Sunday, January 3, 2010

One Step at a Time

2009 was a crazy year. I submerged myself in so many projects and came out the other side feeling more satisfied and enriched than at any other time in my life. I started my Master's program, reignited my interest in painting and fell in love.

One failing that I had, however, was breaking my downward weight trend twice this year...once over Spring Break and again between Thanksgiving and New Year's. For the first time since I took my life back, my weight has started rising again. This would merely be a minor inconvenience except for two things. The first is that I'm horribly afraid of gaining back what I lost over the last four years and the second is that I still have about 35 pounds to go.

That said, I feel like I can safely claim that this isn't just a normal, run of the mill weight-loss resolution. This is simply getting back on track in 2010. Now that I've got all of the explanation out of the way, I'm going to tell you how I plan to do it.

What follows isn't exactly a secret. It's not a magic cure-all, because I don't believe that anything works for everyone. What I can tell you, is that it worked for me (to lose more pounds than I care to tell you right now.) My method? I call it "One Step at a Time."

Cold Turkey doesn't work for me...the meat is fine, it's the method that causes me trouble. Whenever I look ahead at all of the things I'm supposed to give-up, I crack. I have to take everything very easy and get used to it. That may sound odd, considering that when it comes to my actual life, I tend to dive-in head first. In this case, when trying to take off some extra poundage, slow and steady wins the race.

First? Pay attention to the time. I find that my body processes food a lot better when I eat progressively less throughout the day. That means a large breakfast, medium lunch, small dinner.

Second? Knock out the caffeine. Caffeine can stress out an already overtaxed body and cause cortisol build-up which is famous for encouraging the production of fat.

Third? The thing that is simultaneously most important and most annoying is keeping a food journal. Whether or not I keep track of the calories, fat, protein and fiber in everything I eat (which I should) it's very important to know just how much I'm eating so that it doesn't add up on me without even realizing it. I also know that I'm a lot less likely to grab a handful of chocolate chips (omnomnom) if I know I'll have to go to my food journal to write them down.

There are several other things that I'll get around to adding to my regimen once I've re-adapted to the three things above. Exercise, vegetables, reduced dairy, and more water are all things that my body reacts very well to. I'll give more detail on these as I incorporate them.

A final thought on the issue: I know myself well enough to know that I can't deprive myself of anything. The more I tell myself that I can't have it, the more I want it. That means that no food will be off limits. Burgers (as always) will be ordered without cheese or mayo. If I want a Blizzard, I'll order one and throw away as much as I need to and I won't feel guilty. I'll continue to have Ben & Jerry's...I'll just eat a little less of it. That's going to be the secret to my success. One step at a time.

No comments: