If my title is true, I guess I need to start drinking protein shakes for every meal instead of just in the morning. Because who doesn't enjoy buff men in the yard (or any place for that matter)?
So when I saw my doctor a few weeks ago, I asked him to recommend a nutritionist for me to see. This represented quite a change for me, because it was not so many years ago that he suggested it might be good idea for me to see a nutritionist (the closest we ever came to touching on my weight problems) and I promptly dismissed that idea. I figured, what could a nutritionist tell me that I didn't already know? I knew what I should be eating. I knew what I was currently eating was little more than nutritional garbage. Why did I need one more person to tell me that? And you know what? I was right. The truth is, I wasn't ready to make a change then. Visiting a nutritionist would most likely have served no purpose other than wasting her time and my money. She couldn't have made me change when I didn't really want to.
But this time, I was pretty excited to meet with a nutritionist. A bit apprehensive too, if I'm being honest, because I was a little afraid I might be meeting with someone who would want to completely overhaul my diet, when all I am looking for is a few tweaks. My main concern was that I was eating too few calories. Now, don't get all concerned and think that I'm starving myself. I most definitely am not. But I realized that 1200 calories a day is probably a bit low for someone with my workout regimen, and that could be partially to blame for my low weight loss. Eating too few calories slows down your metabolism. I tried to research online (always dangerous haha) about how many calories I should be eating, and got answers that ranged anywhere from 1300 calories a day to 3000 calories. I think I had a mini panic attack when I saw the 3000. answer.
So fast forward to my appointment. I honestly don't think it could have gone any better. It's like the nutritionist was tailor-made for me or something. She was all about clean eating, but she was also realistic. I mean, she knew most people weren't going to be able to shop at Fresh Market or somewhere for all their meals. Her food recommendations were available at regular grocery stores and Costco. Plus, I liked how she also had a balanced attitude about food. She didn't act like I should be eating totally clean 100% of the time. For example, I mentioned that I wasn't really into turkey bacon, especially since the calorie count is only a bit lower than regular bacon, and she completely agreed and said she was all about eating regular bacon every now and then. She also seemed to understand that I did better with having a lot of structure (a.k.a. she got that I can be an OCD control freak).
We set my calorie goal for 1600 calories a day and she also has me tracking fat grams too, which I haven't done before. That's probably the biggest change. I also have to start eating more fat, mainly low-fat instead of fat-free dairy like I have been, because apparently the ratio of calories to fat is important. I was relieved that she thought the vast majority of my food choices were really good (except the microwave popcorn...boo). She had a few new foods for me to try. I asked her is she thought eating too few calories was the cause of my semi-plateau, and she said without a doubt it was. I told her that I had been kind of afraid that that wasn't actually the cause, and then if I added more calories it would make me gain weight.
The visit was exactly what I wanted. Some small changes to try but nothing too crazy, since what I have been doing has worked pretty darn well for me so far too. Plus, I have to say that it was pretty good for my ego having her praise my nutritional knowledge. When she told me that I might as well be a nutritionist myself, I told her she should have seen me a couple years ago when I could throw down a pizza like nobody's business.
That visit was a couple of weeks ago now, and so far so good! I may have had a little anxiety stepping on the scale after that first week of eating 1600 calories a day, but it really worked! And I lost this week too! Not a huge amount, but that's okay. I mean, after all, I have less than 25 lbs less to lose total. I can't expect to lose 8 lbs a week. As long as I'm going steadily down, and not up and down like I had been doing. But you know what? That evil little voice is still in my head, telling me the less I eat the better. It's so frustrating. I mean, I know rationally, logically, intellectually that eating 1600 calories a day is better for my metabolism and will make me lose more weight. I've seen in black and white on the scale how true that is. But still that tiny portion of my brain wants to reward me for eating less. It's like I think eating less equates to putting in more of an effort and more of a sacrifice, and so will lead to more weight loss. You would think after 2 years that I would have fully realized that losing weight is not about sacrifice. It's not about depriving yourself. It's not about driving yourself until you pass out at the gym. It's about leading a healthy, balanced life. Do I work hard? Sure, but not every single minute of every single day. I live my life, and that's what it's all about. Sigh...so that is what 99% of my brain believes, but I still need to convince that 1% masochistic part of my brain that this is true. I'm still a work in progress!