To say that I struggle with my weight would be an understatement.
In addition to changing my diet and exercising, I have tried countless diet pills, juices, and fads over the years. In fact, the first time I lied about my age wasn’t to get into an R-rated movie, impress a boy, or buy cigarettes; it was to buy diet pills at GNC.
About six years ago I decided that the best way to diet was to simply count calories, eat healthy, and go to the gym every day. And it worked. In the course of a summer I lost about 15 pounds.
And I was living off roughly 1000 calories a day.
At the time, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I was thrilled that the weight was coming off like that! And I reveled in the days that I made it all 24 hours on less than 1000 calories. It became a game.
A very dangerous game.
I should have known that it wasn’t sustainable. That summer I was living at home, not going out much (if at all), and working more than 40 hours a week.
I had no life, but by god I was skinny!
And then it all went to shit when I re-entered the real world by studying abroad and going back to college. The pounds came creeping back on and I became more and more frustrated, and more and more restrictive with my diet – an unfortunate method that has had lasting effects.
Not only had I severely slowed my metabolism, according to the nutritionist I was instructed to see, but my entire view of food was warped. I’d eat the occasional cheese fries (because my self-control was also shot), but I’d constantly be thinking about what I couldn’t have because of that indulgence. Or how many miles I’d have to do to balance it out. I thought of foods as expensive (lots of calories) and cheap (not so many), and it was exhausting.
I’ve been dieting for 6+ years without ever again seeing the number on the scale that I saw that first summer. And it made me feel like I was failing.
Because now, at the risk of sounding like a commercial, I’m on Weight Watchers. BNF and I have been doing it for the past month (inspiration: less than five months ’til the wedding!) and we’re actually seeing noticeable results. The difference between these results, though, and the ones from six years ago is that I don’t feel like I’m punishing myself this time around.
I’m not so much restricting what I eat; I’m just making better choices. As a calorie-counter, I would have limited the fruit I ate during the day because it adds up. As a points-counter, I’ve been snacking on fruit and veggies so much that the amount we buy never makes it through the week. That’s a good problem to have.
I’m finally happy with this method, and I haven’t really been able to say that since I started my dieting career.
While part of that happiness is spurred by the number on the scale, I ultimately just feel better in my own skin.
And that never happened with the calorie-counting.