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Going with my gut

It's been a goal of mine for a long time to become a natural eater*.

I've gradually eliminated certain substances** that were messing with my body's appetite signals, and I've done a vast amount of psycho-somatic work to curtail emotionally-driven eating.

My food profile today is dramatically better than it was five years ago, but I'm still fatter than I'm comfortable being, and what's more, I've continued to gain weight--even with consistent daily exercise.

So I've circled back around to calories. The laws of physics. Intake minus output equals storage.

It's not like I didn't know this. It's just that I couldn't do it. When depression or shock or flashbacks or constant low-grade PTSD make you crave deep-fried sugar-butter and MSGeetos, what you eat will give you irresistible cravings for more of same, and trying to "diet" is completely futile. Eating 3600 calories a day was normal for me.

Once I'd broken that cycle, I found that I was prepared to suffer a bit of physical hunger in the process of getting used to a more sustainable number of calories per day***.

I've been following a sustainable-calorie protocol for about a month now, and the difference between this time and any past "low-cal diet" is enormous. (MyPlate at Livestrong is a really useful tool.)

I have occasional white-knuckle evenings, but mostly I feel very settled and strong. Enough really feels like enough--like plenty, in fact. And oh how much better I sleep on an empty stomach! That was an unforeseen benefit.

No weird foods or new food prohibitions, either. I still get more of my calories from fat than the charts say I should, but that feels good to me. I could certainly get more fiber, but it's coming along. I could drink less coffee, but hey. I like coffee! (That said, I did switch from lattes to black, for a significant savings in both calories AND money--except on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays I still get my four-shot whole-milk latte.) I have bacon and eggs for breakfast at least a couple of times a week.

It's not about purity. Purity was a concept that I had to let go of. It's not about a "goal weight", just a goal behavior, which I seem already to be practicing.

So I guess I'm there. :D

*By "natural eater" I mean naturally inclined to eat just about what I need for health and a healthy weight. By "healthy weight" I mean some value reflective of my height (5'10"), my frame (extra-large), and my age (55 in a few weeks)--not a value reflective of, say, Hollywood.

**MSG, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, trans-fats, and gluten, basically.


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