Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Finding a Happy Diet Place

During the past few weeks I have gained back most of the weight that I lost this year.  It's hard not to beat myself up for this.  Yes, I could have made better food choices when I was on vacation.  Yes, it is unreasonable to expect to maintain my weight when I spend a week sick in bed after a week traveling.  Yes, some of the weight will come off once I get back into my routine.  Yes, there is still a lot that I need to work on.

I have been struggling with severe IBS since my late 20's.  I have had limited success with gluten and dairy free diets but I have not stuck to anything long term. I have made a lot of changes to my diet but I still have a long way to go.   If my digestive system were more predictable I would feel better over all.  All the science in the world shows that losing just a little weight will lead to improvements in almost every area of my life from sleep to physical endurance to joint pain and injury.  

I have tried different diet plans hoping to find a silver bullet that would fix everything with minimal effort from me.  The reality is that I have picked up great things from every plan that I have tried but haven't committed to real change.  The moment a couple pounds come off I get comfortable and slowly slip back into my old ways.  I have nothing bad to say about any of the diet plans.  If my mind were in the right place, any of them could have put me on the right path.

With Nutri System I learned portion control.  I didn't have to eat an entire burger to feel satisfied.  No one was going to gawk at me for taking half of my food home from a restaurant.  Eating mail order food for the rest of my life isn't realistic but having all my meals and snacks prepared ahead of time was huge for me.

Weight Watchers taught me that there was a price for the high calorie foods that I loved.  The point values made it clear that a 5 point splurge at lunch wasn't worth it if I didn't have enough points left for dinner.  No eating all the veggies you want isn't exactly exciting but it's easier to choke down those veggies if you're saving those points for a bowl of ice cream later.

The 3-1-2-1 diet taught me about eating foods in the right combination to feel satisfied and have better energy during the day.  It also made it easier to behave when I knew cheat days were coming every 2-3 days.  Not feeling sluggish after a meal or bloated during a workout should have been enough incentive to maintain this plan long term.  

I saw a nutritionist for a while who taught me about portion control and eating the right things to support my body after a hard workout.  I was making meals and serving my husband and I the same amount even though we are no where near the same height and weight.  I was also rewarding myself after a workout with a lot more calories than I had burned.

I saw a holistic doctor who reviewed my medical history and recommended that I try gluten or dairy free diets.  I learned that I have sensitivities to both.  Nothing as significant as someone with Celiac's disease but I have permanently replaced some of my staples with dairy and gluten free products.  I can still eat some of the foods that I love but when I overindulge I pay for it.

Yesterday I started The 21 day tummy from Reader's Digest.  I am trying to reduce my dependence on prescription medicine and supplements and have a healthier gut.  I am also trying to get down to a healthy weight and maintain that weight.

I planned all my meals and snacks for the week.  I went grocery shopping.  I separated all my meals and snacks into ziploc bags and rubber maid containers.   I know what I should order from restaurants.  I will not use work meetings and my weekend trip as excuses to binge eat.  I will have non-food rewards to celebrate my successes.  I will continue to employ time and stress management practices.  I don't think I will ever completely separate myself from emotional eating but I can get a better handle on things.  

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