Knowing and Beating My Patterns

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


This is only the 84th time I have tried losing weight once and for all.  It is an understatement that I've been around the diet block a few times.  I was getting to a point of frustration with myself where I just wanted to cry any time I thought about losing weight.  I knew I needed to get the pounds off.  I knew my life's hopes and dreams were at least partially hinged on me getting this weight problem under control.  Things like a shot at having children, a better job and career, friendships, and fitting in regular sized clothes.  I cried out of frustration because I just knew the same approach I had tried time after time was never going to work.  Motivation never lasts, and after a week of eating salads or hitting the gym, I want to give up.  I can never stay in control long enough to make a real difference in my size.  Short of wiring my jaw shut, there was no hope for me.  So I cried.

When you go on diets off and on for most of your life, you start thinking that you know a lot about how to diet.  It isn't rocket science to know that grilled chicken and vegetables will yield weight loss results on a long enough timeline and the opposite with a diet of mostly cheeseburgers and fries.  My frustration never stemmed from a lack of nutrition knowledge, or inability to think of fun ways to exercise.  It was a frustration stemmed in just not wanting to do it.  I don't want to eat healthy because that food sucks.  I don't want to exercise because it hurts, and it is just embarrassing to be a fat person exercising.  It takes time and energy I don't want to give.  I knew if I managed to eat healthy and exercise for a long enough time to reach a normal weight, there would be no relief.  I'd have to eat healthy and exercise forever.  When I eventually stop I will just get fat again.  So what's the point?

Maybe it was some sort of immaturity on my part paired with a straight-up lack of discipline.  Eating what I wanted, as much as I wanted and being lazy/sedentary make me happy.  I enjoy these things.  They might even be my favorite things in a day.  Retiring to the couch for some reality TV and a bag of candy, does life get much better?  (Thoughts of a sick and sad person, I know!)

I gave lots of thought to my situation and how I could change.  I knew that the way to success for me was going to be to not rock the boat too much.  Anything too far from my normal routine and comfort levels was going to knock me back to square one, leaving me frustrated and defeated for the umpteenth time.  I needed to understand my starting point.  I outlined my comfort zone of a diet in a previous post and my patterns include:


1. I am a fast food junkie
2. I am a fast food junkie
3. I am a fast food junkie
4. I feel deserving or needing of a 'treat' extremely frequently
5. I like easy, efficient and fairly inexpensive solutions to feeding myself
6. The way I evaluate and justify food choices is nuts.  I never look at the big picture, but at what makes me the most happy right now.
7. I use work and having the 9-5 job as an excuse to take the easy route with food
8. I don't think anything I did was healthy in the slightest, yet I was under the impression that this 'wasn't that bad' of a way to be eating.


What can I learn?  What will make following the low carb/ kept plan easier?  

1. Saying yes (for now) to fast food
2. Saying yes to treats
3. Saying yes to cheap, efficient, and easy meals
4. Not worrying about the big picture (for now)
5. Give myself grace - I am a busy person and don't have the energy for an elaborate dinner every night, and I forgive myself.
6. Keep the impression that what I'm eating isn't that bad.  Is it ideal? Never.  But if I am losing weight, then I need to just take the win.


Usually when I start a new diet and am so excited for my new life, fast food is the first to go.  Fast food and health do not coexist.  Again, from my previous post we see that it isn't unusual for me to eat 15 of the 21 of my total meals away from home.  (I'm ignoring the fact that eating out so frequently is insane.)  I am who I am, and I will say yes to eating take out.  My options are limited, but I don't feel like my world is turned upside down and I never get to leave the kitchen.  Since I am only doing lazy keto, I am not very strict on eating breaded protein or negligible amounts os sugar in sauces and dressings.  So lunch every day is either chicken nuggets or a bunless burger from McDonalds, or a cobb salad from Chick-fil-a.  I don't need to concoct smoothies or bake kept bread for a sandwich...just show up to work with lunch money and I can make it work.

I did cut down my food bill and calorie count substantially with intermittent fasting.  I'm so used to overeating that I don't even know what hungry really feels like.  So I started cutting out breakfast and just having coffee in the morning.  I don't really miss it at all, and I get a healthy appetite in the hour or two before lunch time.  I probably compensate the calories by eating a bigger lunch and being quite snackish after dinner, but I am seeing results!  

Cheap efficient and easy includes take away food as #1.  Also for now I stopped caring so much if we eat the same stuff on repeat while I'm getting into the groove.  We usually have chicken + vegetable side, some sort of sausage and cabbage creation, steak + vegetable side, breakfast for dinner, keto pizza.  Sometimes I will find a recipe to get excited about and switch things up.  I don't mind this routine so far, and weight does my other half.  

I round the evening off with some sugar free russell stover candy or some halo top.  The night must end with a sweet treat!  I've made some keto brownies and keto peanut butter cookies that were pretty great as well.  I am glad I can still have a baking outlet as someone who has given up on carbs.  I am slowing coming around to the humbling realization that a lot of my prejudices against healthy eating and living were wrong.  Carb free meals can be damned delicious.  Sugar free desserts can feel satisfying.  Starving never needs to enter my vocabulary, and I can certainly darken the door of a McDonald's and not feel bad about it.  

The rest is just taking things one step at a time, one meal at a time.  So far I am down 20 pounds for the year and I'm starting to see a waist forming.  I joined a bunch of Facebook groups and started a low carving instagram account and surround myself with encouraging people fighting similar battles against their bodies.  These little things keep adding to my confidence levels.  I feel like I am really conquering my issues and can have the fortitude to follow this through.  I have come to terms with the fact that I just can't go back to eating how I was eating.  My health will suffer and I just don't feel well when I overeat and overindulge on sugar.  I still mourn for those days from time to time, but the future just seems so bright that I hardly get the urge to look backwards.

I hope in time I won't need to rely so much on eating fast food and sweets, but transformation is a process that takes time.  Day by day I am learning how to eat like a normal person, and getting closer to weighing the same as one too.  Believing that change is possible has been the biggest gift I could have ever received, and it is snowballing in a really remarkable way.  I hope my sharing this experience can help you hack your own bad habits and find ways to work around them and achieve your goals.  

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