• Sustainability and Food Logs

    I think I’m going to have to start food logging again.

    For the last year I’ve been trying to not really think too much about my weight and trying to work on loving myself and just trying to build sustainable healthy habits. This worked great for the months I was going back and forth to Knoxville and walking with my childhood friend several times a week. I was also running a little more (I’m back to intervals now, which is less actual running) so I found I lost a little bit of weight and settled in around 20lbs higher than what I call my “race day” weight, but I felt like it was a sustainable body with a healthy mindset without obsessing about food or exercise….so who cares? Right?

    Well, once I stopped walking 5 miles a day with my childhood friend and never finding the equivalent walking buddy here, I could feel the weight being put back on and the moderate eating habits deteriorating as I settled into a new normal in Huntsville. My goals is to settle into sustainable habits and lifestyle that let me STOP thinking about weight and food because I just never fluctuate. But I think I’m learning with this last year that as long as my athletic habits fluctuate, and as long as I’m still prone to stress eating (meaning my eating habits are fluctuating), I’m never going to find “sustainable”.

    I tried to really focus the last few weeks as Nikki and I’s half-marathon training program officially started. I wasn’t logging anything, because that’s opposite of what I want my life to look like, but just tried to curb the emotional eating and tried to stick to my training with my daughter for our half-marathon.

    And even with those 3 focused weeks I still gained weight every week.

    I’m now almost 20 lbs higher than I was this summer and it just keeps going up.

    I think I have to face the fact that maybe I don’t know how to feed a non-ultra running body. Either that or I’m totally bad at judging my own eating habits when I’m not counting calories.

    I don’t WANT to think about calories or the scale AT ALL. But I can’t settle into NOT thinking about it until I find what my sustainable body is and sustainable means NOT GAINING because that’s not at all sustainable from a health perspective. Also? It’s hard to love a body whose clothes don’t fit and I had already spent a chunk of money clothing my body this last summer thinking it was the “sustainable” body and now warm weather is coming back again and I don’t want to have to buy more clothes. (Winter clothes cover a wider range of body sizes, I’ve discovered.)

    So, I need to figure this out. I need to find sustainable. My ultimate goal is to weigh the SAME WEIGHT for 1 whole year, something I’ve never done in my adult life, and I guess my assumption that I could do that without monitoring my food was naive. Maybe it would be easier if I wasn’t prone to emotional eating fits…or if I had more consistent exercise routines. But since neither one of those things settled into a “normal” pattern in the last year, then I have to start teaching myself the actual calorie intake this body needs without ultra-running and just try to learn how to adapt on the days I do run. I’m not training for a marathon right now, so my calorie intake isn’t even that much greater on an “exercise” day so I’m probably completely distorting all of those things in my head.

    So I’m going to log my food and exercise this week. And I’m going to try do it as a “learning” exercise and not as a “weightloss” technique, if that makes any sense. I’m looking for SUSTAINABLE. And sustainable does not mean CONSTANT WEIGHT GAIN which is the pattern I’ve fallen into this winter. 1-2 pounds every week. That is obviously NOT sustainable.

    It’s not about losing weight (she tells herself as she starts her food log). It’s about building a lifestyle where I can make reasonable decisions about food but not obsess about food. Where I can keep moderate exercise levels, but not obsess about exercise. Where I can periodically turn to food as therapy and not beat myself up about it. But I can’t get to any of those places until I have a better understanding of what I’m even putting into my body since obviously my non-tracking self is not making sustainable decisions.