Update on the Anti-Diet

Two weeks ago, I decided I was going to try an approach to weight-loss referred to as The Anti Diet. I was going to stop counting calories, stop trying to achieve completely defined goals, and instead create a much more organic experience for myself — one where I paid close attention to my body, gave it what it needed, understood what it really wanted, and nurture and nourish it without obsessing over the details and the how-to’s.

Essentially, what this new process has done is help me focus the mindfulness I’ve directed toward my emotions and my thoughts toward my body, which I’d often ignored in the past. I don’t let myself starve, I don’t stuff myself to the brim of explosion, I try to pay close attention to and delight in what I eat (which often means eating more slowly.) I try to figure out what sort of food my body really needs and wants.

Seafood and fresh veggies really make my body happy — especially red & green bell peppers and onions. It’s also responded well to eggs, cottage cheese, milk, Nutella, and freshly baked whole wheat bread. It also demands at least a small piece of very very dark chocolate (80+% Cocoa) and/or a Girl Scout Thin Mint or two. And, as always, honey is a must.

I’ve started drinking hot tea without cream or sugar or honey. I made myself some herbal tea the other day, and thought, “I wonder if I can handle this plain?” To my surprise, I really enjoyed it! Now, I don’t drink coffee at all — just different types of hot tea without any of the trappings. This has also transferred over to iced tea so that I can now drink it unsweetened, as well. So now, I don’t even drink coffee anymore — just hot tea, and often I don’t even drink the types with caffeine.

Things that my body hasn’t liked: rich cupcakes, greek yogurt, cheeseburgers from the Safari Grill at the zoo (it liked the home-made cheeseburgers at my in-laws’ house just fine), Sloppy Joes, and Special K Protein Shakes.

My body still has an embarrassing love affair with Domino’s Pizza, but it’s doing a better job at adhering to more understandable portion sizes.

So, as you can see, I haven’t cut anything out of my diet. I’m still eating pizza, the occasional fast food, and sweets. All I’ve been doing is eating slowly, letting my body decide if it’s full or if it’s hungry, and acting accordingly based on my body’s needs.

I have also been making sure I do something active every single day. While at work, I take my two walking breaks every day. When I get home, I either walk, run, or do something active with my daughter — generally playing the wii. I hope to get myself up to swimming occasionally soon. On the weekends, I let my body tell me what it wants to do — this past weekend it was disc golf one day, walking around the zoo the other. I’m trying to make the activities more playful and enjoyable. I don’t want to HAVE to exercise; I want to WANT to exercise. I’ve found that two components really help me here — either I make it a social event where I get to interact with people, or I make it a connecting-with-nature event where I enjoy walking around, looking at and listening to everything around me.

I may be taking up the hula hoop again soon, though — just saying.

My clothes have been fitting more loosely, and people have been commenting, asking if I’m losing weight.

I’m not entirely sure *exactly* where I was two weeks ago, but from the last time I weighed myself (sometime in the week before starting the Anti-Diet) to today, I have lost five pounds.

Is it ground-breaking or earth-shattering? Absolutely not, but it’s working, and in the process I’m cultivating healthy practices that I know I’ll be able to maintain once the weight loss goal is met — which for me is the most important thing. One of the things I’ve realized lately is that I find ways to stress about EVERYTHING, but I think I’ve finally found a way to NOT stress about my body, what I eat, and how much I weigh.

Some unexpected pleasant side-effects of the Anti-Diet:

Since I’m listening to my body, I’m getting more sleep. There’s a point in the evening when my body just says, “okay, I’m tired now, it’s time for bed,” and I think I’ve always ignored that before, as part of my tendency to remain unattached from my body. I’ve been listening to those signals now, and I’ve been getting even six hours of sleep many nights instead of just five.

It’s also helped me be more mindful in general. Who knew that being mindful and gentle with your body would translate to being mindful and gentle with your own thoughts? Most notably, it’s helped me be more aware of how I feel and what’s going on inside me at any given moment. I suppose I’ve always heard that there is a tangible connection between your body and your emotional state, but I didn’t really understand what was meant by that until recently.

It’s amazing how completely disconnected I was from my body for such a long time. I’m excited to finally be paying attention to it — and excited about what may happen next!

4 Comments

  • Rodney
    March 14, 2012 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    While reading this i was thinking- “well this is a dumb idea, she is going to gain weight and be miserable!”. Then part way through It started to make sense when I realized that I was fixing to eat breakfast and I am not even hungry, I am thirsty, very, very, very, thirsty really. I have a ritual that I do 3 times a day no mater what my body wants and its stuff it full of food like it maybe the last time i get to eat for 2 days.
    I also drink mountain dew when ever I drive but I have never looked at one and said I really need that like I do water sometimes. I have even got one before instead of water because I was not going to pay 2 dollars for water and felt like I was getting a better deal for this processed concoction.
    I think you have stumbled on something that’s really going to work Devon, and I am going to start this today as well. Thanks for the insight.- Rodney LongII

    • March 16, 2012 - 7:39 am | Permalink

      Rodney — I’m so glad you found it inspirational! In some ways, it’s a lot more difficult, because you have to be careful to *always* be aware of what is *really* going on with your body and making the best decisions for it. That being said, once you are aware of those decisions, I’m guessing it’ll be easier to really stick with it for the long-term! (At least, I’m hoping!) Good luck on your own journey!

  • March 14, 2012 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Hey Devon! I’m really excited about your journey. I have had the same issues with weight loss and body image ever since I was in elementary school. I am definitely going to try the Anti-Diet out and keep following your story. Thanks for the insight!

    • March 16, 2012 - 7:41 am | Permalink

      Stephanie — I’m glad it may help! Honestly, I stumbled upon the article through Pinterest. If it does end up being as successful in the long-term as I imagine it will be, I’ll definitely have to say Pinterest has some very useful qualities! :-) Good luck!

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