What is the simplest secret to losing weight? "Eat less; move more."
I've got the "move more" part pretty well under control at this point. I'm exercising regularly and making solid progress with my running. I can feel myself growing stronger and more fit.
When it comes to "eat less," however, there is no control whatsoever, and this is why I'm not losing weight.
Please don't mistake this for a whiny pity party. I'm not crying "WHY am I not losing weight??" I know exactly why I'm not losing, and the truth is I haven't actually been trying to lose. My focus has been on getting back into running (and swimming, and eventually biking) because I enjoy those activities and because fitness is about more than just weight loss to me.
What I was hoping was that as I started moving more and more, the extra calories I was burning would result in a very tiny but progressive amount of weight loss. As my weight has stalled at 216 lbs. despite my longer and more frequent runs, I'm realizing that my eating habits are simply too bad to be overcome by this modest amount of exercise.
For a long time, the lack of weight loss didn't bother me much. Like I said, my focus was elsewhere. The past month has brought about a change of attitude though, due to two main factors:
1. My baby turned one. When you celebrate your baby's first birthday, you have to face the fact that you can no longer call any lingering extra weight "baby fat." At that point, it's nothing more than "bad habit fat." There's a common saying about baby weight: "Nine months up, nine months down." In other words, you gain the weight gradually, so you can't expect to lose it instantly as soon as your baby is born. I get that, and have never expected to return to pre-pregnancy weight right away. Once you hit 12 months, though, and you weigh more than you did a couple of weeks after delivery, there is something else going on.
2. The weather got hot. When the weather got hot, I pulled out all the summer clothes I could find and discovered that almost everything was too small. I have a very limited summer wardrobe that fits me at this size, aside from maternity clothes. Having to wear maternity clothes when I'm not pregnant has been pretty damaging to my psyche in recent years, and I just couldn't bring myself to go down that road again. I tried to make do with the few items of clothing I had that fit, but it got too difficult and I had to pull out a few maternity shirts and shorts. How depressing. Shorts with a giant stretchy panel for a belly that shouldn't be this big without a baby in it were the straw that broke the camel's back.
It is time.
Please don't bombard me with your very best diet and nutrition tips. I may ask for recipes or other ideas at a later time, but I don't need that right now. I know how to eat better. I know what I need to do. For me, it's a matter of making the conscious choice to start making conscious choices. Make sense? I just have to get my head in the game and do what I know needs to be done. So I'm shifting the exercise side into auto-pilot for a bit (I'm in a good routine now, so I should be able to keep chugging along with little mental effort required.), allowing me to focus on nutrition and moderation and mostly good choices.
I am making a big dramatic announcement about this because I need to commit in some official way. The thing is, I hate to do this. I don't want to become completely obsessed with losing weight, because life is just too short to let a scale determine your daily mood. At the same time, I don't want to wear maternity clothes anymore. I don't even want to wear my "fat" clothes anymore. I have boxes full of perfectly decent clothes just a couple sizes smaller than I am now, and I want to wear them!! There is only one way to make that happen, and it's to work on BOTH parts of "Eat less; move more." I'm ready to do that now....even if it means eating a teensy bit less cake.