Two-thousand Calories

A while ago I said I was going to cut down to 2000 calories a day, but I've been having a hard time doing so. It seems so lame, when you consider that there are so many people on 1200 and 1600 cpd diets, that I can't even cut down to a still-excessive 2000 cpd. The difference for me is that when you're on a diet, you know it's a temporary thing, that even if you can't have the cookie or the chocolate today, one day when you're not on the diet anymore you'll be able to. Since my diet isn't a temporary change, I am reluctant to give things up because I know it's forever.

My ultimate goal is to eat an average of 1800 calories per day. You need to take in about 1600 calories per day to get all the nutrients you need; that's 1600 calories of real food, leafy vegetables and whole grains and lean meat and fruit. At 1800 calories a day that only leaves 200 calories free for "fun" food. That's less than a chocolate bar. That's just two cookies. I'm sure there are plenty of people in this world who live without having fun food every day, but I'm not sure I want to be one of them.

This resistance to giving up treats is what has made it so hard to break the 2000 calorie barrier. I've been hovering around 2050 for the last few days, but yesterday I decided if I can be under 2000 every day this week, I will reward myself with some tacky makeup or something on the weekend.

I have a couple of strategies I'm working on. One is to have a big breakfast with lots of protein and fruit, to keep me going without hunger until lunchtime. Then theoretically I'll be able to have a smallish lunch.

Another strategy is to keep digestive cookies in the house. It sounds counter-intuitive to diet by keeping cookies in the house, but digestives are pretty low calorie*, and a couple of them plus a cup of tea are enough to satisfy my desire for a treat in the afternoon. If I don't have them around, I'm likely to go to Starbucks and get a 200 calorie mocha and a 500 calorie scone. I think of them as a pressure valve.

[*Actually digestives are still pretty high calorie -- around 75 calories each. I think next time I will buy social tea biscuits or something, which are only around 22 calories each. That way I can have six of them!]

Anyway, having said that, I weighed myself at the doctor's office this morning and I have lost another 5 lbs to bring me down to 190, with a BMI of 30.7. That's only 0.7... um.... BMI units? away from being merely "overweight", not "obese". How exciting!

I'm curious to see if I plateau at 185, since I have never been able to diet down past 185. I think that might be my adult low, actually. (I don't know what I weighed in high school, although I do know I was wearing size 36 Levi 501s. I should go try on a pair and see if I fit into them.)

I've lost a total of 42 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight, but I don't feel 42 lbs smaller, and I don't think I look it. I get the odd comment, but not the barrage of compliments that you'd hope for when you've lost almost 20% of yourself. Part of the problem is that I haven't bought many new clothes, so I'm still wearing my 230 lb wardrobe; my look now is "baggy". And of course there's the fact that for so long I've been so militantly happy to be fat that most of my friends know better than to say "You've lost weight!" as a compliment. Still, it would be nice to know that my shrinkage is perceptible to others.

I read an article by a woman, my height, who described herself as plump and unattractive. Then she said she needed to lose 20 lbs to feel desirable -- she was 155 lbs and wanted to be 135. Twenty pounds is the difference between unattractive and desirable, and I've lost twice that! Before, I felt like me, and now, I feel like me. I guess it's good that I don't invest my weight with so much meaning, but the flip side of that coin is that when I lose weight I don't get the big irrational ego boost. Humph.


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