Monday, October 28, 2013

Four Rules

I used to be super paranoid about food.

Well, not food, per se...

The calories in food.

And I subjected myself to several diets, that would make me super angry. Sure, I lost weight. But I was super mad all the time because I was super hungry, and mad that I was hungry, and mad that I was mad that I was hungry and mad.

And I was super anxious about things I ate. It became an obsession. I wrote down every single calorie I consumed, and rounded up just in case, and the pittance I ate couldn't sustain me. And then I would feel guilty for eating that extra lick of Miracle Whip.

It wasn't healthy. I think that sort of mentality leads people to eating disorders.

I gave it up in favor of another approach, where you can eat all you like in certain categories. I liked the idea, but the application was a little difficult. I just couldn't stuff down a pound of lettuce or other greens a day.

So, I gave up.

And I was happy.

And then I got pregnant and ate everything I could find.

I thought to myself, "I'll just lose the weight after I have the baby!" forgetting how difficult it is to do that.

So, I had Leah, and lost quite a bit of weight.

Right now I am where I was after I had Eva (which isn't a bad place to be).

I actually like how I look.

I feel good!

A few weeks ago, I decided, though, that I needed to lose a bit of weight because of how my frame is (medium).

So I started to diet.

And it drove me crazy.

I gained weight.

Like five pounds.

It was super frustrating.

So, I decided dieting is stupid, and counter-productive.

I thought about how I had lost weight before, and I came up with some rules that I think will work for me, and probably for you, too, if you are like me and feel like dieting is a horrible, horrible experience.

Rule #1: Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day.
              This keeps you from retaining water, helps digestion, and also flushes out your system, keeping your liver and kidneys nicely squishy and fresh.

Rule #2: Go to bed before 9:30
             You need sleep to lose weight, or to stop gaining weight. If you aren't getting enough sleep at night, you will put on the pounds, because you are stopping your brain from producing the chemicals it needs to shed weight. I got the following from here, and it gives you a rough idea of what I am talking about:

Exactly how lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight has a lot to do with our nightly hormones, explains Breus.
The two hormones that are key in this process are ghrelin and leptin. “Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin,” Breus says. “Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.”
 More ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain.
“You are eating more, plus your metabolism is slower when you are sleep-deprived,” Breus says.

Rule #3: Don't eat anything except fruit or vegetables after dinner.
               If you are like me, you get the munchies after dinner. I frequently get grangey an hour or so after dinner, and I find myself roaming my kitchen, and end up making bad decisions that involve lots of chocolate chips or butter. I have found that apples are extremely satisfying, as is celery (but I really, really like celery. I know some people don't...). Any fresh, raw vegetable or fruit will do, and you will be surprised how great they are when you are feeling like a crazed, hungry lunatic!

Rules #4: Exercise at least 20 minutes a day.
                Pick something you love to do, and do it! Twenty minutes isn't much. I prefer walking and yoga, but have recently discovered that I need to suck it up and do lots of core work since I have flabby, weak lower back muscles...more on that next blog..

Simple, huh?

And you know what?

I lost weight, and I'm happy.

Easy Peasy.

*Keep in mind, though, that I generally eat pretty well. I don't eat a lot of processed stuff. I prefer to know what I am eating (though I do get the occasional hankering for macaroni and cheese from a box). That means I try and eat lots of fruit and vegetables (Don't let anyone tell you there are "bad" fruits and vegetables. It's a stupid lie. As long as you aren't deep frying them, eat what you like!), whole wheat bread, and I don't eat chips generally, unless they are the organic tortilla chips from Costco, and I put them in my homemade, vegetarian sloppy tacos (low sodium black beans, 99% fat free refried beans, vegetarian Hormel chili, taco seasoning--though, that's a stretch since it's premade, and I think it has MSG...). I'm not a huge proponent of meat, but I do love my steak. Eggs are magical. Eat lots of eggs. And natural peanut butter is unicorn poo, i.e. magical and will make you fly. It's not a nut, it's a legume, so it doesn't fall into the "eat nuts sparingly" thing. I don't drink milk, but I do eat cheese in small amounts. I really, really, really, really like chocolate almond milk, but I think that doesn't count as a health food. I'm trying really hard to like honey (since I don't do sugar substitutes: phenylalanine--think aspartame,  Sweet and Low, or other little packages of sweetener at the local diner-- causes cancer, and Splenda tastes gross...but according to my sister-in-law who has been fighting cancer, all sugar feeds cancer, so...), but all I've been able to manage to do when I consume it is to say blandly, "Yay. Honey."* 

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