I Am DOING GOOD (if I'd Just Get Out of My Own Way)
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Throughout this process, I've been faithful about a lot of things: I track my food every day, I maintain exercise and my eating plan (even on and around holidays), and I work to stay centered and in touch with my emotions (since as soon as I'm out of touch with them and/or not allowing them space to breathe, I'm putting myself at risk of overeating again). The last week of 2010, I started my triathlon training program which includes a lot of extra time in the gym. I've noticed since then that I have a lot of increased anxiety around my eating and my workout routine (which is trickling into life in general), and I think I'm honing in on why...
1) I have a body bugg. This was such a wonderful blessing in 2010 as I was attempting to lose weight, and it helped me tremendously. As I've arrived at a much more ideal weight, I burn less calories in everything that I do, from sleeping at night to running. Make no mistake about it: this is a GOOD thing. Therefore, my daily calorie burns are dramatically lower than they once were, even with my training schedule. I realize that when I'm not careful, I can get caught up in thinking that this means I should be doing MORE in order to be on par wtih my old daily calorie burns. In reality, it's just reflective of my better physical health and being in good shape--my body is more efficient and requires less fuel to do the same activities it once did.
2) I've still got in my head that I need to create daily deficits for weight loss, and I get anxious when I see my calorie ticker go up too high--even when I'm eating only healthful foods, and even when I am eating in response to my body's hunger cues. I am 5'8" and weigh 151 pounds. I'm in a healthy weight range by all measures, and I'm presently less than 20% body fat. I'm in all sizes (from my bra size to my jeans size, people) that I'm comfortable with, sizes much smaller than I ever hoped I'd be in when I weighed 127 pounds more. Any weight I lose from here should not be significant. Bottom line.
3) I told myself that in order to do my very best with my training program, I should come up with a weekly schedule or routine to stick with in order to be sure I'm getting the right balance of all activity. If there's one thing I've had the pleasure of learning about myself (largely through blogging here over the years!), it's that I fail at every routine I set for myself. BECAUSE I HATE ROUTINES. I still, however, set one for myself at the start of any new endeavor. And I get frustrated or disappointed with myself when I don't follow it.
Notice a trend here? I do! I'm SO in my own way right now.
1) I don't need a body bugg on my arm to tell me that I'm burning X number of calories. I'm active nearly every day and have been long enough that it's a habit. Even better, I'm active because it brings me joy and confidence and happiness. The exact number of calories I burn, in the face of this, is secondary at best.
2) I don't need to be in deficit mode any longer. If I wish at any point to lose another five pounds, those five pounds will come off on their own if they're meant to in the coming months of training. I also need to fret less about the exact number of the calories I'm eating (especially if I'm getting myself in dieter mentality enough to beat myself about them, sheesh!) and worry more about providing my body with adequate fuel for my fitness goals and good, quality nutrition.
3) I (personally) do not need a detailed, daily, written workout routine in order to train successfully for a triathlon. For the past three weeks, I've gotten in balanced workouts in each of the three disciplines I'm training for (plus yoga and some cross training). It is okay to trust myself to do this, and it is also okay to trust myself to develop a more structured routine in the future if it turns out I need one.
4) It is okay for me to enjoy being active, being fit, being healthy, being in maintenance, and all the joys and peace that come along with that. Settle into it, girl! This is what you worked so hard for!