I am happy with how this diet is going.  I’m surprised, too, because I was waaay too cool for this particular regime but I have learned some things about myself that are really useful. 

I have now lost about 8 lbs.  A lot of that is hormonal fluctuation, water, who knows what was in there; but I’ll take it.  I’m seeing the difference in my clothes and my workouts so I know some of that is real.  I’m a lifelong dieter, and was 250 lbs. at my peak, and lost most of the excess.  In the last four years I’ve regained about 25 of that, mostly from cycling.  Not the two-wheeled kind. 

I’m now a food Nazi and have wonderful eating habits for the most part.  But, food is still my lover and I have to be careful with myself, good habits or no.  I get into starve-and-binge cycles.  They’re mini-binges, barely even to the point of being uncomfortably full; but I’m an experienced overeater.  I know how to pick high-calorie, low-density food that I can get a lot of pleasure from but doesn’t fill me up, to really get high.  Sugar is always best. 

So with my many good habits and pseudo-Ph.D. in nutrition, I thought Weight Watchers was the best diet.  I have tried it twice and I am here to say I’m an official WW failure.  Not only do I not lose, I gain.  There is something about the points and the flexibility that’s just too easy for a big food liar like me to manipulate.  I have cried in Weight Watchers meetings all over town and I hope I have learned my lesson.  I just can’t make it work.

Now that I’ve been on my prepackaged foods thing, I can see why.  I need a LOT of structure, particularly when it comes to portions.  Think about it.  We all probably make more than a hundred food decisions a day.  What do I want, where can I get it, how much should I have, will I cook it, buy it, toast it, fry it, skip it, deny it.  For me, you can quadruple that: I am a food obsessive.  I think about food the way men think about sex and I am not kidding.  So I will consider and reject many more food options in any given minute or hour than a normal person.  There’s: what I want, what I really want but don’t want to admit, what I’d have if nobody was looking, can’t I just have a LITTLE, but I really want a LOT, why, why can’t I, it’s not fair.  Wash that down with a lot of shame that I even want what I want.  The part of me that makes food decisions is about 3 years old or something.  It’s exhausting.

I didn’t realize how much food-decision-fatigue I had until I started opening little packages, eating what’s in them, and stopping. 

Bliss.  I don’t even care if the food is good.  In most cases it’s OK. The packages are tiny, but they are buffered by vegetables, fruits and dairy servings, and that’s another good thing.  Vegetables are the red-headed stepchild of my diet; I will always choose them last, unless all other options are taken away. 

And then there’s the whole dessert agony.  I want dessert, OK?  I want it every day and I am tired of pretending like I don’t.  If dessert (sugar is what I’m talking about) is at all possible, you can double my number of food decisions AGAIN because of the desire and the guilt. 

On this plan I get one.  Every day. It’s tiny but it’s good.  I open the package, I eat it, it’s wonderful, it’s over. 

Another thing that I love about this diet is: portion re-education.  I open a package three times a day that is somewhere between 100 and 250 calories.  You and I both know that is a stingy and heartbreaking amount of food.  But then I eat it, along with its supporting cast of dairy, vegetables & fruits, and eureka: I am full.  I am full from a less-than-400 calorie meal, over and over again, and I’m finally learning that I don’t need All.That.Food.   

I am surprised and relieved that this is going so well.  I learned and believed what I was told: Diets don’t work.  But eating brown sugar out of the box doesn’t work, either, so I gotta start somewhere.  This diet can be a spectacular failure for people who don’t know how to cook / eat heathily.  I think I’ll be able to maintain this loss… but until I get a loss, we won’t know, so this is where I start.

Dieting like this is the perfect post-cycle pick-me-up because I am having control over something.  Two things: my body, SO uncooperative.  And my eating habits.  I am getting weight loss, I am getting healthy eating, and I’m getting peace in the midst of it.  Who knew.