I just looked up the word sustain in the dictionary and the meaning is “to keep up or keep going, as an action or process”. My big question of the day is what weight loss program can one sustain for the rest of one’s life? I have come to the conclusion several months ago that my weight loss journey is not to reach just a number on a scale. I have lost and gained enough weight during my lifetime trying to reach that number on the scale. My weight loss goal now is to reach my goal weight (7 more pounds) and be able to sustain my weight loss and maintain my loss for the rest of my life.
I have just completed 2 1/2 weeks on the Paleo Whole 30 Challenge. I will say I have done some good things. I now look at all nutrition labels. I have done so in the past but was more concerned about the calorie count and Weight Watcher points than the additives in the product. But now I am concerned about the additives in the product. They say if you can’t pronounce what’s in a product than don’t eat it. I have eaten mostly clean for these 2 1/2 weeks. I drink at least 64 ounces of water with a touch of lemon per day. My diet these past weeks has been lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, olive oil and nuts. I have limited my use of Stevia. I have limited my drinking of Diet Sodas. I drink my lemon water instead of Diet Light Lemonade (my absolute favorite drink). The good thing is that I am full most of the time. But the bad thing is that I have just not been satisfied.
If a person is not satisfied with the food on a weight loss program, how can one sustain that way of eating for life? I know I can’t. I am throwing in the towel with the Paleo Whole 30 Challenge. Does that make me weak? Does that make me a quitter? Absolutely not! They say on the program “anyone can do anything for 30 days”. Not so. I need to know that I can sustain a lifestyle if I am going to do something for the rest of my life. I need to go back to my Weight Watcher way of life. I know I can sustain that way of eating for the rest of my life. I realized early on, the Paleo Whole 30 Challenge would not be sustainable. To me, it is a 30 day program that when you reach day 30, you go back to your old way of eating. And that to me is yo-yo dieting.
While on the Whole 30, I found that I a craved foods that I had never craved before. I guess it was because so many foods are forbidden. No dairy, sugar, grains, legumes, white potatoes, and definitely no alcohol. On Weight Watchers, I very rarely ever have a craving because you can eat anything. When a food is forbidden doesn’t it make you want it even more? I very rarely crave sweets. But every afternoon on the Whole 30, I was craving sweets. Whole 30 says not to eat any sugar or sugar substitutes. So what was I suppose to do with my cravings? Go out for a walk? Drink more water? Eat another piece of fruit (which on the Whole 30 is limited)? On Weight Watchers when I am craving a sweet I grab a sugarless piece of gum or a fruit smoothie (both no-no’s on Whole 30). And that would sustain me for the rest of the afternoon.
When I got home, when on Weight Watchers, instead of grabbing a glass of wine (trying to limit the sugar in my diet), I would grab a Diet Tonic Water. I would fill a glass full of ice, pour my Diet Tonic Water, and add a slice of lime. It is so delicious. I soon forgot that I wanted a glass of wine. On Whole 30, Diet Sodas are a definite no, no. They do encourage you to drink lots of water. But after drinking a gallon of water with lemon all day long, water just was not going to satisfy me. The other evening while preparing dinner, I found myself pacing the kitchen . I was drinking my lemon water and it was not getting rid of my craving for a glass of wine or a sweet drink. I soon caved and grabbed a glass of Diet Tonic Water with ice and lime. It tasted delicious. And I felt horribly guilty!
So what can I do to sustain a healthy eating plan for the rest of my life? Weight Watchers. This program has been a slow but steady weight loss program for me. I have lost weight very slowly but steadily. Yes, I do get frustrated with the slow weight loss but I know that I can sustain this way of life for the rest of my life. I have tried so many weight loss programs in my lifetime and have failed so many times. And it was because those programs were great to lose weight but they were not sustainable.
I am very thankful for the Paleo Whole 30 Challenge. It taught me a lot. Clean eating is the biggest thing I will continue. Chemically induced products will definitely be limited in my diet. Added sugars in my “diet” will be limited. But the biggest thing Whole 30 has taught me is that Weight Watchers is the program for me. I know I can keep it up and keep it going. That is sustainability.