Working on a new plan

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Did everyone read today’s featured article: Stop Dieting and Start Living!
? Boy, did it hit the mark for me.

I’ve been Sparking for a little over 2 years now. During that time, I’ve heard time after time about how this is about a lifestyle change. But I don’t think I really ever REALLY understood what that meant (even though I thought I did). I thought about what my lifestyle would be like AFTER I reached my goal weight. In the meantime, I’d count my calories, figuring out how many I had to spare to eat some food I wanted and imagining a life of deprivation as I tried to maintain my weight.

When I was on this course, I did reach a new low for me. In some ways it felt fantastic. But it was hard. And I crashed hard when some personal developments in my life knocked me off course for 2 months.

As I think about resuming a healthier lifestyle after another detour, I’ve been spending time thinking about trying something new. I’d already decided that counting calories may not be for me. I know how much I should eat at each meal and every day. And I have a feel for the consequences if I eat more than that. They’re truly not dire, even if it happens for 2 months! A big reason for that is that vigorous exercise is a regular part of my life. It makes me feel better emotionally, it makes my feel physically strong, and it’s critical to managing my weight.

It was as I was mapping out a “new plan” for healthy living (including some more weight loss) that I read today’s article.

Here’s what Dean says:

“A diet is all about numbers—the number on the scale and the number of calories you eat and burn. Success is defined in terms of how well you stick to your numbers.

A lifestyle change is all about you. It’s about lining up your eating and physical activity with your real goals and desires. Success is defined in terms of how these changes make you feel about yourself.”

YOWZA!!!!!! It’s almost as if this was fate!!!!!!!

So here’s the plan I’m going to try out.

1. I’m going to eat modestly when I’m feeling in the groove. I’m not going to count calories, but my informal estimate is that I’ll eat roughly 1400-1700 calories a day this way.

2. I’m going to eat what I want when I want it. I hope to limit quantities to reasonable amounts, savoring every bite. But I’m not going to beat myself up if I need to stress eat at a point during a day or for a whole day or for a couple of months!

3. I’m going to focus hard on exercise. When I exercise, I’m less inclined to eat more. So I’ll feel good, burn calories, and hopefully lose some more weight along the way!

I’m torn about how the number on the scale fits in my plan. It’s sure hard to get away from that mentality. The number does indicate progress. But I feel pretty good about myself (today, anyway). How hard and far do I really want to go? For now, I’m just going to roll with it and see where it takes me.

Do read Dean’s article. It may be that you’ve already mastered this mindset. Or maybe you’re like me and just think you have.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Y'know, it can be so hard to break away from the scale. But it lies, so you'd think we'd break away easily. Instead, it's almost like operant conditioning -- we get abused by it and keep coming back for more.

    Case in pernt.

    Yesterday, I did all I was supposed to. Stayed within happy caloric parameters, drank 11 freakin' cups of water and went to the gym, where I worked out pretty hard and did not dog it.

    This morning?

    Up 3.4 lbs.

    Gaah and feh on scales. But I *KNOW* I did it all right. And my clothes fit just fine and I feel fine (albeit tired).

    Scales are for fish.
    4049 days ago
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