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Waking up hungry instead of refreshed?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Recently I posted a glowing review of myself, discussing my achievements and progress and how happy I am with what I’ve done. Oh sure, this is great, but it gets boring fast. "I'm awesome! Check me out! Guess what--still awesome everybody! Oh--did I mention I'm awesome??"

So gentle readers, how do you recover from being so proud of yourself? Personally, I like to follow up my feelings of elation with a few days of bad decisions and discouragement!

Riding a nearly perfect wave of staying within my calorie range, I thought to myself, “you know what will probably work even better than following this plan that’s been working really well? NOT following this plan!”

So when I was on track to meet my upper limit of 1550 calories after planning all my meals and snacks, I proceeded to make a “Jell-O casserole” (sugar free Jello + low-fat cream cheese + non-fat cool whip + cherries + pretzels—a family picnic staple that is still somehow not exactly low calorie and definitely not nutritious). Who exactly I thought was going to eat this, other than me, was a mystery. But willful ignorance is bliss in the face of having a particular craving to buy, or cook, or eat, something one shouldn’t. Right? So set up with this whole “casserole” I have overshot on my calories every day since I made it.

And, in case the junk food wasn’t enough… while before I was feeling very up and energized before and after workouts, I decided to try something new and do my ‘being alert’ thing in the middle of the night instead. What a great turnaround! For at least four days I haven’t had to worry about being able to pay attention during the day or enjoy working out—instead it is a chore that I’ve been dreading. How refreshing!

…Of course all of this is said tongue-in-cheek—I’m not really recommending you sabotage your success and I didn’t do this intentionally! The truth is that I’ve had a few days of being relentlessly, desperately hungry even though I’ve been eating regularly and at the top of my calorie range, so I’ve been eating a little more. (Yes, the Jell-o casserole is not the best choice, but I promise I’ve had more wholesome foods in my diet as well.)

I was surprised that I haven’t been hungrier during this process, to be honest. When I first tracked what I was eating (in 2012) I found that I was regularly eating 2500-4000 calories a day without even thinking about it being a lot of food. Sticking to 1200-1550 did make me a little hungry for the first couple of days but my body adjusted and I felt much healthier after a week or so. Even adding exercise has not made me particularly hungry, although I do usually eat in the 1350 – 1550 range now.

There are a few possible causes for the way I've been feeling in the last few days—I’ve upped my cardio in the last few weeks, my sleep has been a bit interrupted, and I have PMS—I also suspect my iron may be low as I feel particularly tired and light-headed and I seem to be pale (this could also just be the less-than-perfect sleep). I’ve made an appointment for a check-up, something I’d been thinking of doing anyway.

Don’t worry--I’m not as discouraged as it likely sounds from this post, just trying to get through this low point with a bit of a sense of humour about it so I don’t derail myself. I’m really looking forward to the next time I wake up feeling like I want to take on challenges again!
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