Tinkering. Panicking. Paradigm Shifting. Part 2

(If you didn’t read Friday’s post – below this one – you should.  I’m just going to jump in where I left off, so this might not make sense otherwise.  :D)

So I can’t keep doing WW.  It doesn’t work for me, and it just makes me crazy when it stops working.  Calorie counting is out because it makes me crazy.  (Anytime I’ve ever done it, I find myself about 3 weeks in, trying to keep my total consumption to 3 digits or less: so 999 calories or under:  NOT. GOOD.)

And then there’s that Metabolic Diet, which is exactly the food plan my doctor recommended I follow.  But that diet is really high in fat, which raises any numbers I might want to track, which . . . makes me crazy.  Yeah.  I know.  (And I also know that I’m my own worst enemy here.)

And on top of all that, the weight-lifting book advocates eating a LOT of calories and a LOT of protein (at least, a lot more than I’m eating now).  Honestly, the idea of eating 2000 calories a day (on non-workout days – it’s more on workout days) SCARES THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS OUT OF ME.  On the other hand, I hadn’t really realized that I was so far below it.  My days seem to average out around 1200-1400, and I’m not losing weight.  But I’ve been doing WW, which is more carbs, and less fat (which for me, by extension usually means less protein, which is bad on a lot of levels for my body).  I can’t help looking at the numbers involved and thinking that maybe, just MAYBE, the reason I’m not dropping weight is that my calories are so low that I’m still screwing my metabolism.  That combined with the fact that I’m not really eating what’s best for MY body, will make me gain weight: I’ve gained weight eating 1000 calories in the past, so it could definitely be having an impact now.  (Actually The Metabolic Diet mentioned that Protein Types – which I am – often experience exactly that, which made me feel better.  Sort of like, “See!  I’m not crazy!  OR “lying” about what I eat!”  Seriously, that “lying” – or even “underestimating” – bit always pisses me off, especially since I could probably tell you the calorie content of just about any food, in any quantity, off the top of my head.  THANK YOU, ED. [/sarcasm])

SO.  I still have my little notebook, which I’d been using as a mock-up WW journal.  And I think I’ve jiggered a system that will work.

Since I’m going to start lifting weights (REAL weights, not Barbie weights), I’m going to follow that “New Rules” book in combination with the Metabolic Diet.  The NR book says that I should be eating about 30% of my calories from protein, which if I eat 2000 calories a day works out to . . . 150 grams of protein.  (Thirty percent of 2000 = 600, which divided by 4 – because there are 4 calories per gram of protein – equals 150.)

Holy hell, that’s a LOT of protein.

So here’s what I’m thinking: I’m going to journal protein grams, because that’s a tangible number I can hit.  I’m also going to journal “Points,” but I’m modifying it by assigning every 50 calories a Points value of 1, regardless of fat, fiber, WHATEVER.  (Even using WW, that’s the system average: 50 calories per Point.)  BUT I’m not going to eat as few points as WW recommends (23 at my current weight, which works out to ELEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY calories a day, a.k.a. NOT ENOUGH FUCKING FOOD).  I’m shooting for 35-40, which puts me at 1750-2000 calories a day. 

At the moment, I’m not going to worry about food beyond that.  The NR book breaks optimal caloric intake down into non-workout days, workout days, and HARD workout days, but I’m already realizing that I have trouble getting even 2000 calories (seriously, that’s a LOT of food for me right now), so I’m going to shoot for that EVERY day, and refine it later.

I can handle protein grams without going insane.  And I can handle points better than calories: the number is smaller, so I don’t fall prey to the 3-digit “game” in my head.  And it also helps that my mindset has shifted: I’m working up TO a number, instead of working out what I have LEFT.  Does that make sense?  When I subtract all day (like WW tells you to do) I’m always anxious: “Oh, I’ve only got 10 Points left.  Oh, now I’m down to 8.  I’d better hang on to those until dinner.”  On the other hand, if I’m ADDING points (not capitalized because I’m not talking about WW Points now), I’m not anxious at all: “Oh, I’d better eat a snack; I’ve got a lot more points to eat today.  Wow, I still have 8 points left.  I should probably have a small piece of cheese or something.”  See how that works?  It’s a total psych-out, but it works for me.

So that’s the plan.  We’ll see how it goes.


8 responses to “Tinkering. Panicking. Paradigm Shifting. Part 2

  1. yes yes yes yes YES!!!!!!

  2. You sound so much like me! I totally understand your diet frustration. It’s like, you KNOW there’s got to be a way out there that works for you and your body but it’s just so hard to figure it all out! Why does eating have to be this freakin’ hard?! Anyhow, I like your new plan. It sounds very sensible and I’m excited to see how it works out. I predict success for you:)

  3. That last paragraph spoke volumes, and actually I think is quite convertable into other life issues. Instead of looking at the time ticking away, looking to see where you want to get to. *Takes self off to try and follow own interpretation*

    Lola x

  4. It sounds like you’re moving into doing what’s best for you, though my head is still spinning from that points stuff. I think our bodies know best, and it’s great that you are tuning into yours rather than external advice. Personally, and I may get flamed for this, but I think WW is rarely enough food, except possibly for very sedentary people. When I go to the gym for two hours, I may burn an extra 700? (no idea, really) calories, between cardio and body sculpt (I’m sticking with the Barbie weights, thanks), that’s an extra meal I could eat. On days that I don’t do much exercise, my metabolism is more sluggish, I don’t get as hungry, I eat less. My body tells me what is right, and I figure it knows better than some “expert” trying to sell me their diet ideas.

    Also, as I was adjusted my food habits to where they’re sort of at, I also worried about how much more fat I was eating, but I unconsciously compensate by eating less volume. Fattier protein-heavy food is way more satisfying than bread or starch. To make myself feel more comfortable, I eat a lot more veggies and other high fiber food.

  5. *grin* The blessing of the Miz! Woo-hoo! (Seriously, it’s always nice to have the approval of someone whose opinion you respect, you know?)

    Charlotte, I TOTALLY get what you mean about eating being hard – but isn’t it funny and weird that it seems that way? It should really be as natural and intuitive as breathing (and at some point in our childhoods it probably was), but it sure doesn’t seem that way now! LOL!

    Lola, I hadn’t thought to extrapolate it, but yeah. Just . . . yeah. Makes sense.

    Julie, coming from a crazy dancing background, I’m only just realizing how little food WW actually IS. I think you’re right on – it’s not enough – but after years of subsisting on lowlowlow calories, it seemed like a lot at the time. Now it just seems normal (and eating closer to 2000 seems almost impossible), but then again, when I ate super-low calories that seemed normal, too. (Clearly my sense of “normal” is off.) And I’ve noticed the same thing re: fattier, heavier foods. I’m not nearly as hungry. Though that becomes a problem when I’m trying to eat more, LOL.

    (Sorry if I offended you with the Barbie weights comment. But why are women’s weights always PINK?? Seriously, that just irks me.)

  6. Wow, it’s been a really long time. I’m actually quite sorry we didn’t become closer friends in college, we’re more alike than I ever knew.

    Isn’t it strange how ED takes over your life and shapes so many things? If I had a dollar for every time my body image held me back from doing what I wanted to do, well…you know the rest.

  7. Kristel, I just sent you an email, but to reiterate: HOLY CRAP! This is SO COOL! 😀 (Um. Not cool that you had ED or body image issues, because that sucks, but that you said hi! I’m so stoked right now!!!!!) 😀

  8. *big grin*

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