Long time no update

Oh wow. So, simultaneously, nothing has happened and a lot has happened.

I just got sick of… everything. And I had a huge binge, fell into old eating habits and then started feeling like crap. My ankle is STILL healing (honestly, I would have preferred to have broken it rather than torn the ligaments because it would have been healed by now,) which impacted on my exercise.

Then I made a pact with a co-worker that we would do the Maxine’s shape-up challenge. Because it had a start date, I felt that I was free to just let go and eat whatever and not exercise before the challenge started.

Well. I had my appointment with my dietician, and I’ve regained 300g since the last appointment a month ago. That’s after three weeks of eating bread, goat’s cheese, chocolate and drinking alcohol, and one week of exercise. In the scheme of things, that’s not huge. I can vary three times that amount in a day. I do know that I saw the scales get down 2kg/a bit over 4 pounds since that weigh in, but I made my choices so I’m done.

When I started on the Maxine’s diet, the first thing was that I was STARVING. I lasted one day. Then I put in my food intake from the last day, and my projected food intake for the current day–and found the calories were way too low. My base level of calories is 1450 and I eat back whatever I exercise. This generally leads me to eating around ~1600-1700, sometimes more. The level of calories on the Maxine’s was around 1300 and they didn’t eat back any of their calories from exercise.

For me personally, I know that eating very little doesn’t work. It’s how I got fat in the first place. I need to eat and exercise. I need to keep my metabolism going. I need to not be miserable while I’m losing weight or I will snap and eat All Of The Things.

Also, my diet is very low fat–I basically don’t cook with fat or oil and only rarely use it as a garnish. I do know that I need a certain amount of fat–I eat nuts, and avocado, and fish. If I don’t have these, I really notice that the texture of my skin after a month or two goes very dull. There was a nutritionist on the Challenge board recommending that someone not substitute quinoa for brown rice as it was “high in fat.”

What the actual fuck?

Seriously, if you’re worried about the extra 1 gram of fat that quinoa contains over brown rice, (1.8g per 1/2 cup serve versus 0.8g for brown rice), then you need to reconsider your priorities. Yes, I generally eat low fat. But I think “eating low fat” is more “be aware that fat is very calorie dense and non-processed fat/oil from vegetable/fruit/nuts is healthier for you than animal fat. Oh, and try not to deep-fry things,” than “Worry that a healthy grain/seed has more fat than another one.”

(Obvs, if you have medical issues that are supervised by an actual doctor, the above rant does not apply to you. And everything in moderation, even moderation. I had a doughnut the other day. It fit into my calories and it tasted great.)

The other thing was–they don’t eat very many carbs. There were entire meals of the day that didn’t have a source of complex carbs. They advised people not to eat bananas, for heaven’s sake. I looked at that and went “Well, if you’re focused on appearance rather than health and not feeling like death, I guess that would work.” But I’ve DONE the low-carb thing and I still remember the feeling of guilt when I ate all of the rice, and then how the splits on my runs improved correspondingly. I absolutely have to eat grains/seeds/bread. I try to make sure I eat a variety. But without carbs, when I run, I feel like I’m wading through cement. I heart my sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, millet and corn.

The entire reason that I run is for that moment where everything just clicks. The discomfort goes away, my breath is coming hard but easily and I feel like I’m flying. If what I eat doesn’t let me get that feeling (and losing weight has made getting that feeling a lot easier. So I’m hoping that continuing to lose weight will make it easier still), then I need to change what I eat.

I discussed this with Renske, my dietician. She has a really great point of view that just–helps me see things clearly. She said that this is a life-long change. That there is no point feeling miserable on a regular basis. She’s trying to get me to intuitively eat more. I guess I just don’t trust myself at this stage. I’m giving it another month of calorie counting, hoping to get a bit more variation in my meals and have a repertoire of recipes that I know the calorie levels of. Then I’m going to start in on a couple of days where I eat to instinct and see how it goes.

As for my ankle? Well, I finally got the all clear from the physio to start running again. Only short stints–1 minute at a time. But last night I went out and although my pace was slow and my knees hurt, I managed 13 stints of 1 minute. I’ve pulled up ok after it, too–no swollen ankle. I think I’m going to start from Week 3 of Zombies Run to 5 K, with two minute stints of running and go from there.

I’m looking forward to summer. I was really nervous, running in the dark. It’s never bothered me before, but the ground was uneven and I kept on thinking “What if I do it again? What if I roll my ankle?” I think maybe running when I can see the path properly will be better.

So that’s it from me! I’m keeping on keeping on.

  1. We’ve all been there! I know how you feel with the injury. It just makes your mind though crazy. Although, I don’t know what it’s like to not be able to run. I’ve never run. 😀 But I’m glad you’re working out what works best for you.

    • The worst thing was that not being able to exercise put my focus solely on my diet. I try to keep a sane approach to my diet–while I do calorie count, it’s largely done the day before because I know how much exercise I’m going to do, etc. and it helps me plan my meals. It means that if I can’t be bothered doing my workout, I know to not have snacks, and most of the time it just functions as a “Hey, you need to eat more.” I have a set repertoire of healthy meals where I know the portion sizes and approximate calories. I’m trying to expand the repertoire of dishes I cook (I had basa last night. YUM). My approach during the time I wasn’t exercising was NOT sane, because it tended to either the not-eating extreme or the eating-too-much-and-too-much-junk.
      Not being able to exercise made me absolutely nuts. I was hungry because I was used to eating more food. And exercise just makes me feel so much better. I’ve really noticed the difference in my mood.
      Running’s not for everyone–I didn’t think it would be for me, initially. But I kept at it and now I love it!

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