Belle Catches Up

It’s been a busy few weeks! We’ve been working on getting Gabe to write daily, and he’s finally here! I’m so proud of all the work he’s been doing on his story, you guys should really check it out on Wattpad. Be prepared for a loosely high fantasy slice of life in lots of small chapters.

I’m going to jump in and focus on the diet and my progress. It’s been really hard keeping with slow carb while I work in a coffee cart surrounded by delicious sugary/milky pastries and drinks all day, especially when there’s downtime and I feel like practicing my latte art (or visiting a neighboring food cart!). For the most part, I’ve done well this week. I’ve had a few minor slips (a tablespoon of half & half here, a ginger turmeric lemon shot there) but I’m actually pretty impressed with myself for dismissing a LOT of niggling cravings. Giving up dairy isn’t easy for me, but remembering that I’m only a couple days from cheat day makes it more reasonable to expect myself to behave. I can tell that I’m building some food discipline, which is a big step for someone overcoming binge eating disorder. My weight has been floating around 171-2 lbs all week, so I’m guessing I had lost a bunch of water weight right before my last weigh-in (170 lbs). I’m looking forward to the weigh-in on Saturday though! It’s been a long time since I’ve been under 180 lbs and it’s really encouraging to watch the number stay well below that. Even if I’m not in the 160’s yet, I know I’m only a couple weeks away!

Something else I’ve been focusing on is drinking more water and reducing my caffeine intake. Again, not the easiest task for an enthusiastic barista, but I can tell when I’m dehydrated and I feel way more susceptible to a bad binge when I am. It’s been helping me feel better all-around–I think I’m getting around 200 ounces of water a day, which is really good because of how hot it is during our little temperamental heat wave out here in the PNW summer. Before I started the diet and tried to cut caffeine, I was regularly consuming 4-5 espresso shots and 8-12 ounces of drip coffee every shift I worked (4x/week). And I KNOW I wasn’t drinking enough water. It affected my digestion, my mood, my headaches, and those all balanced out as I’ve swapped for herbal teas and iced water with the tail end of a ginger turmeric lemon shot. Gabe and I have a 58 oz water bottle at home that we share and are constantly filling up and handing to each other. Having the big bottle is REALLY helpful–less trips to the sink means we’re more likely to properly hydrate ourselves.

Over the winter we had the privilege of a stellar rock climbing gym membership, and Gabe and I both built some muscle over those months. It was really hard for me to hoist 185 pounds up a wall with just my fingers and toes, but once I threw myself at it enough, I was making it up the first-level routes with a fair amount of ease. It felt great. I didn’t care about how much I weighed while we were there, I just cared about how strong I felt. I watched my arms go from very flabby to actually showing the definition of a shoulder and some muscle. My thighs probably lost about half an inch each of fat, based on how my pants fit before and after the membership. And I could feel my abdomen starting to strengthen again, my posture improved and so did my problem with back and hip aches.

While physical activity is really only believed to affect 20% of a weight loss process, I found an enormous amount of value in that 20% that made it seem much more important to my personal process. I played sports as a kid and was fairly strong and athletic, under my layers of eating disorder chub. I never saw myself as a serious athlete because I didn’t believe I looked like one, but once my physical condition started deteriorating during my deeper depressions, I started realizing that I had taken for granted how good it feels to be athletically fit. Being able to come back to my body after many years of neglect and still rev the muscular engines like that is extremely heartening, and it encouraged me to stick with a healthier eating plan for the other 80% of the process that made my body feel even better. (Also, the sauna. Oh sweet lady of love, the sauna. Pure bliss. I ended up making sauna visits before and after the climbing part of the gym. Honestly it’s what got us there sometimes–the promise of that balmy, cedar-scented heat in the middle of December was a great motivator.)

 

Anyway that’s my catch-up! Stay tuned for my next blog post on Chicken Appreciation.

-B

 

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