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20 Minutes of Exercise Put Me Back on Track!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ohmigosh. After doing so well for so long, I can't believe how off track I was for the last 5 days. It came out of the blue and was, as usual, related to my monthly cycle. Usually, though, the day my period starts, I'm back in control. I'm not sure what went wrong this time.

Last night, because, and ONLY BECAUSE, I am on the 28 Day BootCamp Challenge, I put down a cookie recipe (that I was almost crying over making - it was like I was possessed), went in the living room and did two 10-minute BootCamp videos. Bam! Cycle broken.

When I was done, I was still craving something sweet, but now it was a clementine, yogurt, and green tea. I calmly put the cookie recipe and ingredients away - the urge to eat a dozen cookies suddenly seemed disconnected from my life. Just before deciding to make cookies, I had eaten a few slices of Pizza Hut cheese pizza. Before the exercise, that seemed like a pig-out, a failure, and license to eat cookies. After the exercise, I had no trouble seeing that it had been a perfectly acceptable food choice for the day. I made sure I ate at least my minimum calories last night, made up of healthy foods, to set the stage for success going forward.

I just could not let myself slip up on the Challenge. I knew I would feel like a total failure. For just one second, I believed (barely) that I could do just the bare minimum of two 10-minute videos to keep up with at least that part of my commitment to my health. While I still believed it, I jumped right in. The exercises seemed harder than usual, and I felt less flexible, and that reminded me how much bad food choices affect my body.

I think the cause of this sort of episode has to do with overly restricting my food intake RIGHT BEFORE the hormones take over. This time, as with other times this has happened in the past, I had been hungry for several days before the binging started, even when eating my maximum "allowed" calories of 1950. I forced myself to stick with it, though, because every calorie estimator I referred to seemed to agree with SparkPoints recommendation. I was exercising a lot, but wasn't very active otherwise, so it wasn't difficult to estimate the calories I was burning each day to be about 2300. If I ate more than 1950 calories, I wasn't going to lose weight, right? I'd also lost several pounds in a week. That usually means I need to eat more or a binge is gonna happen, but I was ignoring that signal, too.

I am embarrassed by how obsessed I am with meeting number goals. Like, I'll eat tiny portions of different things at the end of the day to get my fat, fiber, and calcium numbers to be in the "Met My Goals" range. But this was different in that I really did some calculating, and, on paper, it looked like I really didn't need more food, that it must be a trick my mind was playing. Plus, in the world of dieting, 2000 calories in one day sounds like a huge pig-out.

I need to listen to my body. It said it was hungry. I didn't feed it. So, it took over my brain to get what it needed.

Generally, I think the difference between my body needing food and my brain wanting to binge is whether I'm craving dates with peanut butter or peanut butter cookies. The problem seems to be that there is a time of the month where my emotions are confused, and I don't know what I want.

I remember trying to hold on to my goals, trying to get a grip on this by eating a few extra hundred calories of reasonably healthy food. Maybe it was too late?

I did hang on to my exercise goals. Again, ONLY because I am determined to complete the 28 Day BootCamp Challenge. Wanting to keep up the challenge, against every fiber of my body, I talked myself into doing two videos earlier in the week when I really didn't think I would. On Friday, even though I was totally preoccupied with a problem I'm having with some already unpleasant tax-related stuff I have to do, I went to Zumba. Half-assed it, but I went!

My last thought on this. The "bad" feelings seemed to start with having to do this tax stuff. It's tied up with a bunch of unpleasant feelings about having to close my business earlier this year and complicated by computer issues and a bunch of other negative things. I really think these feelings contributed to my struggle this past week. If I'd handled this stuff at the earliest opportunity, it wouldn't be haunting me now. Oh, well. It will be done in a few days. Doneish. It's complicated. Crimony. I'm even putting off doing it by writing this novel-length blog entry.

I will re-read this in a few weeks to remind myself of the consequences of not getting stressful stuff over with at the earliest opportunity and of not listening to my body.
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