I’m going to be straight with you, as I promised I would here. I have very little enthusiasm for writing this blog post this week. Largely because I don’t feel it’s been a very successful week and I’m not sure how to turn that around into a ‘lesson learned’ or something more positive (although just the process of writing these updates can help to untangle thoughts in my head and I may yet come to some sort of positive conclusion by the end of it).
You may recall in my last update, I was excited to have a week off exercise, and was going to prioritise relaxing and sleep. Well I did that, and it was good, I suppose. I had time to socialise a bit more because I wasn’t rushing off to the gym straight after work, and I had dinner with my Grandpa whom I shamefully hadn’t seen for over a month even though we live only 15km from each other. I also did catch up on sleep and watched all of Season 1 of Orange is the New Black – awesome show!
On Monday I was supposed to have a PT session, but I had some travel vaccinations on Monday morning and I hadn’t realised how much my arms would hurt, but also the fact that one of them was a live vaccination meant I was then supposed to avoid exercise for a couple of days, so I had to cancel the session. So that meant no exercise at all except for a bit of walking from Sunday through to Saturday.
Thursday and Friday I stayed at home with a cold. It wasn’t too severe but my workplace has been an absolute cesspit of germs lately, and given my apparently compromised immune system anyway, it seemed safer to stay home and deal with the most urgent work stuff from the comfort of my couch and laptop. Saturday though, I was determined to have a good day, and I got up early – 7.30 and went for a run while the beach was still quiet. My hip didn’t like it, but my soul sure did. I then ate reasonably well for the rest of the day even though I was out of town visiting my sister, and thus out of routine.
I hate weeks like this. Being out of routine and not exercising is just hell on my mood. Tuesday I had the most insane sugar cravings which I gave in to, and Thursday and Friday I was craving carbs and I also gave in. And I don’t know why. Then I beat myself up. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I have more self control? Why can’t I stick to a good thing for more than about a week without falling back off the wagon again? I vacillate from self-loathing to positive pep-talks. I remind myself I’m clearly not a failure, or I wouldn’t have gotten this far, and I try my best to rationalise my eating choices and take away the self-blame. Here’s a sample of how the inner dialogue went this week:
Me: Gawwwwwd, all I want is some fresh bread and butter. Maybe with peanut butter. Yum! yep, bugger it, I’m going to have bread with butter AND peanut butter. Hell, I’m going to have TWO pieces. And why the f*ck not? Is that reallllllly so bad? Will I get fat again overnight? My friends are right, I’m too obsessed about this.
Also me: Gen, you are pathetic. So much for your ‘12 week challenge’. How are you going to explain this on G.I. Gen? Clearly you have nothing to offer anyone because you’re a pathetic fraud and you are NEVER going to reach your goals and get rid of that pot belly.
Me again: Well now hang on just a minute, back the truck up, you’re not pathetic, you’re just human. Under-eating will always lead to over-eating. Maybe you’ve just restricted too much, and now your body is just desperate for some carbs? You set too high standards for yourself. You will reach your goals, look how far you’ve come already. And look at those OTHER areas of your life where you’ve achieved things? If you were a hopeless loser, you wouldn’t have done those things. Clearly when it comes to food, there a lot of compounding factors to consider. There are all the early childhood factors that condition our attitudes towards food. There are hormonal imbalances and a shoddy immune system going on. And it’s winter for God’s sake. Lighten up! Who DOESN’T crave bread in winter? So you ate some carbs, big deal. We’re talking 3 out of 6 days where you over-ate, but on the ‘good’ days, you were very bloody good, so chill out.
So, that’s basically how it went 🙂 We’re going to have to call this a maintenance week. All I know is the exercise routine and the meal planning tend to go hand in hand for me. And if I hadn’t been home Thursday and Friday feeling sorry for myself, with access to food I never buy myself, like bread, it wouldn’t have happened. Knowing that, prompted me to post something on the G.I. Gen Facebook page on Thursday night – my ‘top tips’ for avoiding problem foods. And they are: Don’t have it in the house, at all, for any reason whatsoever unless you’ve already decided you’re going to eat it. And don’t look at it. I avoid the confectionary aisle in the supermarket and I actually turn my head away when I pass the string of famous cake shops near my house. Most of the time these tips work for me. Mostly…
What I do know, thankfully, is that I come out of a week like this always feel reaffirmed and with renewed motivation. Physically, I feel like crap – heavy, sluggish, my hip is hurting like hell again, etc, and I know now with absolute certainty that only a day or two of being back on track and I’ll feel good again. So, this week, the plan will be as follows:
I’ve decided to ease off the pressure on trying to implement the plan the Naturopath gave me a few weeks ago. Cutting down on wheat and dairy is all very well, but I should know by now that I don’t respond well to restrictive diets. I’d rather set myself very realistic goals and meet them, than put pressure on myself to be perfect, and then fall into a pit of self-loathing when I fail.
My daily menu is going to look approximately as follows:
Breakfast: my usual egg, fetta and spinach scramble with some added sweet potato.
Lunch: crunchy noodle coleslaw with slivered almonds and asian dressing with smoked chicken
Dinner: curried sausages with mashed cauliflower instead of potato. Comfort food – yum! But done the G.I. Gen way 🙂
Snacks: coffee, an Atkins protein bar, cottage cheese with carrot sticks, almonds if I need it. LOTS of water, as usual, and licorice tea when those sugar cravings strike.
You’ll note there’s whey protein in that menu plan, and dairy – gasp! if those small indulgences are enough to come out of the end of this week without any major blowouts then I’ll be a happy girl. I’ll keep an eye on the macros and try to stay under 30% carbs, and under my overall calorie goal. And if I end up straying from that plan but staying within those parameters, that’s ok.
PT on Monday night which I’m REALLY looking forward to, then I’ll go to the gym the other nights this week IF I feel like it, and if I really don’t, and I’m sore and tired I just won’t go but I also won’t hate myself for it.
So there you have it. And I’m heading into Week 8 feeling pretty sure that I’m not going to meet my original goals, but also feel like I’m learning more and more about myself and how I ‘tick’ as the weeks go by. And that’s an outcome, of sorts 🙂
PS. Oh, and this week I start Life Coaching!! Very excited. Who knows what kind of life changing revelations might be had…
Previous 12 Week Challenge posts:
I can’t be bothered separately itemising them but you can find them all here.