I've counted macros for a few months now since giving myself a big break following the discovery of the affair. I started back with my coach, Hanna, again seven weeks ago so I've been tracking more closely and looking at more data. And the change [in myself] that I've experienced since I counted macros the first time in 2018 is huge. In the past, this change would've terrified me and convinced me that I was losing my edge, my commitment, and that I would surely soon be 300 pounds. But now I see it as growth. I see the squiggly line of life with much more grace and compassion than I once did, when I expected my progress to be linear and exact. I'm being nicer to myself and my body has never felt better.
The biggest change is in what Hanna has termed "mental anguish". I have to credit her for that phrase because I love it so much - it's so accurate. This past weekend, for example, my husband was home and we ordered takeout on Friday night, made cocktails and pizza on Saturday, and he made me pancakes on Sunday. In the past, I would've chastised myself every time I went over on my numbers OR told him to eat the pancakes himself (fun.) because I didn't know the exact amount of carbs contained in their fluffiness. Or, I would've indulged and then weighed myself on Monday morning, cueing up the mental anguish. This time, I tracked everything aside from my food all weekend (sleep, stress, workouts, and hunger levels) and got back to tracking it all on Monday. I didn't weigh myself until Wednesday. By Wednesday, my husband had been called away for work again and the worthiness of our relaxing weekend at home weighed 10+ times as much in the importance of my life than the two extra pounds that were still hanging around on Wednesday morning. I hip-checked the mental anguish - remembering the squiggly line (weight can and will go up slightly after social events, vacations, indulgent weekends with a loved one, etc, and it will go back to baseline after a few days of consistency, counting, and hydration) - and kept that attitude of logic and rationalization top of mind. It's Friday as I write this, and the two pounds are gone. I look exactly the same as I did last Friday morning.
On top of that mental win, over the past seven weeks Hanna has been slowly dialing my calories up to maintenance. I had a coach in the spring who had put me on what I could consider starvation macros for a woman of my build and activity level. It's crazy the things we will try, despite knowing better, to fit the mold of what someone we admire tells us we "should" do. Prior to working with Hanna again, I'd increased my own calories slightly but wasn't as high as I should be. This is the beauty of having a coach. I trust Hanna 100%. When she says I need to eat more, I eat more.
So I'm currently sitting at 130 pounds and an estimated 16% body fat, eating close to 2200 calories a day. I say that number not to brag, but rather to normalize an active woman eating more than 2000 calories a day - something that would've terrified a much younger me. The damage wreaked by fashion magazines touting "1200 calorie a day" diets is real and difficult to unravel. At 2200 calories a day, I have high energy throughout the day and sleep well at night, I'm PR'ing constantly in my at-home workouts, I'm not cranky and thinking about food all of the time. I have a menstrual cycle and I have abs. Anything is possible with the right amount of food ;)
My other favorite phrase from Hanna that I've turned into one of my personal mantras is "steady as she goes". When I think about this, I think about my old all-or-nothing mentality, the squiggly line, and the idea of being content and consistent. Not perfect; but steady.
I hope you have a great weekend full of good food, movement, and self-care. Steady as she goes.