It's a process. It's such a huge process.
Last Wednesday, I just... started. It was weird, because it was different. Isn't that ridiculous? It's the truth, though. Since I found out I was pregnant with Audrey last year, even before that, I was trying to stick to a certain number of calories and just make better eating choices. I failed every single day. It wasn't that there were bad days here or there, it was that every day was a bad day when it came to the choices I would make regarding food. And just like *that* I was able to do it. Every day since last Wednesday have been good days.
So what changed? Good question. Nothing specific, just my entire attitude. A week ago, I was overwhelmed with the thought of tracking every little thing I ate. I didn't know how I would track meals that involved fancy or complex recipes. I just didn't want to do it. I thought, "Maybe I can just do it myself without tracking." HA. Yeah right. Never ever ever in my life has that worked.
I found a few blogs filled with success stories. I've read a bunch of forums on MFP's website with more success stories and before/after pictures. Those things help. A LOT. But ultimately, it's about my attitude. Can I do this? Yes. But WILL I do this? That isn't something I can answer quite yet. I want to so badly. I've slowly put on weight since we got married. Actually, it hasn't been so slow. It's been quite fast since I've also had two pregnancies with huge weight gains. But I have dreams of being a strong, healthy woman. There is nothing stopping me but myself.
You know what? There is something else that is motivating me. I've given this problem to God. It seems like a trivial thing, this body image issue, being overweight, being a big eater, etc. The truth is that it isn't a small thing at all. It affects everything from my health, my ability to play with my kids, my marriage, and my confidence (sad, but true).
It's a huge release to know that I'm not doing it alone. When I find myself really struggling (because of course that's happened already) I know that I can pray about it with an earnest heart. God doesn't think I'm being ridiculous or petty. He wants me to be successful in Him. It is a huge relief and comfort to know that.
Here are the numbers. I have about 1240 calories to eat each day. Most days, I go for a walk or do some kind of exercise that burns anywhere from 250-350 calories. I've actually found it hard to make up those calories! 1240 is a great number for me to work towards. I usually get three solid meals with a smaller snack (or two) and don't feel hungry. I don't eat a lot of carbs and do try to keep my protein intake higher. I'm not stupid when it comes to sweets either. I've tried cutting them out cold turkey and that has always ended with an epic fail, so I try to leave room for a sweet snack after dinner at night. Nothing fancy, just something to get me past the impulse to overeat. This week it has been dark chocolate dusted almonds. It's a perfect snack and I'm left satisfied for the day.
It helps that I am a creature of habit. I end up eating almost the exact same thing for breakfast every day (two eggs either hard boiled or fried with my mug of coffee and two tbs of creamer) and my lunch has been soup and salad with minimal variety. It works for me! That usually leaves me with a larger number left over for dinner, taking the pressure off to have a low calorie meal with an option for higher calorie foods for the hubby. He doesn't really need to be on my diet. I make a normal meal with carbs, meat, and veggies and just try to load up on the healthier foods. I don't deprive myself of the carbs though. Often times, that is the only point in the day that I eat starchy high carb foods. It's ok to eat it when I've planned for it.
All in all, with this new attitude, things have been going better. I had to guess at my starting weight because my scale was out of batteries, but hopefully I'll know soon if I have lost anything or not. I also took measurements and cannot wait to see movement there. I think that will mean more to me than a few pounds here and there.
It's going to be a long journey. I pray that my attitude can stay positive and that I don't get overwhelmed with it, at least long term. I know there will be rough days, but those days give me opportunities to glorify God. If I can overcome them by relying on Him, it just makes this journey that much better.