Happy Thursday Friends! I do have a new video to share with you, but first I want to talk about something…
Back in January I wrote this post about how I’d gained weight over Christmas and how I wasn’t upset about it. And I wasn’t. And I’m still not. However, I had thought I would have long since lost those few pounds, but I haven’t. Each time I see a photo of myself I’m reminded that I haven’t lost that weight, and it’s frustrating. I know on social media I often share with you my “treats” because I want you to know that it’s okay to enjoy a burger and fries or ice cream or whatever now and then, but don’t think for a second that it is indicative of how I normally eat. This past year especially since trying to fix my hormone imbalance naturally, and becoming a nutrition & weight-loss specialist I’ve probably eaten better healthier) than I have at any other time in my life. And yet compared to one year ago I am about 14 pounds heavier.
The logical part of me knows that at least some part of the 14 pounds is lean muscle mass. But I’d be lying to myself and to you if I said it was mostly muscle. The truth is realistically somewhere around 8-10 pounds of it is fat, and most of that is on my ass.
And I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. Not because I’ve been pigging out behind closed doors, or not “walking the walk” because I am. I feel like a hypocrite because I don’t look the part as much as I use to. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m overweight or “fat” but I’m certainly squeezing into my clothes more than I would like to be, and it’s hard to work in this line when I am coaching others on how to lose weight, and I haven’t been able to lose the few pounds I put on. But the truth is, my situation isn’t normal. Exercising upwards of 15 hours/week isn’t what normal people do, which makes my nutrition situation different.
I preach to others that I don’t want them to count calories because while we need to be mindful of how much we eat, I don’t believe counting calories is the way to go. That it is too easy to stick to a calorie range without actually providing your body with any nutrition. That I want people to think about nutrients and not calories, and I stick by that.
But in doing so myself, I think I have come to a place where I am not eating enough to fuel my super active lifestyle. For the average person/exerciser I still believe that counting calories it a form of self-torture, and even tracking macros is a bit too obsessive. But I think I need to do it. I don’t think I’m getting enough. I think I’m not losing the weight because I’m not giving my body the fuel it needs, and by doing so I’m only hurting myself.
Please know that in no way was this intentional. I didn’t set out to, or even mean to move into a place where I was eating fewer calories than I needed. I ate when I was hungry and didn’t starve myself. But I just wasn’t eating enough. Eating a family size salad in one sitting will certainly fill your stomach, but can easily come in under 400 calories when it’s not topped with loads of dressing, cheese, bacon or chicken.
I tend to eat the same meals day in and day out, and I’ve just estimated how many calories I’m typically consuming. The answer is around 1600-1800, yesterday when I stopped and calculated how much I’d eaten my 9pm the answer was only 1160. Which is well under my BMR. Mind you I was still not feeling well yesterday so that is an extra low day for me. Remember, I’m 5 foot 9, so the very least I should ever eat (even as an inactive person) is probably 1600, and eating in that range while doing as much as I do is insanity.
I eat well. I eat lots of fresh vegetables, healthy snacks and fairly large portions, but many of those foods aren’t calorie dense. Apparently, I need to go back to eating all of the things, all of the time. This issue is a bit harder now that I’m also struggling to get my IBS back under control so I’m “off” nuts and most seeds for the time being (my favourite way to add calories/protein for snacks).
Someone who on average burns (through being alive & exercise) 2800-3000 calories/day needs more food. At the very least I should be hitting 2000 calories every day.
So while I stand by my viewpoint that counting calories is not the way to go for the average person, you’ll excuse me if I spend the next few weeks (loosely) tracking how much I eat – and especially how much protein I’m getting to make sure I’m eating enough. From there I hope I’ll have a decent idea of how much I need to be eating visually and can go back to a no calorie counting zone.
Lisa Wolfe says
I do not comment as often as I should, but your posts really help me. Often, if no other way than to give some validation to what I am experiencing. Sometimes, I feel as if I am reading my own journal when I read your words and this post felt the same.
Thank you for the update and reminders- I tell my clients not to count calories or use a scale either, but personally, I fall into the too few calorie trap as well. It does not help when limited to eating certain foods to avoid the stomach discomfort!
I just wanted you to know you are not alone! I also have to teach when I don’t feel well and am trying to find a way to manage the FM discomfort.
It’s a process and every day I learn something more about the condition and my body’s response to it.
I hope you’re feeling better today and thank you for being so honest and giving us a peak into your life!
Suzi Fevens says
Thank you! Your comment really made my day as I was quite nervous to post this so thank you so much xoxo
Hi Suzi! 😀
I’m always impressed, how you manage to give so many fitness classes per week! For me, giving Zumba Classes is only a Hobby, and I teach from monday to thursday just one hour per evening, and it’s already exhausting enough!!!
I found your blog when I got my B1 licence 1 1/2 Years ago, searching for teaching advice, good Zumba music and so on. I read your blog entry “Tips for new Zumba Instructors”. It was really helpful! Haha, especially the “you have to give 300% …!” It’s so true! Being an instructor is so much more exhausting than being a participant.
So I know what it’s like if you don’t feel well (or you just don’t feel like smiling) and you have to stand in front of a group of people, be fit and smile and dance. But as I said, I don’t do this for a living..!
I hope counting calories helps you to get back on the track and that you are feeling better soon! I was alway afraid of eating to few calories and what works for me is, not to eat the same amount of calories every day. So I would have maybe two normal days, then one or two with low calories followed by a high calorie day. I think this way maybe the body doesn’t adapt as fast to a certain calorie level as if you eat the same stuff every day..?
Your blog is very helpful an interesting!!!! I did love the VEDA-Videos, even the ones where you said it was a dull day, and am a little bit sad, that the month is over this week. Hope you keep on vlogging!!! Maybe not daily, but still regularly?!! 🙂
Suzi Fevens says
Thanks for your comment Sandra! <3
Even now that I am tracking my calories (enough to make sure I eat enough) I still don't eat the same amount everyday, on days with lighter classes I eat less, and on crazy days, and the day I run my long run I usually eat more. It can be hard (for me) to remember that not only am I super active, but I'm also 5 foot 9 so it requires quite a bit to keep me going! NO wonder my body has been so angry with me these last 6-10 months!
I think I will still keep vlogging, but probably combine 2 or 3 days at a time and post them like Mon.Wed.Fri instead of everyday. They are fun to make, but when there is nothing going on they can seem pretty dull 😉