Well, things are looking up a bit.
I've learned some new things about fitness that are interesting me a lot. I feel like I've had to go a lot more deeply into the subject than I ever thought I would, but it's definitely a good thing.
For years now I've believed it's a simple case of calories in vs calories out, while attempting to include as much vitamin-nutrient-rich fresh food as possible.
But the equation isn't that simple. My binges aren't going away. My body (mind?) is rejecting food sometimes and craving it others. My muscles hurt more/are weighted with lead sometimes, feel like springs others.
It's not just that I mentally have trouble sticking to my calorie limit. It's that when I eat a certain way, it's harder. I'm not saying that just eating the right amount hasn't worked. When I DO stick to my range, I lose a little weight. Unfortunately, I can never sustain the amount I'm eating and usually slip up in a massive implosion which undos lots of the good work.
This is depressing enough without already suffering depression and social anxiety that caused the weight gain in the first place!
Two things I've learned lately and are so far making a massive difference.
-- Carbohydrates are not suited to my metabolism whatsoever. And I am a very high-carb eater.
-- High levels of cardio teach you to crave carbs. And store fat. Not ideal.
-- Short sharp hard weight strength based workouts are best for weight loss.
-- Protein is necessary to keep up your strength.
I'm not giving up running, just as I'm becoming a more and more successful runner, but I'm no longer seeing it as an easy way to eat loads of carbs. I can't believe this never clicked before - all these years that this 10lbs has been refusing to shift!
Anyway. I've actually started losing weight again, for the first time in months of trying (and trying hard! Calorie counting every day; loads of cardio...) I think it's because I've upped my protein and started lifting weights. Pure and simple.
My body-fat percentage is down a little too. Still no abs to be seen... Can't believe I've been pining after abs for almost 36 months and still had no joy. But at least, now, I THINK I can see improvements - I took some progress shots (haven't done this in a while!)
So how I am upping my protein...
- Nuts (NOT cashews or peanuts. They make me binge)
- Pea protein powder
- Cutting out carbs except for vegetables and fruit
And you know what...
Despite running more miles than ever before...
And strength training every other day...
And having entire days where I feel depressed like I used to...
I don't feel hungry! And I don't binge!
Obviously, I need to give it a couple more weeks before I can really tell if its working. But the science seems solid. I read that if you have persisting weight storage/energy swings/carby cravings, it probably means you're not a carb person. And everybody benefits from eating more protein. I can't ever go really low carb, because I won't give up fruit and veg. But I think that for a while, I've been pretty unbalanced. Probably 80% or more carbohydrates. Which is, I suspect, the source of a good many of my problems. So I have new hope...
Finally a confession...
Although I spent a week eating like this and it was wonderful.. today is my birthday. I'm spending it alone and feeling miserable about an assortment of things. I've been borderline depressed for about a month. And I had some bad news about my mother. So, today between the hours of 11am and 1pm was as bad as any two hours of eating I've ever had! I mean you can list every food in the 'dangerously unhealthy vegan' category and they were probably in there. In bucket sized servings.
I'm kind of in shock from that. And I feel really sick now, of course. After a week off all those nasty carbs... all of them at once, from sugar to wheat to cereal bars... it huurrrrrrrrts! And I never want to see one ever again! So hopefully, this will just make me stronger in my new successful tactics, and not be a setback. I know the best thing to do is just to grit my teeth and put it behind me straight away. Back to the lean mean vegan I have been for these seven days, and with even more determination to make it one step back... TEN steps forward!