"Think animalistically. If you want to be long and lean like a gazelle, you've got to work and eat like a gazelle: graze vegetarian all day and keep constantly moving, with an occasional sprint for fun. If you want to be thick and tough like a bear, then eat and work like a bear: gorge on meat and feast on sweets for a season, then sleep all winter."
Well the fasting worked for a bit. About a month. I lost 20 pounds.
But a month after that, I'm still stuck at the same damn weight, and each time I fast, it seems I only get down to the same weight, having spent the entire fast working off the last "reward binge."
And I'm having a harder and harder time sticking to a planned fast every time. This is due in part to waning willpower, but also not helping is the fact that I'm working so much. Now, I can't complain; work is $$. Work is neccessary. But in order to NOT get caught at my eating disorder, work requires me to at least appear to eat "normally" more and more often.
And the marathon cardio workouts were fun (especially when the scale reflected my hard work the next day) but they've gotten boring, and tough to match daily with my heavy work schedule.
I have also theorized that I may be stuck at this plateaued weight because I haven't weighed this little in almost ten years. Therefore, the 20 lbs I've just lost was not as concretely cemented to my hips as the next 20 is going to be. And let's not forget that that's a total of FORTY pounds from my highest weight ever. Not too shabby.
So for the next 20 lbs to go (and the ultimate 7 more after that), I've decided that a little more BALANCE is going to be required in my life. If I'm going to have to eat, I want to at least do it healthy and not look like I'm crazy (which is indeed driving me crazy).
This doesn't mean I can't fast for one or two days once in a while if I feel like I need it, or if I need to make up for overeating one day. But the extreme yo-yo'ing has to stop; it's not doing me any good. And I know it's OBLITERATING my metabolism.
And I've got to make time to concentrate on more serious weight training/core training during my gym runs. Muscle might weigh more, but it eats up more calories than pounds of fat, so in order to expose my ladder, I'm going to have to expose a six-pack too. And the added muscle will help me from gaining weight back too quick when I have to go back out on another ship.
Lately my workouts have been more fun, better to look forward to. I get the hard stuff out of the way first, I run for about a half-hour. Then (every other day) I head upstairs to do circuit training (arms/legs/abs) for about 40 minutes. I do whatever it takes to get in three sets. Then I head back to cardio for a 45-minute ride on the elliptical, followed up by a 15-minute cooldown walk on "hills" for an added butt-blast.
This seems more like the kind of workout I could commit to doing seven days a week, instead of doing a four-hour cardio marathon one day (with zero calorie intake) and then being so beat the next day that I can hardly move.
I'm no longer counting "calories burned" at the gym. I think those machine's estimates are WAY over anyway. It's time consuming and usually doesn't equate exactly to what shows up on the scale next day, which frustrates the HELL out of me. (Kind of a math nut.)
But I am still counting distance, as I think the machines are a little more accurate at this, and that keeps me focused on a long-term goal. My little goal is to go more than I did last year, 500 miles, which requires me to go 16 miles per week. My big goal is go double that, which is 33 miles per week, to get to 1000 miles for the year.
As for intake... I'm going to try to keep it varied. "Variety is the spice of life." Varied in number of calories, and varied in the ways I take them in. If I work too hard to deny myself the things my body craves, I only end up bingeing, and that's regrettable. God made our bodies to be able to tell us when we're lacking something we need nutritionally. Not many things should be off limits. Although there are now a few things I am quite adverse to (powdered donuts, pretzels, Quiznos, Pizza Hut) having over-binged on them and feeling the extreme pain they've caused to my body while never really achieving the satisfaction I was aiming for.
The new concentration is going to be focusing on foods of which I can eat a LOT (to feel like I'm indulging) that don't cost me a lot in calories. Things like:
- a whole bag of salad with 5 tbsp of organic raspberry vinaigrette (80 calories)
- Soup-at-Hand single servings of Italian Style Wedding, Chicken and Stars, Vegetable Beef (90, 70, and 60 calories)
- my favorite oatmeal and cinnamon with fat-free milk (200 calories, 6g fiber)
- 1 cup of Kashi Vive cereal (170 calories, 12g fiber)
- 12 oz V8 Fusion Light juices (my new addiction) (80 calories, a full serving of fruits/veggies!)
- 2 at a time sugar-free popsicles (30 calories)
- single cups of frozen fruit, such a great treat (sub-100 calories)
- and of course.... my Venti Starbucks (160 calories)
If I were to have one of EVERYTHING I just listed, I still wouldn't go over 1000 calories a day. "Restricting" consistently (combined with consistent exercise) regulates your metabolism more efficiently than fasting/bingeing. This - I think - is the key to achieving BALANCE.
If I can try to schedule enough of this in a breakfast/lunch/dinner pattern, I will feel a little more BALANCED and in control. And when you think of it, I went ana to get "in control" of my weight anyway. I know the weight loss will be slower from now on, but hopefully it will at least be steady. I feel like I NEED to be down to 110 by Christmas. If I can achieve that, and hold it over the holidays, then I can continue losing the last 17 at the start of the new year or as soon as I get off my next ship, whichever comes first.