Weigh-in number 33 completed and another 1lb lost. Mildly disappointed, as I felt like I’d earned a little bit more this week to be completely honest with you, and I also physically ‘felt’ like I’d lost more too. A loss is still a loss though, and it keeps me moving in the right direction, so I’m really not going to complain. Much 😉
I’ve noticed a really interesting pattern this week, which would certainly explain why my loss this week wasn’t as much as I’d hoped, but also raises some very interesting questions about just how sustainable my current method of eating is.
Just for the record here, my goal is to reach a weight that I’m physically and mentally comfortable with, and then to stay there or thereabouts, pretty much indefinitely. I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually stated that out loud before, but I think I’ve alluded to it on a number of occasions anyway. From that perspective, I try to question how I’m feeling about what I’m eating on a regular basis, and to ask myself this question – “could I eat like this for the rest of my life?”. If the answer is yes, then it ought to be sustainable, but if the answer is no, then that sounds more like a diet to me than any sustainable approach to eating.
Just for the record again, the problem with diets from where I’m sitting is that at some point you reach the end of them. When you do that, by definition you then change how you’re eating, and it’s what you change to that determines whether the weight stays off or not. In reality, most people go back to how they ate before they dieted, and then oddly enough, the weight just piles back on again, with a little bit more, and the cycle continues, and the self-loathing increases. Losing weight is not a problem for me. I’ve done it before. Lots of times. And I’m proving that I can still do that now. Keeping it off however, is a rather different story. I have never done it before (obviously). Not once. And I’m really, really aware of that fact pretty much every hour of every day right now.
Anyway, the pattern that I’ve noticed relates to how what I eat is spread across the week. One of the key elements of the WW strategy is that you track what you eat. One major benefit of this is that it really helps raise your awareness of what you’re eating, which might sound a bit stupid, but from the perspective of a fat-bloke is really important. I can still remember my first day on this WW program – I decided to start it at about 6pm, and rather than start the next day, decided to start by tracking what I’d eaten that day. It took me a few minutes, but I was able to sit back and see where I was for the day fairly easily. And then over the course of the next 6 hours I kept remembering other things that I’d eaten and that had simply slipped my mind. I’d actually missed about half of what I’d eaten from the first list!
Another benefit of the tracking is that it also allows you to see patterns developing, and what I’ve noticed is that I always peak towards the end of the week. This week for example, by the end of Thursday, I’d eaten my daily points each day, and had eaten about 20 of my 49 “use them if you want to or need to” bonus points. By the end of Saturday, I’d used up the other 29 bonus points and dipped into a few of my exercise points.
One of the most challenging things about what I’m trying to achieve here is to work out what’s going on in my own mind, and whether that’s actually different from what I think is going on in my own mind. I don’t trust my mind to always do what’s in my best interests here – after all, it was my mind that controlled the approach to food that got me to 18st 4lb in the first place. In relation to the peak at the end of the week (that’s a phrase that has a certain something to it!) my mind is giving me a couple of reasons why that’s all ok and tickety-boo.
- It’s the end of your week, and you’ve got points left – eat them and stop worrying. You’re still losing weight aren’t you?
- It’s because you weigh-in at the weekend! Everyone lets themselves go a bit at the weekend. Relax. It will all be OK. And you’re still losing weight aren’t you?
They’re both viable explanations, and they both make perfect sense. But I don’t think they explain what’s going on.
If you’ll allow me to digress for a moment, sometimes I feel like a spy. Not in the James Bond kind of way (although that would explain the costumes and night-vision goggles) but in the fact that I’m trying to listen to all the ‘chatter’ going on in my head to see if I can pick up important details. It’s an immensely dull pastime, but no-one else is going to do it for me (hopefully) and it’s only by doing this that I’m able to start to identify the thoughts I have that might just contradict the “everything is going to be alright” messages.
I think that I’m eating more towards the end of the week in response to thoughts that go something like this:
You’ve been depriving yourself all week, and you’ve got a few points to spare, so let yourself go a bit and eat. Do it. You know you want to!
That’s all OK except for the third word of the first sentence. I have a problem with depriving myself, or to be more specific, I have big concerns about how I react when I do deprive myself. There’s a sort of self-indignant thing that kicks in and encourages me to have my fill of whatever it is that I think I’m depriving myself of.
I’m opening up a big can of worms here to be honest, and I need to go and think some more about this so I can make some sense of it all. I can see three specific things coming out of this:
- On the surface, the issue is that as far as I was aware, I was happy eating what I’m eating, and that it felt sustainable. I hadn’t realised that I felt deprived in any way, but subconsciously, there’s something going on that I’m not completely aware of just now.
- Underneath all of that, there’s this question of deprivation and whether that’s a bad thing or not anyway. One of the triggers to me starting this whole WW thing was accepting that it was a lack of personal deprivation that got me fat anyway, so I needed to accept that I would have to deprive myself of things to lose weight. But how does that fit with the whole sustainability thing?
- Lastly, I have to question whether it’s a good idea to spend so much time questioning what’s going on in my own head, and thinking about myself and my thoughts and actions in the third person. Slightly concerned this morning. Lol.
This is definitely a “to be continued” session. Need to go and think.
Have a good week.