Lately, I’ve been having an internal battle. Let’s ponder together …
Last year I discovered Intuitive Eating, and have been working on cleansing my system of unhealthy thoughts and behaviors related to body image, weight loss, and fitness. I feel like I’ve been so thoroughly cleansed of these things that I’ve gone from one extreme to the other. I used to live at the gym, and not count anything that doesn’t get me sweaty as exercise, and vet every bite of food before it hit my mouth. Now I spend maybe 20 minutes a few times a week doing activity, and that is COUNTING non-sweaty activities; not only that, but I don’t really care about what I eat any more — my one rule is this: as long as I’m not allergic to it, I eat it. Although some of these attitudes have developed because I’ve been injured and have started a challenging venture, I think a big part of me is afraid that by wanting to pay attention to how I look is going against everything I’ve learned this last year, and I could wind up going down the path of ED / body image hell again.
Here is the deal: for once, I finally love my body. I’m getting to where it functions the way I like (I can run again!). I look DAMN good naked and in most of my clothes. These factors have been telling me me that I don’t really need to change anything.
HOWEVER, no matter how much I love the way I look, it came to my attention that I no longer fit into ANY of my dress clothes — as in the zipper doesn’t budge. And although the weight seems to have been gained in my chest (woo hoo!), I don’t like not fitting into my favorite things — which are average, not ridiculous, sizes.
I’ve been thinking about these things a little bit, and coincidentally, last week I read a wonderful post by Alicia from Jaybird Blog, which was titled, “Can you Love Your Body AND Want to Change It?”, which got me thinking more. Alicia has been working on a group Love Your Body Resolution this year, which is why her blog caught my attention recently. After reading her post, which stated that you CAN love your body AND want to improve / change it, I realized that I no longer have any goals related to how I look, but instead all my fitness goals are related to how my body functions. For example, I set a goal to run 5 miles again this year (notice that there is no speed attached to that either!), do 200 situps, and be able to do a tripod head stand. These are all functional goals, but my body will likely change in form to achieve these aspirations of mine — but my body’s aesthetics are no longer the end goal.
With all of this knowledge at hand, I’ve decided to try to lose a bit of weight and / or tone up. But, can I try to lose weight or tone up without throwing out all the things I learned from Intuitive Eating / fitness? I think so.
Here is what I’m NOT planning to do to fit into my clothes:
- I refuse to weigh or measure myself and am planning to use my clothes to track my progress.
- I’m not going to count calories*.
- I’m not going to look at macros*.
- I’m not going to spend specific times at the gym doing specific things to burn more calories*.
- I’M NOT GOING TO OBSESS OVER IT. <==== that might be the most important thing on this list.
So what IS my plan to fit into my clothes again? My plan is pretty simple: I didn’t gain weight overnight. I gained it slowly by exercising less and eating more crap. So I can lose the weight just as easily as I gained it by being more active and eating more nutritious food and less crap. Easy. Peasy.
To help motivate me to move more, I bought a FitBit. Some of my friends have these and love them, and they say that their favorite part is that the FitBit shows you how active you’ve been, and challenges you to move a bit more. I need that challenge to move, especially since my usual form of moving (gym time) is limited. It’s been nicer out, so I’ve been walking to work and back, which ends up being six miles by the end of the day. If you add in all my normal walking (up and down stairs since the elevator at work is always broken, and across campus to meetings, class, and to check my mail), I usually end up walking between 8-10 miles a day, according to the FitBit.
Another feature of the FitBit that I enjoy is the sleep tracking. Turns out that not only do I not go to sleep at a decent time (thank you, Kindle, Netflix, Buzzfeed, etc.), when I do go to sleep, I wake up a bunch of times in the middle of the night. I know sleep is a huge part of maintaining general health, and, by proxy, a healthy weight. So I’m trying to put the kabash on electronics at night. What’s really hard about eliminating electronics at night is those devices allow me to communicate with Mark. If I could just shut everything else out and only receive notifications of his messages, then I could better manage my time with these devices, but unfortunately, there’s no way to only receive his messages other than actually talking. We’ve tried talking at night, but then neither of us sleep because we are too excited about talking. I’m really not sure what to do about this at this juncture, especially since our time is limited and the only time we have to talk is at night. I’ll keep thinking on that. But in the meantime, I’m going to focus on getting to bed at a decent time.
Finally, another feature of the FitBit that I love is the silent alarm. If you wear the tracker to bed at night, it not only tracks your movement in your sleep, it can wake you up with a vibrating alarm. The thing about this that I like is that it’s harder to escape because I’m typically too tired to take the thing off, and if I do manage to take the tracker off, it vibrates on my side table and wakes me up anyway. There is no snooze button for this sucker.
Sorry — I didn’t mean for that to turn into a review of FitBit, but that thing has seriously been helping me get motivated to be active in creative ways other than spending my limited time at the gym.
Anywho, what do you think?
Do you think wanting to slim down again goes against everything I’ve learned about Intuitive Eating and exercise?
Those of you who are recovering from an eating disorder or other body image issues, have you felt these same feelings of guilt around wanting to change?
*I know that I can lose MORE weight FASTER by tracking calories and macros and all that stuff, but I do not want to go down that road again. I’m not interested in dropping weight fast. I’m not interested in being a bikini model. I just want to be healthy and as a bonus, fit in my favorite flippin’ clothes and look as hot as I currently do.