Coming Home Bikini Prep Series: Post 18 “Homecoming Is So Much Than Coming Back For a Visit”

Lately, I’ve been having conversations with not only JP, but with a lot of people from social media about what I’m doing right now and how I’m trying to figure out the next thing. I do like being transparent because I think it’s important to show that it’s not all perfect and sunshine and roses, but at the same time, I’ve never thought that people would potentially be more invested in my journey than I am at times.

A few weeks ago I talked about the episode I had with my mental health. I have PTSD. I have anxiety related to my PTSD. I’ve never hid this. It’s more than feeling anxious. It’s more than needing medication – remember I talked to my doctor about this and that resulted in more harm than good. It’s about triggers that are out of my control that put me in a place where I’m not myself and I can’t make impactful decisions. I’ve never had a trigger push me into an episode that lasted longer than a day or two, but according to my therapist it’s clear that I was having a week-long episode where I was in a dissociative state and my decision-processing and decision-making abilities were out the window. I felt like garbage, I felt like no matter how much I tried to get my act together I couldn’t.

Someone commented on a post of mine, that while in her 40s she doesn’t have her shit together either. This is more than having my shit together. I couldn’t because mentally I wasn’t all there. The only decision that I could make was that I needed to step back. A few days before my episode I had decided to not compete and that killed me. I felt like I was failing myself because I had set this goal for myself, no one else. I was upset because I was finally in the groove and felt like I could do this.

Each week has been getting better. It’s not about how many days I’ve been binge-free. My eating disorder is connected to my PTSD, not caused by restriction, not usually caused by boredom – however, the amount of candy corn in the kitchen right now doesn’t make it any easier. This past week, regardless of the events was a better week overall.

Nutritionally, I feel awesome about consumption. While water could’ve been so much better this week, I felt like I had a variety of necessity foods and fun foods. I continued to journal my food and loosely use MFP. Last weekend I saw a friend in New York City and we had a ball. I was mindful about what I was eating, but I didn’t track it. I actually felt okay about that, which was a big step because going from Fat Cristina to Fit or Lean Cristina is really hard. You’re switching through different mindsets and trying to figure out balance. Clearly, I haven’t figured out anything yet, but we’re getting there.

I had two donor visits this week for work, one more locally than the other, but both out of state. Traveling makes it slightly tricky, but not impossible. My trip to New Hampshire resulted in the discovery of a coffee house with excellent pastries – pecan pumpkin pie bar say what?! My trip New York City gave me the opportunity to hunt down some doughnuts that I follow on Instagram. Realistically, I probably follow more restaurants and food companies than people.

Yesterday, I weighed in at 131.6, which was about 3.4 pounds up over last week. But like I mentioned sodium to water wasn’t on point this week. I didn’t feel puffy, I just felt there. I made sure to really monitor my water in take yesterday and this morning I woke up at 130.0. Only 1.8 pounds up from last week. This is the fluctuation I feel comfortable with.  Two pounds either way depending on sleep, workouts, food, sodium and water. Last week I mentioned that I had calculated macros that I’ll be working up to because I know my body fluffs up when I try to increase too fast. With journaling, I stayed roughly around 45f | 150c | 128p daily. Some days were slightly under and some slightly over.

In the gym, not every day was glorious, but for the most part I felt pretty solid about what I was doing.I lifted 6 days and did 4 cardio days. I actually like cardio and to eat more without a gain, you need to have a greater expenditure. Last week I had three cardio sessions of 30 minutes and one session of 20 because I was over it by the time I was 15 minutes in. I am not a fan of volume lifting structures, but I do them for certain exercises because I know the benefit of that structure. But I again, to eat more there needs to be a greater expenditure, so cardio and walking around. I kept working on my maximum weight back squat and attempted to play with some weight for other exercises. That to me is fun. Having some structure, but not being fully committed if you get tired or decide you want to add an extra set or exercise because you feel good.

The week was far from perfect.

My car accident put a pretty big dent in it, which resulted in me talking to my doctor about the anti-anxiety medication he prescribed. I’m no longer on it. I had a few anxiety attacks and chest pain this week, but I didn’t feel like I couldn’t control it. I think that’s the biggest difference between this past week and a few weeks ago. I was in a position that I felt more in control and therefore didn’t go ham in the pantry. I could say to myself, “no you’re just frustrated go do something else”, whereas a few weeks ago that sentence didn’t matter at all and barely touched my ears.

I thought this blog series “Coming Home” was about being able to step on the stage again. Do the show that I did the first time I took the leap, but bring a better package and a better me. Coming Home as it turns out is figuring out what I want in this next chapter, what effort I’m willing to put in, what growth do I want to have both physically and mentally. It’s remembering why I like lifting and getting myself to run again, take the leap without my garments. It’s about making plans to not have a plan.

I’ve been journaling, not just my food, but things that I don’t need or want to share with the world. Observations and ideas mostly. Trying to reflect.

So my plan – I’m journaling my food and I’m being mindful. Like I said above, I was pretty solid with my goals this week. I’ll evaluate later this week about an increase in carbohydrates because I think I won’t have an issue maintaining on higher consumption as long as everything else is loosely in check.

I don’t eat keto. I don’t count calories. I don’t even want to track for the rest of my life. I believe in eating and working towards goals, but if I tried to have a talk with Fat Cristina, I bet she would say “I guess I never thought this chapter would come. I never thought I would be in a position to say I need to change the plan, change the way of thinking.”

We went to brunch today because we could. We also went to the gym before. With JP living here the world is different. Good different. We don’t need to necessarily rush and there doesn’t need to be a huge plan, but it also means that there are date days at random. This week I’ve been asked if I have cheat meals? How do I have this body if I eat like this (brunch)? Do I restrict some days so I can have treats on others?

Here are questions I have for you. What happened to experience? What happened to eating a cupcake because it sounded like it would be tasty? What happened to searching for the perfect latte? When did food become bad or good, clean or dirty? I have always said it: I fit treats into my daily consumption. I eat in volume (foods that are nutrient dense and can be consumed in large quantities without taking up a lot of nutritional value) because I like to eat and I don’t want to feel like I’m depriving myself or saying no all the time because at this point in my fitness journey – it’s not about weightloss, when do I allow myself to say yes? It’s called moderation. It’s called controlling yourself and not letting the food control you. It’s about recognizing that to eat a little more you may need to work a little more to maintain rather than be in a surplus.

It’s a lifestyle. It’s about finding balance. It’s about enjoying the moment when your boyfriend says let’s go to brunch tomorrow and not hesitating because you don’t know if you “should”. It’s about showing myself and others that there can be a 3 to 4 pound difference on the scale, but barely any change between photos.

Listen to your body. Talk to yourself gently. Set goals, set strategy and change it when it’s  necessary. I will not be letting myself go, there’s no reappearance of Fat Cristina planned, but I get to celebrate Halloween with my babe… dressed as a doughnut. I get to make the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and we’ll make cookies at Christmas.

There’s a huge show line-up in the spring. I guess we’ll have to see what happens.

<3 Cristina


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