To try to break out of my months-long plateau, I decided to post a daily photo journal of my meals for a week. I figured it would give me some additional accountability, since I’d been falling into the trap of If No One Sees Me, I Didn’t Really Eat It. (Which, yes, is ridiculous. The scale doesn’t lie. I’m not fooling anyone, including myself.)
What I discovered as I photographed everything I ate or drank (besides water) was that, in addition to increasing my accountability — I did skip a few snacks so I wouldn’t have to photograph them and admit my snackiness — it also increased my mindfulness in eating. When I had to properly arrange my food, make it photogenic, it engendered a purposefulness in eating that I hadn’t experienced for a long time. Less standing at the refrigerator door with the can of gulab jamun and a spoon, or digging into a can of my son’s Chef Boyardee, and more meticulous crafting of delicious and nutritious meals and snacks.
Another win for that particular week was making a large zucchini casserole early in the week, and incorporating it into dinner for the next several days. It was the first time I’d made this particular recipe, and my modification of leaving out the ground beef left the dish extra runny. My solution? Add it to noodles to make a zucchini noodle dish every night of the week. (My son is ambivalent about zucchini — he thinks he hates it, but he’ll eat it and actually like it if I cajole him into it — so I’d only give him one slice cut up into bite-size pieces with his noodles.)
I wouldn’t use actual dinner prep time to make a casserole like that again, though — I only have 30 minutes to put together dinner for Connor and myself before I start throwing off the timeline for the evening. Perhaps after Connor goes to bed some school day, when I know I’ll have enough time to prep and cook before I turn into a pumpkin.
Result? I lost 1.8 pounds that week. What worked? The added accountability and the forced mindfulness associated with prepping food to be photographed before being eaten. (And — full disclosure — the fact that I had my braces adjusted and didn’t want to eat for two days.)
I photographed my food again the following week, hoping to keep the mindfulness and accountability streak alive — and to keep on my trendline to reach Goal by Thanksgiving. Even after I forgot to photograph a few meals, and the photo food journal fell by the wayside, I still kept up the mindful eating, the eating with intention. It also helped that Aaron was on vacation, so I felt obligated to avoid any easy dinners of noodles or macaroni that might throw off my weight-loss mojo. I lost 2.2 pounds that week. (Again, full disclosure: I had a cold and sinus drainage that week, which caused some nausea and food aversion.)
The next week, I continued the losing streak with a loss of 0.8 pounds, which was less than I wanted, but still on the right track. (Guess what? I was still experiencing sinus drainage. I’m not good at, shall we say, expectorating. It all drains backwards.)
The week after, though, I gained that 0.8 right back, partially thanks to eating
all the majority of my weekly allowance points the day before weigh-in, and partially due to the kickboxing workout the day before weigh-in that made me muscle-sore the day of. I’m OK with that, since I’m still down four pounds this month, and that’s better than being up four pounds.
Started the month strong, finished not quite as strong. I do have another orthodontic adjustment coming up in a couple of days, though….
Non-Scale Victories for August:
- My chiropractor noticed that I’d lost weight since I saw her last. “You just keep getting skinnier and skinner! Looking good,” she said.
- I was surprised by my reflection in a darkened window as I was walking down the hall to my weigh-in. I hadn’t realized I look so thin from a distance.