This post is about weight. If you find this topic triggering or if it makes you feel uncomfortable, be responsible for yourself and don’t read it.
Isn’t it a bit silly that many of us feel like we have to put up disclaimers to write what’s on our heart ever since a certain incidence? I’m all for keeping potential thoughts that might be detrimental to others to myself, but I’m not sure how I feel about whether these disclaimers really protect anyone. But I’m still throwing it up there, just in case someone mistakes me for a licensed dietitian/counselor/doctor who knows something. End rant.
Before we get into the heavier stuff, let’s talk lunch. My camera died on me so I’m skipping straight to iPhone photos from lunch.
I made this lunch yesterday but forgot my office was going out to celebrate quarterly birthdays, so lucky me didn’t have to spend time packing a lunch last night. My salad had: carrots, spinach, yellow bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and a drizzle of agave syrup and a squeeze of lemon juice.
I also packed some baked sweet potato rings and vegan sausage balls which I warmed in the microwave. Don’t forget the orange! I love oranges. I could eat one everyday.
I actually “warmed” my salad in the microwave too. I usually leave my lunch out of the fridge but decided to knock the chill of it since it had been in the fridge all night. I hate it when my food is too cold, unless it’s ice cream. Even still, I like my ice cream best when it starts to melt.
Even though I warmed part of my lunch, I still combined everything together. Maybe it’s weird, but I know what I like.
Now onto the weightier issue, which I will try to keep light. 😉
I’ll be frank: I have gained weight and I don’t like it.
In August, when Brad and I got married and we went on our honeymoon, I was in great shape. I wasn’t the thinnest I have ever been in my life, but I was possibly my fittest. Yes, even though I ran a marathon last month, I think I was overall fitter last August.
I surprisingly gained very little weight in Italy even though we barely exercised, except for that amazing hike in Cinque Terre and a lot of walking fueled by pizza and gelato. 🙂
When I returned home from our honeymoon, I almost immediately started training for my first marathon. You would think running all that mileage would make me leaner, but guess what, it didn’t. I actually gained weight training for my marathon. Don’t believe this is possible? There are many discussion forums about this very thing on Runners World, but this was the best and most concise article explaining why this happened to me.
Reasons for weight gain from the article:
-increased glycogen stores (your body adapts to hanging on to every last bit of carbohydrate and the water needed to store them)
–taking in more calories than you’re burning – Bingo.
Coupling that last reason with an extra indulgent holiday season and the mystery of my weight gain is solved.
I’ve written before how I don’t want to spend my life chasing away the last five pounds that I think I need to lose to be happy with myself. I’m not back pedaling here. I’m done with that. This weight-gain is different. It’s not about depriving myself of the things I love to have a “perfect” body. It’s about getting back to the basics of listening to my body and fueling it with 80-90% whole foods. Foods that replenish my body, not weight it down. Foods that make me feel energized, not lethargic.
Me recent weight gain, though it may seem small to some, is big to me. It is affecting my digestive health, the way my clothes feel, my energy levels, and the way I feel about myself. There has been a lot of talk recently about whether or not skinny makes you happy. Let me clear it up for you: skinny will not make you happy.
BUT, taking care of yourself, treating your body with the respect it deserves, and making your health a priority WILL make you happy. It just so happens that when you do these things, you will probably lose weight if you were damaging your body with too much food before. See the difference? Likewise, eating too much of mostly “healthy” foods and sometimes “unhealthy” foods has caused me to feel differently about myself because it has changed me. I’m still me, but now I feel uncomfortable in my own skin.
So what am I going to do about it?
I’ve been kidding myself that I was doing something about it for the past couple of weeks, but in a very noncommittal way. You know that I’m not the dieting kind. Been there and done that. I don’t ever want to go back to the deprivation way of thinking and I don’t have to. When I see a problem I like to identify the cause first, then the solution, so here goes. What caused me to gain weight?
– Rewarding myself with food before my long runs. I was afraid to eat too little so I would overeat, knowing that this was the lesser of two evils. Nobody wants to run out of fuel half way through a 16 mile run, I would tell myself.
– Eating and eating after long runs because I knew I was supposed to, not because I was hungry.
– Skipping several workouts or not meeting my training mileage because the long runs are all that really matter anyway. I actually tend to eat more on the nights when I don’t workout, probably because I have more time to snack mindlessly and I feel guilty for skipping workouts.
– Validating every time I ate too much with, “It’s okay, you’ll run it off later this week”.
See a pattern here? It’s called not listening to my body. Not listening when I’m full, eating when I’m not hungry, finding justifications to counteract why I’m going against my body’s natural hunger cues.
I truly believe that our bodies know what’s best for us and we have to really listen to them to take the very best care of them that we can.
I believe that if I am in touch with what my body wants (more food, less food, more activity, less activity) everything will fall into place. My weight will settle at whatever number it feels best, my energy levels will increase, and I will feel better because I’m taking good care of myself.
So the solution is as simple and as complicated as listening to my body. Not listening got me here and I believe that tuning in will help me find my way out. I don’t need a meal plan or a calorie counter. Those work great for some people, but not for me. I just need to listen. My body will show me the way.