Friday, February 19, 2010

Learning to Let Go

I’ve been away for five days, and though the time spent away was very enjoyable, uplifting, and a positive recharge for my batteries, it was great to get home: to my own bed, my own routine, and my own life. One of the things I really missed was blogging, and keeping tabs on the blogging community, which has come to mean a lot to me.
I feel I went through a lot this week with my food plan; a lot of emotions came up as a result. I love to go away from home for a while, because it never fails to give me a fresh perspective; knots that have kept me stuck, start to unravel, I begin to see solutions that weren’t visible before, and my hope level gets a big boost.
This trip was no different: it helped clear my head and helped me to let go of some of my fears, and be more positive about my approach to my weight loss, but more importantly, my relationship to my body.
Being away from home is a big challenge when you have a specific food plan; many restaurants do not offer the kind of whole foods that I am looking for in my daily food regiment, and that, normally, would cause me a lot of anxiety. But this time, I tried to be more relaxed. I tried to simply make the best possible choice without worrying that it wasn’t the perfect choice. Also, I didn’t get to exercise, except for a half hour of yoga a day, and that worried me, but I was able to tell myself that all I could do was my best, and then let it go.
Amazingly, I lost two pounds this week, which is better than I’ve done so far! But I think the more important thing is that I exercised self-trust, I said, “I can do this!” and I did. Normally, I have so much fear, especially around food, that when I am trying to control my addiction, I white-knuckle it to such an extreme that I leave no room for flexibility; I am so afraid that if I veer off course even one degree, I will lose control and let myself down.
It was so important for me to temporarily let go of the counting, and measuring, and calculating, and just trust that my instincts were good, and they could keep me safe; and even more important, to see that not only could I do that, but do it, and succeed.
While away, my sister introduced me to Weight Watchers. I had tried Weight Watchers in the past, and it didn’t work for me, but it was prior to the introduction of the points system, which I think, has revolutionized the program. I feel it allows for a kind of flexibility that wasn’t there before, and I am more and more aware that I need flexibility in order to succeed. When I paint myself into a corner with restrictions, with no way for variance, I am setting myself up for a fall. The problem has always been, that I am terrified of flexibility, I have to white-knuckle it, it’s the only way I have known. Maybe I can begin to let the fears go a little bit, and trust that it’s OK; that I am not perfect, and my progress won’t be perfect, but that’s OK, too. And of course, the bottom line here, I guess what I’m really talking about, is that, I have to learn to love me just as I am. I think when I truly get there, then I will not be so scared of making a mistake, or being less than perfect, because I’ll know, in my gut, that I’m OK no matter what weight I am. And the added benefit, of course, is that when I really love myself, my weight would stabilize, because I wouldn’t dream of hurting myself with food, or any other way.
One thing that’s really been working for me has been that I’ve taken out some new recipes and I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of new foods. (Boredom is big trouble for me when I am trying to stay on track, and I had a fairly limited repetoire of diet-friendly dishes that I could prepare , so I was beginning to get a little stir-crazy; I decided I needed to branch-out!) I’ve used quite a few recipes from the The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet book; it has a great section of recipes borrowed from Cheryl Forberg’s Stop the Clock Cooking, and they have all been terrific!
Here’s one I tried today which was delicious, very quick to prepare (35 minutes) and only 2 points for a 1-cup serving:
Broccoli Dill Soup with Lemon and Tahini
1 tbl. Olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped yellow onions
1 tsp. mustard seed
4 cups fat-free,low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbl chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried dill)
2 cups bite-size broccoli pieces
¼ c pitted, chopped ripe olives (I used Kalamiti – delicious!)
1 tbl. Tahini
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Heat olive oil in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sautee until onions are just beginning to brown, about 7 minutes.
2. Add mustard seed and sautee for one minute, stirring frequently. Carefully add broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add dill and broccoli and cook until broccoli is just tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in olives, tahini and lemon peel, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
4. Yield: 1 ½ Quarts; 6 (1 cup) servings


  1. Congrats on the two pounds and all that you learned this week! I'd like to keep tabs on your progress!

  2. Congrats on keeping with it. Missed ya! Glad to have you back.

  3. you sound so happy! i am very similar to you with the white knuckling. i too have been gradually 'letting go' and it is empowering to learn that i can trust my body.
    way to go!!!

  4. I wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for a creative writing award. To claim your award go to and follow the rules in the post. Thanks for sharing your journey with the rest of us!

  5. Wow! I think that, even MORE impressive than the 2 pounds lost (which is fantastic), is the way that you trusted your instincts and didn't obsess! Being able to be relaxed with your eating, especially away from home, is an amazing achievement!

    Way to go!!!

  6. Thank you guys for all the great words of encouragement; I truly do take strength from all of your support!