I'll get right to the point this morning: this week, I'm down another pound and a half. 298! The farther I get from 300, the more confident I feel about staying away from it forever.
Last week's therapy session was very insightful. My therapist always helps me see things more clearly, even if they're things I've just said out loud. It's funny how saying things out loud doesn't necessarily mean that it sinks in. I was telling her how strangely terrifying it is to not know how you look at a lower weight. The last time I was less than 300, it was in college. I was 12 years younger (and those 12 years are kind of a big deal; faces change a lot from 20 to 32.) From here on, as I lose weight, I'm going to start not recognizing myself. My therapist connected that fear with my plateau (and with the binge after weigh-in that I wrote about last week.) My subconscious is having trouble dealing with the fact that there's a lot of change going on with my body. So I'm doing some visualization exercises, and hopefully we'll shake that subconscious into acceptance.
The survey I posted yesterday (which is still open if you'd like to participate) has been very helpful. It's sometimes hard to peg what kinds of blog entries (or themes) are most compelling to my readers, and it's very helpful to hear what works and what doesn't.
I did get one answer about improving the blog that made me stop and think. And think. And think. And if there's that much thinking, it must be something important. This reader - a friend or family member who knows me from Facebook - would change this about my blog:
"Less about sweet things-- reading about sugar and other empty calories makes me anxious."
I was surprised by the answer, and my knee-jerk response was: "What empty calories?" I work very hard on keeping all things in moderation. It's true that if I eat emotionally, it's primarily sugar that I'm craving. But even those times when I eat an unplanned food, I'm not eating a lot of it. For instance, last week's binge, which was an ice cream cone. It's not the amount of food that makes it a binge. It's the reasoning behind my eating. It's the unplanned and not-mindful way I am eating. Which, as a food addict, does happen occasionally. And I'm working very hard to minimize it in my life.
Do I come across as eating a lot of empty calories? I'm kind of surprised about that, because for the first time in my life, this year has seen the complete elimination of all fast food (it's been 9 months since I've so much as stepped inside one, let alone eaten at one.)
We cook, on average, 20 out of 21 meals each week, and that one meal out is most likely at Tender Greens, where I've ordered my usual 3 ounces of seared albacore, a cup of mixed greens and either roasted veggies or a half-cup of mashed potatoes (550 or 650 calories total.) We buy 48 servings of fresh fruit and 72 servings of fresh vegetables every week, and they're gone by the end of the week. (that's 3 servings of fruit daily for me, and 5+ servings of vegetables.)
With rare exception, I eat around 1400 calories daily. Yesterday's, for example, was a pretty standard day.
1 slice whole grain toast (70 calories)
2 tb fat free ricotta (mixed with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar-free almond syrup) (25 calories)
1/4 tsp honey (6 calories)
1 boiled egg (70 calories)
4 ounces of grilled ground turkey (160 calories)
2 slices of light whole wheat (80 calories)
1 tsp lowfat vegenaise (15 calories)
1 laughing cow cheese wedge (30 calories)
3 pickle slices (negligible calories)
1 cup of baked yam (177 calories)
1 tb of homemade blue cheese aioli (30 calories)
1 plum (30 calories)
1 cup baked spaghetti squash with 1/2 slice turkey bacon, tsp Parmesan, and 1/4 of an egg (94 calories)
1 cup roasted veggies with tsp balsamic & a spritz of Pam (110 calories)
1/2 cup white beans with sage and garlic & a 1/2 tsp olive oil (134 calories)
64 ounces of water (0 calories)
8 ounces of stevia-sweetened Virgil's (0 calories)
8 ounces of skim milk (70 calories)
Where do the empty calories fit in? You could say the cheese is "empty," but it fits into my scheduled fats, and I'm still getting the majority of my necessary fat intake from unsaturated sources (olive oil, vegenaise.) And honestly, regular small servings of things like cheese keep me from seeking large servings of things like cheese.
Nevertheless, the survey answer stung. So it must be touching a nerve. I went back to my recipes, to catalogue them, to see if I posted a lot of recipes for sweet things. Here's the most recent two pages of recipes, going back to late June:
Curried Chickpea Salad
Blue Cheese Aioli
Heirloom Tomato & Egg Sandwich
Ginger Noodle Stir-Fry
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Zucchini-Blueberry Mini Muffins
Figs with Goat Cheese
Key Lime Mini Tarts
Whole Wheat Pancakes with Fruit Compote
So, yeah. OK. They're right. There are several sweet recipes. Though most are low-calorie, and most are sweetened with fruit. Still, it proves that I do include a bunch of sweet recipes. Too much for one of my readers. How about you? Would you prefer to see less sweet? Are you worried about my empty calories? Would you prefer, for instance, when I post the recipes for the most recent Supper Club 600, that I skip the 50-calorie tiramisu recipe?
I'm torn. Part of me wants to listen and take heed. There were times in the past where I didn't want to hear people's thoughts on my dietary intake, and it wasn't for the best. But part of me... knows exactly what I eat, why I eat, and how hard I'm working on what I eat. And that part of me just wants to say, "FORGET YOU*, I'm taking care of me, and you don't get a say in how that's done."
Because it is being done.
Take care of you today. You're the only one who gets to do it.
*Cee-Lo Green radio-edited for politeness.