Saturday, September 21, 2013

A lot to process!

Today is a new day and I'm feeling a little bit better.  A good night's sleep, a hard morning workout and a satisfying and healthy lunch so far has helped.  The support that you guys have given me over the last couple of days has been unexpected, appreciated and much needed.

An loyal anonymous reader from Canada wrote a long reply to me yesterday.  I first want to thank her for that and I encourage everyone to read the comment because it is chock full of wonderful information.  I want to address some of what she said in this post as I have been processing and re-processing some of the stuff she talked about.

Ms. Canada wrote that the American Heart Association has certain guidelines of what a woman should eat to maintain their weight.

"Women of the same age group who exercise vigorously for one hour or more per day can consume up to 2,400 daily calories. As you age, these calorie counts decrease. Women ages 31 through 50 should consume about 200 fewer calories per day."

So that means that I could theoretically eat somewhere in the neighborhood of 2200 calories a day and maintain.  I typically eat 1700-1800.  

She also said this:

"Little miss, you are an ATHLETE. You train like a crazy mofo- your body NEEDS the fuel. You know what to eat and how to eat. You're not an average woman who works a desk job and walks the dog for 30 minutes once a day. You're CRAZY FAST and HULK STRONG!! FEED YOURSELF. SO what if you gain 2 or 3 pounds in the process of rebalancing your metabolism, regaining your sanity and stopping your hunger? ....It ain't gonna get easier if you don't."

I've talked at length about the DENIAL I had when I was fat.  Well, there continues to be a denial.  When Ms. Canada called me an athlete?  I was like "What is she, crazy?"  I would NEVER think to define myself as an athlete.  And then there's the 2-3 pound issue.  Ms. Canada, of course, is 100% right!  I know that intellectuallyHell, NO ONE is going to notice me weighing 2-3 pounds more.  BUT then there's the irrational, emotional and insecure side of me.  

I fight ALL THE TIME to keep my weight at 119 or below.  Yet my body seems really happy to hang out at 122-ish.  I think I can maintain at that weight fairly easily.  BUT I set this goal of being no more then 119.  So whenever I think about letting myself stay at 120-125, the voice inside my head SCREAMS:


And I worry about it being a slippery slope.  So I give myself permission to be 122.  Then I find that "too hard" and decide I can allow myself to be 127.  Before I know it I'm back to 200+!!  I have been fortunate enough not to experience this, but I've seen many many "re-gainers" and I don't want to ever be that!!

I did realize something when thinking back on my recent vacation.  One of the reasons it was so enjoyable is that I WASN'T HUNGRY.  Ms. Canada let me know that she is maintaining at a weight where she is happy and healthy and she's not hungry!  I guess I never thought that this was possible.  

So, I have a lot to think about and process.  I won't attempt any major changes at least until I'm confident I have myself back under control.  Thanks for sticking by me everyone!

   Yeah, this....


  1. Jen,

    I'm happy to hear that I was able to provide you with some food for thought. ...sadly, the voice inside your head that screams "FAILURE!! LOSER! FAT COW!! COWARD!!!" may never stop no matter the number on the scale. I think many of us in maintenance who are trying to lose the last few pounds for months on end are doing so because we hear the same voice (myself included).

    I get it. We fear being fat again. How did we get fat in the first place though? Did you read the nutritional information on food packages? Did you eat tons of vegetables everyday? I'm willing to guess, probably not. I used to order take out every other week night just about- like pizza, donairs, and chinese food! I don't drive so I'd eat junkfood from the foodcourts or local convenient store. Couple that with being the laziest person I knew and TADA! 5'1 21 year old exploded to 200+ lbs.

    Fast forward to now, I am hyperaware of the nutritional profile of the foods I eat & portion sizes. I cook almost everything and when I'm eating out I'm making choices that ensure I'm not stuffing myself to the gills with deep-fried garbage. Furthermore, I train at least an hour a day, six days per week, and walk my crazy corgi 2-3 times day @ 30 minutes each.
    I couldn’t imagine losing my fitness!! I LIVE to exercise now: It’s my drug of choice & something tells me it is yours too.

    Do you really think for a minute that if you let yourself that in 3 months’ time you'd be back to your old self? After all that work, & everything you know now, that you'd go back to eating mountains of crap & stopping training? ...If yes, why the hell did you do all of this in the first place?!

    All of that said, if you eat the right foods, you can eat to your heart’s content & not be hungry. It’s possible. ...I can actually stop when I'm full and finish my food later, I never thought that possible last year. I also have more power during my workouts. My energy levels are high & I’m happy! Food & when I can eat & how much are no longer the center of my world. It's just something I do.

  2. (I can only post no more than 4,096 characters at a time so I’ve split my entry, which I’ve been typing in word, thankfully)
    I think it was Leigh Peele or GoKaleo, or both, that said in the first bit, eat. Eat. Whatever & how much you want. Eventually you won't want to anymore & things will stabilize. You’ll eventually find the sweet spot where you can eat as much as you want/need & be able to live without being consumed by it. They are right.

    We also need to work on our inner dialogue. Instead of looking at ourselves in the mirror criticizing every last imperfection, we need to flex our muscles & be like “DAMN! I DID that! ME! Person who had a hell of a time walking up the stairs a few years ago!” Our bodies will never be Victoria-model perfect. That's ok! Who the hell wants to look like that when you can run a half marathon under 1:50?! THAT'S BADASS and KICKS just about anyone's ass! Few people can run a 5k without, my friend, are amazing! I wish my 30 yr old body could run as fast as you (I ran my last one in 1:58 & that' pretty damn good). You give me hope that I can run as fast as you someday! ....seriously, google race times for half-marathons & you'll see that you're times are in the top 20%.
    Love yourself- Mark does! Your family, your friends, they think the world of you & you are such an inspiration to so many, no one would fault you if you gained 30lbs and maintained at that weight for the rest of your life, if that made you happy?!! You'd still be & are remarkable- you're more than that f*ck*ng # on the scale. Let yourself be comfortable in your skin , eat what you need to and continue to train like you do.

    Ok. I think I'm done. I have not & won’t re-read the above, much like yesterday: I was in a hurry to write you my thoughts. Forgive me if they are scattered and incomplete. I don't write unless I have too & you compel me to!

    Be proud & kind to yourself! You've accomplished more than most & will continue to.

    From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    1. Nadia - I want to be you when I grow up!!!! Seriously, I love your attitude and you are inspiring me!! I ran 15 miles today and about 1/2 way through I started thinking about what you said and I felt strong and powerful!