Recently I feel I have started to have a “breakthrough” and I am feeling hopeful again. You see the last week or two I feel I have slipped back into some habits I am not okay with. I have suffered from BED (Binge Eating Disorder) for a long time but thought this time would be different… and it was.. for a while. I went through my entire prep this year without any BED symptoms or actions. Which you would think if I was going to have relapse like symptoms they would occur during restriction, especially when things were a bit more aggressive in the end.
(The leanness level I was able to achieve this year for my photoshoot with Ironman Magazine)
I was very hopeful and happy to not have any issues my entire 14 weeks prepping with flexible dieting and even post prep I felt like I did much better than I had ever done in the past. But these last few weeks something happened and things started to get confusing and I started to slip again. I have said this before, and I will say it again… Flexible Dieting does not just fix BED. It does help rid the rigid lines we create in what is “bad” and what is “good” and it does help us mend much of our distorted views on foods. It also can be very helpful in learning moderation. But again it is not a magic cure for disordered eating.
With that being said, I stopped tracking my macros about a month ago now. Some of you wont understand why or how I preach and teach IIFYM if I am not practicing. But what you need to understand is ADOFitness is built on the foundation of an open minded diet philosophy and none of our coaches nor myself are stuck in one method being the “only method”. I do believe in tracking macros, especially for contest prep, reverse dieting, or cutting. However, as someone who has different goals now, I do not believe it is the best thing for me at this time. I do want to preface that with the fact that I have been tracking for a very long time and have also experience with intuitive eating in the past and it worked well for me when I was not in contest prep. I know what a reasonable intake is for myself and my intake is usually within range/reason in terms of macros regardless of tracking or not due to my experience. I wrote a blog post about that last spring that you can read here; Why I stopped tracking macros .
But let me go further into why I decided to stop tracking when I did. Coming out of prep I knew I needed to track somewhat and weigh myself to stay accountable when my body was still very much “sensitive” and I needed to keep myself from falling completely off post prep because it is VERY easy to do and not very easy to undo. I did very well with keeping my weight within 3 lbs of my low for most of those weeks. However, as time passed I felt myself having more of these BED like symptoms and knowing how BED works, I knew if I kept any type of restriction going it would only amplify this issue. I needed to get back to not feeling constrained or controlled and listening and being more in tune with my bodies hunger and fullness signals. I also noticed that if I approached my daily goal macro goal too early in the day I would get anxiety over the situation knowing I didn’t have much to work with and still had many hours ahead of me that I would be awake. Those type of situations were adding more stress to me than they were benefiting me and causing me to go back to the BED like triggers I had in the past.
So again, because my main goal right now is to find BALANCE and hopefully start a family, this is what I am doing for ME. If my main goal was to build for a show season next year or to cut for a photoshoot this would be an entirely different situation. So many people get so confused on what to do in terms of a plan for themselves and wind up getting more confused than ever reading what all these “fitness” people do online. But the thing is, THEY ARE NOT YOU. Ask yourself, What is MY goal? Is it to lose fat, build muscle, stay balanced, maintain weight, just find a weight and lifestyle that is sustainable? All very different goals that need very different approaches. Even I sometimes will put thoughts in my own head that I should be doing one thing versus another because I see someone I may follow doing it and its working for them. But then I have to stop myself and be very realistic and objective about MY situation and my ultimate goal. My goal is not to build more muscle, its not to compete, its not to stay so lean I damage my hormones, MY goal is to find a dieting approach that works for me in the long term and allows me to stay in a body I am comfortable in but still in a body that allows me to conceive, that allows me to be healthy, that allows me to keep my menstrual period. My goal is to rid myself of negative self talk and love my body even heavier than I am used to seeing it if it a healthy body. My goal is to beat BED forever and live a truly balanced and HAPPY life. These are my goals. So my plan is just that. To eat in a manner that I can sustain while trying to keep my body and mind as healthy as possible for my myself, my husband, and my future family.
So where am I at now? Well I came back from my 8 day long trip in Oregon after eating many things that were not what I was used to and many sweets and treats I normally wouldn’t and was absolutely shocked to see my weight still at 3 lbs over my low. However, since being home I have had more fluctuations with my weight than ever, seeing it jump up and down +5lbs just this last week. Thinking about how much it was stressing me out, I realized that the 8 days I was in Oregon I never weighed myself one time and although I was eating some things I normally woudnt, I felt good about myself and that was what mattered and made a bigger difference in my ultimate decision making everyday. So seeing how my scale weight since being home also started to play a role in my BED thoughts, I decided I am not going to weigh myself daily any longer. Again, I am now eliminating all factors that play a role on any type of thoughts that make me think of restricting. Because with BED, the more you restrict the more you repeat the cycle. And that does not mean you should just go crazy and through all your goals out the window. But that does mean you should focus on balance and being in tune with your body, mind, and soul. If numbers just add more stress to your life then are practical or necessary for YOUR goals.. my opinion is just to eliminate them and get back to what makes you happy.