The weight of the world…is so not my problem anymore

Whole30: Day 22

I’m closing in on the whole30 home stretch here, and I’m pretty much used to this whole major-sacrifice-in-my-daily-life thing

Seriously, who knew that it was possible to go on a diet/cleanse/lifestyle reset without making your life a living hell!

Not me. Especially after the last time I embarked on a big dietary change… 

Four years ago, I did weightwatchers. Yep, the thing with the points.

For those of you who don’t know, weightwatchers helps you keep track of everything you eat with a point system. You’re assigned a daily point goal, and all food is assigned different point values (healthier things are worth less points, unhealthy things are worth waaayyy more). You’re supposed to get as close to your daily point goal as possible without going over it.

I lost 35 pounds in four months on the point system.

I know, incredible, right? How on earth did I do it?

…I cheated.

Not at first; I followed the rules about eating better and eating enough, and guess what? It was easy: I was at a point in my life where I was basically sedentary and eating nothing but instant ramen. So, when I actually got off my ass, exercised and ate better, the weight fell off. Fast. It was AWESOME. Suddenly people were nice to me, they complimented me and my big change, I looked awesome and I ate up adulation like nobody’s business!

But soon, I lost less and less weight.

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Then I lost none. My weight loss stagnated about 10 pounds short of my goal. 

I was mad. I mean, I couldn’t NOT lose weight! Losing weight made everyone nice to me! I had to keep losing weight in order to be happy and to get people to like me!

So I started eating less. And lying about it.

I was supposed to weigh myself once a week, I opted for once every few hours. If the scale had gone up I’d eat as little as I could stomach. If, when I weighed myself again I still hadn’t lost any weight, I’d drag myself to the gym that I loathed and exercise on the machine that I hated until I was completely exhausted. If that was too much I’d go for a walk around my neighborhood…in the worst heat wave in over a decade.

Shockingly, after starving myself, dehydrating myself, and exhausting myself, when I weighed myself again later the number was lower!

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Of course this only worked for so long; when I hadn’t lost weight in three weeks and I was so hungry, tired and frustrated I couldn’t see straight, I quit.

I learned a lot about myself during that stretch; mainly that I cannot own a scale because my weight obsession borders on maniacal… and that dehydration really sucks.

And that, you know, exploiting a system and torturing my body for the sake of hitting an arbitrary number is stupid, dangerous, and definitely not worth it! Besides, weight is not a reliable indicator of health.

stivers-5-02-04-crash-diet

One thing I really like about whole30 is there is absolutely no weighing allowed, because how much you weigh doesn’t actually tell you anything about well-being except…well, how much you weigh. Since my kerfuffle with unhealthy habits, I’ve learned that body weight is affected by so many things; your food’s nutritional value for sure, also how much you sleep, where you live, your stress levels, even unusual weather can throw your body off.

I no longer care about my weight, or about what anyone else thinks of my weight. These days I care about one thing: how do I feel today?

Today I feel awesome.

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