After last week’s weigh-in, I went outside to do some yard work, which has been a regular part of my morning routine since I started this project.  I get outside first thing in the morning and get moving, just to start my day with some light activity.  Lately I’ve been doing a lot of weeding in an effort to improve the appearance of the flower gardens around my house.

As I pulled at this particular batch of weeds, I noticed how the roots ran under the dirt in long stretches.  “Gosh,” I thought to myself, “this stuff is almost like ivy, more than a weed.”  And then it occurred to me that that it was ivy: poison ivy.  I immediately went inside, disrobed, and showered with as much soap as possible.  Two days later, I awoke to find that my right eye had swollen shut in the night, and the rash was quickly spreading all over my body.  Apparently my shower spread the oil around on my skin more than removing it.

So I made a trip to the doctor’s office, and I’m on a dose of steroids, which the doctor said can cause weight gain, but I am actually down a pound from last week, so we’ll see how things go.  I spent two days on the couch, moving as little as possible because I was so physically uncomfortable, so my activity level lately has been really low.  I think the discomfort has also reduced my appetite, so maybe it’s all going to balance out.

Well, I’m kind of hovering at this weight, and that’s frustrating when I first look at the scale, but then I think about how I’m not actually dieting, I’m not working out, and I’m eating whatever food I want.  I wouldn’t recommend this as a weight loss approach, but it is an important part of my exploration.  I’m really staying focused on the idea of re-learning to recognize when I’m truly hungry and when I just feel like eating.  It’s pretty fascinating.

I’m having days where I don’t eat until one or two in the afternoon, and it really doesn’t bother me at all.  The days when I’m struggling are the days when I’m stressed.  That’s when I catch myself eating sugary foods that I don’t really need, and eating food when I’m just not hungry.  I must do a better job of managing my self-care so that I’m not consuming these foods needlessly.

No change in weight since last weigh-in.  It’s now been five weeks since I officially started this project, and I’ve lost 4.5 pounds, so a little less than a pound per week of weight loss, if you average it out.  While the results are disappointing, keep in mind that I really have not followed any specific program or approach so far; I’ve just made some small adjustments to my lifestyle.  I’ve created opportunities to be a little more active, I’ve increased my water intake some, and I eat only when I’m hungry.  These have been easy changes to make, really, and I could keep going this way, but that would mean that at the current rate of weight loss it would take me two years to lose the weight, and I’d rather not take that long.

So, today I’m starting Phase Two of the project.  I’m going to start actually using what I know about hypnosis and develop daily self-hypnosis practices.  Specifically, I’m going to target two issues:

  1. Sugar consumption.
    I’m still consuming quite a bit of sugar in the foods I eat.  Sugary drinks, cookies, the occasional ice cream cone.  I’m still consuming foods that are more about getting pleasure from food than getting nutrition from food, so it’s time to start re-wiring that impulse at the subconscious level.
  2. Portion size.
    It’s been really cool making the shift away from old eating patterns based on time of day and cultural expectations, to eating only when I’m actually hungry.  The new challenge that comes from this change is that a fair amount of the time, I’m getting to a point in hunger where I’m then eating more than I need when I actually eat.  I’m often eating to the point of being full, rather than eating to a point of being satiated.  I should be able to work on this with self-hypnosis, increasing my awareness of how my body feels as I eat and putting the brakes on sooner.

I’ve been interviewing experts in hypnosis and other areas for five weeks now, and those interviews are going to start airing soon, so I’ll be able to connect what I’ve been learning from these amazing people to the work I’m doing for myself.

Small victory, but I’ll take it.  With the fourth of July holiday mixed into last week, which did involve some cookouts and indulgent choices, to drop a pound and a half is okay in my book.

Last week, I brought up the idea of becoming more aware of when I’m truly hungry and when I’m not.  So, toward the end of the week, I started the practice of not eating until I actually felt hungry, and I actually found that I wasn’t eating until one or two in the afternoon!  I don’t expect that to last forever, but it has been a fascinating experience to have.

I’m also starting to do better with my water intake.  I’ve gone from one or two glasses a day to 3-4 glasses a day.  I have a feeling that next week my numbers are going to show a considerable improvement.  It feels like momentum is finally building.

This one didn’t surprise me, actually.  I was good most of the week with nutrition and water intake, but then I checked out over the weekend.  I also finished chopping all my firewood last week, and haven’t found a good replacement activity in the mornings.

I keep thinking about one simple idea: why do I eat when I’m not hungry?  There is probably more than one answer to that question, but the overarching theme is all that matters, for now.  I’ve created habits that don’t serve me.

I just want to spend the next week really focusing on increasing my awareness of when I actually feel hungry and when I don’t.