So… I’ve been trying to get out of this funk/plateau/cloud I seem to have hit, and I’ve been tossing around a few ideas to get me through it. I stumbled across Roman’s Rules for Successful Living, which along with being super hilarious also furthered my thinking with gems like these:
Do something you hate. You’re allowed to say no to sh*t you don’t like. Try everything… but when you try them, go full out and commit for the appropriate length.
That last one really stuck with me. Then hot on its heels, my female coworkers both committed themselves to serious diet options that promise to have them shedding weight like crazy. In my current, admittedly weird mindset, it got me thinking that it might be time to try something crazy too, just to push me out of this million year plateau.
And then I started thinking, and if I’m being honest, I’d be forced to admit that a big reason why I am stuck in this plateau is that I’m just not pushing very hard. In the end, successful weight loss for me has always been a simple equation:
MOVE MORE + EAT LESS
Moving more isn’t really my issue these days. I’m at the gym for 4-6 hours every week, and making a point of regular weekend exercise as well. So what’s left? Eat less.
I’ve been tracking everything on My Fitness Pal, which I really like. It’s easy to use and has a HUGE database… but I’ve been routinely eating ALL of my “allowed” calories (and then some, more often than not) and I think that might be my issue. Assuming a fair margin of error on my part and on the part of the database (since I don’t necessarily double check the database against real nutrition info to ensure accuracy), I could well be eating several hundred more calories than I think I am.
Starting yesterday, I’m only going to eat the calories I get BEFORE exercising, then add my exercise at night so I’m less tempted to “eat” it. I did it yesterday and woke up feeling a very normal amount of hunger, so I’m uncovering a whole new aspect of this plan. Before I touch on that, this morning’s stats:
Left Thigh: 25.5″
Right Calf: 18″
I don’t know how much I really care about any of these numbers, except as a point for future comparison. I’ll take all the same stats again in a week to see what’s happening.
So… what’s the bigger part of this? I’ve routinely put off cutting back my calories under the guise of health. Essentially I was afraid of undereating. I was talking to my (increasingly inspiring) little brother, and he told me he’s eating what sounds to me like a TINY, absurdly small number of calories but feels great. So I bit the bullet. If I can do this, cutting back several hundred calories a day, and still feel healthy and strong… if I can keep functioning and I don’t start dealing with headaches, weakness, dizzy spells, or any other signs of physical distress, then it will prove that all that perceived hunger I was feeding before now was simply that. PERCEIVED hunger, not the real thing. So now I’m very carefully monitoring my body for signs of too little fuel, but otherwise forging ahead with my calorie cutting plan. If I still feel strong and happy, obviously I was overeating.
I’m hoping this will help me learn a lot more about what my body really needs, and if I can get accustomed to eating a much more scaled down diet, I may even be able to stop counting/tracking entirely. That idea, for the record, terrifies me… but I’m hoping that will change if I can get a real feel for what my body actually wants/needs.