Being a Weight Watcher all my adult life, post babies, I’ve asked myself many times….why hasn’t all this “know how” cured me yet? Well, it’s math, baby. 3+1
Journeys are not straight lines. The shortest distance from Point A to Point B may very well be a straight line, but journeys are not really about distance. Journeys are about skills and adaptation. “I want to lose 112 pounds”. That’s my journey. Let’s Go To Point B! Come on, I’m motivated. Let’s go. Let’s go now!!
Well, Ok Diane. Then you can start WW and start tracking and follow your points system and go to the Workshops every week, and lose 40. Then maybe you’ll start running and training and run 5Ks and a Half Marathon and even go for broke and train for a marathon and lose 80! Woohoo!. But then…you may get burned out and need a break, so you’ll stop running…and….ugh…gain back 50. Then maybe you’ll hurt your left knee and get sad and quit on yourself…and gain 16 more. Grrr. Where’d that Point B go again? What happened?
It’s easy. I didn’t build skills for the long term. I didn’t adapt. That’s what happened. Come on, let’s go back home. Home to the dictionary…..
Adapt: to make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify.
Did I make myself suitable for a new purpose? Did I modify myself? Heck no…I just added a running schedule with tons and tons of weekly miles and an exciting new goal to my schedule. It was a temporary (at best) mask set atop of my poor eating habits. I wasn’t making this mistake on purpose. I wasn’t trying to short cut my progress. I think, looking back at it, I fooled myself into believing I had changed. But really all I had done was concealed my bad behaviors with unsustainable new ones, effectively concealing my eating for a time. But the ratio of running to eating was unsustainable. The house of cards had to come tumbling down…and my weight loss successes evaporated right from under me…taking all the good beliefs I had built about myself with it.
The Nutrition talk with David and Abby wasn’t some complicated, “get your composition notebook out” kinda session. He had 3 simple devices that almost felt….impossibly simple. The only trick was YOU HAD TO DO THEM. No problem, I am a.c.t.i.o.n!
- Go home tonight and find 500 calories you can cut from your diet every day. This was easy really. I decided to cut out pasta and potatoes and sugar. Cutting sugar was miraculous. Once I got passed two weeks….my cravings disappeared. I had flipped a switch and found balance in my life. THIS WAS LIFE CHANGING!
- Follow his Yes/No List. Eat the YES foods and Don’t Eat the NO Foods. I found this fairly easy too. I had been slowly moving toward eating whole foods. I had tried Whole 30 once before, but found it very hard because of all that it took away from my diet. But I really enjoyed using the whole foods lists to select foods. I was tracking my food diary on my WW app, counting points and weighing and measuring for portion control. All of this worked well together for me. More balance.
- Adopt 3+1 eating. This one…..was the final puzzle piece that clicked it all into place.
This is complicated math, so take an aspirin and lean in and read closely.
Eat 3 meals..a day. And IF you are still hungry, add 1 snack.
Then. Stop. Eating.
3 meals and 1 snack. Um. Ok. But. No. No But. That’s it. Math Lesson Over.
This was about learning to Not Eat. Now that doesn’t mean Dieting. It’s about dividing your day into “Time to Eat” and “Not Time to Eat”. Something I had never really learned to do. If I every even thought I was getting close to getting hungry…better eat an apple. Don’t let yourself get hungry…or you might go crazy and eat a cow! That’s what years and years of diet mentality does to you. It takes an already unhealthy relationship with food and twists you into even more of a pretzel, until you don’t know when to eat, what to eat, how to eat, or if you should eat. So, in conclusion, just eat. Eat 3 protein based meals a day, and add 1 snack if you need it. Then – call it a day and do it again tomorrow.
So I learned to bulk up my 3 meals. If I would normally eat my breakfast and then have a banana an hour or so later, I would eat that banana with my protein filled breakfast and then that was it until lunch. Then at lunch, I would eat a protein centered lunch (usually leftovers) and add that apple or greek yogurt to my lunch. Then that was it until dinner. Then at dinner, same protein centered meal, with vegetables and brown rice. Then, that was it until tomorrow.
I did add the snack to my day around 2-3pm. A turkey pepperoni stick, or a coffee protein shake, or a greek yogurt with home made cranberry smash. You get the picture. I learned to eat 3 solid meals plus 1 snack a day. Then I learned how Not To Eat, the rest of the time. Soon, I stopped thinking about food during the no eating hours. Soon, the after dinner fast-food tv commercials stopped bothering me.
Soon… I lost 70 pounds, from 3+1 eating and kettlebells 3Xs a week for 4 months.
And I’m not running myself into the ground, and I’m not starving myself and I’m not missing out on pizza night every Saturday with my family.
So far…so good. 42 more pounds to Point B!
Come back soon…I just thought of something else important!
Ciao for now…Diane