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My weight loss plan for 2023
Why it doesn't include calorie counting
I want to lose approximately 100 lbs over the next couple of years. I try not to dwell too much on that number because otherwise I’ll feel quite discouraged because it’s so much. It’s also a somewhat arbitrary number that is based on a goal weight that I know would be healthy for me, even though it’s still higher than what is ‘recommended.’ I reckon I’ll start to feel pretty good at around 70-80 lbs less and ultimately I’ll let my body decide where it wants to settle. All of this to say, 100 lbs would be great but the ultimate goal - as inspired by my friend and life coach Joan Ridsdel - is to feel and look healthy.
So how will I get there?
By establishing healthier habits around food and movement.
By learning and using tools that help me manage my anxieties without food.
By reaching out for help.
I’ve been at this game for a long time and I know how to create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight. For many years calorie counting was my preferred method and I almost went back to it because it’s familiar and it works. Plus, we are invited to an event this summer that I’d love to lose a good amount of weight for! There’ll be lots of people who I haven’t seen in decades (and who all have stayed slim according to their FB pics) and I did not want to arrive considerably more overweight than I was when they last saw me. It’s a familiar scenario, isn’t it? And the pressure this creates can be enormous. That was the main reason why I still toyed with the idea of calorie counting because that would yield the fastest and biggest results.
But then I realized: I am basing a crucial part of my plan on one event, on one day this year. Well, screw that. Ultimately I know that none of these old friends will care about my weight and I’d much rather just focus on losing weight the way I want to live: which means no calorie counting and a slower pace. I am honestly just not feeling the calorie counting anymore and I am going with that.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the years is that my plan needs to be simple and doable. And I think this year I am finally hitting the right balance with that. My plan is a combination of habits I want to build and tools I’ll use along the way:
Desired new habits
3 nurturing meals a day
Eat with joy and awareness
Daily walks or bike rides
Daily journaling, e.g. morning pages
Sunday meal planning & prep
Interestingly drinking enough water is no longer on the list of desired new habits because, as I just realized, it’s a habit I finally nailed in 2022! Bigger bodies need more water so I aim for a minimum of 96oz every day. I achieve this by making it very simple: I have a 48oz bottle that I keep nearby and fill and drink twice a day. The dizziness that I often felt (which I now know was dehydration) is gone and my skin, hair and digestion feel so much better. Game changer!
16:8 Intermittent Fasting
My word of the year: FEEL
The key is to not do everything at once! I cannot stress this enough. I can’t count the number of times that I started a new year with all these good intentions only to get overwhelmed quickly and throw it all to the curb! No wonder people say that resolutions don’t work, we make them too big and unrealistic.
Abstaining from refined sugar is the only non-negotiable for the next 12 months, I want a clear head for this journey and also give my body a break from refined sugar. Whether I’ll continue with it after this year I’ll decide when I get to that point. For everything else I am giving myself as much time as it takes to learn, practice and make it a true habit.
I did get a start on the three meals a day habit because that seemed simple enough to also begin now. So far it’s going really well! Having regular meals is inspired by Max Daniel’s ‘meals at meal times’ approach. Grazing and snacking is one of the main causes of my weight gain, it’s how I keep my food bubble intact throughout the day. By eating three tasty meals I have something to look forward to while taking care of my body’s needs. By not eating snacks I reduce the amount of food I normally consume which will help with the weight loss. Right now I am not too focused on meal portions, that will come later. I just want to get into the habit of planning and eating three meals every day. What is helping with this is my 16:8 Intermittent Fasting tool: I eat, roughly, between 11am and 7pm, it is easy to stick to three meals in that window and I never feel starved and am much less tempted to snack.
As the weather improves we’ll probably start walking again and today I also signed up to the Essentrics 21-Day Challenge. BUT. I am not attaching anything to this, no expectations, no pressure. The Essentrics challenge is more about checking them out and seeing if their approach (which appeals to me) is something I can work with. That’s it. Call it a mini experiment. (Remember, I am a 3/5 projector, everything I do is by trial and error 😉). If I am finding that it’s too much to soon then I’ll stop and I won’t feel bad about it.
In the meantime I am also getting more help. I signed up for coaching with Joan, who I mentioned above. Amongst other things she specialises in tapping/EFT, which is one of the tools I want to learn and embrace this year. We start later this month and I am really looking forward to it.
The next chapter has begun and I am grateful for it. The most interesting thing that’s coming out of this first week of refocusing on my health journey is how Zen I feel about it, it’s kinda weird. Normally, at this point, I’d feel excited but also anxious. I don’t feel that way this time round, I just feel calm and willing. It’s almost like I am surrendering to the journey, guiding it gently, but also allowing it to unfold at its own pace and rhythm.
Have a lovely Sunday,