Let’s not lie to ourselves. We measure are worth in so many different ways. We look at how much we can lift in the gym, we look at the scale in the bathroom. Really, these two examples should be looked at how can we defy gravity? Some of us even think about how much or how little can we eat in a day. We measure ourselves by the grades that we get in the classroom, we measure ourselves by the work we our accomplishing in the office. Not only are we seeking internal approval by how much we do, but the quality of what we do. We’re also are seeking approval from others to help validate the approval that we give ourselves.
I’ve been talking about this ridiculous roller coaster that I can’t seem to get off fully for almost two weeks now. It seems like I have one leg on the platform and another hand on the seat deciding if I should get off or just continue the ride. I know this isn’t just impacting me. JP doesn’t know what to do sometimes and that’s completely ok. We’ve been talking about this daily because every day has been a struggle of some kind.
If we’re going to be honest and I’m trying to be. I put weight on everything. I look at how much I’m lifting in the gym and wonder how can I improve my form or increase the amount. I try to figure out the best approach to accomplish this. I do check the scale for retention to fatloss, right now I’m just trying to get back to the comfortable 127, which I’m hovering around and then I’ll determine how to maintain – again, the monster, but I’ll be relearning this with an actual methodology behind it. I check measurements and analyze how I feel in my clothes. I literally weigh and measure my food to hit nutritional goals.
But I guess I’m trying to figure out – through my anxiety – what is there to learn? How can I figure out how to trust myself that I won’t gain the weight back and become old Cristina, the “fat” Cristina. That is something that made me nervous all summer. It bubbled up the past two weeks – which seems counter-intuititive since I was struggling with binges. But what I’ve identified and will get clarity on in the next few days is that my PTSD was triggered (JP hates that term) and that spiraled into a few days of anxiety and lead into a week of binging on and off because I didn’t know how to control my emotions and eating was the best thing I knew to do. Where should I be putting emphasis and where should I give myself a break… of sorts.
Yesterday was actually a really good day. Emotionally, I felt pretty good until the night time. Physically, I got up and was at the gym before it opened. I worked on posing and lifted. Nutritionally everything was where I wanted it to be. After talking with Alicia and Liz, I’ve decided to play with food journaling. Today is day 2. For me, this means loosely monitoring my macros. I do have an overall macro goal, but trying to be mindful about it versus strictly enforcing it.
This is how I planned my day yesterday:
JP and I talked about breakfast and planned it. Here’s what I ate:
- 1/4 cup of egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- pumpkin spice English muffin topped with 10g of fat free cream cheese and 10g of cranberry orange goat cheese
- 1T of sugar free Italian sweet cream creamer
The rule about planning breakfast is I write it down in my journal and don’t actually plug it into My Fitness Pal until around dinner time or least the late afternoon.
I planned lunch. I knew I had a groundbreaking for a new building on campus and there would be food. Everything would be sample sizes, but I still needed to be mindful. This also meant that I needed to make sure I had protein for lunch especially after a more carb heavy breakfast. Here’s what I ate:
- 4 ounces of chicken breast
- 100g of broccolini
Again, like breakfast, I didn’t plug it in. I wrote it down. I also packed some snacks in case I needed them such as 100g of butternut squash and a few protein bars for variety. I ended up not needing them, but split a pound cake slice from Starbucks with a coworker. At the ground breaking I tried a mini cupcake – I wrote it down. I also tried a mac and cheese bite – also written down. That was it because nothing else looked appealing. With the groundbreaking, I didn’t eat lunch until around 1:30, which shifted everything for me, but also meant that I wasn’t really getting hungry every few hours like before. When I got home, I plugged in what I ate and determined I needed more protein and my fat was lower than I thought. I made pancakes with the 1 carb protein waffle recipe and topped them with 1T of muscle frosting.
When it came time to figure out dinner – we went out for Taco Tuesday – I finished plugging this in to see how I did throughout the day. I still had 13F/33C/45P left, which is pretty solid for fajitas without the tortillas.
I’m pro-macros and I’m still tracking them, but I’m trying to figure out how to do it in a more mindful way rather than in a overly planned fashion. Not being in a competition setting, but just trying to live is a different concept for me. Not having everything planned to a T is also a million times new to me. Structure is something I live for because it gives me the comfort of being in control, but I also have to acknowledge that there is a lot going on right now.
Today has been pretty good. We waffled for breakfast and I had chicken and broccolini for lunch. We’re cupcaking tonight and are pretty sure we’re going to make eggplant parm for dinner together. I plugged in the cupcake macros already because #dessert.
I’ve been tracking since June 2014 and I have a really good idea of portion sizes and nutritional values off the top of my head. I know that my lunch had at least 32g-ish of protein because I know that 4 ounces of chicken is 26g and I had 5 ounces. I eat that portion often to know that. This is about mindfulness and enjoying food and creating an experience when appropriate. When I think I can handle some harder structure I will go back to plugging in right away, but I also think that the concept of putting so much weight on being perfect or close to it to reach my goals has hurt.
I’ve conditioned myself to behave a certain way in order to get specific results, but what about when you’ve reached those results and you don’t need to be as conditioned or the conditioning should or needs to change? I know people who will say “I went to the gym today, I can have dessert.” To me, dessert just fits into my plan. I don’t want to be deprived, but I also don’t want to be putting a lot of emphasis on having dessert every night. Last night, both JP and I were satisfied from Taco Tuesday and we didn’t have dessert at all. When I went to bed I was still slightly more than content, oops #fajitas, but I recognized that while I would love dessert, I didn’t need it and it would push me over my day nutritionally.
So, my plan is to still track my macros, but use a different method that is a little more loose with the hopes to recondition myself to not be so hard on myself when the day isn’t perfect or as strict so I can enjoy without the guilt that I did sometimes feel this summer. By writing down my food and journaling I’m allowing myself to go a little more with the flow, but to also attempt to be cognisant of what I’m choosing throughout the day.
I guess we’ll see how this week goes and if I feel like I have more control by loosening the reins.