This is a post I wrote for my tumblr today- Many of you bloggies here don’t know my “situation” or whatever you wanna call it. This may not make tons of sense but, I figured it could be helpful for those who may experience what I’m going through too.
Hoookay, so here it is guys, a very serious post about what has been happening in my personal life for the past eherm month-ish. If you recall earlier this month I had a melt down, which we all could probably tell was coming. Anyways, from this post I received many messages and emails about what I should do, how similar things had happened to them, and suggestions about different types of food I should eat. (I want to thank all of you who cared to share your stories, help and support!! It was greatly appreciated!!!) With this one girl wrote to me who literally had the same story as me, my age, marathon runner, lost weight and then strangely started gaining even though she too was burning 1000+ eating only 1300.
And that was exactly our problem. I went home that weekend for spring break and immediately went to my doctors. I have a family history of thyroid problems so I got blood work done to see if that was the case, no go. However, my doctor was very saddened by me (I don’t know how to describe it other than that). I have gone to her since I was born and she knows my history, she knows my weight gain and my weight loss. However, she noted- through out my whole life never have I been this weight obsessed in my life. When she was asking what was wrong/ why I was at the doctors- I started sobbing saying how I had gained 13lbs in over 2 months, yet how hard I was working. Long story short- she noticed I was too focused on this, I was letting it take over my life and was clearly unhappy. Now enough about that.
She explained to me the reason for my weight gain- I was living off of 300 calories essentially. And I had been since um, probably August. I had been burning almost 1000 calories, if not more, and only eating around 1,200-1,300 a day. My body was in serious starvation mode, and while at first I was losing and essentially how I reached goal weight (in Nov) I started gaining. How? Because every time I would “indulge” my body would hold onto every once of fat because it didn’t know when else it would get it. It is better explained and maybe more easily understandable in this example (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/core_march_8.htm)
So the only way to reverse this? Eat above maintenance and fix my metabolism. Can we take a look my past almost 2 years? I haven’t eaten above 1,200-1,300 calories in almost that long, other than a “cheat day” here and there. After talking to my doctor and realizing I was heading down, if not already at, a path of disordered eating, I decided this is not who I am, and what I have worked for. Working out and running was still (and still is) very fun for me, but at the same time I put extreme expectations upon each work out. On top of obsessively counting points, avoiding carbs, not allowing indulgences and working out entirely too long I was soon to burn out. This is clearly no way to live.
The first step to “recovery” or fixing this crap- EAT. A LOT. And so I did- I’m not saying I went on an all out eating spree of fried food and booze- no that would not have been helpful and I would probably have died because I haven’t had either in so long. I added to my daily calories, I have started using real butter again, olive oil more often, real cheese, and more dairy. These were just little steps to upping my calories. Remember I am going from 1,200 to around 1,900 at this point. I ate some good stuff too 😉 Ice cream- oh yeah how I’ve missed you, peanut butter, and some other goodies. (Remember when I made those cookies 😉 ) I’ve also started using protein powder to up my protein intake and it also helps with upping calories.
Now I will not lie to you guys- this was awful. Not only did I feel massive for the entire week but I actually was physically puffy. I am no exaggerating. I had massive amounts of water weight and my body was again, sucking onto every ounce of fat. I also started having digestive issues. My stomach would literally bloat out, after I ate I would be so full that it would literally be pushing out- as all of you know, this is not comfortable. I cried. A lot. (Remember when I got stuck in the snow?). Not only was I gaining even MORE weight but now my pants were getting tighter. Let me tell you- for a girl who has spazzed over weight for 2 years, eating this much and clearly gaining more weight PURPOSEFULLY is not helpful for your mind. But I needed this. I am so thankful for you (you all know who you are) who had helped me through this phase- seriously with out you guys I don’t know where I would be. You are my therapy.
With all this being said, I needed to develop a better, healthier, happier outlook on life. I am 21 (yay almost!!) years old, and I can’t seriously live my life this way. And so my first steps? ….I haven’t stepped on a scale since March 7th. And to be honest- I’m not sure when I will next. I’ve read tons of women’s stories of “tossing the scale” and always when I read this I thought “oh are they crazy?? how will they see progress? they will just gain it back”. But really, I know why they did it now. I am no longer attending Weight Watcher meetings or weigh ins- and I have NOTHING against WW, it saved me- it is an awesome program but for me, right now, it is not what I need. I used to NEED the push each week, to see the progress, to keep me on track. But now, I need the BALANCE. I need to live a normal life.
So without the scale I am finding new ways to see myself and view my progress. I am judging my looks not on a number (totally cliche I know but guys…it’s so true) but on how I feel and how my clothing fits. I am no longer aiming for my “130lbs”, I am aiming for “where I want to be”.
The way I am viewing food is also changing. I had developed a habit of eating to eat (not in a boredom way, in a I HAVE to eat because half the time I didn’t even want to). I am now looking at food in a whole new light. I have started to LOVE fish, and love how much protein it has! I am trying to make recipes and try new veggies and foods. I am trying to rid my mind of food I’m “afraid of”. Example- I wouldn’t eat Lara bars because they are 230 cals (6ww pts), however they are loaded with good things and all natural, so if I have the calories why not. Another thing I am learning- stop eating when I am no longer hungry. I am trying to develop a more intuitive view of food- no longer will it be a “clean plate” for Caitlin. On top of this- I am not obsessively eating fruit anymore. I think its because I’m finding that when I’m hungry I am eating actual food now. Before I would mask it with fruits and veggies. I am still eating 3 normal meals a day, but I am now eating mini snacks and if my tummy is grumblin’ I’m going to have a snack- no more waiting for the next meal. I need to keep my metabolism up.
With the new outlook (remember this is all SO NEW so I’m not perfect yet-but def an improvement), I also have a new outlook on exercising. Before I would run X miles a day, and if it wasn’t “enough” I would then cross train on top of it- just to get a specific calorie burn for the day. This is no longer my goal/view. If I want to to avoid burn out, avoid injuries and run the best marathons I can than I am going to not need to kill my body. I am running the number of miles for my training, adding weight training, doing ONLY CROSS TRAINING DAYS and rest days. I want to be in top shape for the marathon in May and so forth. I am trying to find a balance, I shouldn’t have to think “Gosh if I don’t work out for X long and eat ___ than I will gain :(“ I shouldn’t be worried day in and out if I’ve gained weight.
One of my big things right now is I am worried I won’t get to the weight I want. I am still upping my calories which is eventually going to even out, and thus my metabolism and amount that I run will even off and I will start to lose again. How will I know when I start to lose you may ask? Well, I will feel the difference eventually- I will see the difference in my clothing.
YES this is extremely tough. Many of you have lost weight, and once you’ve lost weight, any little gain (I’d say anything thing from 3lbs+) you can feel it. When you were heavier before, 3lbs more was nothing, but after losing for so long- 3lbs feels like 30lbs.
I am already feeling, literally weight wise, lighter. I have no idea my weight right now. I actually had a straight up nightmare last week that I weighed 167lbs (literally that number), I know this is not true, because well I’m in the same pants size still haha.
One problem, of the many, that happened was when I got to goal weight- I didn’t teach my body to maintain at that weight. I hit goal and then immediately started marathon training. Upping my miles, but not my calories. When I get to the weight I truly want to be at that is when I will have to learn and find the balance and amount of calories my body needs to maintain that weight. Am I at the weight/ body I want to be at right now? No. Will I get there- eventually. But for now, I am just trying to enjoy my life. Enjoy my running and my food.
So there you have it folks, if you made it this far I thank you for reading, I hope if you are struggling with any situation I hope this could help, and obvious if you need any help or want to talk my message box is always open 🙂 Also- I have created an email account solely for my tumblr/ blogging firstname.lastname@example.org . Any questions- from running, life, weight, food… anything- literally if you want to trash talk Scoop Jardine with me thats cool too.