Food, Mood and Energy!
Monday, August 27, 2018
Eating for energy and vitality is a thing I've only been doing for about 1 year. It was after working out like a mad woman and cutting calories at equal intensity that I crashed and burned. I thought that if I could create this huge calorie deficit, surely I'd lose weight. The only weight I lost came from the buckets of frustration tears I was crying.
So, as we usually do when we need to figure something out, I googled. I came across Jen Heward's YouTube channel and she shared her own fitness journey. She had travelled this road before and had some directions for me. I added some calories back into the equation and boom, energy up, weight down. I was scared to death that I was going to ruin all my hard work, instead my body thanked me. This was the beginning of me exploring the idea of using food to make me feel better physically rather than emotionally.
I utilized Jen's macro calculator on her website and played with my ratios. I became the tracking lady. Oh, the war with tracking. You either hate it or love it. I've gotta say, I've been on both ends of that spectrum. Early on, tracking was mentally cumbersome. I felt like my whole life revolved around food and it drove me nuts. That's back in the "Core" days of Weight Watchers. Oh, how I loved me some core. No counting, just eating from a list. This was also a time in my life full of outside stressors like a marriage in shambles while building a house and living in my parents' basement with two boys who were 6 and 3.
Fast forward to this time in life where those two boys are in college and my marriage is tremendously better. (Oh, we still have our days. We are humanoids.) Tracking was less of a stressor and more of a tool. Now, I could use my "data" to see what adjustments made me feel better and gave me more energy. This began my love affair with eggs. My pre- workout meal (Did I just flipping say that? Oh my how I've grown!) has been consisting of a piece of sprouted grain bread, a smear of avocado, with an egg and hot sauce on top. That was my secret sauce to a good workout. The rest of the day was sort of hit or miss. However, I did find that chicken sausage and turkey were also good sources of happy and energetic Jen.
Now, I am at a point in my journey where I have built a lot of muscle, but this layer of fat doesn't let them show. I've already tried to remedy with cardio, and like all those fitnessy folks say, abs are made in the kitchen!
In just a day or so, BLC37 here on Spark opens it's doors. It's a challenge team that lasts about 12-16 weeks per round. I've been on the Spicy Sparkologist Team since round twenty something. What I adore about the team is that it encourages people to run their own experiments. If you're a power lifter, great. Step counter, that's great too! You do you, boo! That's sort of the motto. And the people on the team are mature, amazing people who respect each other's journey rather than force feed the magic way you have to lose weight.
This particular round with my aim of these abs and booty being unleashed on the world via a fat reduction, I am trying something that seems waaaaayyyy counter intuitive. Keto. Before you go telling me the rules and warning me of the dangers. Know this. I research like a madwoman. I chronicle my observations in terms of how I feel physically and my energy levels. And today, I actually began this thing. I'm not going to be dousing food in ranch and eating cheese covered cheese. I am using a more whole foods approach and switching up my macros to be in keeping with the Keto plan. My biggest concern has been my gall bladder. But, I am also thinking if I keep these fats from healthy places, I will be ok. I am so not a fan of banning food groups. I do realize there will be times I jump off the Keto train and will have to "start all over again." I'm ok with that. Those should be few and far between.
My deal is I have worked too dang hard to build my muscle and I need to see it. My first day observation was that my body missed that piece of bread for my workout today. So, I am really going to have to play with that carb distribution and see.
The lovely thing about all this is that it's an experiment. We all have to experiment and find the things we can incorporate into our lives over the long haul. For this to be long haul, the carb distribution and go to recipes are going to be the thing that keeps me rocking and rolling from a habit stand point. I am also keenly aware of the role that micro nutrients play in the equation, I have a plan for that too.
As I sit here chomping broccoli like a champ, I'm curious and excited to see what happens. By the end of this round, if I find I need to adjust, I will. Can't wait to see what happens. BTW, my inspiration for this leg of my race is Just Taylor on YouTube. Mostly bc we share the same ideas about not taking ourselves so dang seriously. The last thing I want to do is have no life outside of the gym or kitchen.