It’s been about 6 weeks since my last update. At that time, I was just entering CUT phase after an 8 week reset. I had healed so much during that time, both mentally and physically and I felt GOOD. I felt READY. So, into cut I went.
Guess what I did? First thing I did was to CUT at 15% of a lower exercise level- (I told myself it was because I was going on vacation and probably wouldn’t get in as much exercise and also that I was building in a buffer for all snacking I’d be doing around a campfire that would be hard to track). The second thing I did was to increase my cardio. After all, I have a beach vacation coming up in 2 months…don’t want the loss to be too slow… Hmmmm, gee…does any of this sound good so far???
Well, for the first few weeks I had no scale, I was on vacation, camping and I couldn’t lift weights during that time, but I crammed in as much cardio as I could through mountain hiking, walking and running (in the mountains so lots of hills and lower oxygen availability). I still monitored my food best I could although my macros were terrible…protein came in seriously short and carbs skyrocketed and I leaned toward overestimating calories in and underestimating exercise…just to be safe you know? Right… Anyways, after vacation, I weighed in expecting a gain and saw a 3lb loss! I was ecstatic! I’m thinking, “I’ve got this pegged…all is good.” (I would like to mention that during my entire vacation I was unable to use my Body Media Fit to gauge my calorie burns because I had no internet. This is an important fact as you’ll see shortly.)
So, let’s move on to post vacation. I resumed my lifting practices, created a new 5 day hybrid schedule of Chalean Extreme and Turbo Fire. I was being good…I kept all my workouts to about 1hr long each day and I reduced my dog walking to a much slower pace and shorter route so that I wouldn’t stress the body, but I didn’t increase my calorie intake. At this time I also started monitoring my BMF again to double check my deficit.
First thing that happened? My weight started to rise. Within 2 weeks I had regained almost all of the 3 that was lost. (At first I told myself it was because I was lifting again, and there was water retention…and to some extent I believe this is totally true, but not the entire story) At the end of those two weeks I ran a BMF report. I discovered that my 400 – 500 cal deficit that I was aiming for, was actually a 657 cal average deficit per day! I was mortified! I wanted to ‘speed up the loss’ but not destroy all my hard work of the reset! It was time to get real with myself and correct my ‘enthusiastic’ approach to CUT.
So, I increased my cals to bring me back to a 400 cal deficit. (this gives me a 100 cal buffer for the odd food portion I eyeball instead of weigh/measure)
Day 1 of increasing cals…weight up .2lbs
Day 2 of increasing cals…no change
Day 3 of increasing cals…weight down 1.4 lbs
I guess the extra cals aren’t hurting me at all, are they? And here I was all worried…
I also did some measurements today. What I discovered was quite cool…I lost inches in some places, gained inches in others. Overall, I have gained about ½ inch (that’s obviously not the cool part). What is interesting is that there were so MANY changes in inches, up and down and all over the body…it’s like my body is shifting, rearranging everything. AND, when I mentioned the weird measurements to my husband he said that he’d noticed that my body was changing – and in a good way! (oh, and when my husband says something like that…it’s truth…he only says it if he believes it) I can't see it, but he can see it. He also made a comment that “It's too bad you can't measure your face.” because so much of the change shows there first on me. And in my hands. (my rings fit differently). He also said my shoulders are smaller…how many people measure their shoulders? I sure don't!!! So he sees changes in places I can't even measure. My clothes don't reflect it. My measurements don't look great. My scale sure doesn't either. But something is happening. I'm about 6 weeks into cut…so as you can see, these changes are SLOW.
Now, all that being said…what’s the point of my story since I don’t really have a huge loss or any major success to share yet? It’s just this:
If you come from a VLCD that you maintained for a very long time, learning to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise is not an easy thing to fix in a short time. Be careful of falling victim to old habits even if you think you have everything in control this time or think you have already overcome those issues. The frustration of slow progress or none at all, that little ‘extra deficit’ or the logical reasoning to adding more exercise to your schedule can run away on you and before you know it, you’re on the path to your old life…the one you WANT TO LEAVE BEHIND! Put boundaries in place on exercise and keep yourself accountable with your deficit through whatever method you can. And whatever you do, don’t let life trick you into speeding up your weight loss because of some beach vacation, or a wedding or any other event that you are worried about looking good for. You need to learn to love yourself at whatever point you are in your fitness journey. If you don’t work on that…you’ll never escape your past. And you can’t move forward if you are stuck in your past.
Edited to add-I took these progress photos after I wrote this update. I can see changes in these photos that otherwise would have gone unnoticed! Even my husband was surprised at some of the changes and said “Wow! There's some big changes happening!” I find it interesting that my stomach is flatter and yet my measurements there are EXACTLY the same…no change. Just thought I should point that out. “
Thanks for the update, Nicole! And thank God for pics! ~EM2WL
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