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”
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.
You are such an inspiration. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
And congrats on the jeans! Woot!
Go, Sis! Go, Sis! *cheerleads*
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!