First, and probably obviously, it has to produce results. I don't have to lose extraordinary amounts of weight each week to be happy. Although, that would be a nice bonus. The thing I need most in this arena is consistency. I truly believe I'd be quite happy losing a pound a week - IF I lost a pound each week. I could even be happy with not losing weight one week, if I lost 2 the next.
Next, it needs to fit in to my lifestyle. This means two things to me. One I don't have to count, weigh or measure any thing other than my body and I can eat anything I want.
With regard to the counting, weighing & measuring food, I can't. Since I am an accountant it seems as though that would be just my thing. It isn't. I get so caught up in the precision and accuracy of it all that I drive myself crazy for fear that I went over some place because I didn't count 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. (not kidding!)
Then, I start thinking that if 1200 calories is my limit, I should stop at 1000 to cover those missed calories due to my inaccuracies. Or maybe even 800, how about just eating 200 per meal and no snacks. It gets crazy. This happens no matter what I count.
Eating anything I want, is sort of coupled with this. When I can't have something, that is what I want most. I'm not talking about eating cookies for breakfast. I mean not feeling like a freak in social situations. I want to have the option to eat whatever is served at parties. I want to be able to eat my aunt's homemade peach ice cream on July 4, without feeling like I've blown everything. That I've eating too many calories/carbs/whatever.
As my mind circles around and around with these thoughts, I keep coming back to the same thing - real food. Eating things like my grass-fed beef, fresh vegetables and fruit, nothing processed (which I almost never do anyway), keeping carbs to a minimum and only in a natural form like fruit. Here's my problem. I don't trust myself.
I don't trust myself to make good choices. I have a mentality of being on a diet or off. This feels like 'off' and I fear I'd eat another box of chocolates or half a pizza because I am not on a diet. It is like, eat it while I can because the next diet is just around the corner.
I have an idea that food is either good or bad. Green vegetables,=good. Potato=bad. If I eat a potato then all is lost, and I am a horrible person for not being able to make better choices. At the same time, I don't think it is healthy to lop off a whole food group, like carbs. We need those. We need apples. I know we don't need carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, but if I decide that I'm never having that again for the rest of my life, I freak out.
Lots of the time, knowing I CAN, makes it easier for me to CHOOSE not to. Weird, I know. Most of this stuff is a mental battle, rather than a physical one. Most of the work I need to do is between my ears rather than at the gym or in the kitchen.
I'm searching still. I know nothing will produce lasting results until it is a permanent change inside. I'm just not sure how to change inside my head.
Thanks for hanging in there and reading through to the end. I hope it wasn't too freaky.