I realized today that March marks the 2nd anniversary of a part of my fitness journey, not the beginning, not the end, but something more important that has been the key to success for me…. and something that probably saved me a lot of struggle and perhaps health issues later on.
If you’ve read my post about how “it all started” I shared with you that (even tho I would never recommend this and am glad I was able to divert myself away from it) I started my weightloss with “food” packets totalling about 1000 calories a day. I purchase a large box of “food” to get ready for my big diet – it was expensive and the box was filled with foil-lined packets of manufactured food. You added water and drank it or added water and microwaved it… the portions were laughable – literally… the first day I opened my lunch and laughed (mostly to keep from crying as I had committed to eating this mini portion of foods for 8 weeks). I wish I’d taken a picture…
Yep I had purchased 8 weeks worth of meals and besides a meat/lettuce salad for dinner I ONLY ate from that supply. I figured I could live through anything for 8 weeks AND (mistakenly) thought that after 8 weeks I’d be all done and could resume a normal life. I’ll be honest though, it turned out to be not sooooo bad. I ate 6 times a day so I really wasn’t hungry despite the very small portions. The meals had a balance of protein and carbs in them which I hope did some good. I ate a HUGE salad for dinner every night so it got me eating vegetables. And losing 2-3 pounds per week made the suffering not so painful
Coming to the end of the 8 weeks I realized I was no where near my weight loss goal (though I lost 20 pounds during that time – I just wasn’t where I wanted to be). BUT I could not fathom spending that much money again on my food supply so I started calculating and researching and figuring out what it was about that food that was working so well. Looking at the content it became clear it was calories and something to do with protein. How was I going to maintain the calories and content of those packets with REAL FOOD? …. and that is where this anniversary comes in!
To be honest at that time my main concern was to save money and still be able to get to my goal. But looking back I am grateful for that because it got me eating real food and STILL losing weight – which I think I’d half-way convinced myself wasn’t possible. Instead of sitting idly by, I took matters into my own hands and I LEARNED… and I haven’t stopped since! Also – what I consume now is easily 4 times the volume of what I was eating then – no more teeny tiny lunches for this girl!
I learned about calories and protein (and later carbs and fat and hormones) which gave me the tools to continue to lose weight and start working on my fitness without waiting for someone else to package something up for me. I also learned a little later on about eating ENOUGH calories. Those 1000 calorie days sure made the weight drop fast but continuing to do that could have seriously impacted my metabolism making it impossible to keep off. I did infact reach plateaus which only broke when I added in more food, not less. My philosophy on calories, hmmmmm we’ll save that for another day!
The lesson here: it can be done with “regular” food you find at the grocery store (not a secret waterfall at the top of the Himilayas) and not KNOWING how, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work – just means you need to learn!
Happy do-it-yourself, go-learn-something, freedom-from-the-foil-packet, find-the-strength-to-own-it anniversary to me!!!
**and to be clear – I don’t mean to degrade or demean anyone who might be following a food plan like this. I did it – it worked – was there a healthier way to accomplish my goals? *I* think so, but that is a judgement for my life, not yours Judgements aside, I am glad to have found freedom from depending on someone else to accomplish something for me (a large company taking my $$ to be specific) **