Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Silver Square

When the first streaks of sunshine sneak past my shades, my routine begins. Almost on autopilot, I fling open the blinds, make the bed, fluff up the pillows, change into running clothes, scoop my hair up into a ponytail, and plug my phone into its charger by the door. I pad across the remaining luxuriously soft carpet and feel a quick jolt as I make first contact with the bathroom's icy cold tile floor.

Scale, Clip Art

Still rubbing my early morning eyes, I slowly approach the silver square that can supposedly measure my body fat, body water, and bone mass. As I wait for 0.00 to flash, I see a lightning-fast slideshow: two slices of chocolate zucchini cake, a wedge of zucchini herb cornbread, a knife slathered with peanut butter, a piece of bread barely visible underneath a melted slice of Havarti with dill cheese, a generous amount of almonds, and a handful of crispy homemade croutons. You're going to have gained weight, threatens that terrible little voice that deserves to be clocked over the head with a ceramic frying pan.

Homemade Zucchini Herb Cornbread

Flickering digits wink up at me for a heartbeat before they register on the tiny screen. It takes a full second longer than that for my brain to process the numbers. Exactly the same as the last two weeks, give or take .1 of a pound! With a whoosh, recollection of all of my recent two-a-days (easy runs, tempo runs, ab labs, pilates sessions, speed work, strength training, circuit training, hill repeats on the bike) flood back into my mind. I stare at my flipper feet for a moment longer before stepping off the scale, reminding myself that maintaining weight is the goal now.

In the past 14 days, I've been exercising smarter and purposely letting myself eat more. I made the decision that overtraining and undereating just wasn't working for me, not physically or emotionally. I'd restricted so many foods from my diet that I was no longer satisfied by anything, and my body wasn't getting close to enough rest or fuel to recover properly. I actually got to the point where I stopped losing weight (even though I was working out like crazy and not eating anything I wanted), presumably because prolonged elevated levels of cortisol encouraged my body to ramp up its fat storage. Now no food groups are off-limits (even though I obviously still get tangled up guilt tripping myself sometimes), I always eat post-workout (no matter how close the next meal may be), and my training plan has built in easy days/recovery runs. I'm still very particular about my food choices and I'm admittedly still a stickler about portion sizes, but I'm amazed at how much less fatigued I feel and how much higher the quality of my workouts are. Honestly, I haven't felt this good physically in over a year.'s still coming along. I'm happy about some of the changes that I'm starting to see in the mirror (my muscles are starting to look more defined and my sternum isn't quite as prominent anymore), but I still obsess over the stubborn curve in my lower belly, the slightly rounded tops of my thighs, and the width of my hips. On the brighter side, I'm much less grumpy now that I'm not shooting daggers at anyone around me who dares to dig into the cookie jar or to take down the baking books. I still can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that eating more is going to improve my health & my fitness level, without making me gain 10 pounds...but I certainly feel encouraged that this is a better direction than before. I'm not sure if this is the diet & exercise plan that I will stick to for the rest of my life, but I'm going to experiment with it. I'd like stepping on that silver square to be about feedback, not about failure or success.

1 comment:

  1. :) Great post. "I'm much less grumpy now that I'm not shooting daggers at anyone around me who dares to dig into the cookie jar" <-- I can SO relate. I used to get this urge to attack anyone who dare ate any of my food. Now I don't care (well sort of if it's the LAST of something that I eat everyday) but I'm glad you're realizing eating more will help improve your health.
    We're on this road together! There's light at the end of the tunnel :) Keep it up<3