This will be a long post I’m sure. Actually I intend it to be because it is being written over a period of time to track my feelings as I go through the beginning phases of this process.
I am about to get so real with you guys and for that, I hope you will respect and not resent me. I preach about fitness, living healthy, making healthy food choices, not focusing on how the media depicts this lifestyle, yadda, yadda, yadda. I still stand by all of this. But while I have been talking the talk, I have been crawling the walk so to speak.
I train about 5-6 times a week and I train hard. But, I only eat about 800-1000 calories a day throughout the week. Lately, weekends I go on a bender and binge on everything in the house. Popcorn, protein pancakes, peanut butter, whatever we have, I eat it. The binging has only started over the past couple of weeks. I began to worry, because I felt so out of control. I knew what I was doing was not healthy but I could not will myself to stop.
The more I thought about it, the more I stressed myself out and the more I binged. I thought about food probably every single hour of the day in which I was awake. This is embarrassing because not only was I out of control, I was damaging my body. As hard as I worked I knew my body deserved and needed more, but I was so afraid of increasing my daily caloric intake.
My fear of gaining weight, after working SO hard to get where I was, was overwhelming and all-consuming. Food in general stressed me out. I ate clean, whole foods, rarely did I eat junk, but I just wasn’t eating enough.
I decided I had enough. I still had a “goal weight” but instead of losing I was gaining on the scale. But it wasn’t so much the scale that made my decision as it was the way I looked and was feeling. I looked bloated ALL. THE. TIME. I looked sad. I felt unaccomplished and tired. My workouts were still decent but it took more talking myself up than usual. My emotions weren’t their normal self either. I decided I needed to change. IF I gain weight, I can always lose it again. I believe that. I have to.
I am increasing my caloric intake from 800-1000 a day to about 1500-1600 to start, with a goal of 2000 daily. I am doing this in increments in order to hopefully offset the bloating and water weight that will, I’m sure, show itself within the first couple of weeks.
Let me tell you, finding food high enough in calories that’s not processed and is still good for you, is kind of difficult. My #1 rule: eat a lot of fat. For real. Fat is high calorie in low quantity which won’t leave me feeling stuffed. I made the mistake this morning of eating a HUGE breakfast: 3/4 cup of oatmeal with 3 tbsp natural peanut butter, 2 tbsp walnut halves, 1/2 cup strawberries and 1 cup of veggies on the side. WHEW! I feel miserable. And not long after I had to find myself eating a peanut butter and chocolate protein bar…OMG…I have lunch in 2 hours and DO NOT WANT IT! Unfortunately, I may find myself skipping it . *blush* I am trying! This is HARD! But I know it’s what’s right for my body. I need to fuel it properly.
Therefore, I am making a trip to Target to look for healthy, high calorie, high fat and protein options to add to my day. A good option, I think, is chocolate almond milk. I see protein bars, protein shakes, peanut butter and nuts being a large part of my diet.
Hey All! Today is the second day of increasing calories. Yesterday I took in about 1600, pretty good from my usual 800-1000. Today however, I will only achieve about just under 1400. This isn’t purposefully, it’s still good progress, after all, it is progress. This morning for breakfast I had a 2 egg veggie omelet with turkey sausage and a slice of whole wheat toast with 1-1/2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter. I still felt a little bit heavy but definitely better than yesterday morning. So much better in fact, that by the time lunch rolled around, I was actually hungry and finished my salad with peppers, walnuts and a boiled egg. I even indulged in 1/2 a cup of cherries when I got back to the office.
I have had a slight craving for chocolate today due to Auntie calling me up and saying she would be visiting in the next couple of days. I quickly and easily satisfied this with a hot cocoa k-cup of which the extra calories were very useful to get me close to 1500-1600.
There is so much media about how we should restrict our calories, and maybe this was the right thing to do when the population isn’t discovering health & fitness, but the fitness industry is evolving and I feel that our fitness community is growing and people are realizing the benefits of exercise and nutrition. That being said, the idea of calorie restriction has to be broken and we are having to relearn how to eat now, to be able to fuel our bodies through a workout.
This is much tougher than it would seem. It’d be easier if I ate junk, but I am a pretty healthy girl. I don’t like processed food or fake food that isn’t nutritious and natural. Except cookies! I eat real, balanced food, with simple ingredients that I am cooking myself. In order to reach a high calorie goal on low calorie whole foods, I am having to eat A LOT! And my tummy is not used to this and I think it’s trying to figure out how to digest more food now…oh wait…that means my body is having to work more which means its burning. See where I’m going?
I cannot wait to see what the next few weeks bring. I’m still slightly concerned about fat gain, but I’m confident in my body’s ability so I need to push those false thoughts out of my mind!
Today has been pretty great for the most part. I have actually felt hungry at times and fed my body appropriately. I still feel a bit puffy but that could be PMS so Im waiting to see. I have gone from 123lbs up to 125.5 as of last night. So, in my head I know, there’s no way I gained fat that quickly, but everything I’m used to tells me it is. Everything I am learning tells me it’s my body adjusting. I am anxious to see what the next couple of weeks bring. Overall, I haven’t had any cravings but I have been eating very clean, whole foods. Vegetables have been at least half of my meals, and a fat is incorporate at each meal, staples include peanut butter, walnuts, and avacado. I am trying to keep my meals light which is allowing me to munch on healthy snacks often, such as fruit, yogurt, dark chocolate, and popcorn. I will be honest, it’s still difficult getting out of my own head AND trying to eat so much food. Next week I am adding in chicken and sausage to up my protein and get my calories easier.
Yesterday evening after I got home and began working out, I had a breakdown. When I looked in the mirror, all I saw were “love handles” and a round belly. I felt pudgy and soft. Where was the leanness and the progress I have been working years for? I felt like a failure whom had placed her self right back into the position of being depressed, out of shape, and unhealthy 4 years ago. Although I knew in my head I was psyching myself, all I could see was my current state in that mirror and I lost it…mid-workout I just began to ball. I was not sure I could continue taking in this many calories. I felt sick, like eating disorder sick. I couldn’t get out of my head to see passed this.
I tried to push through my workout but I kept being overridden with fears, doubts, and tears. In a frantic, I gave up and sat down, emailing the friend who was walking me through this process and helping me get healthy again. I was losing it, considering restricting my calories again, and I needed reassurance and someone to help me stay grounded. Almost immediately, she emailed me back reassuring me. Insisting that the puffiness and pudge I was feeling was only from 3 things:
- Increased Fiber Intake
- Increased Sodium Intake
She told me to trust her and that I was doing so well. She said I need to keep going and that together, we are going to get my body to look the way I wanted while eating food in a quantity that was not restrictive or unhealthy.
Today I feel a little better. I’m still having doubts but I keep forcing myself to eat my meals and calories even when I’m criticizing my current state. All of my foods are still healthy, nothing has added salt, but I am eating more vegetables, more of everything really. I did start, which is a slight condolence and gives me hope that my friend is right, and to give my trust to her. Either way, I need to keep pushing passed this. My journey to get fit and lean and eat right, has turned into an unhealthy restriction due to the media, of which I am now staying away from.
My health is my own. I have the knowledge of what my body needs, I have studied specifically for this lifestyle. I need to stop overthinking and stop listening to the outside world, and start making my own reality. I workout hard, I eat very healthy, and I am strong. I am doing exactly what my body, mind and health need in order to regain control, quit obsessing, and stop stressing about every little bite I take. I also need to set such a better example for my followers. For being unhealthy, I am so sorry if you feel I have let you down.
I am going to end this blog today, but I will keep you updated on my progress. As I looked in the mirror yesterday I was so motivated by what I saw! I look great! I look strong, lean, and impressive AND I ate like 1600 calories yesterday. The only thing making me feel any kind of yuck is Auntie came in, but that’ll last two days and be done. Today’s calories will be about 1500 but guess what? It includes 2 cups of of So Delicious cashew milk caramel cluster ice cream! WOW! The rest of my day has been healthy & I have a whole healthy weekend filled with calories planned! I am so happy and excited to where I go from here and how my body will grow and change. I owe a very special thank you to someone who has really helped me along this journey. She is welcome to disclose herself but as I don’t want other people to overwhelm her with questions, I will keep her identity concealed. Thank you so much for helping me find true health and change my eating habits because I was going down the wrong path, a potentially dangerous, unhealthy, and damaging path. Thank you for being there when I broke down and doubted myself, thank you for your support and motivation. Truly, you are an inspiration and such a great person for caring enough and taking the time to walk me through this. I feel so much happier and livelier. And my husband is also happy that his wife is no longer burdened by food 24/7, and stressing about whether or not 100 more calories will add fat to her body, because realistically, it will not!
Farewell my loving and precious audience. :-*