Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Something has Happened: My Skin is Starting to Fit...

So, I got on the scale this past weekend. You must understand, I've only "used" the scale in the past few years to mark progress during contest prep. Then it gathers dust (and other things...) on the floor of the bathroom.

But I just decided the other morning to "woman up" and climb aboard.

Let me explain a bit about the lead up to all of this.

I'm not that hungry lately. Really. I mean, yeah, my appetite seems a little increased on leg day, but c'mon! We're talking about Abel leg training here. But whatever. This whole food thing both has and hasn't been my focus of late. I haven't "binged" since I can't remember when. I've eaten stuff that is not "food;" treats, sweets, junk out of boxes and bags, etc. But what's missing is the eyes-rolling-back-in-the-head, eat 'til it HURTS kind of thing like you do post-contest (and sometimes well beyond) when it feels like you can never get enough.

So why am I not very hungry? Well, for one thing, there's some emotional baggage gone out the cargo hold. Bye-bye. Adios. It's the kind of baggage that can pile up again if you let it; that's hot happening.

Why else? Well, I'm eating and paying attention. For the first time ever that I can remember. I sit, fork or spoon in hand, bowl or plate or plastic container in front of me, and focus on what's going into my mouth. Sounds simple doesn't it? It isn't. The first time I decided to make this change (no eating in front of the computer; no eating and reading; no eating in front of the TV; no eating while using the iPhone; no eating while driving), I actually forgot to do it. First thing in the morning after deciding to try this tactic, I nuked my oatmeal, sat down, and immediately cracked open a book on my Kindle. After a few bites, I went, "Holy crap. I can't believe how automatic it is to eat and zone out. Wow."

So what does the above have to do with not being hungry? Well, I can actually "hear" my body tell me when I'm full now. Sometimes it doesn't happen at all and I'm still hungry after my meal. And that's fine. I don't need to feel full after every meal. But sometimes I literally don't want to finish what I'm eating. And I don't. If I'm done, I'll put the rest away for later.

So what about those indulgent meals (the ones we choose, not the compulsions; those just don't happen anymore) and treats? Well, there's a different mindset with those now. Like when we went to the Stampede Grounds. The last few years, this annual outing has fallen very shortly after a contest for me, during my scheduled break, so touring the grounds is about eating as much of the crazy midway food as you can get in while you're there. I ate plenty, but I also did a lot of "tasting:" a bite of this, a taste of that, instead of one for David, one for me, repeat, repeat, repeat.

So what do weekends look like? Well, not a free for all. Sometimes hotdogs cooked over our firepit followed up by S'mores; sometimes steak and salad and a couple of brew; sometimes not crazy different from during the week.

So back to the scale thing. Well, as I said, I just decided that I was going to hop aboard. No emotion; no dread. Mid morning. Not "dry" like we love to do before sending pics to Scott. I'd had some coffee and my normal liter or so of water. And I was dressed. Yes, fully dressed!

So why is this a big deal for me? Because I was kind of shocked by what the dial said. It was a lot lower than I was expecting. And what made it even more surprising was that the weekend before we were at the Stampede Grounds, the week following was not entirely "clean" in terms of how I normally eat (and included a goodbye meal for one of my work team who is going on mat leave, which I didn't finish but thoroughly enjoyed), and I weighed myself on a Sunday after the aforesaid night of hotdogs and S'mores with the kids, of which I enjoyed plenty.

So what's going on here? Well, food is losing its emotional hook for me. I am tuning into my body and its biological/metabolic needs. I'm "hearing" its messages for the first time ever. And while it may not seem like it, I'm hardly thinking of food at all if I'm not actually eating it or preparing it, and when that's happening, I'm focused on just being present.

I guess this is working for me.

So what's next? I don't know. If I tighten things up a bit, those quad blasts and pullups will feel a whole lot different. That could be fun.

But for now, I'm fine with putting the scale back to use, paying attention to my life, and just letting things happen.