Psychology of Weight Loss

My experiment with the Slow Carb Diet recently reminded me how much of weight loss is Mental.


I was opposed to the diet for a lot of reasons, the big one being that it said no fruit. I went into the diet expecting to fail, expecting to crave fruit, expecting to be miserable. Because I set myself up for that negativity, I did feel that way the first day. I was resentful of the diet. I craved strawberries and blueberries. All I wanted was to eat a bunch of sugar and REBEL. After the first day I realized I needed to change my attitude and give it a fair try. I was much happier, and felt much more satisfied as a result of that mental shift.

When Michael and I went out to dinner during the Four Hour Body Diet to Stanford’s we ordered the perfect dinner on the Diet. We were both satisfied, happy with what we ate, and were able to indulge in a little red wine (allowed on the diet). But on the drive home, Michael admitted that he wanted a nice piece of chocolate dessert afterward. I was SHOCKED. Michael NEVER craves dessert. He said, “It was the perfect meal: nice steak, red wine, it needed chocolate cake at the end of the meal.” And I felt the same way! We both wished we could have had some chocolate. Funny how your cravings change when you are denying yourself food.

If no one sees you eat it, the calories don’t count! FALSE!


As soon as you realize you are on a “DIET,” the natural thing to do is want to rebel, to cheat, to splurge. The Four Hour Body Diet reiterated what I already knew: The way I lost weight WORKED.

Before -- 250 pounds
After -- 143 Pounds

This is not to say that my way is the only way, or that my way is superior. However, I didn’t deny myself any food on my “diet.” If I craved sugar, I ate it. I found lower calorie options that I could indulge in, and still stay within my calorie range for the day. I never felt unsatisfied or denied when I was trying to lose my 100 pounds.

 

I’d crave cheesecake but instead of going 500+ calories over my daily allotment, I’d have a lower calorie dessert (like a Smart Ones frozen dessert) for 150 calories. Was it the same as a decadent cheesecake? No. Did it satisfy my sugar craving? Yes. With my calorie counting I was able to enjoy food without sabotaging every effort I had.

How many of you readers have started a diet and felt confident for the first week, then slowly lost your excitement for it? And eventually you gave up? It’s common. The way I stayed committed to my goal of losing 100 pounds was the fact that I had health concerns that were pretty serious. That was enough of a motivation for me to stay committed.

Instead of dieting, it must be a lifestyle change. My old lifestyle was very sedentary: I spent weekends watching movies and TVs on the couch binge eating. I ate a lot of fast food, I didn’t cook, I didn’t exercise, I didn’t eat proper portions.

My lifestyle now is completely different. I am too busy to be sedentary. Fitness is a huge part of my life. I grew to love biking, hiking, running. Swimming is something I will never give up. I watch my portions. I learned how to cook. I limit fast food to just a few times a year.

Weight loss is probably 25% physical, 25% diet and 50% mental. The mental aspect of it is where you will find your FAILURE or your SUCCESS. If you want it bad enough, nothing will stop you.

QUESTION: What mental aspect is holding you back? How can you change that?

Manual Labor Saturday


This time I was smart: I took my Claratin BEFORE spending hours in the yard. Not that it helped all that much. Tell me: Why did I kick my butt in the gym Saturday morning? Spending most of Saturday doing manual labor was probably exercise enough! First, Michael and struggled to install his new Yakima Skybox. This was after struggling for over an hour in the REI parking lot Friday night to get it to work right. Grrr…


But it finally worked. And it will be great for camping gear this summer (and snowshoeing gear in the winter). I fixed us nachos for lunch. There was absolutely no nutritional value in our lunch. Well, maybe fiber in the refried black beans. 😛 (Chopped jalapenos, red onion, black olives, yellow bell peppers plus salsa, bean dip, sour cream. YUM)


Then the hours of manual labor continued. This time? The front yard. To combat the never-ending weed pulling, we put down weed killer, this tarp-like liner and then covered everything with bark. The first batch was 6 bags of bark. Then we had to go back to the store for 8 more bags. The front yard looks soooo much better!


Hauling around huge, heavy bags of bark all afternoon was definitely a workout. Seriously. If you’re trying to get fit and hate going to the gym, I suggest having a garden. It’s hours of labor. I was sweaty by the time we were done. It felt so good to accomplish something though!

BEFORE:

Not Very Pretty
Liner to Prevent WEEDS!!

AFTER:

SO PRETTY!!


Doesn’t it look so much better?? The weeds better stay away too. I’m on a mission to not have to pull any weeds, dammit.


It felt so good to finish one project. There’s a few more spots in the front we need to put bark down on but it will have to wait until next weekend I think. Then we will continue to tackle the backyard and the vegetable garden. I bought a basil plant and planted that with the rosemary in the herb garden. I hope that they all flourish where I planted them.

After all the back-breaking work, we cleaned up and then fixed pizza. For the sausage and peppers half, I used the leftover Pickled Goat Horn Peppers from Michael’s surprise birthday Four Course Meal. I was reminded how AMAZING those little peppers are! They are so delicious and went perfectly on the pizza!


I had one slice of the sausage and peppers pizza (I wanted two more slices of it!) and two slices of the Hawaiian pizza.


And Michael and I shared some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies while we watched “Black Swan.” Holy crap was that a freaky, weird movie!

QUESTION: What did you think of Black Swan?