Some of this is a reworked little snippet of something I posted on eDiets about a week ago, but I think it's appropriate for some of the things that are happening for me...actually I think this realization was sort of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to trusting myself...
We spend a LONG time learning how to lose weight, to follow a "diet" and to take it from DIET to LIFESTYLE, and by "lifestyle" in this sense I think we often use that word, but what I really think is that what we really strive for (at first) is to make it a HABIT...a long time. During that time, we become dependent on some of the tools that we rely on in that process. For instance, I became quite dependent on my nutrition tracking program. It didn't matter if I was eating the SAME FOOD day in and day out - I would track it, log it, analzye it ... every day. I was so determined to lose the weight, it just became part of my daily routine. If I couldn't log or didn't, I would feel guilty, and worry about what I was eating (again, even if it was the SAME THING I'd eaten the day before, and the day before that, and so on).
So here I've been in "maintenance" now for a long time...or so I thought. But when I got to maintenance, what changed? Well...nothing! I logged everything. Everyday. WHY would I trust myself to regulate my food intake NOW, when obviously that didn't work for me the first time around? I'll just continue to log my food..after all it's worked so far, why change it?
Well why indeed, good question. And I still don't know that I have an answer for that - why change something that's working and is a pretty healthy behavior to be engaging in? Several weeks ago I left my normal routine, something I'd cultivated and used for good success over the past ohhhh...I don't even know how many years. I packed up and drove to Virginia to help take care of my dad after some surgery he had (he's fine :) and I'll tell ya, there's nothing like a total life makeover to knock you right out of your routine - EVERYTHING there was different from the way it is HERE. From the time I woke up in the morning to my workouts to the temperature to my eating to the way I was working - upside down!
And I didn't track a morsel. Not from the day I left until I got back. And I've been back for nearly 3 weeks now, and I STILL haven't logged a thing. While I was away, I ate "normal" foods (things that I would normally prepare for myself on my own), I ate home cooked meals from Mom, and I ate out with friends several times while I was away. I made good, sensible choices and I knew what portions were appropriate.
And you know what? My weight was and has remained totally stable. I've fluctuated between 135 and 138 (with a blip up to 140 on New Years Day) just through trusting in myself to regulate my food intake (both ways - not too much, not too little). Honest to god I'm shocked and amazed by this. I probably shouldn't be, but I really didn't think I could do it - I didn't believe that I would not go off the deep end and go completely out of control - that's why I've kept myself accountable for so long, to the food journaling program!
I think this is a big step in the maintenance picture, I'm learning how to eat again but without relying on macros and calories and number crunching and detailed notes! YES all of that absolutely has it's place, and no, I don't believe I would have succeeded at this weight loss thing WITHOUT it, but ..
I think what I've finally been able to do here, is to take it to the next level. To take it from DIET into HABIT, and out of HABIT into LIFESTYLE.
It came even more together for me this morning when I read part of an exchange I'd been having with RC regarding energy/recovery/food, etc. He wrote, "yeah it's like I woke up! I mean living life by a fucking carb macro number no matter how I feel? idiotic"
Umm....YES! OMG - this is what I WANT! It is exactly like waking up!
THIS is what maintenance should be. I thought I was there the past few years but no, it was in name alone. I've been living life by a fucking macro number no matter how I felt! And pushing the cardio! And nitpicking myself over 5 calories! WTF is that?
This place I am now, this is what it's about - in behavior and belief...this really ties back in with my post yesterday, where I did call it out, but I hadn't really put it all together yet in my mind. But the cardio madness (saying it out loud was very freeing - I DON"T have to do cardio every day, I just don't! *Especially* on heavy lifting days!), the food...all of it. And I've been DOING it - I'm not just saying this stuff. I ate sufficiently and without fear of CARBS the weekend of my meet. Hell I took the week before the meet completely off from all workouts because I was simply *exhausted* I listened to me, trusted me...not the plan that was laid out months before...
Coming together, growing up, making this work...that's what all of this was about at the start. Not some plan on a page...I've been living to appease a plan on a page, but I've been doing so to my own detriment at times. That is NOT a lifestyle, it's a plan on a page.
I know I still have a lot to learn and I know there will be times I will still have moments when I "should have listened" to me better or more closely, but I think these have been some big steps forward the past few weeks, and it feels pretty amazing :) I'm getting there...