Weight Loss Update: Big Changes, Discouragement and Unexplained Illness

It has been a little while since I last mentioned my weight loss progress. Much to my own surprise, I didn’t go ape nuts with food after my water fast. On the contrary, I rolled directly out of the fast into a sensible weight loss regimen. It is far too early to declare any amazing or shocking results, but I am managing to stick with it. So far, so good.

You know how you can sometimes be on a diet, cutting so much out that you want to maul anyone who gets to eat something other than rabbit food? I’ve definitely been there countless times before, which is why I am trying to not make the same mistake all over again. My only real concern is that I’m starting to feel as though my current weight loss plan may be too manageable. Too easy.

No, I haven’t been stuffing low-fat Twinkies in my mouth and calling myself “on a diet”. This is mostly because I don’t even like Twinkies, but it is also due to the notion that low-fat Twinkies probably don’t exist. The point I’m trying to make is that I have been watching my diet without subjecting myself to feelings of resentment, bitterness and crippling deprivation. This genuinely concerns me. This can’t be working.

I suppose I have this strong and long-held belief that it is impossible to lose weight without some form of suffering. In my mind, I believe that I either have to workout until I’m physically ill or restrict my calories so much that I’m hardly eating at all. I know, I know…I shouldn’t subject myself to either scenario; it’s all about balance. Logically, I am aware with this, but emotionally, this same logic is completely lost on me.

Despite wanting to be healthy and desiring to make this a permanent lifestyle change that is both realistic and maintainable, deep down inside of myself, I’m starting to obsess over the bottom line: I want to be thin again and I want it NOW. And yes, I know all of the common sayings about patience and endurance. “You didn’t gain it overnight, you won’t lose it overnight.” I understand that, believe me. However, when you have lived your entire life with a laser sharp focus on your weight and appearance (especially when I was underweight), none of this ends up mattering. You simply want to look in the mirror and see whatever image is in your head; waiting is not a tolerable option.

So that’s what I’ve been battling the last two days…an all encompassing urge to be too extreme. Of course, I don’t think I see any changes in my shape or weight, which has triggered a miniature depression. It is slightly embarrassing to admit that my appearance means so much to me that I’d become discouraged and despondent after just a short while of effort, but unfortunately, I can’t hide how I feel.

Being this size makes me feel so uncomfortable, like I’m in a cage or in a body that simply isn’t mine. I am glaringly aware of it day and night, which makes it hard for me to fully focus on enjoying my life. Then, when I find myself feeling this bad about it, I stop wanting to socialize or go out. All I end up thinking (more like worrying) about is how fat I am, what I can do to lose weight faster, and on and on and on it goes. The truth is that I’m doing the things any nutritionist would recommend. This is the “right way”, even though it doesn’t feel good enough to me.

Diet Changes

I have had a few foibles where my diet is concerned, but it isn’t too detrimental. For the last few weeks I’ve been using the My Fitness Pal app to track my food intake. My original goal was to lose 2 lbs a week, so I started with a doable, but unforgiving calorie allowance. However, I quickly changed it to 1.5 lbs, then down to 1 lb, back up to 1.5 lbs and now I’m right back to having a 2 lbs per week goal.

I’ll be honest: I kept changing the goal based on whether I wanted to eat something that would make me go over my daily limit. I shouldn’t have done that because it is technically cheating, but I was trying to find a calorie goal that felt sustainable for the long run. Now that I am used to my new routine, the 2 lbs goal feels slightly less restrictive, so we’ll see if I can stick to it.

Portion control is one of the biggest changes I’ve made to my diet. I tend to split many things in half that I wouldn’t have before. My favorite thing to do is check the nutrition facts of foods I buy or things I’d like to eat at restaurants. I particularly like to count out foods like grapes to their exact serving size. I’m strange, I know. Sure, it is a little time consuming, but I feel happy about being properly educated, you know?

Along with calories, I’ve been keeping an eye on my macros. Even though calories are obviously my primary concern, I do want to watch my fat, sugar and sodium intake. Even though I often screw up my daily goals, I tend to meet them over the course of the entire week. This last past week I was still a few grams over in fat, sodium and sugar lol. Naturally. Everything else (such as cholesterol) was below goal, which is good. I’m not quite getting enough minerals and vitamins (boo)…in fact, I’m lacking at least 40% of my recommended intake for Vitamin C, iron and several others. And I wonder why I’m anemic. I will definitely work on boosting these, as well as my protein, which is far, far too low still.

Soda is officially out of my life, which is all thanks to the water fast. I’ve substituted it with flavored sparkling water that has been fortified with vitamins and antioxidants. I still have a fizzy drink to turn to, so life is good on that front.

Coffee is no longer a daily thing, but I don’t know for how long this will last. My goal was never to cut it out completely, but I’ve not been making it at home due to not really craving any. Also, I got tired of wasting 110 calories per cup; I need to find a good nonfat or reduced fat creamer. I have gone to Starbucks once or twice since the water fast, and in that time, I’ve decided to start getting the nonfat varieties of my favorite drinks. I never thought I’d be the type of girl who hitches the word “nonfat” to their Venti Iced Upside-Down Caramel Macchiato orders, but here we are. I must be serious this time.

I need to drink more water. Plain and simple. All I have wanted lately is the flavored stuff, which is fine, but it is probably much better to have plain water instead— just tell that to my tastebuds. I think I need to start buying citrus fruits so I can go back to infusing my water again. My body seems to love it and it may help wean me off of the fake fruity water.

I’ve been eating A LOT more fruit lately, which has been a sweet and enjoyable experience. I definitely could eat more vegetables (and I will), but since I’m not moved into my new home yet, I haven’t cooked my own food in weeks. This means I have been eating out quite a bit, but I’ve still been super careful about my choices. I’ve had tons of salad (with low-fat dressings and lean meats), grilled chicken, and other fairly “healthy” options. Eating out is never all that healthy, so I am looking forward to finally getting settled into the new house, so I can do the majority of my own cooking again.

I have tried to avoid sugar, but…it has been hit or miss. Living with others is hard because they end up bringing things you know you shouldn’t have into your line of sight. My problem is leaving those items alone. I will say that I have been remarkably controlled, but I am aware that I went over my calorie goals a few times (sparking the need to change my weekly weight loss goal) due to grabbing something that wasn’t worth eating.

On a more positive note, I’ve been having my favorite tart frozen yogurt again now that I’m back in the West, so I have a low calorie sweet to enjoy (in moderation). It definitely beats cookies and all of that other delicious junk…I like it better too.

Working Out

This is one area I’ve been having a lot of anxiety about. I have been working out at least four times a week since the fast, but my sessions haven’t been very long (hence my anxiety). Of course, I’m the Mistress Of Excess, so I never feel like anything under an hour is worth doing, no matter how challenging the actual routine is. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to my home gym right now (nothing has been shipped out here yet), so I can’t row, can’t bike, can’t use the reflex bag and can’t use the treadmill. I’ve made do with an old workout dvd, a pair of light hand weights, a twist disc, a resistance band that I swiftly broke (R.I.P) and the HASfit app (I highly recommend this). At least I came somewhat prepared, right?

Overall, I’ve been enjoying all of my workouts thus far. I think I definitely prefer having more variety during the week, but the HASfit app is amazing. I’ve been following their monthly program for beginners, which is awesome because I don’t have to think about what to do everyday. I can just go to whatever day it is, do the workout and move on with life. Most of the workouts are 20 to 40 mins in length, so it has been perfect for days when I sort of ran out of time and needed to fit my workout in on the fly. I also like that my body won’t get used to doing the same thing over and over, so I will continue to use it once I move.

One thing I’m really looking forward to is being able to check out all of the local hiking spots. Hiking is so popular here, and for good reason. Trails are literally everywhere and the weather is actually nice enough to enjoy them. I am very grateful to now live where people are health conscious and quite physically active. I can’t leave the house without seeing at least a handful of people jogging, walking, golfing or biking….even in the middle of the city! I look forward to sharing pictures of my hikes in the future, that’s for sure.

Last, but not least, I have been having some trouble while working out over the last few days. Though it isn’t an entirely new issue, it seems very severe this time around. Lately, I have found myself becoming extremely nauseous during my workouts. My head will start to hurt, then my stomach. I’ve had to stop in the middle of my workout quite a few times now, but I always take a break (long enough to stave off the urge to hurl) before finishing. My last workout left me feeling like utter trash the remainder of the day. I haven’t felt too energetic or up to working out since, so I have skipped the last two days (including today).

Naturally, I took to Google. However, I got the same theories as the last time this happened to me. Maybe I’m overexerting myself (doubt it), maybe I’m dehydrated (possibly), maybe I need to stop closing my eyes during movements (highly possible), etc. One thing I have been doing more lately is playing a FPS. I usually can’t play these types of games due to vertigo and motion sickness. In fact, the feeling I’ve been getting during my workouts is exactly what I usually get while playing first person shooters. Weirdly enough, I haven’t been sick during actual gameplay. Strange. All I can do is try to shake it off.

Anyhow, that’s really all I have to report on this topic for now. I’m just going to try my best to improve upon my current weaknesses and fight off the urge to think this isn’t working. Even though I crave serious results, I don’t want to turn this into an epic issue that consumes my entire life like it has before. Even though this process is an extremely important goal in my life, it isn’t the only one—I just hope I keep that in mind.

At least I feel a little better about it all now that I came on here and talked it out a bit. I alllllmost feel as though I’m energetic enough to workout today after all. Let’s hope I do.

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