My first six week journey on the ETL plan has not been a real success at weight loss. I have only lost three pounds this past six weeks. But I have always had a struggle losing weight even on strict plans. The funny thing is I feel like a different person though. AND I do see myself as having been a success this past six weeks.
First, I have developed the habit of exercising on a regular basis. I have been to the gym a minimum of four or five times per week during the entire six week journey. It has truly become a habit. I find that I exercise first thing in the morning before I start my day. So that is a definite success. I feel much stronger, both physically and mentally.
Second, for the past two weeks, I have implemented the No Snacking rule successfully, although I do allow myself to snack on Nutritarian snacks once on a weekend evening if I want to. I have found that telling myself I am fasting from dinnertime to breakfast works for me. This is usually a minimum of 15-16 hours. Drinking hot tea or water only has been a big help.
Third, I have found a restaurant or two that I can eat at. Subway has been a go to restaurant where I can have a salad. I now regularly carry my own salad dressing wherever I go. I have also found a few restaurants that I can eat at. One is totally compliant if I stick to certain items. Another restaurant I had to get creative at ordering and specifying how I want things prepared which has taught me a) to speak up for myself, b) to see the menu as a list of ingredients rather than dishes and c) take responsibility for my own health and not let society/others to dictate how I eat. I may even bring certain items to the restaurant like beans, cut up veggies, dressing etc. This brings me to my next success point.
Fourth, having cut up veggies, hummus, prepped sauces, soups etc prepared ahead of time is HUGE. I bought a large cooler that I typically fill every day even though I may not need it. This helps me stay compliant when I have a busy day. It has saved me several times when we have gone to the other house to prepare it for selling. There have been times when we have spent the night there. Luckily I was prepared with my cooler of compliant dishes or salad dressing if we do go out to eat. Whew! In other words…. Being prepared at the beginning of the week can be a deal maker or breaker.
Unfortunately, I still have a ways to go. Some challenges I am still working on overcoming include: Food addiction. My first challenge is going off plan is disastrous for me. This makes it extremely difficult to get back on plan QUICKLY. This tells me that food addiction is very real for me. This has been and continues to be a real struggle for me. This leads me to my second challenge: Beating myself up. I still have a bad habit of beating myself up. I tell myself I am a failure for going off plan. However, I am slowly learning to see these slips ups as mistakes, lessons that still need to be solidified rather than seeing them as failures.
Another challenge is unwillingness to give up certain foods. However, I am slowly learning to transition some of my favorite comfort foods into a more compliant version. This has actually been quite fun. I try to learn a new recipe or experiment with some food or recipe each week. Some of the comfort foods I have learned to make into a compliant nutritarian food include chicken wings which are now Buffalo Caluiflower Bites and Mushroom Bites. Also, I now make oil free Corn Torilla chips instead of having regular chips. I am planning on learning to make the Red Lentil pizza crust so I can still have pizza. And oh so many more to try.
My fourth challenge is learning how to ask for help, for letting others support me in this journey. This encourages me to be honest with myself and with others.
These are just some of the successes I’ve had and challenges I am learning to overcome. One major lesson I have learned is that this way of eating is a lifestyle rather than a diet, a marathon rather than a sprint. I WILL continue on with this journey. I want to thank all of you for listening, supporting and being there for me and allowing me to support you in return. Thank you Elisha for putting us together and being supportive!