So today my plan was to do a blog post on organization...stay tuned as that's coming tomorrow.
Today, I wanted to share an email from a client that I got yesterday. As I sat there reading it, I thought "Wow, this reads like a monologue that someone would read on a stage and I know that SO many women could relate." I emailed her back and asked if I could share, and she said she didn't mind at all. I hope it touches you like it did me.
I've had a few days to think about our previous discussion about reverse dieting, not being able to lose, etc. I've also had a chance to read your post of August 3rd, "The Constant Chase for Weight Loss." Before I read your post, I had just read a people.com article about what Aisha Tyler eats in a day: chicken breast, spinach, maybe some brown rice (if she was in a "carb kind of mood," avocado). All of this added up to the perfect number of one thousand, two hundred fifty-eight calories per day. That is 1,258 calories for a woman that is 6'0 tall and "likes to work out occasionally." Okay, I thought,maybe.
Then, the next day, as I was getting dressed and ready for the day in the gym locker room, I heard Good Morning America tease their upcoming segment with "don't go anywhere, folks! When we get back, how to get Jennifer Lopez's bangin' body!" It was a dance cardio workout that people could allegedly do right from home. Yeah...no.
And then I had an hours-long conversation with one of my dearest friends who is completely in the throws of an eating disorder and who is already naturally thin, but is starving herself to be "better than what genes gave her."
And then I checked in with my uncle as to the status of my 62-year old aunt, who has struggled with disordered eating forever, and who recently became so involved with a group doing intense yoga and "eliminating her body from toxins" by eating 700-800 calories per day that it caused an eruption of her already incredibly fragile abdominal aorta, and she almost died. Again. But, while the doctor was trying to save her life by putting in a stent, you know what my aunt was saying? "Look! I'm so tiny they have to use a stent they would use for a child because my veins are so small! I finally did it!"
I kid you not.
And then I chatted with my mom last night, and inevitably during our conversations, I always ask her "what are you eating this week, Mom?" And, she'll respond with the usual "oh, you know - an apple, some peanuts, protein bar that I munch on throughout the day."
And she wonders why both me and my brother struggle with disordered eating.
And I thought about the horrifying words my husband uttered at least 5 years ago when we were discussing having children: "I don't think we'll ever have biological children because you are too afraid you'll get fat. Not pregnant, FAT." Those words hurt, Katie - let me tell ya. Yet, here we are some 5 years later. We are 35, we've been married for 11 years, and we have no children, though we want them. And I realized something totally and completely terrifying that I think I've known all along, but was too afraid to admit to my husband or out loud at all: he's right.
There is this woman at the gym who is probably close to my age, although smaller in beginning stature. And I think she might be training for a fitness model competition, perhaps, because I have seen her go from fit to ripped in approximately 5 months. I mean, she is a tightly formed ball of muscle - holy cow! And as we are both lifting weights in the same mirror so often, I think "ugh - you will never look like that. You're gonna work as hard as she is and you will never.look.like.that." And what do you think happened to my workout when I allowed myself to have those thoughts? Yeah...
So. Let me get right to the point (I know, I know...you say in your mind "girl, you could have done that 10 paragraphs ago!"). I read your blog post. And I thought. And then I read it again. And again I thought. And then I realized what I want to do.
I want to be the BEST version of myself.
Does that mean I can get back down to my wedding-day weight of 118 pounds (when I was 24 and actively starving myself)? Nope.
Does that mean I should be content to let myself gain and fear reaching (or actually reach!) my highest weight of 205 pounds (when I was 18 and on Zoloft and being treated for serious anxiety disorder)? Nope.
Does that mean I want to try every new fad diet that comes out that promises, promises? Nope.
Does that mean I want to spend 2 hours in the gym every day getting "ripped?" Nope.
(I sound like I'm in a conversation with my 3-year old nephew: you want to do this? No. Will you pick up your toys? No. Can you stop screaming and throwing a fit? No. Side-eye, "wait till your mother gets home, child.")
What does that mean, then? Perhaps I am currently the BEST version of myself. Ohhhhh....nope. (Sorry - so close!) :-)
Truth is, I don't like this weight (which is back down a pound this week to 152.8 - oy). I don't quite like these measurements. My body just doesn't feel quite right here. It feels - off.
That being said, I don't particularly want to go crazy with lowering macros, because you are absolutely right: my mental health, especially given my history with obsessive weight loss, truly cannot handle that. It just can't.
But, I feel like there has to be some kind of middle ground to allow me to get to a more comfortable place safely while still maintaining a mental health balance. And, perhaps the macros we are currently at will do that, now that I've added spinning 2-3x per week back in (since that piriformis muscle if finally starting to release its stranglehold on my sciatic nerve - good grief! I went to my physical therapist who did some kind of nerve release thing by pressing on the area right behind my ears. And once she peeled me off the ceiling and I stopped shrieking like an idiot I was like, "oh! that feels a bit better!").
I don't really have a solution here, Katie. But, I feel in my heart and soul that you can help me find it. I don't know you, and you could never pick me out from a lineup (to be clear, I've never actually been in a lineup, I promise), but somehow, I know you are the right coach for my life as it is right now. And you know what? The "right now" is all I have to make a change for tomorrow.
You know...no pressure. :-)