Friday, October 3, 2014

No grains, no gains - Dealing with body shape and body size changes

A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This month's topic is dealing with body shape and body size changes. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. It's no secret that last winter I had a bit of an emotional breakdown due to my self esteem issues. I got myself into therapy and I'm still attending therapy in regards to this. I'm going to let you in on a secret. Just because you lose the body weight equivalent of another adult woman does not mean you automatically feel good about yourself. That is the honest to God truth. Confidence is a lot of work. Just like maintenance. And it's something I struggle with everyday...just like maintenance.

I have been following the Paleo lifestyle since March 2013. I find Paleo the best option for me for maintenance. While I was still in active "weight-loss mode" I was somewhat leaner. I can tell the difference even if others couldn't. I was leaner but not necessarily stronger. I don't count portion size or calories on Paleo, but if I notice undesirable changes in my body, I cut out nuts, cut way down on fruit and stick to mostly protein and less starchy vegetables. Just making those changes will cause my body to return to what is my normal within a week. It's a foolproof system for me. 

I am slightly bigger following Paleo than I was when I first reached maintenance. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. My legs are muscular and I feel strong. I feel that even though I'm curvier, I'm stronger. As long as I keep up with my running and exercise regime and am on point with my eating, my body stays the way it should. Funny that for the first time in my life I do not own a scale. I was obsessed with the scale my entire life. It had the ability to make or break my day. I haven't been on a scale since July when I got weighed during my fitness assessment at the gym. Prior to that, I hadn't been on one since early spring of 2014. Crazy you say? Maybe, but I'm in pretty good tune with my body and I can tell when things are off. 

I was doing strength training at the gym. This was definitely a good thing for me because I have zero upper body strength. I found that the gym made me super hungry and I was eating all the time. I also started running less which was not such a good thing for me. Running lots and eating Paleo works best for my body. The running keeps my metabolism up so I can eat without worrying about counting calories or portions. I haven't been to the gym in a month. I definitely need to go back, but I've had to booked an appointment with my family doctor to have my right rotator cuff checked out. I'm not sure if I damaged or tore it at the gym, but it has been aching me since before I went to Stockholm/London. To the point that it bothers me at night and causes my entire arm to ache. Right now I'm focusing solely on running again and I'm back to running 5 days per week. Although I considered going to the gym in the interim to do some yoga and pilates, I'm hesitant to do anything that will require I use my arms/shoulders because I don't want to do further damage.

So do I accept my body the way it is now? There is always room for improvement. I'm still a work in progress. I have definitely come a long way, but my self perception is still trying to catch up with how everyone else sees me. I do like what I see when look in the mirror, but the way I envision myself in my mind is completely different than how others see me. It's hard to understand unless you have lost the body weight equivalent to 2 Irish Setters (140 pounds). It's a constant struggle but one that I will continue to tackle because the alternative is not an option. I have said it before and I'll say it again. Nothing tastes better than missing out on my son's life or my good health. I've worked hard to get where I am and I'll be damned if I go back to where I started. Nothing I could eat is worth that!

Check out my blogging peeps. They're going to share their views on their personal body changes/issues/acceptance. Everyone has different experiences. Looking forward to seeing their take on this subject.

For Life
Garden Girl

Picture on left taken the summer of 2011. Picture on the right taken one week ago.