**Note – this is NOT an April Fool’s post**
Ignorance is bliss. I’ve been a little too blissful lately.
I also feel like a hypocrite. Here I am, with a mainly-healthy-living focused blog, dispensing advice like one of those little number stands at the butcher counter. However, I keep forgetting to call my OWN number. I have been giving out solid advice like:
-If you are feeling guilt or unhappiness about something in your life, either make it a priority, or let it go. It’s not worth stressing about something you are not mentally ready to tackle.
-Get in touch with your emotions. Figure out WHY you are continuing bad habits that you are trying to break. What’s in your head when you reach for that trigger food? THAT is what needs resolution. The problem, not just the symptoms.
-The scale can be a great measuring tool if it is a) considered with respect – no excuses, it’s not lying to you even if it says something you don’t like and b) used as a measurement, not a mood-altering device. Also, definitely keep an eye on your favorite pair of jeans – if they start fitting differently, then something is definitely up.
-Take little steps while you feel yourself starting to slip, rather than waiting for the ceiling to crash down on you and have to make a major head shift.
So, am I following this? Not at all. The scale is reliably in the low 160s this week (after 2 weeks of completely sidestepping it because I did not want to deal with it). My favorite jeans are tight. I’m finding I’m going for the looser shirts. I’m putting things off until “Monday” or “next week”. I’ve been getting regularly grumpier with the scale and my situation yet I continue to overeat some days, eat junk, and not go back to what was working before – moderate exercise, tracking all my food, reduced calories, not so much protein, etc etc.
It hit me today that I’ve developed some nasty habits and deviated from what was reliably helping me lose weight. I’ve got this sense of entitlement that since I’ve been through it for the last 3 years, since I’m an ATHLETE now, since I’m SO MUCH SMARTER and so superior, I don’t need these playthings anymore. I deserve to be able to take off these 5 (now closer to 10) to be comfortably in my maintenance range without too much discomfort and stress. I took my licks, I did my time in the trenches, I am smarter than needing silly things like calorie trackers and I have transcended beyond the scale mattering.
But it does matter. Not in that “I need it to be a specific unrealistic number” way, but in the way that a year ago it was about 10 lbs less. And although I was going through a lot of mental issues about being stalled and it not being the 135 or whatever my goal was back then, I was pretty fit and happy there. I never thought 10 lbs would matter so much until I regained them. It sucks to look at things and think – hmmm, that looked so much better last summer.
Not to say that I can’t make my excuses. Last year, I got married. That’s worth at LEAST 5 lbs of stress gain, right? I ran two half marathons and really found that distance running is a HORRIBLE way to lose weight. It’s a GREAT way to gain weight though… The 10 lbs has actually IMPROVED my performance, but I think what it is – I was eating WAY too little before to be training as hard as I was. Eating enough goes a long way to knocking out PRs.
The problem is – I see this continuing. The weight is not falling off. The scale is continuing to inch up every few weeks. If I don’t take some time and tackle it now, I’ll be worrying about losing 25 lbs and NOTHING will fit. I’m not doing any distance races in the next few months. I’m scared to think what will happen if I start training again at 160 without losing anything – I’ll get to the starting line of the next race pushing 170…
So in being honest with myself, I am putting forth this plan.
-Spend the rest of this week eating as healthfully as possible while finishing some last minute training and completing a duathalon, camping, and easter dinner with the folks.
-Starting April 5th, I will be tracking my calories with Daily Burn. I’m giving this a try as I like how it adds your workout calories burnt to each day’s consumption. I am going to try to eat at the bottom of the range it gives me on workout days (which will mean increasing my intake most days) and the top of the range on non-workout days.
-I’m also going to change up the days I workout. This is going to invoke some pain but I want to give it a try. I generally eat more on a Saturday, so it is going to become a gym day instead of a rest day. If I go to Sunday brunch and eat 1000 calories? Guess what I’ll be doing later that day? Plans to go out for drinks on a weekday? Guess who will be dragging her ass out of bed super early for a run? Worst case scenario and I make an unplanned oops at night before bed? I make it right within 24 hours. Being diligent about tracking my calories should help – if I’m actually faced with the number and going beyond it, I’ll usually choose to wait it out instead of stuffing my face.
-Write every bite. EVERY BITE. I usually add +100 calories per day for itty snacks, but this month, everything that goes in my mouth is getting tracked. Also – write how I FELT each time I ate to see if there are patterns or things I can discover. Maybe if I find I’m having a snack every day at 3 because I’m bored or figure out what I’m feeling when I get home from work and need to attack the kitchen, I can resolve the issue in a way that makes more sense.
-Back off on the gung ho exercising a bit. As much as I’m terrified to lose this great running base I’ve built, something has to give. I know I can get it back. If I ran 14 miles once I can do it again. I’m still considering the numbers, but I’d like to limit myself to 2 super butt kicking workout days, 2 moderate days w/strength training, and one fun type day (bike riding/walk/rock climbing/skating/etc). The 2 super intense days might even be too much. Again, still working on the logistics. I just need to realize that I cannot out-exercise my eating habits, and not even try.
-Give myself this month to NOT be stronger and better and superior. To realize that I have mental shit still to get through. To realize that ANYONE can backslide. It can happen to you (me, the royal you, anyone).
-Realize that I’m going to be hungry at times. Realize that I’m going to have to sometimes not eat things I want. Realize that it’s not forever. Realize that I am going to reevaluate at the end of the month to see if it’s worth it.
So, starting next week, get ready for your regularly scheduled weight loss news and woes, before the channel was pre-empted by silly things like races and other nonsense. Of course, after I post about the race! Has anyone done a duathalon before? Starting anew for April and want to share your plan?