Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Struggling - but not without hope

Like any other addiction, my food addiction is something I’m apparently going to battle for life.  Surgery helped start the process, but it’s still a daily battle to keep myself on the path to healthy choices – and living my fit dreams.  I’m going to share with you all – for accountability & encouragement to those struggling in the same arena.  WLS is NOT the “easy” way out.

Somewhere in the early part of 2012, a little more than a year post-gastric bypass, I hit my low “home” weight of 186 lbs.  (As opposed to my low “Kaiser” weight of 196 on 8/30/12.)  While pleased with the progress I have made overall, I still haven’t hit my “goal-goal” of 170 lbs.  I was truly not focused on the number so much, as I am doing all of the “things” I want to do – airplanes, athletic activities, getting back to “life” not focused on food, etc. 

As the end of 2012 approached, I noticed my weight was creeping back up near the 200 mark, but I let it slide, as I was training for a marathon.  To some, it might seem counterintuitive to gain weight while preparing for an endurance event.  But I understand that it’s quite common to tend to eat more…and justify it…because of the long miles being logged, the feeling of “I earned it,” and such.  That coupled with convenience foods & eating out due to time & energy factors.  The problem there can be that in spite of the hellish workouts, without conscious effort to do differently, an athlete can tend to be quite sedentary during the non-workout hours…you’re just plain tired!  With the holiday season, winter months, etc….and I found myself at 205 lbs. on race day.  (2/3/13)

Post-marathon, my weight continued to creep, as I was recovering from my stress fracture, yet still eating like I was training – ending up just shy of 215 lbs.  Though I’ve been back “training” for two months, my weight is now hovering between 205 & 210.  The problem, still, is that when I’m “off,” I’m really OFF. 

Through the past couple of years, I’ve really tried to move from the “diet” mentality (focused on calorie counting and food journaling) to a more “intuitive eating” lifestyle (being in touch with my hunger, cravings, etc.).  That’s a good life skill, but I’m discovering there is still a place for those journal check-ins.  Yesterday was a big reality check.

Because I was journaling, I knew I’d be relatively “good.”  I wrote down my food, how I felt, etc.  At the end of the day, I looked up nutrition information…and freaked out.  More than 2100 calories on a non-exercise, “good” day???  Really?  Yes…really.

But, there is GOOD in this.  First, it became evidently clear that I’ve lost touch with portion sizes and reality.  It’s time to check back in with my measuring cups, nutrition labels, fullness feelings, etc.  As much as I hate journaling, I will do it for at least a month – just to remind myself where I SHOULD be.  And, I will “schedule” more activity than just my actual run sessions.  I know I should be strength & cross-training – I’ve just been too tired.  But, tired has had much to do with eating poorly & NOT exercising enough, I’m sure.

So, back to “square one” – but not quite.  I’m NOT back in the pit…just needing a mental and physical “reset.”  And, I’m so thankful that I have the tools, knowledge, ability & SUPPORT to do it.  Because, in spite of this hiccup, I’m still LIVING MY FIT DREAMS.

On that note, here are my upcoming event plans…just in case anyone is interested J
6/1/13 – Girls on the Run – Starlight Parade 5K
July 4th Weekend – Stand-up Paddle Board lessons & river tubing in Wenatchee, WA
7/13/13 – Oregon Marathon mid-season training run (10K)
7/28/13 – Lacamas Lake Half Marathon
TBD in August – Oregon Marathon mid-season training run (half marathon)
9/21/13 – StepOut Walk to Stop Diabetes (5K walk) – I’m the NW Natural Team Captain!