Yesterday, I probably ate between 2300-2500 calories. I planned badly and was depressed and ended the evening quasi-binging on whatever was around. I didn’t eat junk, mind you. In fact, mainly, I overate Triscuits. That being said, I saw last night as speeding up on a slippery slope that I’ve been on.
My target has been 1500-1700 calories, and I had been landing somewhere in the range about every other day, and inching up toward 1800-1900 about every other day. This still isn’t a huge deal as it’s well within the range I need to continue losing weight. That being said, I realized last night that I was becoming lackadaisical about my eating in multiple ways. I was eating more of food that wasn’t healthy and eating a little more as time went by.
When I thought this over last night, I think that it relates to calorie counting every day with a relatively achievable number. When I was only counting once or twice a week with a much more restricted number (1200-1400), I had to exercise strict control over myself a few days a week. This gave me a strong sense that I could reign myself in. I’ve lost that sense a little as time has gone by and success has made me cut myself some slack.
Last night, I had the first experience akin to real “panic” about losing control that I’ve had in half a year. Part of the reason for this is that my control has been relatively good, but part of it is that I had such low expectations of myself for the first few months that little that I did was likely to cause a bad response. When the bar is set low, it’s easy to hop over it. Now, the bar is quite a bit higher, so it’s difficult to keep jumping over it with ease.
At any rate, I may be encountering what I consider to be “dieter’s fatigue”. That is the tendency to have great motivation and ability to stay with things early on because the experience is novel and successes come with great frequency. It could also simply be that I have felt poorly for the past few weeks (cold-like symptoms or allergies, fatigue, generalized pain) and gave in to my impulses to comfort myself by shoveling food in my mouth.
The important thing is that I have decided to stop the slide right here and pull back to a line where I’m more disciplined for at least a week. I’m going to cut back to a lower baseline (1400-1500 calories) and incorporate more healthy food at each meal. Mainly, this is me trying to pull myself back closer to the base-line I want to live by before I keep edging further and further from my plans. I also need to work harder at increasing activity, though with my physical problems, this is going to be complicated.
I’m not freaking out or feeling like a failure because of one day over 2000 calories. Frankly, that would be an overreaction and utterly counterproductive. I am, however, seeing the experience as a “yellow light” of caution that I need to be a little less sanguine about how things are going and take things in hand a little more actively.