Have you got a cup of tea and a biscuit? This might take some time.
I’ve had a couple of pretty massive light bulb moments in the last day. It’s like someone’s watching over me and doing a face palm “She finally got it!”
The first one was last night.
I’ve got so many ideas for things I want to do with Gorgeously Full Fat, book writing and my copy writing business. I’ve been talking websites, videos, ebooks, courses. I’m doing training, I’m reading up on everything from social media marketing to membership groups. The ideas are all great and I still want to do them but you know what?
I’m mentally drained. I just can’t seem to get my head in ‘that place’ and it’s all I can do most days to do the bog standard stuff I have to do to pay the bills, let alone develop my business.
I wake up every day with back ache. Gym? Swimming? Walking? You’re joking, right? My joints ache, my back hurts, my head aches. I’ve been swallowing painkillers like sweeties and they don’t have as much effect as they did anymore. I can’t concentrate so I’m scrabbling in the kitchen for food all afternoon and by 8pm I just want to go to bed.
I know this ain’t good.
Last night I decided I’d had enough. I was going to stop putting so much pressure on myself to do three days work in one day, and slow down a bit, even if it means putting my plans for global domination as a fat super heroine on hold for a bit. I binge on work. If I have to write eight 500 word articles for a client, instead of doing four a day for a couple of days, I have to do them all in one sitting. I’ve sat up ’til midnight when I didn’t need to before just to finish off the last one of a series I’d promised a client. I sit here at 9,10, 11 pm checking clients’ Twitter feeds. I forget that last year a client showed me just how disposable copywriters are and dumped my arse with no warning after I’d been putting myself out for them nearly three years. I don’t HAVE to work myself into the ground for anyone.
I decided that I was going to start looking after myself instead. I never get to the gym because I’ve always got too much work to do; so instead of waiting till I’ve finished working before I go, I’m going before work again.
This did almost end in tears earlier when I dug out my old Cindy Crawford DVD and made a sorry attempt at doing the moves I used to do when I was 24. I didn’t make it past the warm up. These knees aren’t made to do lunges and there’s no freaking way I’m jumping up and down. I decided ‘bugger this, I’m off to the gym.’
Two hours later I’d cycled 10k on the bike, done 20 minutes stomping on the treadmill and walked all the way home. I did hurt a bit but I proved I could do it!
This took me on to the second light bulb moment.
I get loads of blogs emailed through to me daily on all sorts of subjects and TBH a lot of them get deleted without opening. One of them is from ‘Fierce Freethinking Fatties‘ which is a daily blog written by lots of different bloggers, and one that I’ve been deleting has been ‘Eat the food’. I knew it mentioned calorie counting and I just didn’t want to know.
Today I don’t know why, but I just clicked on it. Turns out that the writer, Shaunta, is just like me! She knows diets don’t work, but really struggles to fully embrace eating normally and not trying to restrict food. She started an experiment at the start of this year – eating ENOUGH. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but hear me out.
Shaunta was over 25 stone, but tried really hard to exercise. It hurt. A lot. She tried running, and ended up in pain. She necked painkillers every day. Her back hurt, her joints ached and she hit a wall energy wise in mid afternoon. She binged – but when she wasn’t binging she tried to stick to about 1800 calories per day.
Then, she read about Go Kaleo (don’t let the name put you off) and realised she was actually eating less than she needed to feed her Basal Metabolic rate (the bare minimum you need to keep your organs functioning, even if you stay in bed all day) at 1800 calories per day. No wonder she was tired.
She worked out that she needed to eat a LOT more to be able to be active, energetic and alert. So she set herself a MINIMUM calorie target and that was 2500 a day. To most people who’ve been on and off diets all their lives, like me, that’s HUGE. We’re brainwashed into restricting to 1200, 1500 or even 1000…but come on, when you’re 15, 20, 25 stone, your body needs much more to eat than that.
Shall I give this theory a test run? I’ve worked out that on a do-nothing day, where I don’t even move out of bed (Like I ever get one of those) I need 1850 calories. If I just dawdle about all day and don’t do a lot, I need more. If I go to the gym or walk for an hour around the block, or swim for an hour, I need a lot more. My TDEE or total daily energy expenditure if I manage to exercise 3-4 times a week is almost 2800. So, if I aim for a MINIMUM of 2200 a day, t cover basic body functions, a bit of pottering and a few days where I exercise a week, it should give me the energy I need to actually get fit and feel better…
Calorie counting goes totally against my beliefs, but what really swung me was that when Shaunta started it had an unexpected effect; she stopped binge eating and all the Health at Every Size principles started to drop into place. She had way more energy, slept better, ate better quality food, stopped bingeing and after 100 days she’d lost weight. LOST weight.
I just want to feel better. I really do. I hate dieting and refuse to do it. So, I’m going to commit to doing this for 100 days, like Shaunta did, and also doing an hour’s exercise at LEAST 3 times a week. I’m aiming for a minimum of 2200 calories a day for now. Thinking about that, it sounds like a lot. It’s also a minimum, not a maximum.
Looking after myself, not getting so stressed about work, doing more exercise and eating enough to give me the energy I need….pretty radical stuff, hey? I’ll update you next week on how it’s going…