A few things have changed from my last super-positive and optimistic post about my new 'counting calories' diet regime.
First, and most importantly, I gained weight.
Well, at first anyway. I did in fact get down to 160 from 163, but then promptly went back up to 164. I won't deny it, I was greatly upset. I felt like a hack, and a failure. Even worse, a hack and a failure who had to post about how she was a hack and a failure on the internet. Oh the humanity.
Let's ignore how when I looked in the mirror I swore I looked leaner. Or that when I tried to demonstrate how a pair of shorts didn't fit me anymore, magically they fit me. Or that I knew I was in a caloric deficit and, seriously, you can't gain fat in a caloric deficit.
Let's also ignore that, aside from my neurosis over the scale, I was pretty happy. I was enjoying food. All kinds of food. I was eating a substantial amount of carbohydrates and protein consistently for the first time in...I dunno. I hit a couple PR's in the gym. Forget all that.
THE SCALE WENT UP - REMEMBER WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT HERE.
(just so no one is confused, the above sentence is sarcastic) And, actually, I did go back down to 162ish after a few days. But even typing out how much I weighed just sounds vapid to me now.
Anyway, thankfully I took some pictures. For full disclosure, for 5 days prior to this I was testing out a program my gym will be offering. The diet part included a super-duper low carb meal plan. I was eating around 1800 calories per day, which was about the same as I was doing before. However, I did lose about 4 pounds. Don't worry I've gained all but one of those pounds back since.
So, not a ton of progress, as we can see. But, definitely got a little leaner around my stomach. Progress?
Should I Trust the Process?
It's hard to say whether or not I've made any positive impact on my body composition when the pictures are so small in difference and the main metric I used last year - the scale - isn't changing like it did. I always say that the scale is useless and yet when it comes to applying that knowledge to myself, I am struggling. Partly because part of my goal was to compete in the sub-148's, but also partly because I don't want to fool myself.
It really is rather absurd, however, that a little number carries so many of our emotions with it. How petty.
Cutting it Short
Unfortunately, whether I wanted to trust the process or not, I'm cutting this little experiment short, for a few reasons:
1) I have a Powerlifting competition coming up in November and potentially December and I don't want to suck.
2) I'm feeling a little burnt out of thinking about food and dieting so damn much. Seriously, it's exhausting sometimes.
So, in all likelihood I won't be picking this back up again until January or so. (DID SOMEONE SAY NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION???) (No, because I think that's silly)
In a way, this makes me feel like a failure. A failure on the internet. But I think it's best for me right now. The little bit of shame I get from the proclamation is outweighed by the relief I feel.
I will be continuing to count calories, but not as stringently as I was, and I probably will keep it around 2,200 rather than 1,800 - 2,000 depending on if I get morbidly obese or not. I'll still take pictures intermittently, but I probably won't be posting them. Speaking of counting calories, here's my overall impression:
- No 'rules' on what you can and can't eat
- Can reasonably eat out at restaurants
- Always knowing you're getting adequate protein
- Counting calories can be really annoying sometimes
- Counting calories is basically never 100% accurate
- Many of the better local restaurants don't have nutrition information.
Well that's the end of my little post on insecurity. On the plus side think of how much more intellectual focus I'll have now that I can divert to more useful projects, like MSPainting all over Pinterest posts and
bashing critiquing Bob Harper!