Sunday, April 25, 2010

A week off helped get my head back on straight

I took last week off...from everything weight loss related. I didn't post anything, I didn't track or weigh and measure any of my food. I read very few weight loss blogs and commented on even fewer. I worked out three times last week instead of my normal six, and they were light workouts.

After a fitful night of sleep last Monday (I'm sleeping the sleep of the damned again), I woke up up exhausted. My first thought that day was "I'm so tired I just can't do it today." Normally I ignore these thoughts. Exercise has become a habit after two years. That morning I decided maybe it was time to take a break.

I got up and looked at my exercise calendar and realized I hadn't had a day off from exercise since Easter. Fourteen straight days of exercise. My body was sore and tired. My left elbow and shoulder had been aching for days. An old injury that happened about six months ago when I was trying to lift 25-pound dumbbells when I wasn't ready to move up on weights.

My previous week's workouts had been pathetic. Each day was a struggle. Each day I'd written in my exercise journal something negative. "Too hard today!" or "Just not into it." or "Worst workout ever!" I was going through the motions but my heart wasn't in it.

I decided last Monday maybe it was time to ease up on myself a little. In the NRWL4W it says you should take a recovery week between stages. It talks about the necessity of letting the body recover, the connective tissues, nervous system and bones need a week off every once and a while. I've ignored this advice for over two years for fear of falling into another one of my long term bouts of not exercising at all and gaining back weight like it was my job (history repeating itself).

The previous week I lost four pounds and was down to 164.8. If you want to lose one pound you need a 3500 calorie deificit. Multipy that by four and that means I had a 14,000 calorie deficit the previous week. No wonder each workout had been tortuous and miserable. I was starving. I wasn't tracking my food, just eating a lot less.

Last week I was in the mood of "to hell with all of it". The one thing I continued was my ban on sugar. I ate good, healthy food. The cravings are still non-existent, the night-time binges are a thing of the past. I still get hungry, but nothing like when I was hooked on Weight Watcher ice cream bars and other "healthy" junk foods that are full of sugar.

My weigh in yesterday showed I was up 1.4 pounds. I'm not upset or worried about it, I'm not freaking out over the small gain. I needed the added calories. I needed to eat and take a break. I'm finally learning to listen to my body.

Yesterday my workout was probably one of the best workouts of my life. During my hour and forty-five minutes of cardio and strength, I was energized. I felt much stronger than the last several weeks. Taking a week off was probably the best thing I could have done for myself.

Yesterday I was back to tracking my food, making sure I eat enough, but not eating too much. It's a fine line I walk these days between not starving myself and making sure I'm getting in the calories I need, yet still lose weight. It feels good to be back, back in control, back to exercising. Back to being me.


Tony The Pink Panda said...

I'm so happy for you Diana. You are kicking ass at the weight loss game. ^_^. I wish I could give up sugar, like, really. I really do now haha.

Jenni said...

I love your positive attitude! Isn't it wonderful to know you can take a week off and then get back to it without falling completely out of balance with your healthy lifestyle?! I start stressing out if I miss more than one day of exercise in a row.

Deniz said...

Great stuff, Diana.
It's so great that you say "I'm finally learning to listen to my body" - you'll make it. I just know it.

Helen said...

1.4 is nuttin' honey! I always take the week "off" when we go on vacation - be it food or exercise or both. Friends think I'm crazy. But it truly helps. I always come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever. Glad to see you were kind to yourself!

Debbie said...

Hey everyone deserves a break once in awhile. I think if we do not take a break from all the exercise and dieting we will go off the deep end. You have done amazing..

M Pax said...

I just finished up a kind of break myself. I did lighter workouts for a couple of weeks. One, because i hurt my back overdoing it. Two, my heart just wasn't in it either.

Now I'm back at it. I knew I'd come back to it, because I always do.

You sound like you're getting your thinking healthy now. I'm proud of you. I think you are on your way to finding all of this less of a struggle.

I gave up the ice cream treats, too. Whenever I'm supposed to use sugar, I use honey instead these days or skip it.

The 1.4 will come right off. Your muscles are probably still healing. Glad you're listening.

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Sandra said...

Love the attitude Diana, I do beleive every deserves a break and I'm planning on taking one next week. You are going such a great job!

Carrieheff said...

Good for you for taking a break! Everyone needs one once in a while.
Any "junk" food is junk- whether it is Weight Watchers or not. But, if you are going to eat a whole box of ice cream sandwiches, I'd rather eat the "healthier" version then the "regular" stuff. I think some people think that just because it's labeled with the Weight Watchers label that it's ok to eat, but it's still sugar and extra calories we don't need. However, I am still hooked. I am eventually going to cut it out like you did, but I'm not quite ready yet. Good for you for keeping it up!