Sunday, October 13, 2013

Body Talk

I have become a person who exercises.  This would have been unthinkable to me a couple of years ago, when I was far past my days of varsity crew and smack in the middle of my days of eating so little that climbing stairs was a dizzying workout.  And then came the long hard slog of running semi-regularly for more than a year before it finally clicked with me that running, hiking, yoga, lifting, and - most recently - Crossfit, are not things I do to lose weight but rather are things I do because my body rocks and is strong and because they keep me sane and they keep me honest and they keep me eating.  And all of those things are so much more important than how badly I used to want to be a size 2 again.  Like, bad enough that it kept me awake at night.

So all that working out did make me lose about 15 pounds.  It feels good.  I had gained so much weight (about 40 pounds) so quickly when I started eating again back in the spring of 2012 that I couldn't fit into any of my clothes and felt enormous and awkward and like I would never in a million years be comfortable in my body, or, more distressingly, figure out how to eat normally and not like a caged animal.  And the first year of nursing school did not help all that much.  And then finally, this summer, it was like all the being patient and gritting my teeth and refusing to starve myself and refusing to stop running all started to pay off and it felt easier to work out and easier to eat normally and actually possible to make good food choices consistently and to push my plate away when I was full.  You know, skills most adults have mastered long before now.

That said, as it started to get easier to eat better (consistently, and normal amounts, and a pretty decent balance of vegetables, proteins, etc.) I started to pay more attention to what I was eating and how it made me feel.  It struck me that while it was easy to feel like I was eating better - not bingeing, purging, or starving - I still was eating more sugar, processed foods, and "treats" than I maybe thought I was.  I've also developed some skin issues that have stubbornly stuck around for more than a year now, despite frequent doctor visits and medication regimens.  And I get bloated, crampy, and gassy at least once or twice a week.  Lightning bolts probably shot out of my head when it occurred to me that that wasn't entirely normal, and that it was also almost certainly preventable.

So today marks the first day of my own Whole 30 experiment (I know I'm late to the party, don't worry).  I'm really curious to see if cutting out all of the junky stuff from my diet clears up my skin, helps me sleep better at night, and gives me more energy.  Full disclosure: I've been toying with the idea of doing this since July, and never quite got up the nerve.  Last night, lying in bed, R. told me his stomach felt gross from eating pizza that day.  I asked him if he wanted to try this elimination diet thingie with me, for kicks.  He whined a bit when I told him no sugar and then said sure and asked me when we started.  I said maybe November 1st, so we'd have time to prepare and plus, it just sounded like a nice day to start.  He laughed and said that was ridiculous, we're starting tomorrow.  Gulp.  So we did.  And then we went to Crossfit this morning and I almost died and threw up and vowed that for the next few months, the midwifery goal can take a back burner to my singular and all-consuming goal at this time - to not be the last person done with the workout, just once.

(Kidding, guys, I'm still in school and loving it.  More posts to follow soon about the fact that - holy sh*t - I'm seeing patients on my own now, and I get to call myself a "student midwife" rather than a "student nurse" and I whip out pelvic and breast exams like they're no big deal when even two months ago I was all OMG VAGINAS AND WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING.)

So!  Follow along on my clean eating adventure and I'll probably come here to complain more than once about not eating all of the things that make me feel yucky but just taste so darn good.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I can't wait to hear how you feel. Deep down I know you are right and I would benefit from it too, but damn if my wine is holding me back :(