Saturday, April 26, 2014

To Be or To Diet

I am 5'8, 161 pounds and I am at the high end of the healthy weight range for my height. This is how I've always been. I have the desire to lose weight, if for nothing else to just see what I could look like 15-30 pounds lighter. However, I am one of those diet addicts that don't get results. Actually, the net result is excellent weight maintenance, but I can't seem to actually lose weight for more than a few weeks. When I fail at dieting, I start thinking maybe I should just try to accept where I am at. Sometimes I just want to be. However, I know I can't just end defeated; I want to press on. Can anyone relate to this?

What I'm after is a way to to be and to lose without "dieting." I thought I had found the answer when I heard a nutritionist recommend the book "Intuitive Eating" by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. The concept is that we should listen to our bodies, feed them when they are hungry, but also respect fullness. The problem is that there is a large gap for me between what my body needs and when I feel full. I could feel myself getting a little bigger and now I think that concept is better after you reach your goal weight. Although the book is very anti-diet and anti-restrictions, the nutritionist that recommended this book also recommended that I aim for 1850 calories a day and less than 30 grams of carbs per meal. Even while equipped with expert advice, I have not followed through.

Sometimes I get really down on myself about this situation, and feel like I'm setting my standards too low if I recognize any success in this battle when I don't actually have weight loss.  It seems like I fail so miserably at consistency and follow through. But that's when I have to remember to not just press on, but press on with grace. Its good to celebrate growth, even when it is coupled with disappointments in circumstance or disappointment in yourself.

If you can relate to this, make a list of the successes you've had in your nutrition. I'll show you mine.

1 - I eat infinitely more vegetables now. I now find myself feeling genuinely bummed if I don't have some greens, peppers or onion to add to my meal. (At first I just wanted to eat them to help me get full with less calories. That is still true, but I just feel more balanced now with them and it adds flavor.)

2 - Nutritional benefits and detriments are on my radar now. I used to really think what you ate didn't matter as long as you avoided gaining weight through monitoring calories. I'm starting to see what an impact different foods can have to make your life better - not just from getting skinny! (Recommendation for gut health - Keifer. It's almost yogurt, almost milk. You can drink it as a smoothie or add some fruit and granola. It has really helped me.)

3 - My love of physical movement is growing and I can tell I've gotten stronger. (This is thanks to the Modern and Jazz classes I am enrolled in. I also do Zumba. I'm sure I'll post about learning to love movement later.)

I'm deciding to press on and have faith that if I continue to grow and adjust old habits with grace, I will get to my goal weight when I am ready to maintain it. I'm on myfitnesspal (LiberatingGrace) if you want to join me in this journey! My missing link is probably accountability, maybe that's what you are missing too.


  1. I can definitely relate to the challenge of not seeing results. For me, it seems like I'm either working really hard and just maintaining, or I'm doing nothing and gaining weight! lol Anyway, I just thought I'd share my list of what motivates me to keep going!

    1. I stopped trying to do what everyone else is doing. I'm a very individualistic sort of person and when I try and jump on the bandwagon of whatever diet fad people are talking about, I find that it never sticks. I have to have very personal, deep rooted reasons for doing something in order to make it a permanent lifestyle change. I really like Bethenny Frankel's book Naturally Thin. She has some great tips and ways to look at food in a more balanced way. I can't say that I follow them to a T, but I have definitely reflected on them and used what works for me.

    2. I get bored easily, so I have to stay inspired in order to stay motivated. Whenever I find my fitness or nutrition routine getting stale, I get on Youtube or Pinterest to find creative ideas to try. I might also try out a random fitness class at the gym, or schedule a long walk with a friend. Generally, when I'm having fun getting moving and eating healthy is when I see the pounds come off.

    3. The most results I've seen so far in my fitness goals were the result of an investment in a fitbit. Not only does it motivate me to get moving, but it also makes me want to sleep better and stay hydrated, which are all very important to losing weight. It also has an app that lets me write down what I'm eating and it tells me when I'm about to hit my calorie budget.

    So that's my list! Good luck on your fitness journey! P.S. I am loving your song selections. ;)

  2. Oh I feel ya! I love your tips. Fitbit or fitbit equivalents are awesome. I used BodyMedia for awhile and it was really neat. Just keep pressing on!