Monday, June 27, 2011

Confession: I'm going back to calorie-counting (for now)

Well...  as much as I really wanted to be an Intuitive Eater, I've come to (once again!) accept that I'm just not ready for it.

I gained again.  It's almost too depressing for me to even admit to you how much, after a week of pure IE, but okay- it was 2.2 pounds.  So in the last two weeks of Intuitive Eating, I have managed to regain 5 entire pounds.

I got a new scale, and it said that I was back up to 153!!!!!!!!!!!!  So that's what I'm tracking my weight as now.  A gain of almost 10 pounds since I hit my goal of 144. 

And that is just too scary for me to continue. 

I have to go back to tracking.  I have decided to not go back to Weight Watchers, simply because that's just too diet-y for me right now, and I'd like to do a combination of IE and dieting...  If that's possible!

So I signed up for My Fitness Pal and have been basically doing IE but with tracking for the last few days.

So I'm still listening to my hunger signals and choosing foods that I like (about 80% really ridiculously healthy options, with 20% processed/junk foods right now... yes I'd like to increase the former to 90% at some point) but with limits.

I feel bad about giving up on Intuitive Eating again.  However, for me, it just wasn't working!  A reader of mine, Kate from This is Not  Diet, said something to me that really made me think:  "I think the only way to "eat whatever you want" and not gain weight is if you don't "want" to overeat or eat a lot of junk."

And I do still want to eat junk and I still want to overeat.  I don't know why I still want to do those things, but I do.  So I need the accountabity of calorie-counting for now.  I'm going to give My Fitness Pal three months of commitment, that is my plan.  My birthday is October 7, and according to MFP, I will have reached my weight loss goal by then, and will be working towards maintenance again, which is where I want to be!  :-)

So I hope that you all understand, my dear readers.  I didn't want to give up on IE, but I've just discovered that I am not yet ready to be a true IE-er.  IE just wasn't good for me at this point in my life.

With that in mind, I must remember one of the affirmations from my box of affirmations

"Walking away from something that is bad for you is not giving up."

I still 100% believe in Intuitive Eating, and will go back to it eventually, but for now...  I need to work some stuff out.  And part of that journey will include counting calories for the food that I eat and the exercise that I do.  And I'm okay with that.

still on a journey...


Cyn said...

I think you have to make the choice that is the absolute best for you -- and man oh man can I relate to this!!!!! I want to eventually be at the same point -- eating and being healthy without a second thought. But I suppose I cannot expect to undo in two years what it took me 20+ years to do!
I really think you WILL get to the IE point you want to be -- maybe now just isn't the time -- and kudos to you for recognizing and acknowledging that!
And your affirmation is AMAZING!!!!
You are SUCH an inspiration Leah whether you track calories or not!

Anonymous said...

MFP is what I use when I calorie count now too.
I think I've come to the conclusion, after 30 years of wishing I could eat whatever and not gain weight- I can't. I do think about food often. What I'm going or eat (or not eat) how much, what my workout will be, whether I should eat more because of it, what I will order if I have to go out to eat with coworkers... Etc. I think this is the new normal. I think that if I want to maintain my weight loss- I will have to always think about what I'm eating. I'm maintaining now without CC, but not without thought.
You hear this a lot among dieters "I can't wait until I don't have to think about this anymore." Mistake. You will always have to think about it. Maybe that's depressing (not to me) but it's reality. The percentage of people who keep off a major weight loss is extremely small. I've read that 90% of people gain it back. It's not going to be easy. I've accepted this and I'm moving on with life knowing full well that if I stop paying attention, I'll stop maintaining.
Now about that junk food. I really do think that one of the things that is making this work for me is that I just don't eat junk food 95% of the time, I'm convinced that eating real, nutritious, whole food, has a different effect on the mind and body than eating processed stuff. The processed stuff keeps you hungry and craving more. Minimize it and I think you might find things get easier.
Good luck, Leah, I know you can do it! Allow your mind to change about the value/desirability of junk food. It will help you so much in the long run,

melissa said...

you do what you need to do! there is nothing wrong with counting. (and you share a birthday with my hubby!)

CJ said...

Do what you need to do, and what works best for you! Not everything works for everyone because everyone has different issues relating to food. I've tried counting/tracking in the past, and have lost lots, but regain when I quit counting/tracking. So this time, I am doing maybe what would be a cross between dieting and IE... I eat whenever I am hungry until I am no longer hungry, but I never eat until I am "full". This usually ends up being every 2-3 hours from 7am to 8pm. And I eat whatever I want ~ from a list of healthy items. I keep my house stocked with good choices so I have variety at my fingertips. I don't count calories, or keep track of how many servings I've had of this or that, because I don't want to be dependent on counting/tracking. So far so good. I look forward to watching you lose those 5 pounds!

Megan said...

You've gotta make the right choice for you! If someone is disappointed because you aren't ready for IE, then too bad for them. This is YOUR journey, and no one can tell you how to do it.

BTW, friend me on MFP - megangwen314 :)

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Do whatever feels right for you, Leah. The switch to IE is very slow.

My guess is you can still practice most aspects of IE when calorie-counting: mindfulness/eating without distractions, tuning into what you really feel like eating, distinguishing when you're physically hungry and when it's some other type of hunger...

My eating, when I'm not in binge-mode, is much like CJ (the previous commenter). I don't tally up numbers of things or write things down, but I also keep myself accountable.

You'll pull through this adjustment period just fine - just make sure you're being nice to yourself.

These 5 pounds are a blip - anyone who's maintaining their weight would have this type of fluctuation in the space of a month.

Anonymous said...

Oh one other thing: calorie counting or not, I still use the "only eat when I'm hungry" principle. I think that's the most important one. Also, add me on MFP :) curiouskate is my handle.

LabelSnob said...

Hey Leah! Don't be discouraged! At least you recognized you needed to make a change and move on! And I 100% feel exactly like I think about food WAY too often and as soon as I stopped thinking about my food I started eating things I shouldn't have and now I've put back on half the weight I lost with WW and I am having the hardest time getting it back off. I tried going back on WW and did the program for 3 months and hardly lost anything. Now I have a food log I use to keep track of my calories, fat, protein and sugar and I'm going to see how that goes...
AARRRGG why does it have to be so hard!?
Good Luck on MFP and let us know how it goes!!!

Jetty said...

Hey, I just found your blog on the big interwebs. Your pictures are inspiring! I relate to what you're going through... not wanting to be "counting" your whole life and just be able to eat food and not gain weight.

Good luck finding the balance!

Mariebop said...

I think using My Fitness Pal is a great idea. You can still use the principles of IE. MFP will just make you aware of where you need to make changes.

Rae Jeannine said...

I have used myfitnesspal in the past and really like that site for tracking. I just went back to it as well after failing at IE for similar reasons. I think different things work for different people, it is just a matter of finding what works for you. Some people do great with IE and others need to track via calories or pointsplus or do some other healthy method of managing food whatever it may be.

I added you on my my fitness pal account :). Still have to update my weight on mine and not looking forward to weighing in :(. I hope you and I can help each other reach where we want to go, I think you can do this and so can I.

Katie said...

Leah, I am really glad you posted this! I had a similar experience with IE the first time I tried it. I viewed it as sort of a guilt free all you can eat buffet. Of course, that didn't work out so well ;)

Here's what I have started to think (on good days). If I love and respect my body, I'll treat it with the respect it deserves, which means eating when I'm hungry, eating things that will nourish me, and eating yummy treats (in moderation). Maybe that's not quite intuitive eating...

Of course, I still count points to make sure that my portions are in check and I'm eating the appropriate amount. But I hope with time, my body will adjust more to the correct portion sizes.

Your progress is so amazing! I'm so inspired by everything you do =)

Beyond Willpower said...

I find IE impossible. I'm just too 'addicty' when it comes to eating, I need that added accountability. I'm not sure if I will ever be an IEer, but it doesn't matter much to me either. Doing what works is not failure, some addicts need to go to meetings forever, and some just go on with their lives. I feel like tracking is my 'meeting' and as long as I'm doing what I need to do to get by, there is no shame in that. Good luck with getting to maintenance. You can do it. :D

Jennifer said...

"Walking away from something that is bad for you is not giving up."