As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, one of the reasons for my hiatus from blogging was my eating disorder getting worse, which eventually required me to seek in-patient treatment. It was a tough, yet healing experience for me and I’ve been a lot more stable since my return. I’m falling back into some bad habits of binge eating that I can’t control and I’m frustrated beyond belief, but at least I’m somehwhat better than before.
I don’t believe you ever fully heal from an ED. You simply learn to live around food again and make your arrangements, but a little bit of disordered will always remain with you.
Over the years, I’ve struggled with accepting the fact that I’ve gained some 10 kgs / 22 lbs. since being at my skinniest, when I was a cardio bunny who mostly ran and did some very light bodyweight training. I wasn’t happy (severely disordered to the point where bananas were on my verboten food list because of too much sugar) or healthy (hey, disordered! bulimia! amenorrhea!), but hey, I wore a size 0! Since I’ve become more serious about Crossfit, I’ve gained both muscle and fat (thanks to the ED and my binge eating cycles), yet I’ve been constantly conflicted between wanting to lose those 10 kgs again and being absolutely excited about the gains in strength that the extra weight brought.
I’m currently at a somewhat decent place, thanks to my stay at the clinic and the on-going work with my therapist. Most days, I can appreciate my body for what it can do, rather than chastise it for what it (doesn’t) look like. I’d still love to lose some 5 kgs, if only for the fact that pull-ups would be easier or maybe toes to bar would be possible. I currently have to skip those because of a shoulder injury. The kip hurts me and I’m not strong enough for many strict TTB. I assume the strain on my shoulder would not be so bad if I was a little lighter.
While there is still some ED in me, that gives me comfort in weighing and measuring food, I now approach the why I eat differently. I don’t treat (not) eating as a means to punish myself, but I rather eat to fuel my workouts and supply my body with all those macro and micro nutrients it needs to be healthy and strong.
At the recommendation of a friend, I’ve looked into macro counting/flexible dieting/if it fits your macros (iifym). She’s had some great success with it. The information in the world of iifym seems overwhelming, so I had a coach calculate my macros for me. The calculation was based on my current body composition and lifestyle. (Go see Sohee’s website for more information.)
At about 73 kg (160 lbs) bodyweight, I eat 70g fat / 175 g carbs / 160 g protein on training days and 80 g / 145 g / 160 g on non-training or cardio days. I’ve been counting macros for about 2 months now, without losing weight. However, I must admit that I’ve not been as consistent as I should have. My ED still has too much of a hold on me some days, but I’ve not been gaining weight – which is a success in itself.
On the other side, I did notice that training has been good. I managed to PR my deadlift by 10 kgs, my power clean (one of my weakest lifts) by 4 kgs, my push press by 2.5 kgs. I PRed my Annie time by over 1 minute. Last weekend I did 75 pull-ups in a workout – with a band for assistance, but less band than I previously used for this amount of reps.
Iifym has been working for me as a concept, mainly for the flexibility and structure it provides. I mostly eat a primal diet, because I continue to notice that too many grains result in skin outbreaks and poor digestion. But I’ve been able to move away from being very strict about it and beating myself up for my “cheats”. There are no cheats on iifym. There are no treats either. It’s all just food. And at the end of the day, you need to make sure it fits into your macros.
To me, there’s a certain playfulness that comes with planning your day. It’s like a puzzle, combing foods and quantities until you find the right match to hit your daily macros. I find it to save time and energy, because it’s clear what I’m going to eat for the day, the moment I get up. Boring? Perhaps. But I’d rather take boring over standing in front of the fridge, starving and frustrated as I try to make up my mind, when I get home at 10 pm at night.
The most important rule? The items you really, really want go into your tracking tool first. Like those two squares of dark chocolate:
I find iifym to be a wonderful concept and encourage you to give it a go. Has any of you tried it yet?