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I don’t want to be less

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

It’s the last week of the Whole Life Challenge. It’s been a long 7+ weeks and I’ve done a lot of reflecting.

I realise now that I went into it with a wrong mindset – I wanted to lose some weight to be a bit lighter and leaner for the CrossFit Open.

Funny, isn’t it – CrossFit is the one place where I never feel large, yet for some reason I thought that it would be good to become a bit leaner and lighter (yes, to be able to do pull ups easier but I can’t lie – also to be able to whip off my shirt when the workouts get really gassy and not have to think whether the shorts I’m wearing are high wasted or a little bit lower in which case the muffin top will be squeezed out over the top so I better keep the shirt on :| ).

So I actually started something with a goal of becoming less.

I could also have verbalised it as “becoming leaner and lighter”, and therefore a better CrossFitter (and a faster runner), but for someone who’s once upon a time had an eating disorder, my brain registered it as becoming less.

Seven weeks later it’s been a struggle and I haven’t become less.

I have learned some interesting lessons but I have not lost weight. For the past 1.5 weeks I have kept up with all the other aspects of the WLC – stretching, exercising, hydrating, sleeping, etc. but I have gone back to eating the way I normally eat, with extra chocolate and baked goods thrown in just to rebel.

The main thing I have learned (AGAIN) is that focusing on getting smaller, cutting things out of my life, limiting myself – that kind of mindset just does not work for me.

I don’t normally eat sugar, gluten, dairy Monday to Friday and only a little on weekends, but as soon as you put some external rules on me as to what I eat, I all of a sudden feel restricted, trapped, inadequate, too big and too much. I’m all of a sudden back to the days I was larger and softer, drank Slim Fast shakes for breakfast and lunch, and then lost the plot and ate a 2kg bag of animal crackers for dinner.

It is so weird to explain and makes no sense rationally but I never said I was a rational person. I am an emotional eater (and an emotional exerciser too).

It is totally not my thing though to do things just because of some external ‘should’ – I don’t volunteer for school committees or bakes sales, I don’t do my kids homework, I don’t play educational board games with my kids, I don’t accept invitations to a lot of bloggers events even though some of them sound great and something that a ‘proper’ blogger probably ‘should’ attend.

I don’t even know why I started the WLC with a goal that was so much about an external ‘should’ – that maybe a ‘proper CrossFitter’ SHOULD be leaner.

In a way I’m frustrated because I actually really like the idea of eating for fuel, eating the way that benefits your performance, but I don’t think I can ever do that – to take the emotion out of eating and just make it mathematical.

I like to eat.

And for the most part I have learned by now what to eat so that my clothes still keep fitting me.

So where to from now? I think just on to making muscles, not thinking about what my body looks like or how fast I could run if I were 5kg lighter – I am what I am and I will never be super lean but when I close my eyes and ears to all the external ‘shoulds’, I’m ok in the body I’m in. It’s pretty comfortable by now. I need to just do my own thing and forget about those who wear booty shorts and do muscle ups for days.

P.S. I’ve always known that I like to work out with men more than women but I’ve never been able to pinpoint just exactly why. Today it hit me – I don’t compare my performance or my looks to men but when women are on the scene, I compare. Not consciously at all as I’m big for ‘running your own race’ but I realised today that women are so conditioned to compare themselves to other women that even I do it. Hence the whole wanting to become leaner like a proper CrossFitter thing… Fascinating.

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  • Triin Wednesday, 15 March 2017 at 06:50

    Aaaah, I just nodded the whole time! Great piece, nice to know I’m not alone in “emotional eating”.