Back from weigh-in, and as I expected, the scale wasn’t as kind to me as it has been the last few weeks. I was up .2 pounds.
Granted, I consider a .2 loss or gain to be a maintain (really – it’s the same weight as this empty water bottle sitting on my desk), but it’s still disappointing when the scale doesn’t show the results you want. Still, I think I know what went wrong this week, and it has everything to do with my all-consuming (no pun intended) love of eating.
On the Weight Watchers program, or any sensible diet and exercise regimen, it’s a rule that on the days you exercise, you can afford to eat a little bit more – if you so choose. And let’s just say that I never, EVER say no to extra food.
For every 100 calories I burn, I’m rewarded with 1 additional POINT to eat, with the knowledge that 1 POINT equals roughly 50 calories…so you’re still creating a deficit in your calorie intake. Now, when I spend an hour in the gym every night and burn 500 or 600 calories, I tend to go home and gobble up every last one of the “activity POINTS” I’ve just rightfully earned. I’ve been doing this ever since I started my weight loss journey, and while it used to work just fine, I think it’s what’s hindering me now. This week, I literally consumed every single ounce of food I had available to me – and the scale showed it.
Now, this is where the resent and frustration begins to set in. At my current weight, I’m afforded 24 POINTS a day. And it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a significant amount of food. My typical day consists of:
A bowl of Kashi GoLean crunch and 1% milk, topped with a combination of fruit that may include: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or bananas. Possibly a 100-calorie, high-fiber chocolate Vitamuffin. Coffee with skim milk and Splenda.
A sandwich on whole-wheat bread (think tuna and lite mayo, or reduced-fat peanut butter and jelly), an apple, and maybe some vegetable soup or a handful of fat-free pretzels.
Grilled chicken or some other form of lean protein, accompanied by brown rice or sweet potatoes, and a vegetable like asparagus, broccoli, or spinach.
Typically I enjoy two snacks per day – one between lunch and dinner, and one after dinner. My go-to snacks consist of things like skim string cheese, 94% fat free popcorn, a Weight Watchers low-fat ice cream cup, a banana, whole-grain crackers, or an apple.
And yet, despite what I consider to be a moderate, healthy diet, I still apparently struggle with eating too much. Before I go to the gym, I’m hungry. When I return home from the gym, I’m hungry. So I eat those extra calories I’ve earned while pounding the treadmill, and then I feel a little bit better. When I was 260 pounds, that used to work just fine…but now, if I eat all of my “activity POINTS,” I tend to show either a very small loss or even a gain next week on the scale. It just doesn’t work for me anymore, and I have the hardest time telling myself NO when I’m genuinely hungry. When I go for a 45-minute run outside in the cold, or leave the gym with sweat pouring down my face, I feel as though I “deserve” that extra food.
It all boils down to this: I hate feeling hungry. I hate feeling deprived. Yet it’s becoming more and more apparent to me that if I don’t start eating less than what I’ve become accustomed to, and letting one or two of those extra POINTS go uneaten, I’ll never get the scale moving again. I used to be able to drop 3 pounds in a week with no problem. Now, I can work my butt off and lose only half of that, if I’m lucky. It’s pure science: I either have to work harder in the gym, or spend less time in the kitchen. Or, ideally, do a combination of both of those things.
There are days when I’m just fine with the food I’m alloted, and other days when I’m ravenous. Those are the days that I just want to say the hell with everything. It’s too hard. Screw counting POINTS, screw the gym, I’m eating until I can honestly say that I feel full. I truly miss that feeling.
This was one of those weeks, and I paid the price. And now all I can do is start over and try again this week.
Loss to date: 86.6 lbs