I have been warned by some that what I'm doing now is probably not sustainable, and that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is slow and steady and everything in moderation.
These are exactly the kinds of things that I was advising folks to do a year ago. You know, when Weight Watchers was WORKING for me, and I was about to reach yet another new low weight by breaking out of the 150's. Yes, life was good. Yes, Weight Watchers worked for me.
...but did it really? I'm not writing this post to ditch Weight Watchers (NOT AT ALL) because I really do love it. Weight Watchers works. And for some people, it works for a lifetime.
I'm not one of them. For me, "everything in moderation" worked short term, and didn't actually help me to heal from my food addiction. Instead, I used the Weight Watchers plan as an excuse to binge weekly.
"These are my WEEKLY points, and YES I am allowed to eat them all at once if I want to, so that's why I'm allowed to binge!!!!"
"I haven't eaten ANY of my activity points, so that's why I'm allowed to binge!"I gave myself permission to have these "controlled" binges every week on Weight Watchers. And yes, by eating that way one can still lose about a pound a week as long as you are following the plan and exercising plenty.
But it just wasn't sustainable for me, and eventually I needed a break to try to get over my bingeing problem. I wasn't learning how to give up my binge-eating habit altogether while under the WeWa plan. So I tried other plans, including Intuitive Eating... but my binges would still continue.
I decided that perhaps a more restrictive plan could help me to overcome my obsession with certain trigger foods that for whatever reason I could not let go of, even though I knew that eating them would result in a binge.
My list of trigger foods, FYI:
1) chips and crackers (except salt-less ones like Wasa, I seem to be able to control myself around those)
2) cookies (usually oreos, but any vegan cookie will do)
3) pizza (Amy's roasted vegetable pizza or Pizza Hut no-cheese-crispy-crust-extra-veggies... I would ALWAYS eat the entire thing in one sitting.)
4) sugary cereal, or plain cereal with syrup added to it
5) bread or tortillas (entire package in one day is NOT unusual if it's in the house)
6) peanut butter (this is usually a last resort, if all other above foods were gone)
7) vegan ice cream (ditto what I said about peanut butter)
I'm sure that I'm missing some, but those are the biggies that helped me to regain half of the weight.
Oh yeah, here it is, my confession about how much weight I gained between September and February, up and down, but eventually up to: 183. That was my big, scary number on February 27th that I was too scared to tell you about.
I'm down to 172.6 (-10.4) in three weeks. During those weeks, I have only been officially following Eat to Live for two of them. The first week was me just trying to incorporate more ETL meals into my life while preparing for the new way of eating.
I'm on week 2 day 7 of ETL now. The first 6 weeks are the most restrictive, then it becomes a 90/10 plan, with 90% of the eating being the same as the first 6 weeks, and 10% being other foods. Dr. Fuhrman also mentions that it's okay to have a "cheat" as long as it doesn't happen more often than weekly.
I don't know how long I will go without my trigger foods, but I'm pretty sure it will be longer than the 6 weeks. I need to break the addiction to these foods.
So that, in a nutshell, is why I'm doing this restrictive plan instead of going back on Weight Watchers. At this point in my life, restriction is what I need.
Plus, I'm eating healthier than I've ever eaten before.
I'm considering trying another vegan diet after a couple of months on ETL, just to compare and to review. Maybe either the Ornish plan or the McDouggal plan?
I will continue to keep you all updated on how Eat to Live is going. For now, I'm pretty happy.
Look forward to another Tasty Tuesday tomorrow! Hopefully I'll have some new and exciting ETL recipe to share. :-)