Six-pound lessons (Weigh-in)

I didn’t think today was going to be a good day.

For the last three weeks, there has been no monitoring of food intake. At all. No thoughts about restriction or moderation. Just, “yes, please” and “more, please.”

The food on the fork? Brains. I did NOT ask for more.

I knew I had gained. And this morning the scale confirmed it.

Six pounds.

Normally when I gain weight, the number feels like a failure. It fills me with dread and threatens to turn my mood sour. But this morning when I stepped on the scale and saw the number, my face broke out into a big smile.

Cheesin’ hard in Calcutta

The last three weeks have been indulgent. In travel, friends, relaxation, shopping and food. And that’s what I thought of when I saw the six-pound gain. I thought of how much fun the last three weeks have been and for the first time, the weight gain didn’t feel like time lost or a week wasted.

I’m a big believer in “everything happens for a reason.” With all of life’s ups and downs, there are lessons to be learned. These six pounds have taught me a lot of things.

Mostly, it solidified that the path I’m on is the right one. After three weeks of complete abandon, I was BEYOND excited to do my own food shopping, cook my own food, and be conscious of what I eat. Yes, it was fun to ditch all the healthy-eating guidelines I’ve lived by over the last year for three weeks, but when I ate foods like potato chips and lots of sugar, it left me feeling crappy. For me, calorie counting and meal planning doesn’t feel like a chore. It feels like an important part of my day that contributes to my happiness and well being. Over the holidays, my motivation to be healthy wasn’t as strong as it usually is, and having three weeks off kicked my butt back into gear.

The detour from my every day healthy habits also forced me to think a lot about the role food has in my life. When every meal is calculated and planned, it’s easy to forget that food can be emotional and can be eaten for pure pleasure and enjoyment. It forced me to realize that episodes I would call “binging” or “emotional eating” were much more about a state of mind and less about the amount or type of food I was eating.

Pure fun.

Overeating and feeling stuffed are ok, on occasion. Because disordered eating has always been a part of my life, I’ve never really known what it is like to have a normal relationship with food (if such a relationship exists). I have to remind myself that people without food issues also eat for pleasure, eat for fun and sometimes stuff themselves. These are normal behavoirs when done sparingly, and remembering that helps me not to feel bad when I do it too. As long as I’m not consuming the food in private purposely, or sneaking it, overeating in times of celebration is not something to feel bad about.

These may sound like simple realizations, but losing 60 pounds and changing my lifestyle has forced me to rethink about every aspect of eating and food.

With that said, today I returned to calorie counting with full force. There was no hesitation. It is a part of my life and three weeks and six pounds did not change that. These healthy habits are mine. They did not come by luck. I worked hard to have them and will continue to work hard to keep them.

So without further adieu, the numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last weigh-in (Dec.28): 177.5

This week: 183.5

Change: +6

Total loss: 59.5

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