This is going to be one of my rambling posts, so please feel free to skip if this kind of thing bores the hell out of you, if not get comfy!
*Disclaimer – I will be discussing things that people suffering from an ED may find triggering as well as this being a generally wordy and for some, boring as hell post ;-)*
I’ve been umming and ahhing about whether I should write this post, but at the end of the day I can’t help but be a pretty open person and considering the nature of the blog I thought it would be important to share this with you.
Basically I’ve been experiencing some lady problems. I’m pretty certain that as I go on most of you will be able to read between the lines and know what I’m referring to but at this moment in time I don’t feel like spelling it all out (although I might explain this a bit more when I feel more comfortable discussing the details). I’ve been saying for a while now that I’ve shifted my mentality from that of skinny to healthy, and that is really going to be tested now!
I’ve blogged a few times in the past about my weight, here’s a link to my most recent ramblings to put things into context.
I’ve never had an eating disorder or been an unhealthy BMI, but I have been at the low end of the healthy range. After 2 months of ditching the scales I decided to bite the bullet and see where I was at. I have gained a considerable amount of weight since November! Now on one hand that’s great as most of my clothes still fit and I’m happy with the way I look although it is quite surprising how much I’ve gained from just eating when hungry and indulging in more evening snackies. My BMI is currently 21.3. It seems that despite being well within a healthy BMI my body is still out of balance. In my research on the issue I’m experiencing, it seems that two factors promote recovery: increase in BMI and a reduction of stress. As someone who was previously overweight and has lost more than one third of my body weight, it seems that I may have to get to the higher end of the healthy BMI range to make a difference (unlike women who have always been naturally slimmer, because my body’s ‘set point’ is higher).
I think what this has demonstrated to me is that I can be ‘technically’ healthy according to BMI, but not healthy for me. Clearly other women thinner and more active than me are fine, however my body is obviously not in its happy place – even though I feel great in all other respects.
Now that I feel like I’ve tackled a few of my food demons, gained weight and I’m happier with my eating I’m sure that this problem would sort itself out over time but I’m choosing to be proactive with this. I’ve decided that I’d like to increase my weight to at least a BMI of 22.5 which is a further weight gain of about 8lbs. I’m also going to really cut back my running even further. I currently run three times a week, two of which are tough treadmill runs doing speed intervals. I’m going to stop them and reduce my remaining run from 5-6 miles to 3 miles and just take it easy, or possibly ditch it altogether. I’m also going to replace a couple of workouts with yoga. I’ve already identified some yoga classes which I’m really excited about! I’m going to continue with my strength training and short HIIT workouts (not running), body pump and kettlebell classes. Diet wise I’m not going to force things but I will be eating more fats in the form of nut butters (obviously!), hummus, avocado, coconut milk, oils etc. I know that the reduction of cardio and the increase in fats should be enough to see a steady weight gain. I also can’t rule out that I may end up adding in some organic eggs and diary if I don’t see an improvement.
I have to be honest with you and say this scares the shit out of me. Gaining such a large amount of weight is damn scary, but I have to accept that my body just isn’t happy where I am right now – it seems that I’m just naturally meant to be curvier, and you know what? That’s fine. I’m happy to start and appreciate a more curvy shape, although I am in mourning for certain items in my wardrobe but I guess that’s what eBay is for!
However, there are lots of positives that come with this:
- I can eat as much Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter as I like and not feel guilty – I’ve already ordered some from iHerb!
- I can justify buying new clothes as I’ll need them in a bigger size – and goodness knows I love shopping!
- Weekend lie ins – not dragging my arse out for a run!
- Working out less means I have more time to do other things I enjoy, spending time with James, cooking more delicious things to eat and time on the allotment etc
- I get to do more yoga!
I’ve never believed that you have to be super slim and a runner to be healthy and I need to keep reminding myself of this – my mission is to be the healthiest and happiest I can be and that is what is going to drive me forward. I also need to put things into perspective, even at a BMI of 23, I’m not going to be fat or unhealthy and its a vast improvement from where I was when I was almost 15 stone. I did feel this awful pressure, here I am calling myself a healthy living blogger and being in magazines as a ‘healthy hero’ and I’ve gained weight and will not be running. Then I realised something … if anything I’m more a healthy hero now than ever, I’m accepting something has to change for me to be truly healthy even when that is going to make me uncomfortable.
I’m aiming to be a strong, sexy, curvy, bendy, yoga goddess by the end of this! ;-) Anyone that follows me on Pinterest may have noticed I’ve been pinning a lot of curvy body and yoga inspiration to help me feel good about these changes too.
Bring it on!
So yes, there are going to be some changes for me but I hope that you are all happy to keep on reading and joining me on this part of my healthy living journey!