This Arbonne thing is an example of a thing I do pretty frequently— I have an idea about something and I go ahead and test it, to see if it is what I think it is. A few years ago, I decided I just needed to exercise more, not change my eating. Doing triathlons, I discovered that I was eating enough to offset the exercise and even gaining weight. I had been telling myself that “calories in/calories out” doesn’t work for me. So I tracked my calories and lost weight. I’ve had a few theories (about eating more whole foods, about where my calories were coming from, how hard it would be), and testing them simultaneously means that causality is difficult to determine, but here are some observations:
- I lost about five pounds right away, but it’s fairly clear that was water-weight.
- I wish I had tracked calories. It was overwhelming at the beginning, so I didn’t ask it of myself, but I don’t have a great sense for whether I’m eating fewer calories or not.
- I’m still losing inches pretty regularly. Given how much I’m restricting refined carbs, I’d expect to be losing around my waist a little faster.
- Cooking three meals a day and virtually eliminating convenience foods requires focus, but it’s not as hard or as expensive as I thought. Just time-consuming. But even less time-consuming, meal-to-meal, than I’d have thought.
- I thought meal planning would bring out the rebel in me, but it’s been a huge help.
- Meal replacement shakes have improved fairly significantly since I last tried them.
- My habit is to drink a shake, maybe have some nuts and fruit in the morning, eat a healthy lunch, drink the detox tea early afternoon, drink the fizzy water about 3 p.m., have dinner and maybe some cherries and pistachios after dinner. It’s very workable, and I think I’m eating fewer times a day, whether or not I’m eating fewer calories.
- Cheese is really the thing I miss most. We’re not eating beef or bread or sugar/sweetener-added or white potatoes, but cheese is the thing I miss. I eat a lot of it in my regular life, and would have thought I’d have dropped weight just by eliminating that.
- Quitting diet Coke cold turkey meant a day with a headache, a day with a light headache, and then done. I have told myself for years that I needed to taper or I’d suffer and have unworkable cravings. I didn’t. My bias is that I’d like to let it be a treat in my life, but I’m not sure whether I can reintroduce it and not go back to full-on addiction. I’d like to leave it as a treat— where I could have one at the movies or one a week or something. Gretchen Rubin talks about Abstainers and Moderators. In most things, I’m a Moderator. I want the option to have the occasional piece of birthday cake, rather than forsaking it forever. But she’s right that for some of us, “just having a little” isn’t something we can manage, and we might need to quit it entirely. I’ll need to come up with rules about it that I can apply consistently, or I’ll find myself back in addiction-ville. The good thing is that I got clear that I didn’t need the caffeine to wake up, which I’d told myself I did.
- I’ve spent a lot of time thinking that if I would just eat with more discipline, my weight would come right into line. My story has been that my Chick-fil-a addiction explains my weight. Maybe, a little, but generally speaking, it seems like there must be more to it than that.
In another area, I thought going quiet with Grey Area Guy might motivate him to ask me what was going on. It didn’t. He sent me impersonal stuff a couple of times in the first couple of weeks that I was quiet, then some pictures from an event I’d thought we might go to together, then nothing for almost a month. He started blowing up my phone last night, late, with random chatter about sports. I had a meeting this morning and didn’t want to engage with him before then. I responded neutrally to one of his texts a few hours ago. No response. I had this idea that I’d offer him closure. I’ve been feeling bad because I didn’t intend to ghost, but I didn’t know what to say that wouldn’t suck, so I didn’t say anything. Now I know I intend to say “listen, I care about you, but I’m no longer convinced that we’re at all working toward a future together. And that’s fine. But I need to close this door so that I can clearly see my future. I wish you all the best, but I need to be done.” But apparently, we’re going to play a game, instead. Which doesn’t make me think that I was wrong about walking away. If he needs to walk away first, mazel tov to him. I don’t need to be the dump-er, I just need to be done.