I don't know how many times I have said that I want to live my life eating healthy, but still be able to enjoy the treats that aren't defined as healthy.
I have been reading a series on binge eating by Katie at Runs for Cookies. Something that stood out to me is that denial sets up a binge. I have been doing very well on my eating in the past few weeks. But the truth is I have not been tracking calories because I don't want to decide every time I put something in my mouth if I can "afford" the calories or I will need them later in the day. It had been stressing me out.
I think I might be a person who does better with set meals and not allowing snacks in between. I have had success this month in thinking about my daily calories in blocks, instead of a running total. I have basically been targeting meals between 300-600 calories each (with the majority being between 400-500 calories.) I haven't felt deprived at the meals. If I add in snacks, I would have to deduct that from my meal calories. The truth is, I think I enjoy a nice meal more than I enjoy or need the snacks. I truly enjoy that process of making and eating a meal - it is the whole food experience for me. This can come as no surprise, given how I have been bombarding you with pictures of new recipes/meals lately.
Not to mention there is something very freeing to me about structure. I eat enjoyable, yet reasonable. meals. I don't have to negotiate the "cost" of every snack along the way. It is a similar concept to if I don't keep Oreos in the house I have zero concerns about constantly talking myself out of them or agonizing over how many I can "afford" or beating myself up because I gave in. That is all stuff I can do without.
However, I also very much like treats - sweet or savory. I am considering trying the method Katie described - she eats three meals and a deliberate treat. Perhaps that would keep me more focused on things I truly enjoy - the perfect chocolate/walnut cookie from a local bakery vs. a few mini snickers (that are just okay) throughout the day. The tricky part will be choosing amazing and satisfying treats that don't break the calorie bank. Also, I need to figure out a way for the treats to be singular - I am not the person who can live with a pan of brownies and only eat one a day. Also, things like daily DQ Blizzards are probably NOT fooling anyone!
Something else that Katie mentioned that resonated with me is the idea of a target calorie range. If I say 1500 is my limit and I end up eating 1514 I feel like I failed. And if I eat 1450 I think "oh I can eat one more piece of candy" even though I really don't want it that much. Maybe I am just playing games with myself, but a target seems to give me the wiggle room I want and feels like a greater target for success.
I am a little hesitant in committing to this plan because let's face it I want to lose the weight fast. My slightly nutty self is thinking "no, I just need to buckle down and lose this weight fast - then I can work out the details of keeping it off." That's great, but when in my life have I done that? Overall, this may sound more like starting out on a maintenance plan, but at my current weight this "maintenance plan" would create a calorie deficit that should help me continue to lose weight, even if it is a little more slowly than I would like.
I have basically been doing this since the beginning of January and I have lost a total of 12 pounds. I think as long as I am consistently averaging about a pound lost per week I will continue this basic plan. If losses stall I can always go back and do some tweaking.
And on that note...my weigh-in this morning - 2.6 pounds lost. I am taking that as confirmation I am currently doing something right :)
Choices like this one are part of what is working right now. The other day I got all my supplies together and planned to make the baked eggs in marinara for lunch at work. As I started to assemble the dish I realized I had forgotten to bring eggs...oops! I was disappointed and even considered running out to grab lunch. But...I had a couple of emergency things in the freezer at work, including this Lean Cuisine meal. Was it my favorite thing ever? No, but it was pretty good and the feeling that I had about staying on track was even better :)
Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce from Taste of Home. I thought it was delicious.
Are you ready for the weekend? It is another busy one for us. Tonight is game night, tomorrow wrestling regional tournament and Super Bowl on Sunday.