A week ago I hit my breaking point. I was TIRED! I was tired of thinking about food all the time, tired of counting calories and tracking everything I ate in My Fitness Pal (which is a great tool, I just needed a break), most of all I was tired of getting on the scale every day. At the start of the year I told myself I was in “maintenance” mode, but I hadn’t really allowed myself to fully enter that. Yes, I was eating more, but I was still tracking and counting everything and worst of all getting on that scale every damn day. I was getting on that scale expecting to see that steady climb down, and yet I wasn’t “eating” for a loss any longer. So it became very frustrating. So in a brave moment of self perseverance, I decided it was finally time to let go. To give myself a chance to “know and listen” to what my body needs.
After all, on this almost 2 year journey to lose 10
5 pounds I didn’t always count calories and weigh myself daily. I have only been doing that for the last 7 months or so. A blog reader pointed that out to me, the other day and asked how I felt back then? I felt less anxiety. I think I needed these tools to get me to where I am today but I don’t want to “live” this way.
The afternoon that I made this declaration, I decided to celebrate with dinner out. We went out to a really nice restaurant and it felt so good to just order what I wanted and not worry about how many calories it was. I was so relaxed! I had grilled shrimp and steak (cooked on a stone in front of me), sweet potato fries, dipping sauce for the fries, 2 glasses of wine and DESSERT! (and maybe just maybe a booze dessert coffee too) I ate slowly, I savored it, I left some of everything behind and stopped when I was full. It was beautiful…and the best part is we had a blast as a family. It was an amazing evening. I got home and I was full and didn’t eat anymore that night. No stuffing myself after because I felt like I had already “blown” it. Just a happy and content Katie.
The next day, I woke up and headed to the bathroom scale when I remembered my new promise. Again, I felt good. RELIEVED. At breakfast I even added some extra peanut butter in my smoothie thinking “why not!”
Saturday, I had my long run of 15km in the morning, and came home and fueled my body with good healthy food. I made my new favorite Chicken and Gnocchi Soup for dinner that night and enjoyed some wine and dessert. Sunday I had some treats, worked out, enjoyed Indian for dinner and again stopped eating when I was full. Later that evening the panic started to set in…what was I doing…how many calories have I eaten…my anxiety started to rise…so I had a snack…and then another snack. They were “healthy-ish” snacks (like my new fav chia seed pudding) but I wasn’t hungry in fact I was sort of full and uncomfortable and I was feeding myself for comfort. But I told myself to calm down and trust.
I woke up Monday, with renewed promise that I was going to give this my best shot. I thought of my fit healthy friends that live full happy lives, that eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full and don’t obsess over all this stuff. I thought I can do this.
I’m not changing what I eat, I know that my body responds best to whole healthy food. I put together a meal plan for the week as usual. I hit the grocery store and loaded up the house with good wholesome food as usual. I hit the gym as usual. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and baking healthy food for the kids and I, as usual.
What was different was…
*when I made my cauliflower soup…I didn’t think about how many calories the coconut oil had I just thought…this is good for me.
* when I ate my meals, I didn’t have My Fitness Pal open entering the food as I ate it, I actually enjoyed my meal in peace (as peaceful as it get’s with two kids at the table.)
*when I was hungry I didn’t think twice about making a healthy snack and eating it (I should clarify…before I certainly would have made the snack..if I was hungry I ate…but its the mental part that is different..there is no baggage…no calculation)
*I’m not thinking about tracking food, I am thinking about how can I FUEL my body…what do I need? I’m trying to think of myself, as dare I say, an athlete, and treating it as such.
Overall, I feel really good. I feel “lighter” and I feel free. But I also have moments where I really do panic and think what am I doing. I have even gone and opened My Fitness Pal with the intention of entering my day’s food to see where I am at and then have stopped and told myself I am being ridiculous. I have gotten on the scale twice (I totally broke down, but at least it wasn’t every day) and I hope to go to once a week, then once a month weigh ins. Both times I saw NO CHANGE. So if anything I guess it reinforced that I am doing JUST FINE!
On this morning’s run, I listened to Kelly Clarkson’s song “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger.” I tell you it really hit home on so many levels. I think it should be my training song for the Marathon, and also it reminded me that this…this is just another trial…and I am going to be just fine.
So I guess, I am actually learning to trust my body…slowly..I am finding my way to a WHOLE and HEALTHY ME!