Once Upon a Fat Girl

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cherry Garcia and How Normal People Eat

Learning how to listen to my body's signals has been real interesting. For instance--cardio exercise supresses my appetite somewhat. After riding the stationary bike or walking, I'm not hungry for a while.

But weight training? Oh boy--before I'm even done, I'm starved. Last night I ate three servings of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt. Not exactly a binge--because really, can 1.5 cups of anything constitute a binge? And also because with every bite I was paying attention to whether or not I was still hungry. I'd eaten a nice dinner a couple of hours before. Not a binge then--but definitely an indulgence. Luckily, at about 16 percent fat, it isn't the worst indulgence in the world.

Anyway, the most important thing is that at the end of the day I looked back over my Calorie King food diary--and I noticed that despite my Ben and Jerry's dessert, I stayed in my calories for the day. (I try to eat about 2000 a day, but I have an upper limit for myself of 2300 for days when I'm just really hungry, and that's where I ended up yesterday. The day before, after two days of heavy cardio, I only ate 1500.) It feels really good to realize that I'm starting to eat more normally. I knew I'd want that ice cream last night, so I ate less at dinner without even really noticing it. And I waited until I was hungry again to eat the B&J. Just two months ago, I would have gone out and found the nearest Big Mac Value Meal with a side of apple pie to go with my ice cream--because, if I'm going to 'break my diet' I might as well do it up big, right?

I'm not going to the gym today. I'm really tired, and I think I'm maybe over doing it a little today. I'm thinking of getting Adrienne and Nick outside with me to wash our new car--which will keep me from spending the whole day sitting right here in front of the computer.

I've been reading Bob Greene's Get With The Program. I figure if he could whip Oprah into shape, he might have something good to say about exercise. And mostly, he does. He advocates starting out small, and building on that. Which is what I've been doing--so you know, validation and all that.

I'm not sure about his nutritional advice. Especially the advice to stop eating at 7 p.m. That feels too much like a diet rule to me, and I'm going to choose to ignore that part. Otherwise, he doesn't tell readers to cut calories by a lot. Just to manage meals--eat a good breakfast, a moderate lunch, a snack, a moderate dinner, and if you're hungry another snack. He says that if you're hungry at other times, it's because you aren't managing your meals properly. You know--breakfast should be hearty enough to last you until lunch, etc. I'm not sure about this. It sounds good, but I noticed that it brought up my old dieting emotions.

I was talking to my best friend, Carol, yesterday about how much weight I've lost. And I was telling her that dieting has made me fat. Which is funny, because I really haven't been on THAT many diets. They've made me fat, because just the idea of one--just reading about Atkins or Nutri-system or Weight Watchers or whatever--just picking up the newest diet book--historically triggers huge binging for me. What? No chocolate--better to run to the store and buy a fist full of Snickers, because I won't be able to eat them on my diet.

Only, for the most part, I wouldn't even ever start the diet!

So Carol said, "I hope you don't burn out." She knows me so well. I tend to go like hell in the beginning of anything, and then just stop. But I told her--what will I burn out on? Even if I stop going to the gym, I'll keep losing weight. More slowly, but it will come off. Because I'm only working off about a pound of fat a week--I'm losing two to three.

Will I burn out on eating 2000 to 2300 calories a day? Nah. I never deprive myself, I never feel overly hungry. And I indulge on Cherry Garcia as needed. I'm truly not on a diet--I'm just eating like a normal person.


Blogger kathrynoh said...

I'm so with you on the diet thing - I never actually dieted but read about them all, then felt deprived at the thought so pigged out. I'd buy diet magazines then curl up on the couch with a big cake of chocolate reading them!

Eating like a normal person rocks. And I don't think you'll burn out on the gym. I used to think that about myself but the trick is to keep changing what you do - even if you quit the gym for a while and do other exercise.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Eating like a normal person :) I love that phrase. That's exactly what I'm working on. If we stay within a normal calorie range and keep exercising it will all be good. :)

8:44 PM  

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