(TW weight stuff)
Last week I hired a nutritionist/trainer to help me get in shape (you can see my first impressions of the guy himself here). To review, I quickly gained a lot of weight in the last couple of years due to depression, but it has been a baffling secret as to why I can't reverse it, no matter how sensibly I eat and how much I exercise. I recently got a physical and I am in poor health. Fuck that, I'm living forever.
Based on my physical and my diet, he determined that my metabolism has probably crashed because my muscle mass was alarmingly low. So now I am on a diet fit for a football player. I just wanted to give everyone an update on how it's going before my first "check up" with him tomorrow. I don't want the number on the scale to have an effect on my analysis yet.
Please, I am really not looking for anyone to weigh in on what you think is wrong with the meal plan he has me on. Different things work for different people. I'm altering my whole life right now and trying to stay very positive about it, so I'm going to have to dismiss negativity, concern-trolling, etc. because I don't have room for it.
So here are some thoughts on how it's going so far!
- It's a ton of food. Like, a ton. Grocery shopping, cooking, eating, doing dishes and taking shits have all sort of taken over my whole life. This has actually made the biggest challenge for me time management. I didn't make it to the gym as much as I was supposed to because of this - but I think I'm getting the hang of it.
- I started off very full the first couple of days. But now I am a monster. I am getting hungry like clockwork - ravenous, even - but the good news is that I am always "about to eat something." A pleasant surprise has been that I am hungry in the morning (this is new for me).
- Starting next week, I get to have a cheat meal or cheat day or something, which I think will make this a lot easier. It's not that I am hungry - fuck, I'm not even having any cravings - I am just missing the freedom of wandering around the grocery store and cooking what I want, or going out to eat.
- It's mentally very different to have all your meals planned out like this. I really had no clue how much mental energy I was expending on trying to plan my meals myself, to lose weight. And then there is that moment every time you have a twinge of hunger where you debate whether you should eat something. I just don't experience that anymore because I'm not in charge of it. It's very...freeing.
- I can't shame myself for ANYTHING I am eating. Not one thing. Oh my god I cannot express in words what that feels like to me. After a week of this, I think I realize I have never ever eaten a meal where I didn't analyze it to death, and assign a moral value to eating that meal. There is no question as to whether this is the "right" thing to eat because, according to this person, it is. And if it turns out not to be, he has to fix it.
- I have such a short list of things I am supposed to be eating that I have had to get really creative making lean health stuff taste good so that this is sustainable for me. I think I will turn out to be a huge badass at this. Also, I am cooking such a massive quantity of food that I have had to retool my strategy totally and I think, in the future, I'll be a lot better at cooking efficiently.
- I don't feel tortured. I'm a little bored, so I'm going to see about getting a vegetarian meal thrown in there, and I know the cheat meal will break things up. But I don't feel tortured because I am satisfied, full of energy, and not having any sort of stomach issues.
This is the biggie: I am BOUNCING off the walls with energy. He told me this was going to happen but when he said, "you'll have more energy" I didn't realize how much more, or that it would be instant. Like, first day instant.
- I don't need coffee (after that first cup). I'm popping out of bed, and as soon as I get a little food and coffee in me, it's like, nonstop all day. Then, like clockwork, pretty soon after my relatively late dinner, I crash. And I fall asleep quickly (this is new for me).
- I used to get really sleepy after exercise.Like, 3am sleepy. Not anymore. I leave the gym pumped and ready to go to work.
- I am extremely efficient and productive and focused in my daily activities. Body fat issues aside, this change has been worth it already. I feel like a new person. Yesterday, I got trapped out of the house without food when I was supposed to eat it so I got really hungry. But my blood sugar didn't crash like it always does, and I didn't get shaky and cranky and ravenous and tired. It was just...fine. I was hungry and that was the only feeling.
- Even thought I am not smaller (and surely haven't lost much weight), I am not getting winded when I run all over the store or my house, or up and down a bunch of stairs. I feel in better shape, even though I have sort of fucked up the already limited amount of exercise I was supposed to be doing.
Ultimately, in the long run after I get healthy again, I hope to be at a place where common sense eating actually works to maintain my weight and health, like it used to. I have always eaten lots of veggies and been very healthy, aside from this downward slide of the past few years. Returning to those habits that are innate to me - cooking and eating lots of veggies and staying active - sounds like a dream. I don't think meatstravaganza is sustainable for me (who knows, maybe I'll get used to it) so I am going to ask him some questions about how this will go long-term when I see him tomorrow.
Things I made using that limited list:
- Because I can use unlimited peppers, I roasted a bazillion red/yellow/orange peppers and have been putting them on everything. Egg white omelet with salsa and roasted jalapeno and red pepper has been my favorite breakfast.
- Supposed to eat oatmeal and blueberries at breakfast; I accidentally discovered that if you microwave the blueberries WITH the oatmeal, they burst and turn the whole thing purple and flavor it beautifully. And they're sweeter.
- Turkey/chicken salad. Not sure if I can have pickles (because I think I am limited with vinegar) but I put lots of cut up green peppers, red onions, and cucumbers in a mustard-based salad with lots of dill and garlic. I can fit most of that on the Ezekiel bread for an open-faced sandwich.
- For the buffalo days, I made what I am referring to as Buffaloaf which should feed me for two weeks (I stuck some in the freezer).
- On fish days, I've been eating tilapia, lightly pan-seared with a little lemon juice, and cucumbers and roasted red peppers on Ezekiel bread.
- My green vegetable at night has mostly been steamed kale because I LURVE it, but one day I did sautee it with onions, peppers, lemon juice and a shit ton of paprika (to eat with turkey breast) and it was great.
Happy Sunday, everyone!
*If you're looking at the meal plan, for reference, 4.5 oz of turkey or chicken breast is roughly 1.5 cups. 5 oz of a green vegetable is....millions. 4.5 oz of salmon or buffalo is a little less (I guess it's denser). 4.5 oz of tilapia is about half of one large fillet, roughly.