Sunday, January 9, 2011

Obsession, Revisited

I wrote last year about how I felt that WW and food tracking had taken over my life for awhile, and led to an unnatural and unhealthy obsession with food, weight, tracking, measuring, the program, etc. When that happened, I went off WW -- not quitting the healthy living thing, just the tracking, etc. -- for awhile to regain a sense of balance. For about 6 months I maintained in a 10 lb. window (235 +/- 5 lbs).

This weekend I realized why I was obsessed with food and tracking during that time: I was hungry. Honestly. My body was whispering that to me, but I could not figure it out at the time. I finally figured that out this morning.

For the majority of my time on WW (maybe even all of it), I have embraced eating about 70-80% of my food and what I cook from natural, unprocessed sources (though I probably eat out too much). Since I've been on WW, I've almost always chosen the apple or orange over a 100 calorie pack, and I ate eggs for breakfast and drank milk and was vigilant about making sure I had protein at every meal even when they were proportionally more "expensive" points-wise. In retrospect, the old WW system did not really reward this kind of eating and that led to my being hungry. And that hunger led to an unhealthy obsession with food. And THAT is what I could not deal with, even though I did not realize until this very morning that the reason why was that I was hungry.

I love that fruits are "free" now on the new WW PointsPlus plan. I eat probably 4-6 servings of fruit and 2-4 servings of vegetables a day. I love that eggs and milk stayed the same number of points, while my daily points allowance increased. I love that the way that I approach food and the way that WW approaches food are now aligned. I feel so validated.

But most of all? I love that I don't feel restricted by my eating, that the program is working (lost 5.8 lbs this week while tracking everything, and eating pizza and burgers and having dinner at the Olive Garden and Panera), that I am not hungry, and that I am not obsessed with the WW program or with food choices, but that they are just a part of what I do and have assumed a supporting role, not front and center in my life. This is so huge for me. A huge step in having food not define me. A huge step toward being in control.

I am making progress. I am proud.


  1. This is actually really encouraging to hear because I'm thinking about giving WW a try online. I've never done it before, and tracking points is one thing I've been a little hesitant about because I know based on past experience with food journaling that giving a lot of attention to what I eat can also turn into an unhealthy obsession.

  2. I love fruit too, but I have forced myself to take a fruit break. I found it was becoming a comfort food, or perhaps even an addiction. I know how crazy that sounds, and really, if you are going to be addicted to something, why not fruit? Right? Well, I don't want to be controlled by any food, so therein lies the break.

    Wow, I just hijacked your blog with my comment. Sorry! :-) Make it a great day!

    ~South Beach Steve


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