I spent most of the week in Yellowknife, so it was not the greatest week for meet prep. I did manage to get in all of my workouts – Monday I got up early enough to go lift before flying, and Wednesday I did a workout in the “fitness centre” at the gym. (The workout was 80% goblet squats but whatever. It counts.) The best part was by far on Thursday morning when my “active recovery” consisted of a trail walk through the boreal forest. It was so relaxing, which was exactly what I needed.
Now that I am back, I can focus on rest and recovery, which I know have been on the back burner the past few weeks. Yesterday I had a 6 hour nap after my workout, and I still slept through the night. It’s going to be a lazy weekend and I’m looking forward to working regular hours and sleeping regular hours and just generally getting back into my routine this week.
Despite the fact that I was travelling and totally out of my routine, I really feel good about the nutritional choices that I made while I was away. When I went to Pride for 4 days in June, I came back 10lbs heavier! Mentally, I told myself I wasn’t able to deal with a repeat of that entire episode. This time, I told myself that if I ate until 80% full and had a protein every time I ate, I would consider it a success.
I wasn’t perfect: there were a couple of times where I ate to “comfortably full” instead of 80%. But I did avoid snacking between meals – the meeting was catered and there were more than enough opportunities to eat muffins and cookies and bread. I ate a reasonable meal for breakfast every day, despite the fact that it was a buffet with french toast and pancakes! I brought some Quest bars along and ate them when there wasn’t a full serving of protein being served. And I was quite happy to order fresh Arctic Char every time a menu was placed in front of me.
I will say that I am glad that my nutrition habit was protein while visiting the Arctic. Fish was always an option, but veggies and fruit were a bit harder to come by. My insides were painfully backed up after 4 days, and one of my first orders of business yesterday was to make “Detox soup” aka cabbage and lentils.
Now that it’s all said and done, I am down 3.2 lbs this week. I ate restaurant food all week, enjoyed myself and still lost weight! I am so happy I could do a victory dance in celebration.
I consider this week a huge victory, and a key example of where having a minimum really helped my attitude towards food. Eating to 80% and eating protein at every meal was relatively easy. I still got to eat a nanaimo bar for dessert one day, and I still got to eat the tiny chocolates they leave on your pillow without feeling guilty. But being away from home didn’t mean that I just fell off the deep end and ate whatever was put in front me, just because it was there and this was a “special occasion”. Instead, I kept a level head: when faced with airplane food on Thursday evening, I tasted everything on my plate, and concluded that it was all too bland and not worth eating. I can’t even say I feel deprived about passing on airplane food.
I was even a bit shocked on Wednesday night. We walked into Old Town, ate a massive dinner at one of the local landmarks and then walked up to the Bush Pilot monument. My boss took a picture of me and back at the hotel when I looked at it, my reaction was simply “I don’t look fat.” Just having that thought pass through my head came as a bit of a shock. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a picture of myself and had that reaction.
Of course, coming back to reality, I was confronted with my reflection in the fun house mirrors of the gym yesterday. I can’t say I felt very positively towards my body then. But I do feel like my perception of myself and the actual fact of how I look are slowly converging, which has not always been the case. I swing wildly between thinking that I look morbidly obese (because my BMI is morbidly obese) and thinking that I look quite fit (because ate salad for lunch two days in a row). But I think that as I’ve been losing weight over the past couple of months, I’ve also noticed a shift in my attitude and identity: I’ve stopped counting how long it’s been since my last binge eating episode, because I am not someone who eats well in public all week, and then scarfs down junk food all weekend long. I am a person who orders salad at a restaurant, not always fries. I am a person who finds the time to workout, even when I’m away from home. And I don’t have to do these things because I’m the fat friend who perpetually needs to lose weight, but I do them because I feel good about these choices, in the moment and afterwards too.