February 2, 2019

Giving Up Dieting Math

Current weight minus pounds lost this week times the number of weeks until specific date equals skinny!

Do you recognize the math problem? It sounds like this in my head: If I lose three pounds a week for the next five weeks I’ll have fifteen pounds down by the wedding.

If I lose two pounds a week for the next month I will be eight pounds down by vacation!

If I take the one pound I lost today and replicate that every day until Christmas I’ll be back in my smaller jeans by the holidays.

This is Dieting Math. I do it all the time. It plays in my brain on a loop when I go to bed, after I step on the scale, when I book a vacation, take a job, or get stuck in traffic. The numbers vary but the equation I run is always the same – Current weight minus pounds lost this week times the number of weeks until specific date equals skinny!

I am trying to stop doing these calculations. Everything I’ve read from other intermittent fasters is that progress isn’t linear. It isn’t a fixed number multiplied by weeks to equal a new lower number. It’s different.

There’s a feeling of control, a freedom from food guilt, a thinner middle or face even when the needle on the scale is stuck. It’s an appreciation of a new way of thinking about healing.

That diet math is hard to shake. Right now I’m weighing myself to collect data. I’m counting hours of fasting times and open windows. I’m wondering how many calories might be right for me. But long term my evolution will be to free myself from numbers. Not yet, but someday, not some date.

For now, each time I find my brain reverting to diet math and calculating weight loss numbers I make an effort to stop. I take a breath. I drink some water. I direct my mind to find another path.

Diet math takes up a part of my brain that could be better-used writing, playing with the dog, listening to music, or even organizing my sock drawer. Diet math doesn’t serve me. So it has to go.

My new equation is about balance and abundance. There is no subtraction involved. Intention plus enriching meals plus peace plus freedom plus support plus living in the now equals life.

I can’t always control all the variables but I recognize that I am greater than the old math.

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