Thursday, November 2, 2017

My Relationship with Food and Thoughts on Counting Macros

Writing about weight loss is harder than I thought. Maybe it's because I didn't think I had any weight to lose, or maybe because it's not a story about weight loss, but a story about gaining a new perceptive on food, fitness, and self-image. Anyway, this is my story.

2016 vs 2017
Sometimes I sit and look at this space and don't even know where to start. Food, fitness or fun. I mean it's easy to pop in and share our latest adventure and what I'm eyeing, buying or making. What's hard is writing those truthful posts. Maybe I'm fearful you won't like it, the internet trolls will come knocking, or I can't articulate what I'm thinking. With that said, today I'm diving deeper and sharing my relationship with food and what I've learned about myself and my relationship with food since I started counting Macros.

First things first, I LOVE food -- especially all things in a treat form (i.e., cookies, ice cream, etc.). However, I'm not a donut person (gasp... I know). Now that we got that out of the way, my relationship with food has been an interesting one. I kind of always ate what I wanted, when I wanted it and didn't care.  Growing up I played sports, so I never had to worry. Same thing during college, so I never gained the freshman 15. It wasn't until post-college I really started watching what I ate the pounds crept up. One day I found myself unhappy, working 50+ hour weeks, and nearly 150 pounds. OK, I know that's not a lot, but when you're barely 5"4' it is. Especially when you have "fat genes" in your family. The thought of being fat scares me. Yup, my food and body image issues are serious, but I've learned how to work through them over the years.


Moving to Tahoe I lost the weight because I ditched the desk job and became more active. As I've aged I needed to really start watching my food choices. Over the last 5ish years I've tried zone, paleo, clean eating, intuitive eating, etc. and while they all worked they weren't something I could sustain long-term. After a while, I just went back to old habits. Over the years, along with my weight, my body composition and self-image has fluctuated. Don't get me wrong I've always been a healthy eater, but it was overeating and poor food choices (aka sweets and alcohol) that always did me in.

Enter Crossfit and the 80/20 rule and life was grand. Basically, I just indulged on the weekends, but like everything else I plateaued. Late June, after seeing numerous friends with amazing results, I decided to hire a nutrition coach and start counting macros. Guess what?! It's now 20 weeks later and I'm still tracking macros because it's a lifestyle, not a diet. Also known as "flexible eating." To-date, I'm down 16 pounds and 3" in my waist! Not only do I have more energy in the gym, I'm PRing, recovering quicker, and am overall stronger.
A 15 week and 15-pound difference

What I've learned mentally counting macros.
 - You can have your cake and eat it too! It truly is flexible eating. Basically, you have a daily budget of carbs, fats, and proteins and it's up to you how to spend it. So as long as you plan on it, you can enjoy a cupcake, etc.
- It's ok to have off days. It's the off weeks that will hinder progress.
- Not everyone will understand and you don't have to apologize for it.
- If you can get through the first few weeks it becomes second nature.
- If I physically feel good, then I'll mentally feel good. This, in turn, makes me a better wife and mother.
- While I look at food as fuel, it should and can taste good.
- You make your own choices.
- You will inspire others, but it's not for everyone.
- I have more discipline than I thought.
- I never felt as though I was depriving myself and didn't find myself wanting to binge eat.

What happened physically when I started counting macros?
- I lost fat and gained muscle
- I lost inches everywhere
- Less inflammation
- Even better sleep (I've always been a good sleeper)
- Increased energy
- Increased strength
- Overall change in body composition
- Improved complexion (maybe because I started drinking more water)

I'm sure I'm missing a few points above, but those are my biggest takeaways.

Before I started counting macros I was a total binge eater. I would be so "good" for days/weeks and then would just eat and eat. Which isn't good. Now I'm eating more food daily and I'm over 15 pounds lighter. Think about that for a minute.

I'm passionate about sharing my story in hopes that it will inspire others. I know I shared a lot and not a lot today. Let me know what you would like me to tackle next in regards to macros/healthy living.

8 comments:

  1. I think it's great to see posts like this when people dig deep to find out what works and what doesn't. I changed my blog a few years ago and took the focus off weight loss because I was at my goal weight and stayed there for over a year. Now I've put the weight back on and trying to work through what happened and how to fix it. I did a keto diet but now looking at iifym and flexible dieting. I would like to know how calculate your macros and make everything fit in your day.

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    1. Hi Dawn, Thank you for stopping by and the great feedback. I'll start working on a post about how I plan my day/fit it all in! :)

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  2. So awesome that you found something that works so well for you!

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  3. I haven't full on counted macros but I have done carb cycling and found it to make such a difference. Now after baby 3 I'm definitely looking to lose weight, gain muscle and get just overall feel fitter.

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  4. who was your coach and did you do online coach or a local coach? was wondering if they take online clients as i'm not local to you.

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    1. Hi Tate, I worked with an online coach through Stronger U (https://www.strongerufit.com) I can't say enough great things about them and would highly recommend working with Stronger U. Best of luck!

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