virgin diet conclusions and a plan to go forward

Posted: September 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

It is hard to believe today that I was so reluctant, so recalcitrant, so bent on bad attitude about this plan when I started it.  The diet looked wayyyy too rigorous, and it didn’t seem possible to be happy eating that way.  The idea of learning that some of my favorite foods might be sabotaging my body in ways I didn’t know and to levels I didn’t guess was daunting and depressing.  I just flat did not want to do it.  I am so grateful for my prayer partner, who has coaxed and encouraged and pushed me through so many stubborn blocks, this being just the most recent of them.

What I love about the diet is now I understand my body so much better.  I have a firm grasp of how completely what I put in my mouth affects me physically, in a myriad of ways.  It’s not somebody’s theory or advice from somebody with an uber-hot body I will never achieve.  It’s just test results, and I trust the test because I was there, running it, you know?

I now understand the vicious cycle I was in.  My milk every morning made my post-nasal drip go wild, which in turn left me sucking on hard candies all day to keep from coughing and choking.  The sugar in the candies kept me good and hungry, and I regularly added highly processed carbs in my meals and snacks, which fed the overpowering compulsion to eat, eat, EAT.  The sugar and the processed carbs kept my arthritis flared up and maxed out on pain, which kept me from moving much, which made me even heavier, which made me more bummed about my body, which made me want to bury the bummed feeling with…you got it…sugary and highly processed carb comfort foods.  Holy smokes.

I appreciate that this answers a big question I had.  I thought I understood, all those years of being single, that at least some of my food problem was my crappy way of dealing with loneliness.  So when I got married and stopped being lonely, I was mystified that the food had not one bit less power over me.  So many people are so clear that weight must equal emotional problems or denial…so why was I still losing the fight so often when I was the happiest I’d ever been?

Seeing the actual physical affects of the food – understanding how clearly it just flips a switch in my brain – is so freeing.  Being unhappy or lonely or in denial is NOT the only reason for food struggle.  And for that matter, it also shows me:  I’m not incurably gluttonous and greedy.  It just happens that some foods take my control mostly away from me.  Knowing this is such an awesome weapon.  I feel more hope today about my body than I have felt maybe ever.  I have lost 50 or more pounds so many times, and “found” them again just as many times, and I had for sure reached the point of feeling like no matter how much weight I lose this time, I’ll probably just screw it up again.  But today I feel hope that with this good information, maybe I don’t have to do the yo yo weight thing for the rest of life here on earth.

So what’s my plan at this point?

I intend to keep doing shakes for breakfast for as long as it continues to be a reasonably pleasant experience for me, since I suspect the author is correct that replacing a meal with a shake is a quick belt-tightener.

I intend to stick with the plan to eat only every 4 – 6 hours, and not snack in between.

I intend to stick with intentionally and aggressively drinking water, and also to stick with my adaptation of not drinking after suppertime, so that I don’t have to do mulitple laps to the bathroom in the night.

I intend to resume my supplements that I was taking before I started this experiment.

I intend to keep building my meals according to that “diet plate” illustration that I shared awhile back.

I intend to probably not eat nearly as much meat as she suggests – I’d like to go back to maybe twice a week of meat.  And I don’t intend to drive myself crazy looking for grass-fed meat, unless I discover that switching causes problems in me.

I intend to leave dairy almost completely alone.  I’m done with milk, as far as I’m concerned – my mom tells me she has that same post nasal problem with milk, but not so much with cheese.  I’m hoping I’m like her in that.

I haven’t made a decision about corn and peanuts.  I know the author is gung ho to quit them completely.  I don’t care so much about either that it would be a huge loss…but I’m also not convinced that they are such a bad thing for me that I should deal with the inconvenience of refusing them when they show up occasionally at a meal out or something.

I intend to keep doing soy, though I will try not to do it more than a couple of times a week.

I saw no problems with my farm-raised eggs, and I do intend to return to eating those.  I can’t even promise to keep them down to a couple of times a week.  They’re cheap and I love them (ironic, considering how bitterly I hated them, growing up) and they are fast and easy to prepare.

I intend to avoid sugar (and, to be clear, ALL SWEETENERS – this means honey, maple syrup, and for sure any and all artificial sweeteners) to the fullest extent possible.  I plan to stick to her “no more than 5 grams of sugar per serving” rule, where it can’t be avoided at all.  I’ll slip a half teaspoon of locally grown honey into my shake in the mornings, to prevent allergy issues, but I don’t even want it where I will notice and taste it, as I’m even afraid of the TASTE triggering me.

I intend to avoid highly processed carbs almost always.  They do evil things to me and I don’t need them to be healthy, and general consensus is they also contribute to overweight in general and to round bellies in specific.

I intend to assume that I don’t need to buy gluten-free condiments – that avoiding pastas and breads and such is sufficient defense.

All of that being said, I also intend, starting tonight, to build in 1 “cheat meal” on payday (that’s every 2 weeks).  I have already ordered Harris Pizza and will pick it up when I get G from work shortly.  I know…it contains gluten and dairy and way more fat than I need.  I know.  But I also know this:  I still need to lose at least 100 more pounds, really.  That is a long, LONG journey.  I will fail if I don’t build some grace into it.  I’m probably going to need to eat as well as I described above for the rest of my life…not just “until I reach a goal weight.”  My thought is one cheat meal every 2 weeks will help me not to grow weary and just decide I’d rather be fat on some really bad day.

This is a test.  I will for sure pay close attention to the effect of the pizza on my body tonight, and then I can make a decision going forward, as I “test” how the cheat meal works as part of a bigger plan.

I intend to keep weighing weekly (I think I’ll switch to Monday nights for that), to see how this plan is working.

I intend to start working the “Bike Your Butt Off” plan from my new book.  It’s definitely time to add good exercise to the mix.

I don’t intend to continue blogging every single day about what I’m eating and how I’m exercising.  I’d like to get back to blogs about deeper stuff or at least other stuff.  But it will still show up here somewhat regularly, I suspect.

Happy weekend, all!!

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