Y’all, I hit another milestone the other day. I’m now officially 100 pounds lighter. (I don’t lose weight easily, but I have been losing it steadily. It might take me twice as long as someone else, but I’ll get there. Just think of me as the tortoise. 🙂 )
I hate, like hell, that I ever got that heavy/fat/morbidly obese. I think that a lot of us who have become morbidly obese use food as a coping mechanism. I think something happened in our pasts that was either so difficult to tolerate or to understand that we self-medicate to handle the feelings.
That’s what I did.
Sooner or later, however, you have to walk through the fire and handle the feelings.
I gradually learned to do that, but I was still stuck with the behavior about food. I had learned all these habits and they were deeply ingrained. Food was comfort. Food was respite from boredom. Food was entertainment. I didn’t realize that I was trying to lose weight while behaving the same way I did when I gained all that weight.
I won’t go into all the diets I tried (all of them) but in March of last year I changed my lifestyle to whole food, plant based.
One thing I started to do altered how I think about food. It was so sneaky I never even realized it was happening.
I downloaded Dr. Michael Greger’s Daily Dozen app. It’s free and it lists the foods you should eat every day to maintain optimum health.
Here’s a screenshot of a portion of it:
So, I started checking off the foods I ate. I had a hard time with the list at first because I wasn’t used to eating greens, beans, or veggies. I found it difficult to eat everything I SHOULD eat every day. I just wasn’t hungry enough.
However, after using the app for about six months I realized that I was looking at food differently.
If I had to eat two servings of greens and one cruciferous veggie, I couldn’t eat fruit first. I wouldn’t have room. I began eating those things I didn’t particularly like first so that I could check them off. Then the stuff I liked.
In other words, I was no longer eating what I wanted to eat. I was eating what I SHOULD eat.
I’ve never done that before.
Food was no longer a reward for me. I didn’t eat when I was bored because I was too full. I didn’t eat when I was unhappy or happy. Emotions had nothing to do with food. Neither did appetite, really. I ate because I needed to fill out the Daily Dozen. Three servings of legumes? Check. Two servings of greens? Check. Fruit? Check.
I think this mindset change has been the single greatest reason I’ve lost 100 pounds. There’s one other thing that happened, too, and I’ll tell you about that in my next Losing Weight post.