a few things I didn’t think I could have.

Living a normal life.  And isn’t that what this is all about?  I don’t want to have to eat a plain salad the rest of my life when the family is eating taco salad.  I don’t want to miss out on my daughter’s baking experiences (Granny, watch out, I’m teaching her all your old favorites!).  And I don’t have to.

In one week, I lost 2.6 pounds, something I haven’t seen from the beginning of this journey over a year ago.

Obviously, I don’t expect to lose that much each week.  I don’t expect to be able to eat 5 extra points every single day and still lose.  I’ll still have ups and downs.  I should still eat around my daily point limit a few days.  And then “splurge” a few days to go over.  In this case, change is definitely a good thing and keeps my body guessing.

The lesson I took away from this for myself:  sometimes cutting back is NOT the best way to see results.  Sometimes you just need to let loose a little!

65 pounds gone forever.  When I lose 8 more, I’ll be at my lowest weight in 12 years since Princess was born.  After that, VFT (virgin fat territory)!

[This entry typed while wearing that pair of jeans that was too small at Christmas.]

4 thoughts on “Eating to Lose

  1. I’ve noticed the same thing with myself. If I’m stalled and pop up my calories a bit (especially with protein), I’ll start losing again. But I have trouble going back to where I’m supposed to be and instead add a smidge more, then a smidge more, and before you know it I’m hitting the drive through for a burger then I’m back where I was.

    Grr.

    You are such an inspiration. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    And congrats on the jeans! Woot!

  2. I am grinning ear to ear for you!

    I’ve just hopped back on the WW train myself, and am trying to be more patient and less punitive in my weight-loss approach. I’ll be bookmarking this post to slap some sense into myself when I inevitably go off the point-counting deep end!

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