Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Week 9: Momentum and Intution

I am roughly nine weeks into my nutrition program and I'm feeling the effects of extreme deprivation and hard, hard physical activity.

When I think about the last nine weeks, I'm amazed that I've been able to keep pace and stay the course with this rigid plan. My momentum was, up until last weekend, pretty darn stellar. But as is always the case, momentum can be both good and bad.

Last weekend, it was bad.

I was at my sister's house and she had a whole spread of food. Never mind that she had stocked up on protein and veggies for me. All I wanted were the things I couldn't have.

So I had them. And I had a lot of them. I'll spare you the details.

I got sick. I was sick for two days.

I asked myself, "why?"

The thing is, the momentum that saw me through nine weeks turned on me, this weekend, and became the most slippery slope. I couldn't stop with the margarita and the beer. I couldn't stop with the chips and salsa. I couldn't stop after the cookie. But I had to stop after the pie.

And that is what deprivation will do.

There's a reason that cheating is encouraged on diets. It's a built in way of allowing pleasure. Because without pleasure, food is no fun. Admittedly, that's how it's been for me for too long.

Nine weeks is too long to go without a treat!

And nine treats are too many to have in one sitting.

Do you see the point here? I do. I see it oh-so-clearly and now I get it, too: Indulge periodically. It's OK."

So, that's my soapbox moment on momentum. Go with it, but give it a break now and then too. Otherwise, it will turn around and totally beat you up.

Now, on to the semantics of the program.

At Week 8, I checked my weight and it was the same as when I started the program. Up a few ounces, in fact. But if I've learned anything during this program, it's this: the scale doesn't tell the whole tale and it never will.

I had my nutritionist check my body fat and my lean muscle mass. Body fat was down to 19% (from 25%) and muscle mass stayed the exact same (which is good).

So, once again, I have a good reason to throw out my scale, because it just doesn't provide an accurate picture. Ever.

I am pretty happy at 19% body fat. I've been as low as 16% before and that's not the greatest look for me. I could stay at 19% and be quite happy.

It is likely that the nutrition program has helped "reset" my endocrine system and thyroid and also likely that I will come off that medication in the next month. I haven't had a migraine since the program started which is huge and my doctor thinks that there is also a correlation between my nutrition and my headaches.

All this is good.

However, I've been starting to do more strength training and less cardio. I'm tired. My body doesn't feel like it's getting what it needs - in the way of energy - to sustain moderate lifting at the gym and long pilates sessions.

This is not good.

I'm waking up hungry at night and I'm ravenous in the morning. Eggs aren't cutting it. Neither is salad. I can't get back in the "ketosis" zone. My body is definitely talking to me. I don't want it to turn on me again.

Meanwhile, I have another eight weeks on my current program and my nutritionist isn't "allowing" for modifications just yet. I hope she's not reading this.

A colleague of mine, who happens to be a competitor for figure competitions, and who has the body of a supermodel, took one look at me and said, "You're not getting enough carbs. You look tired."

I told her about my diet. She gave me some ideas. Basically, if I'm going to be lifting weights and doing some cardio, I have to have grains. She suggested eating every three hours. Five mini-meals a day. I have to re-calibrate my protein. Less at each meal. Three ounces. And only brown rice as a carb, with the exception of a half-cup of oatmeal in the morning.

So, now, instead of four eggs in the morning, I'm having two, with the oatmeal. Then, four small meals of lean protein and a little brown rice and some green vegetables. I'm also keeping the flax, since it such a great supplement, and the apple cider vinegar, too.

No sugar. No other refined carbohydrates. No fruit. Lots and lots and lots of water. With a few tweaks, my friends says I can continue "re-setting" the thyroid, but in a way that supports my physical activity and output, and allows for more energy (hopefully).

I'm taking a week long break from my nutritionist. We'll see how I feel in a week. While I'm not opposed to going carb-free again, I certainly don't feel like it's working for me right now.

My intuition has always been one of my most powerful tools. Having body awareness is a huge component of good intuition and it's served me well in the past. I trust that it will now, too.


Anonymous said...

That sounds like a much more realistic lifestyle. I had reservations about your "diet". It has helped you, for sure but I'm glad you are listening to yourself!

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