Tuesday, January 15, 2013
My Fitness Foe
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor am I in a position to give medical advice. This post is based solely on my experiences. Please consult with a doctor before embarking on a training or meal plan.
A couple of months ago, I went to a dietitian to find out why my body doesn't reflect my level of athleticism. Turns out, I'm carbohydrate deficient. You can re-read my post on that here. You know that I upped my carb intake, that I lost a little weight & that presumably things are trucking along. Well, they're not. Here's what you don't know.
A good friend of mine read that aforementioned blog post, thought it sounded fishy & shared it with a friend of hers who happens to be dietitian, but a dietitian who specializes in athletes. Obviously, this new dietitian doesn't know me, but based on what she read & what my friend told her, she deduces that the dietitian I saw put me on the wrong meal plan. I saw a dietitian that primarily treats people with diabetes (I don't have diabetes), & as such, she put me on a diabetic carb plan, which isn't 100% wrong, but isn't right either. I'm more athletic than her typical patient, but she didn't adjust my meal plan to reflect that. Sorry, long story short - I need to go see the new dietitian who specializes in athletes. But she doesn't accept insurance & I spent all my money on after-Christmas sales, so... I'm getting there.
In November, when I first started my new carb-heavy meal plan, I lost about 5 pounds. I felt good; I looked not terrible. But then we went to San Francisco, then it was Thanksgiving, then it was Christmas & somewhere in the midst of all this, my scale broke. I have no idea what I weigh, but I typically gain 5-7 pounds during Christmas & I assume I did this year, as well. I'm also training for a half marathon, actually 2 half marathons, but I'm only serious about 1. I tend to bulk up when I'm training. If my body runs 10 miles, then my brain wants to eat an entire pizza followed by 24 cupcakes, & that's just breakfast.
Since I'm apparently never going to remember to buy a scale, I decided to get back on MyFitnessPal to at least track what I'm eating. Granted, my daily calorie goal is a crap shoot since I don't know what I weigh, but it's a start. My daily calorie goal is 1200, which can't be enough because I'm over it every day by noon.
There are few things in life I loathe as much as tracking calories. It'd tedious, it's time consuming & it's usually fairly inaccurate. The best system I've found is Weight Watchers, but Weight Watchers isn't free & I'd rather spend my money on Tattlys & spiky bracelets. Plus, Weight Watchers is very diet-oriented & I don't want to "diet". I just want my body to work right.
MyFitnessPal is great for the most part. It's free, it's easy & you can do it from your phone. My main issue with MyFitnessPal is how to track homemade meals. I do great throughout the day tracking my exercise, breakfast, lunch & snacks. But the system breaks down at dinner. I can A) search to see if what I'm eating already exists with a similar calorie count, or B) "Enter New Recipe". Entering a new recipe in MyFitnessPal is the fat girl's DaVinci Code. You will never get it right & after 20 minutes, you will either give up or your eyes will start bleeding.
I'm not always the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to things like this, so maybe I'm missing something, or maybe you're all just eating Lean Cuisines for dinner. I don't know. Regardless, it's hard to know exactly how many calories I'm consuming a day.
Another problem is that I tend to get obsessive when I'm tracking my weight & calories. Some people thrive in this obsessive environment & that's when it finally works for them, but I'm not like that. The more obsessive I am, the more self destructive I become. This is assuredly something I should work out in extensive talk therapy, but the worse I think I'm doing, the worse my behavior is.
Let's pretend I still have a scale & I wake up & weigh myself. That number sets the tone for the day. If it's higher than I expected, my mood immediately drops. I'll start planning out the least amount of food I can eat that day & God forbid if I already have a lunch date planned. I'll agonize over what to wear & will inevitably end up in all black. As the day goes on, I'll make countless self depreciating comments about my outfit & how I look in it. I'll also eat like a crazy person because I'm depressed that I weigh one more pound than I did yesterday. All day, every time I look in the mirror, I'll just see fat. I won't see fresh highlights, or skillfully placed accessories, no, I'll see a fat girl who weighs a pound more than she did the day before & it will eat my soul all day.
See? I told you I need therapy. But this is why I haven't bought another scale. This is what happens to my brain when I know what I weigh. It's such a double-edged sword. Weighing myself makes me neurotic, but not weighing myself tends to result in weight gain. It's almost like I'm deciding between a healthy mind or a 'healthy' body. Bleh.
I guess I'm going to go see the new sports dietitian & see what she says. Unless she makes me, I'm probably not going to buy another scale. Yet. I'll report back.