One thing I love about counting macros is the simplicity - you follow the instructions, hit your numbers, and results come. Very straightforward and attractive to this enneagram type 3 achiever. Each week when I checked in, I was rewarded by the number on the scale, my dwindling body fat percentage, positive changes in my circumference measurements, and progress photos.
When I first started counting macros, my coach Hanna put me in a cut, or calorie deficit, to lower my body fat a little. I didn't struggle with a lot of hunger but I also have a history of starvation and my brain relishes the feeling of bodily hunger. A good coach (and Hanna is one of the very best) will give you a cut that puts you in a deficit at the HIGHEST possible amount of calories below your maintenance number. It was not always easy but I followed the cut like the perfectionist that I am and achieved pretty amazing results.
I'm not going to add photos yet because I am still figuring out my direction for this blog and definitely don't want it to be "thin-aspiration". Long story short, my cut worked wonders and I should have let Hanna put me in a surplus in order to gain muscle. But fear of weight gain held me back from that crucial step. I was only comfortable with cutting and maintaining an incredibly low body fat percentage, which of course caused me to periodically lose control and binge to make up for the low calories and high intensity exercise.
Astoundingly, the thing that pulled me out of this vicious cycle was my husband's 2018 infidelity before we moved to New York. In the aftermath, he pointed to feeling disconnected from me because I was more married to my numbers and body composition than I was to him. He had a very fair point. For example, I hadn't had an alcoholic beverage for over six months. Definitely healthy for some people and necessary for those with substance-abuse and addiction issues. But I don't have an alcohol addiction and we got married at a vineyard - going out for a cocktail or spending the day at a brewery is a quintessential part of our relationship. I had discovered that when I drank alcohol, my body typically held on to two pounds of water weight in the following two days. Two pounds. For two days. Like I said, he had a fair point.
He also admitted that he wasn't as attracted to me when I was super thin. I wasn't as strong in the gym, my butt and thighs had disappeared, and my ever-present fear around food in social situations made me lose my spark. So I put the scale away for the first few weeks after we moved. I enjoyed the incredible food in Brooklyn and saw how strong most of the women at our new gym were. Over the past 2 years here, I've used macro counting and some intuitive eating techniques to find my nutrition groove for that stage of my life. And now I'm entering a new stage. Stay tuned for counting macros part II.