Friday, November 6, 2009

3 months later...

Hi everybody. I am kind of hoping the readership of this blog has died down some, because I am a bit embarassed and uncomfortable to report on what has happened with my weight over the past 3 months. But life marches on and so does my intent and desire to be healthy and fit.
At the end of August, I began to notice that I was gaining weight. I had gained about 8 lbs from the last time I wrote at that point. I decided to start another HCG Phase 2 in a frantic effort to lose the weight I had gained.
I started Round 3 at the beginning of September, right after I started back to grad school. With the beginning of school and an internship, my life became a crazy whirlwind and I found it nearly impossible to manage the strictness of the protocol while doing everything I needed to for home, school and work. I was cheating nearly every day and having a very hard time emotionally with the diet... dreading it every morning and even feeling angry that I was being so restricted in what I could eat. I thought hard about it, and decided to stop the protocol. Immediately after I stopped the shots, I went to a Weight Watchers meeting and fully intended to follow WW to maintain for a few weeks, and then start losing slowly again. And while I still think Weight Watchers is a good idea, I have not even had the discipline to write down everything I eat and track points everyday.
I spent a few weeks eating whatever, whenever, and gained some of the weight back again. About three weeks ago, I became very aware of, and panicked about the weight I was gaining. Which was about 6-8 lbs.
One day I was walking through Barnes and Nobles and came across a book "I Can Make You Thin" by Paul McKenna. As I scanned the book, I felt emotion rising up in me as I read Paul McKenna's weight loss system concepts. The four golden rules: 1. Eat when you are hungry 2. Eat what you want, not what you think you should eat. 3. Enjoy every single bite of food you put in your mouth. 4. Stop eating when you think you might be full. The simplicity was something I desperately hoped might work.
The author includes mindfulness exercises, and uses some cognitive-behavioral approaches which go right along with some of the therapy techniques I have been learning in school. Most of these techniques are aimed at helping you to overcome emotional eating. Included with the book is a CD that is meant to help retrain the brain to feel positive toward exercise and to also reprogram attitudes and beliefs about food.
I know it may sound kind of hokie, but again, some of the techniques he uses on this CD make perfect sense in the context of what I have been learning about right brain and left brain integration, the ability to change pathways in our brains, etc. Some of the things that resonate with me in this approach are 1) The focus on listening to my body, and working WITH my body instead of feeling like I am fighting against a part of myself 2) The fact that this approach is not a "diet" and I do not feel deprived at all. The advice given in this book feels so natural, and feels like something that I could truly live with in the long term.
I have been reading the book and listening to the CD every night since then. I have become much more aware of my reasons for eating, and really trying to focus on the four rules. It just feels right to wait until I'm hungry to eat. It feels so good to eat what I WANT, and to stop eating before I am stuffed. It is so satisfying to really pay attention to and enjoy the foods I am eating, While this approach is liberating, it's not always easy. Sometimes, I know I'm not hungry but I want to eat for social or emotional reasons. But when I follow the rules I feel so much better.
I have also started doing Julian Michael's 30 day shred workouts on DVD. My weight has finally stabilized and will hopefully start moving down again soon.
I still have HCG, and may choose to do it again someday when my life is less crazy. But for now, I feel good about what I am doing. I am really trying to be kind to myself, and have confidence in my intuitive ability to make choices that are good and healthy for me.