Saturday, July 24, 2010

NOT DEFENDING - JUST EXPLAINING

One of the things I love most about blogging is the myriad of experiences, perspectives, beliefs and skills that exist when it comes to weight loss / weight  management.

There is and always be those that live the body building lifestyle. They eat clean and enjoy treats / cheats depending on where they are in the competition cycle - off season = some cheats and / or treats; on season = very few, if any cheats / treats. Diet is usually pretty structured to strict and is followed to the letter (or pretty close to). Plus full blown train-til-you're-knocking-on-death's-door weight training and varying levels and types of cardio. Its pretty hard core but those that do it, usually love it and live and breathe it. Whilst that lifestyle is not my choice now (I have done it once) I still admire and respect those that choose it.

At the other end of the spectrum are the intuitive eaters who have successfully tuned into their bodies needs both physically, emotionally and spiritually and follow their instincts / intuitions about what, how much and when to eat. They are not bound by meal times, prescribed diet plans  and a list of shoulds / should nots. They choose exercise they enjoy and claim that this approach gives them a a sense of freedom, liberation, true enjoyment of and appreciation for life (and much more I'm sure).

I have sat at both ends of the spectrum although I dont believe that I truly mastered either one. The body building lifestyle didnt suit me and put a huge strain on my marriage and home life. At one stage I was so obsessed with my diet that I would weigh every morsel of food, write it down, enter it on CalKing, analyse it and stress over my macros like it was the most important thing in the world. I could not share a meal because I wouldnt know how much of each ingredient I was eating therefore I couldnt analyse it. If thats not insanity then I dont know what is.

About this time last year I made a commitment to never diet again and started my own journey to intuitive eating - or I prefer to call it "mindful eating". (There is a myriad of reasons why 100% intuitive eating just doesnt work from a practical perspective for me). I've had my ups and downs. I've learnt a lot and come a long way. And those who read my blog regularly will know that it hasnt all been smooth sailing and there have been many stormy seas to navigate. I'm proud to say that I did find balance and that my sould destroying binging did reduce. However I havent said a final farewell to it yet.

But the truth and reality is that lately the pendulum has swung too far into the relaxed eating side of the equation and I have the extra kilos weighing me down, making a lot of my clothes too tight and making me feel blaaah. I need to shift the pendulum back to a place where those kilos come off and stay off. I have never been a happy fat person and this itself has often motivated me to keep my weight at or below a certain level. This is not  a bad thing.

So my plan is to eat mainy clean unprocessed foods, train for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 x / week and keep the treats well under control. Yes I will impose some personal rules about what I eat and how often as I've found that the lack of those rules has got me where I am now. I wont be following a strict diet. I wont be recording and analysing everything but I will be gearing my lifestyle up for weight loss.

I do agree 100% that we each need to find what works for us. There is no one size fits all solution. I've read some self help books that others raved about  and that got brilliant reviews and they were totally lost on me. I came away thinking that I just didnt get it. Some other self help books have been brilliant eye openers and have made a difference to my life. As for what works for me - well I'm still discovering it and mastering it as I go. I just know that I'm not alone on this journey. If weight loss and maintenance was simple and easy, then squillions of people around the world wouldnt finding it so challenging to master. Hail to those that have discovered the secret, found their answers and are living the exact life they want.

:-) Magda

7 comments:

Kek said...

Happy (belated) birthday Magda!

We all need to find what works for us. I'm totally with you in needing some structure and discipline in my life (and I'm not just talking about food, either). But I also need some flexibility, the freedom to say f*ck it! and do something completely unplanned now and then. Feeling as though you're imprisoned isn't a good thing, having self-imposed boundaries is.

It was one thing I discovered about myself last year during my soul-searching: routine and structure are important to me. Without them, I faff around and achieve zero. Maybe that explains a lot about my love of lists and my almost neurotic fear of being late... ;)

Chelle said...

Hey magda, it seems like we are on a similar 'food/weight-loss journey'! I too have been a self- obsessed food nazi in the past (partially due to bodybuilding diets that were given to me- though i'm totally aware of healthier approaches now!).

This year i am on a mission to create balance in my lifestyle -food,training and mind. I'm dabbling with 'mindful eating', incorporating intermittant fasting and trying to break free of the dreaded BINGE!

I do believe that in getting to our 'happy place' there needs to be some degree of structure/rules/routine or else we won't MAINTAIN it once we get there!

I've got a nutrition science degree and trust me, weight-loss is NOT easy lol! Its very individual. All the best in your journey of finding balance =)

琬安琬安 said...

每日都有新日光,每日都有新希望。.......................................................

Kristy said...

Magda great post. It is tricky finding what works for us, but important to keep trying... I am about to right a post about where I am at

Kristy

Charlotte Orr said...

Nice post Magda - I certainly understand the not sharing food comments. Best wishes, Charlotte

Magda said...

Many thanks for your comments and support guys (and birthday wishes). Now to get down to work!!

Cheers

Magda

Alicia said...

Oooh a belated happy birthday! I totally applaud your decision. After years of the BB dieting yoyo, I'm TRYING to be a bit more relaxed with eating. After all, we only have one life, why be restrictive 24/7?