I started out documenting my food habits in an attempt to fix my screwed up metabolism once and for all and hopefully get down to the 60kg mark I had in my head. What I got was so much more than I had ever imagined. I hope this blog resonates with you and helps you to understand YOU are amazing, YOU are so much more than a number and a measurement and you can have a healthy relationship with food and live a balanced, happy life.
I have added in entries from my diary when I see it relevant. I didn’t want to bore you with the whole thing.
From 800 calories a day to over 2000
Sunday 21st September 2014
Ok so I was reading Go Kaleo’s blogs and something hit me like a train wreck. I knew I hadn’t been eating enough for a while instinctively but that elusive number just kept hidden and I just couldn’t seem to get it right. So I used the online calculator she had put up and typed in 60kg (the weight I think is my ideal for ME) it tells me I need to eat 2100 calories for my activity level to sustain that weight! WHAT THE??? I started 12yrs ago on doctor’s advice to start on a VLCD of 800 calories a day, so I did! AND I LOST WEIGHT!!!!! Woohoooooo….I continued on that diet for a few years, yes a few years…am I completely nuts???? After some research and 40kg shed I decided to up my intake and I stayed on 1200 calories for a few more years….My hair started thinning out, my hormones are out of whack and I am always hungry and tired! Still I just cannot get down to that elusive 60kg. I had lost more centimetres and built some muscle definition yes but I knew something wasn’t quite right about a year ago when it all sort of just came to a standstill. I could not lose anymore. So I have now these past 12months forgotten about calorie restriction for the most part and ate mindfully. Yes I put on about 4kg, (I am at 67.7) freaked out and decided to start tracking calories again for a while which has lead me to here. So I am averaging roughly 1800 calories a day at the moment as of last week. I will be increasing by 100 a week until I get to the 2100 roughly and see how I go. I know there will be a period of adjustment and I may put more weight on but I will keep going for at least 6months to see how it pans out. Wish me luck…
Wednesday 24th September 2014
4 days later and things are going well so far. I’m averaging out at around 1875 calories a day. I am not feeling very hungry except when it’s close to dinnertime. I do feel I have a bit more energy and am quite busy getting on with things, let’s see if that continues! Weighed in yesterday to find I had dropped 2kg since last week. (Now at 65.7) I normally do not weigh myself weekly but decided I had better watch it to see how it is panning out. So I was rather surprised at that as I am expecting to gain weight to start off. It is quite easy to get extra calories in, an apple here and there, some chia seeds sprinkled on my breakfast, an extra homemade meat patty etc. I am trying to bump up my calories with good wholesome foods, not junk. More updates soon!
Sunday 28th Sept
1990 is what I have averaged this week from Monday to Sunday. Whoa, lots of food…but it has been goooooood. I am enjoying eating more, I have a lot more energy and I am also finding my workouts and walks with the dogs are a lot more energetic! Weigh in on Tuesday, I don’t feel like I have put on but I am still expecting to, so will see how we go! Just so you know I did 2 sessions of weight training this week, I walked 30min every day except 1, did 2 approximate 3km runs and 2 quick HIIT bike sessions.
These posts were after a week or so and I was already feeling much better, more energetic and clearer.
Tuesday 21st October
5th Week of upping those calories. I averaged 1864 calories last week. Some days are easier than others. I must say I am really enjoying not fussing over calories or worrying oh no I can’t have that because I will blow my day. That part of it is most enjoyable. AND guess what? I am actually allowing myself rice or pasta some nights? WT? I haven’t eaten rice or pasta at night IN YEARS!!!!! Albeit it’s only half a cupful but whoa it’s good and again I am really enjoying this aspect. Training has taken on a new level. I feel fitter, stronger, and more alive in my sessions and feel I can really take on anything. Funnily enough due to a hip displacement injury I am not supposed to be running or jumping but I have been doing some mild forms of this again and feeling great! Last week’s sessions consisted of 2 x upper body and HIIT, 1 x heavy leg session 2x tabata PT session and a couple of walks/gardening. Weighing in this week at 67.7kg. Exactly the same as last week. Seems I must be evening out a bit now, which is good, meaning I am maintaining at this caloric intake. Will keep going for another few weeks and see what happens. I am now at this point starting to up my protein intake as well.
Thursday 6th November.
I think I had a mini breakthrough today. So usually I am very planned and regimented with food. Its groceries day in our house so I as usual wrote down the list of items I needed and off I went. Now usually I am thinking of what yummy food I can get for lunch that is of course healthy and loaded with greens. But today I didn’t have that urge to find something yummy. The urge was just not there. This is a massive thing for me. I got home and made myself a ham, cheese and tomato toasty, as I hadn’t gone to the other grocery store to get my green salad leaves and I didn’t care. Normally I would have made a dash to that store to get the greens for lunch. I think my anxiety over food is starting to diminish. 1. Could be I am consuming more calories so I am not as starving now at each meal and 2. I know I can pretty much eat anything I want now; it doesn’t have to be healthy and macroed to the last little bit. I am beginning to eat mindfully. So whatever I feel like eating I will eat. Not what I think I should be eating. Of course I am not going to start running down to the local MacDonald’s and gorging myself on burgers but I can eat what I want, whenever I want. WOW, try that mindfulness yourself and just let go of all of the anxieties. It’s amazing and liberating all at once. Just let go of the bitterness and beating yourself up if you have something so called “naughty”. Eat, it enjoy it and move on. So a big turning point for me. Oh and by the way, I feel great today, I feel lighter, my tummy doesn’t feel as bloated and my self-esteem is high. Love that.
At this point I was enjoying many foods I had restricted on for many, many years.
Tuesday 9th December 2014
weighed in at 66.5kg today. 2029 was my average this week. I burnt over 14,000 calories. Exercise was 3 sessions, which were pretty tame as I put my pelvis out for the first time in a year, and was in quite a lot of pain. This week coming will be the same, as I have to stay off the exercise for the week until it settles again. Great!! So I “feel” as though I am getting smaller in some areas. My tummy feels smaller, my upper body feels shapelier and I “feel” quite good within myself. This really is a mind game over anything else. I have noticed if I “feel” fat, I look fat. If I “feel” thinner, I look thinner. So power of perception within one’s self is very prevalent.
The mind was slowly changing right about now
Tuesday 13th January 2015
Well I am back. Almost 4 weeks off counting calories. I needed that break. Its hard work counting calories but I know it’s worth it. So how did I go I hear you ask? Well I had 3 weeks of leave from work, I ate, I drank, I didn’t do a lot of exercise, I slept and I spent quality time with my family. If I wanted a chocolate I had one, if I wanted an ice cream I had one of those too. It was fun, it was well needed. I have felt quite “puffy” this past week and I feel my stomach is enormous and my bra is annoying me around the back. I stepped on the scales, holding my breath! That’s it I thought to myself? I stepped on it again and then again. WOW!! 900g? No more? I was expecting at least a 3kg gain. So I measured myself. Everything is the same except a 1cm gain in the waist. Again, that’s it? Really? You know what, I got this. I got this covered. After 42years I think I have finally worked out balance. I will just knock this bacon and eggs off and head into the gym to create some more balance, sensibility around food and exercise and more importantly enjoy life. I won’t lie, I do want to get rid of this extra puffiness but pfft, that won’t take long at all!
So there you have a little insight into what I was thinking and feeling as it happened.
As I re-read my posts I realize I already had all the tools I was searching for.
Here are the things I learnt while doing these diary entries.
I have learnt there are no good and bad foods, it’s just food; it sustains you, it’s just food.
I have learnt my weight does not depict my personality or my life.
I have learnt to love myself a little bit more every day.
I have learnt this is much more a mental game than it ever was or will be a physical game.
I have learnt I am so much more than what I weigh or measure.
I have learnt I don’t need to reward or punish myself with food; I just need to eat it when I am hungry.
I have learnt that I can eat/drink whatever I really want and won’t instantaneously put on 500kgs because I listen to my body and stop when I am full and I balance my intake with sensible movement.
I have learnt to live more in the moment and to not sweat the small stuff.
I have learnt that to continually try and lose scale weight (me personally) is not what I was trying to achieve at all as an end goal.
I have learnt to be happier with who I am and GRATEFUL for my strength and health.
I have learnt that eating a well-balanced diet from ALL food groups I am able to lift heavier weights, push harder in my training and actually increase my fitness levels to beyond what I thought imaginable.
I have learnt to listen to my body and what works for ME.
I have learnt that I am enough, right now as I am, I am enough.
Where to now you ask?
One day at a time for me.
I will continue to eat mindfully for my energy levels and requirements.
I will not worry about eating too much and putting weight on.
I will continue to work on what I see in the mirror is enough and is beautiful and strong.
I will be happier for all of this and this diary I started for it has taught me a lot. Will I track my calories again? Hmm maybe I will from time to time if I feel I need to.
Will I still workout as I always have? You bet I will because I love it and it is a passion of mine!
I will continue to live a happy, balanced and awesomely healthy life.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, it has been a crazy ride but one I am glad I took.
Rachelle MEE Personal Training and Health Coach