Despite my sweet craving after dinner tonight, in general, I don't find my new lifestyle that hard. This happened around the 3 month mark, just as conventional wisdom would have suggested - that is the time it takes for a change in lifestyle to sink in.
That being said, I have given some things up. During those three months, I went through a sort of grieving experience for those things. Now that is a ridiculous term, but it's the best one I can think of. I also gained a lot.
Here is what I gained:
- A healthy BMI! This was my main goal.
- More compliments than I can explain. I hear "you're an inspiration" several times a week.
- A happy husband!
- Self-confidence about undertaking BIG projects
- Ability to wear fun clothes
- Ease with my body in summer clothes. It's so great to wear cut-off jeans and a fitted t-shirt.
Things I've given up...upon reflection at this point...ummm....not much. At first I gave up a lot. But most of the things that were originally sacrifices I no longer miss.
- Pigging out and having fun doing it - or eating to satiety without thinking. This I once found extremely sad for some reason, like if I could never laugh really hard again, but instead just chuckle. However, now I don't want to any more. It does take some discipline to stop before being full though.
- Random snacking for the fun of it all day - constant oral gratification, trying everything offered to me. Again - I don't miss this any more but I did at first.
- Eating without thinking. I'm pretty regimented and need to pay attention to what I'm eating at every meal. Sometimes I overeat just by accident. This sounds horrible, but again, I'm used to it, like a person with a food allergy.
- Sometimes I'm hungry, but I don't let myself get starving usually.
- Alcohol. A huge waste of points and I was never a drinker anyway. On occasion I have one drink. This is really not that much of a change in habit but a change in attitude.
Things I gave-up at first and regained:
- Ability to enjoy restaurants and social events. I no longer live in fear of "falling off the wagon." I've enjoyed enough special events to know that I will return to my plan the next day. I've also figured out how to find something I can eat in most circumstances without affecting what the group is eating.
- Off-limits foods. I used to mourn very rich or sweet foods as things I could never eat again because they used up too many points for the day. Now I'm perfectly happy having them infrequently and in small quantities. In fact, a whole serving of these foods (pizza, ice cream, etc.) kind of grosses me out. I understand this sounds slightly anorexic, but in fact, most of those foods really aren't that good, and when they are I eat them in small quantities.
- Sweets. I completely gave them up at first, so as to break my cravings for them. Now I have far fewer, and usually something simple like a few handfuls of sweetened cereal.
People keep asking me how long I can keep this up. I feel fully certain that I can keep this up for a long time. The only things that could derail me are the very small chance of a third pregnancy, or the likely chance of some kind of illness or injury. Everyone goes through physical adversity at some point and I have genes that make it pretty likely. But just a general returning to bad habits will not happen. First of all I would be mortified! Everyone comments on my new body ALL THE TIME and people would notice if I gained 5 lbs. And secondly I want my new healthy body more than I want food so it's just not an issue.