Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Low Cal/Low Carb, My New Lifestyle

Things have been going pretty well with the low daily calorie allowances and super low carb lifestyle I’ve adopted.  On average, I eat 1300 calories or less a day and I eat about 35-70 grams of carbs a day.  Some people would say this isn’t enough, especially with how active I am.  I would beg to differ.  Why?  Because I don’t ever feel hungry.  I don’t ever feel light headed or feint.  I don’t ever feel jittery from a blood sugar crash.  Quite the contrary…I have more energy than I did before I cut the calories and the carbs. 

Before I gained all the weight years ago, I could eat carbs, carbs and more carbs.  Carbs all day long.  And there were no side effects.  After I had started trying to lose weight and I had lost some weight, something happened.  I developed acid reflux.  At first, just when I was above 200 lbs, I would get it all the time, no matter what I ate.  Then, as I spent more time in the 180s and 190s, I’m guessing my “baseline” for acid reflux adjusted and if I spent time above 190 I started getting acid reflux all the time.  Then, as I spent more time below 190, that “baseline” changed again.  But it changed in a different way.  Now, whenever I eat processed carbs like bread, I get acid reflux. 

When I started with the cutting of the calories and nixing consuming any of my calories that I expended during exercise, one of the things I obviously I had to cut out was junk food.  No more pizza.  No more burgers.  No more chips and queso. 

I’ve done this before.  Why is this time different?  My approach to the whole thing is what is different.  I decided I was done.  D-O-N-E, done.  I am so beyond tired of riding the roller coaster of lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, gain weight.  My will power this time is more set (not going to say “in stone” because nothing is “set in stone”) than it has been in the past.  I’m more determined and motivated than I’ve been in the past. 

When I cut my calories and went low carb almost 6 weeks ago, I think I flipped a switch in my mind.  Things haven’t been all peachy-keen.  I’ve had urges to binge.  How did I get past them?  I allowed myself a small indulgence.  A couple tablespoons of natural peanut or almond butter, usually, and then I let go of the urge and I’m good.  I try to eat a good amount of protein to help me feel full and satisfied.  I think I’m doing a pretty good job.  Other than the week before last’s weigh in, I have logged at least a 2 lb weight loss every week for the last 5 weekly weigh ins!  That’s crazy!  I’m closing in on my goal weight and it’s a known fact that as you have less and less excess weight to lose, the weight loss process slows down.  It gets more difficult to lose weight the more weight you lose. 

Something I discovered when I started this low cal/low carb way of life was now even the SMALLEST amount of processed carbs set off my acid reflux.  The first time I tried my hand at making chicken nuggets, I used bread crumbs to coat the pieces of chicken in before baking them.  Within less than an hour of eating the first batch of nuggets, I had acid reflux.  So, the second round of nuggets I made with almond flour.  

This doesn't mean that I can't or won't ever eat pizza or chips and queso or hamburgers without their buns ever again.  It just means it will be a well thought out decision to eat them.

What is all this leading to?  Once I’ve hit my goal weight, I can’t stop the low carb lifestyle.  It has to be permanent.  After switching to low cal/low carb, I mentioned I had a lot more energy.  The way I was eating was weighing me down, in more than one way.  I was overweight but I was also bogged down.  All. The. Time.  I was so lethargic and tired all the time.  No energy.  It’s the exact opposite now.  Also, I am no longer obsessing over food!  This is the biggest win in my book!  As a person with an eating disorder, this is HUGE!  I’m under no delusion that I will never have to struggle with food ever again.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  It will be a life long struggle, but I now have hope that it won’t be an overwhelming struggle.  That it will be something I can control and live with. 

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