What's worked for me for two years just isn't cutting it anymore. And that's pretty scary to me. I hate change and I despise having to try something new. What if it doesn't work? What if I gain more?
Unfortunately, that's where I am. To be honest, I have started to grasp the whole concept that I simply cannot eat between 1200-1300 a day every day for the rest of my life. I lost all this weight so I could live, but to be honest I have stopped enjoying my love of food. (Yes, you read that right. I simply love food. And that's okay. It's normal. It's not normal to binge like I once did!)
I've got it stuck in my mind that eating clean and never having my old favorite foods is the way to exist. I kinda miss Pasta Weesie from Carraba's. I haven't had it in over two years and that's just completely sad. I envisioned this whole weight loss transformation allowing me to finally enjoy the foods I love. I don't want to go overboard like I did when I was bigger. I just want to relax a little more. I haven't allowed myself to do that.
Friends, that isn't very healthy. Here I am thinking I'm living this incredibly healthy life and I'm almost neurotic about eating the "wrong" things. I didn't think I'd be so addicted to watching every tiny calorie that enters my body. It becomes habit and then it becomes a cycle.
Not many people who have successfully lost a lot of weight talk about these things. It's hard to tell you that I feel as though I have put my body into starvation mode. Yes, I am eating the lowest amount of calories recommended, but those figures do not account for my physical activities. I was eating 1200 calories a day and had weight loss success long before I began Zumba and started running. It was just plain habit and I didn't factor in the extra activity.
Bottom line: My body is angry with me and my metabolism is suffering.
I've started researching the whole macronutrient idea. Basically there's a calculation of the proportion of fats, carbs, protein, and fiber your body needs each day. My personal calculation (based upon my age, height, weight and activity level) suggests that I aim for 1524 calories per day to achieve weight loss again. But it doesn't just end there... I should aim for 73.2 grams of carbs, 162 grams of protein, 64.8 grams of fat, and 32-41 grams of fiber every day.
That doesn't mean I can eat junk all day as long as I stay around 1524 calories. If I am including the suggested amount of carbs, protein, fats, and fiber, I have to make sure the foods I eat help meet those amounts. Guess what? Pizza won't get me there, but if I plan it right I can still include that every now and then. To even get close to those amounts, I still have to eat real, nutritional foods the majority of the time.
I am afraid of seeing that calorie count rise so much, but I know deep down it's more realistic. I've researched the idea of reverse dieting. Reverse dieting is slowly increasing your caloric intake over a period of six to eight weeks so that you don't pack on the weight from drastically altering your food intake. It's designed for people who have not eaten enough calories over an extended period of time and people who have lost extreme amounts of fat (think professional weight lifters and competitors).
Breakfast: Cottage cheese, low fat (3/4 cup)
Lunch: Zaxby's Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken and one packet of Ranch Dressing
Dinner: Baked Tilapia (8 oz), Steamed Veggies (2 cups), and Boiled Okra (1 cup)
I was completely stuffed. That's actually a lot of food for me. It was 1564 calories, 78 grams of carbs, 155 grams of protein, 62 grams of fat, and 30 grams of fiber (I had to add a supplement to get enough here). It wasn't perfect, but it was a start. I also did two hours of Zumba. I'm going to work at this and give it several weeks to see if this works better for me. I understand I may gain a bit, but I believe it will come off easier once my body adjusts to it.
There's no perfect way to lose weight. What works for one person may not work for you. It takes patience and an understanding that this isn't going to happen overnight. But I promise it is worth it! Keep trying to find what works for you. Even if something works great for a while, but prepared if things change.