Tuesday, April 29, 2008

2 Weigh-In: A Reality-Check -- Time To Pay The Piper. ;-)


Well, it looks like my eating has not only caught up to my running, but has in fact now surpassed it! Looks like it's brass tacks time for little ole' moi. ;-)

I weighed myself today to find that I'd gained a shocking amount of weight over the last few months. Those "few" pounds I'd gained had morphed into a few more, & then a few more, until I gained a total of... Dare I say it here -- Well, I'm just too darned ashamed to put the actual number down here.

Regarding my weight & BF%, I'm not going to mince words or skirt around the obvious: I've backtracked significantly over the last few months. It's seems that all of that sitting around has caught up to me. Two easy interval training runs a week just doesn't cut it, when you eat like I've been eating over the past few (i.e., 2-3) months. ;-)

I'm not going to get dramatic on you or exaggerate or make excuses. All I will say as an explanation is that things have been fairly rough for me on other fronts, in terms of my stress levels for reasons I'd rather not going into at present. And as a result, I'd been eating things I really shouldn't be eating. I know, it's a very poor coping mechanism, albeit an all-too-human one. It's certainly a very odd behavior for me too, as I normally eat less under extreme stress, often forgetting to eat regularly or ceasing to eat altogether for several hours on end. (Please note I'm NOT saying this is a good alternative, only a less caloric one. ;-) ) Again, I'd like to allude to the cheetah analogy I made earlier regarding how the body deals by a "partial system shutdown." Well, it's clear that I'm well beyond that point, as anyone who has to deal repeatedly with extreme stress over a prolonged period of time can also well attest/comprehend.

If I were to analyze it a bit further & pinpoint the exact behaviors that got me to this point, I'd have to say that it's not that I've been eating enormous quantities of food or anything, but rather, that what I have been eating has been higher in sugar & fat that I'd care to publicly admit. ;-)

And yes, I don't want to hear about how I just blogged about ways to break a sugar addiction & other healthy topics on my foodie blog. And no, I'm not a hypocrite, as I'm clearly writing the articles to help myself & others get back on track. I'm trying to find that path back to fitness, healthy eating, & yes, back to the me I am deep down underneath the recently added padding. ;-)

All in all, I have to say that I'm not in the least bit surprised. Of course, the only thing I can do is to climb back onto the wagon on the nutritional side of things, & try to reclaim my life balance, which had frankly gone horribly askew these last past few months.

I'm hoping that things will turn around on other fronts to help set me on a better course. I am making some effort to carve out my own destiny on a few of those fronts, so it's not just like I'm sitting passively on my duff waiting for it to come to me. ;-) Well, to be honest, I did have some discouraging moments where I did sit on my duff & wallow, but I'm now back in the action phase again. ;-)

It's funny, one of the key lessons of sports & running is how to keep going when things are at their hardest. Under the circumstances, I think it's pretty amazing that I've managed to keep my running going despite the high stress levels. Frankly, there are a lot of people who might've crumbled facing what I've been going through these past few months; so, putting aside all of the less-than-perfect eating, I think it's still a testament to my inner strength & personal character that I've since gotten back on track & am reupping my strength & commitment to these goals.

So there! As the saying goes, "Don't let the turkeys get you down." And perhaps I should add to that, "And pass me a drumstick & a few slices of low-fat turkey breast while you're at it." ;-)

OK, very funny. But turkey is, in fact, a very good source of low-fat protein! ;-)

Seriously though, the weight gain stops right here, right now! Thank goodness I'll be hitting the pavement with my running buddy this evening!


Andrew is getting fit said...

It's rather disturbing how easily it sneaks back on.

cyberpenguin said...

Very true. I did see the pounds creep back on the scale over the past few months, so it's not like I wasn't witnessing the gradual increase, but frankly, I wasn't in the proper frame of mind to deal with it!

But it's not just the pounds that sneak back, it's old habits & those not-so-helpful patterns of thinking (i.e., "self-talk" in psycho-babble ;-) ) that creep back into the fore, that are part of the larger picture behind the weight gain.

I noticed that over the past few months, I was justifying my less-than-stellar food choices by saying to myself, "I deserve to have food X or food Y, because my life is way too stressful right now." ;-) Not excusing it, but it kind of went with my whole mind frame, which was frankly, also less-than-stellar as well. ;-)

Speaking of which, the one thing I'm very much cognizant of these days is how much food & exercise choices can affect body chemistry, one's overall outlook, & general state of mind. For me & many others, good eating & exercise = good frame of mind. (And the converse is also true.) Toward that effect, I'm beginning to feel like a human guinea pig. ;-)

It's not that any of this is earth-shattering or new. Haven't we all been in a place where life's stressful or isn't going as planned & we resort to old bad habits? And it's exactly those trying times when certain foods call to us like sirens of temptation! ;-)

Of course, it's really easy to stay away from fatty, sugary foods when things are going swell & the stress level is low. (Atleast that's how it typically goes for me & many of my friends.) But of course, the trick is to find a way to still eat well in those "challenging" times, to find & maintain "grace under pressure" & still keep those aspects of our lives (nutrition, exercise, & healthy living) in balance.

Bad habits are often like that well-worn overcoat that we know we should throw away but somehow can't (because we've formed an emotional attachment to it). Just because it's familiar, doesn't mean it's good for us. ;-) Of course, if we've formed an attachment, we can certainly break it too.

If you don't mind sharing, how do you typically respond to stress? How are your exercise & eating habits affected, if at all? What do you do to cope with stress, when it all gets to be too much -- aside from exercise that is? ;-)

(Of course, exercise isn't a cure-all to all life's little problems, but it certainly does help!)

Thanks again for your comments!


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