I eat to be healthy, not because I’m on a diet

I think the reason I’ve failed to successfully keep weight off in my previous (multiple) attempts at slimming down is because my approach to dieting has always been to deprive myself of the things that bring me the most joy (chocolate, burgers, etc.) and fill my time with things that I hate (eating salads, going to the gym).

This time feels different. Because I’m only dedicated to healthy eating six days a week, I’ve gotten in the habit of reminding myself that the best things in life can wait until Saturday when I’m free to eat anything I want.

On the other six days, I beat hunger with simple foods that keep me full and are great nutritionally. Take today’s food for example: apple, cereal with 1 cup of milk, banana, 1 serving of whole wheat pasta with leftover turkey and broccoli, 1 oz. of almonds, carrot and celery sticks with hummus, Chef Brian’s dinner (which tonight will be huevos rancheros — more on Week 4: Breakfast for Dinner later today), and a 100 calorie dark chocolate bar with 1/2 cup of milk.

People kept asking how I’d hold up on Thanksgiving — a few seemed more excited at my possible failure — but I got through Turkey Day fairly well, except for that extra serving of cheesy potatoes and a few more caramel pecan cookies than I should have had.

But that’s okay. Because I’m eating for different reasons these days. I’m not shoving down greasy fast food all week just because it tastes good.

I’m eating six times a day so that I don’t get hungry as much. I eat fruit like it’s dessert and treat dessert like it’s a special treat, because it should be. I was concerned I wouldn’t lose any weight this week because I was a bit too indulgent on Thursday (and Friday), and then had my free day on Saturday. I also missed a couple of walks because of rain, etc.

I was prepared to beat myself up over it until I realized that it doesn’t matter if I have small losses or gains from week to week. In then end it’s about the bigger picture. None of this is easy (especially with so much pumpkin pie floating around) but it will be worth the eventual payoff: a longer, healthier life.

One not full of — but occasionally sprinkled with — a greasy burger or two.

As for the scale: Today I weigh 249.1. I weighed 250.8 last Monday, my third week of blogging. I started this blog weighing 258. That’s a total loss of 8.9 lbs.

I haven’t been under 250 lbs. in about four years. It feels better to be closer to 200 lbs. than 300 lbs. At my heaviest I was 267. It was starting to get scary for a while there, but it feels good to see it start turning around.

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