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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!

:-) Namaste.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love this! I am hoping to soon be at that place of balance where I can quit tracking and counting and analyzing and just live a healthy life. Great job!
    2863 days ago
    Listen to your body. You got a great handle on things, but every once and a while it's nice to just put it on the internets. I can't wait to get to balance. You explain with such love. Way to go, lady!
    2864 days ago
    a great example of self examination.. and balance.. good for you!
    2867 days ago
  • BANAN2
    Your picture says it all, out in the snow with a big smile on your face, enjoying moving about in the world in a healthy body. How could performance in any athletic endeavor top that? Maybe it can...I'm not athletically inclined, so I wouldn't know! I am wrestling with the emotions aspect (allowing myself to have my feelings instead of eating or indulging in compulsive behaviors to sidestep them). You have come so far in this. Do you have any recommended resources besides therapy that have helped you with this aspect? (Books, tapes, etc.)
    2867 days ago
    Your insights are so amazing (and helpful!)
    2868 days ago
    Congrats on all your past and present successes and for sharing your introspection. Your honesty is so refreshing and helpful as I continue on my journey for balance.
    2869 days ago
    You inspire me!
    2869 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your journey. I'm glad you are so in tune with yourself. It's a pleasure reading your blog. Everything you say about staying out of your own way is true at every level of life and weight loss. I think progress can be lost when we get too controlling.
    2869 days ago
    Wow, great blog. I loved reading it. Thanks, Victoria
    2869 days ago
    keep following your instinct and intuitions, you know what you need to do to feel good and be on task - keep up the good work!!
    2869 days ago
    It sounds like you're having these issues but at the same time you already know the reasoning behind the issues and how to combat them! That's so awesome! That in itself shows how much you have it all-together!
    Congrats and keep on keepin-on! (corny, I know, but keep it up)

    2869 days ago
    i think I am starting to feel more anxious because I am at a plateau. I have heard of people going a year on a plateau and I am so nervous that I will be one of those people. I don't know if I could hold out a whole year being the weight I am now and not loosing anymore and doing what I am doing (exercising and eating healthy). I am a very emotional eater and that would be a huge emotional roller coaster for me!

    I weight in this week so I will know if I have lost since last month but I am so so nervous! I am trying to just take a step back and relax and I hope this passes. maybe the scale will be good to me this month.

    You are doing so great and you are just an amazing inspiration to me so I know you can beat it. I think it would be scary to go from losing weight to maintaining weight. It seems like you have to change your whole way of thinking.

    Good Luck to you!
    2869 days ago
  • BAM0827
    I bet going from that losing weight to maintaining weight is a huge mindshift and also a bit scary. I've thought about the future and I know just thinking about it gets me nervous (and I'm pretty even keeled).

    I know you'll trust yourself to make healthy decisions for yourself. You have a great game plan (even if it's not to have a plan) that will help you get through the transistion.


    W -Nice background picture
    2869 days ago
    It is hard to switch gears from dieting to maintenance. (I got to my goal weight last year and then regained it over the summer, mostly due to emotional eating.) You have worked very hard at making healthy lifestyle changes. I think you will make it through the transition. It just takes a while to figure out what you want to pay attention to and what you have instilled as lifelong habits that don't need to be monitored so closely.

    I'm amazed at your 20% body fat number. You have turned into a "lean machine!"
    2869 days ago
    You are doing so fantastic! I wonder if that little bit of anxiety is about trying to let go of the external source of tracking/counting and trusting that you now know how to listen to your body for what it needs. You know that you can always go back to those external validators if you need to.
    2869 days ago
  • no profile photo MONEYGOOSE
    It sounds like after a year plus of treating yourself well, both body and mind, that you've come to a crossroads of sorts...

    On one hand, you have all of the tools and gadgets that you used at the start of your journey, the very same tools that helped to teach you what was right and wrong for youself; and on the other, there is your very worthy self, that now KNOWS all of the right things to do, without any of the gadgets.

    So... How do you say goodbye to something that has helped you in the past, but may not offer that much help anymore?

    As I'm typing this I'm laughing, because I just pictured a grown woman carrying around a "blankie", a token of something safe... It seems to me that those gadgets you used to use are a blankie! Yeah, they might be safe and all, but you know when you go outside in public that blankie just looks a bit odd.

    You are very beautiful, intelligent and STRONG. Trust that!
    2869 days ago
    Congrats on your progress in weight loss as well as emotional health. For me, sometimes i use the obsessive restrictive behaviors to hold off an emotion i am fearful of . the solution is always to loosen the reigns, but the emotion catches me anyway once i'm too tired and tense to obsess anymore. keep it simple.
    2869 days ago
  • FREES1
    you have worked hard for this - enjoy it! if you balk at routines and schedules then don't make detailed ones.. make an overall plan for the week or month.. do such and such during the week.. I was blown away by the routine you'd made for yourself - it seemed so much - and if you are doing all of that you just might need to eat more to fuel it! hang in there - and just be!
    2869 days ago
    From where I sit it appears you are discovering the temporal and spiritual joy of being ! I think that is really cool.It's as if you found this secret room and you are exploring it.I am waiting for the day that I discover mine.You are a very good inspiration
    2869 days ago
    Girl. I love reading your blogs! From reading your last few blogs, I feel really drawn to you. Not in a weird stalker kind of way but more of a "I want to know what she's doing, and I want to do it too" way. You've mentioned meditation, yoga and working through boundaries. All things I need to do. I desperately want to find that inner peace, ya know? If you have anything you highly recommend I'm all ears! Congrats on all of your accomplishments.
    2869 days ago
    You really are doing incredibly well! I find your journey so incredibly inspiring and motivating because it truly is about health: physical, emotional and spiritual. Namaste, my friend.
    2869 days ago
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