The other day, I was typing here in a bit of a hurry and I found myself saying “I will go back to being perfect until I am down another 10 or the end of May, whichever comes first.” I sat with that a bit, and realized, that’s pretty profound for me.
To be clear (because I know EXACTLY what I mean, but I could see someone reading that and thinking “uh oh” for any number of reasons) this statement means:
Perfect = 5 Noms, 1 lean and green, nothing off plan, no wine instead of last packet (less calories, but alcohol) and all my water. It’s something I really CAN do, and easily even.
Perfect does not = obsessively counting or even staying within the strict contours of the “green” part, or measuring my dressing on a salad. I don’t feel like I have to do that RIGHT NOW to be on plan, because (a) I don’t tend to overuse dressing, etc. anyway; (b) I still have enough of a calorie deficit because of my weight to not get too worried about an extra 100 calories if I have an avocado slice or so; and (c) I am doing this LONG TERM and it has to be livable; and of course most important of all, if I just do THAT, I am seeing results so all is well. I figure if I stop seeing results (after this year, which is my “no tinkering year” there will be ample time and opportunity to tighten things further, like by actually measuring the dollop of PB that goes on my brownie (or even switching to still tasty but doesn’t melt as well PB2, for less than half the calories).
And lastly, going “off” perfect (after 10 lbs or at the end of the month) means something very specific to me. I eat a sweet potato with my steak at Longhorn. I add cheese to my salad, or have a cheese slice and wine at night instead of my packet (or once, even with my packet). I do NOT go off the healthy carb train, because DEARLORDITISNOTWORTHIT, but I relax enough and indulge enough that I get a mental break.
So all of that to say, I think that this is a great way for me to approach the next 7 months. Get another 10 off (or go a full month) and take a slight ease for a week or so. So far, I have not wanted to go beyond the weekend – I am really ready to make more progress – but I can cross that bridge when/if I come to it. The point is, for me, there are gradations of perfect/on plan and I think I do well with this plan.
Which was interesting to me to read that Lyn was thinking about the same kind of thing – at what percentage perfect do I have to be to lose weight steadily? What’s the balance, as Lyn asked – what percent of healthy eating is required to get the results she wants?
For me (and I can’t speak to anyone else), I can’t do the kind of healthy eating Lyn i aspiring to, because I get too triggered by the days that are high carb. It’s a self perpetuating problem. My head is never quiet, the noise is never gone. By never going over my carb trigger point (which frankly seems to vary a lot by what the food is – which makes sense, with the whole glycemic index concept, plus the fact that I combine different foods with different things) then I can have a relaxed day and not be nuts the next (or the next). If I have “delivered pizza,” even if I eat a sane and reasonable amount and count every calorie, then I am sure to have carb noise in my head – soft at first but louder and louder as time goes on. Or maybe its just that I didn’t recognize it as crazy at first – the whisper was so subtle (“This is not really off plan on calories… this is under the carb count…”) that I would just keep having the same stuff, but in increasing quantities, with the noise getting louder and louder and LOUDER until I WAS CRAZEH KITTEH.
Whatever it is, for me, the balance is to set a short term goal – 10 lbs works for now, at least – reach it, and relax a bit – but NEVER to touch the trigger foods.
How about you?