Friday, February 17, 2006

My Raw Odyssey Encounters a Fork in the Road (And It's Not the Kind You Eat With!)

I Had Another Oprah A-Ha Moment!
My girlfriend mentioned to me that it didn't appear that I had eaten much yesterday (Thursday). I thought about it and realized she was right, even though my calorie count was around 1200. This got me thinking. As you may know from my earlier post about Weight Watchers, it's the only plan through which I've lost a lot of weight in a healthy, sensible manner. I think it's the best program out there for weight loss. The only problems I have with it is 1) I can't afford it and 2) that it is based on the Standard American Diet, so it allows a lot of processed foods which leads me to regain the weight. WW does support vegans and vegetarians, though, so I'm quite sure a raw foodist could adapt the WW plan with a few adjustments (mine would be not eating the soy they recommend for protein, for example).

Weight Watchers and Raw Foods
If I were still having problems with compulsive eating and bingeing I would definitely want to join WW again, but since I don't suffer temptations to overeat or to eat cooked meals, I really don't need that kind of hand-holding these days. But I do like their points plan and for that reason I am doing an experiment. I just bought their materials late last year in my last attempt to lose weight on SAD, so I'm going to get my money's worth and use them to start counting points and stop counting calories. You see, although I haven't been forcing myself to eat differently based on knowing my day's-end calorie count, I do have a "minimum comfort range" of about 1200 to 1300 calories where I feel I'm not starving myself, and I judge a day as successful or unsuccessful based on the calories. I'm even familiar enough now with my menu items that I habitually stop eating in order not to eat much over 1300, without even looking at the count ahead of time. Clearly I am still consumed by the topic of calories. By counting points, though, I hope to create some distance from calorie counting and to begin to concentrate more on the quality of the foods I'm eating. I'd rather be obsessed with points than with calories. It's not a perfect system, but it might be just what I need.

How Will I Do This?
A person of my weight, to lose about 2 lbs a week, should average 32 points per day according to WW. Guess what yesterday's meal came to? 21.5 points! Now, maybe raw food veterans will say to ignore the points because they are based on "outdated" nutritional information. The veterans may be right, but this is my odyssey and I want to learn by doing. I don't mind being wrong, but I can't be wrong OR right if I don't try. So starting Friday (if I remember-old habits die hard) I will not count calories, but points. I predict that I will be eating a lot more food once I do this; WW says that certain vegetables are 0 points per serving. That doesn't mean you can eat endless amounts of them for no points, but they are so low that you can get full without jeopardizing your point count. Many raw foodists say almost the same about all raw vegetables: eat all you want!! Now, I'm not going to give away all of WW's information. They are a business and I'm going to respect that. But I will provide my point count for the day and talk about my experiences as I've been talking about them. Weight Watchers has a very good website I used to practically live at.

Why Count At All?
Now, why do I count points or calories at all? you might ask. Well, it's because I'm reluctant to go without some kind of framework for my weight loss effort. Without a guide I am a terrible judge of how much I eat (like yesterday, when I ate only fruit salad, orange juice, a banana, and two vegetable sushi rolls). I'm still learning how to eat and I'm still recovering from decades of emotional garbage associated with food and eating. Eating instinctively will come over time, but I'm not there yet. This wouldn't be an odyssey if I were already there, now would it?

Have a great day, everyone!




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