Sunday, February 10, 2013

LE Week 4 - What have I learned?

I finished my fourth week in Lean Eating and so far I've managed to gain and lose the same pound over and over.  It does feel frustrating at times.  I know my teammates and I are concerned and wondering if we're doing the right things. 

It's weird to realize we are doing the right things.  I'm doing the workouts as they are given and taking on the habits (although some days are better than others with the eating slowly).  Now that I'm healthy again, my compliance scores are high.  My coach and the mentors are telling me all of the time that I'm doing fine and have accomplished much.  I still feel as if I'm missing something.

The issue is that Lean Eating is so different from any other program.  So many of my teammates are like me.  We're gym rats who regularly pound out 90 minutes of hard work.  So many of us have tried other weight loss programs.  When you join Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, that first month is made of euphoric losses that make you feel as if you are truly accomplishing something. I know if I were on Weight Watchers I would have lost 5 or 6 pounds by now.  Looking back on it though, you have to ask yourself, "How did those instant-loss programs working for you?  How are those 90 minute workouts working for you?  If it's best to exercise long and hard and take on radical changes to your diet, then why are we spending all of this money on Lean Eating?

The program is definitely making me think about my habits and why I do the things I do.  For example they ask you to take a good look at who you are and how it relates to the kind of person who can do this program.  I thought about how stubborn I am.  I realized that I don't have to have that be a liability.  My stubbornness makes me stick to things.  It makes me steadfast.  It makes me loyal.  If my tendency to dig in my heels and refuse to budge tends to work against me, I can make it work for me.  I can stand my ground and say, "That is bad for me and I won't eat it."  "Sugar messes up my bodily systems 8 ways till Sunday."  "I refuse to stay fat."

We are also learning to refocus how we see ourselves.  We take on a "fit identity."  If you see yourself as  a fit person, you will take the steps to live up to that image.  In some ways I'm halfway there.  Being a gym rat has always been part of my identity.  

Although it wasn't part of the regular lessons, someone on the forums brought up a very interesting point about the drivers of weight gain.  What are the psychological reasons why we overeat?  I started thinking long and hard about this.  I always say that I love food, and it's true.  Eating as a form of pleasure is not going to go away from me.  I had to ask myself why it's such a central pleasure.  I am a woman with a full and varied life.  I do not need to depend on food for pleasure.  Then I realized that there was a time in my life when food was a central pleasure.  During my childhood I was so protected and sequestered.  I had few hobbies and I was limited to how much and how often I could indulge them, and they had to be monitored.  I was not allowed to go places with friends if it meant going without supervision.  My life was mostly food, books, and television.  The food was good and it was plentiful.  Eating as a source of pleasure is a fallback position for me.  I have to remind myself that I have other things in life that make me happy.  I can pursue anything I want to time and money permitting.  I don't have to eat my way through life.  I think that explains why I am a boredom eater.  I eat when I think I have nothing else to do because there was a time in my life when I didn't have anything else to do.

This week we're finally adding a third set to our weight training rounds.  For some reason working out feels more authentic when things are done three times instead of one or two.  I timed it this morning and I managed to complete all exercises in just over an hour.  That's important because I need to know I'll have time to complete workouts before work.

One of my goals this year is to complete a mud run.  It would have to be untimed because I really can't run very much due to my knees.  I really just want to know I have the strength to complete an obstacle course.  I have never really done anything like that before.  It's not something I want to do alone, however.  I just can't find anyone to do it with me.  I've put up pleas on FB and on the LE boards and no one is interested.  Maybe over the course of the next few months I can use this stubbornness to be persuasive and get someone to do it with me.

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