You ladies are really quite amazing. I am so honored to receive the beautiful, heartfelt emails that you send. While each one of us is a unique woman with her own story, there are many, many thoughts that we all seem to have in common. With this in mind, I am going to begin to share some of your emails and my reply here on the website. (Names and personal details have been changed because you're my people and I love you.)
This week, we have Lynne. She is 4 weeks into her HA recovery and feeling uncomfortable.
Honestly, the past few days were a struggle. I looked in the mirror and my body has changed. My abs are gone, I am soft. I'm certainly not fat but my lean clothes are tight and I'm fitting back into the ones that used to fit me. It's so weird.. I never realized how many body image issues I had until I went through this process. I'm not going to lie, I don't like gaining.
I have this irrational fear that I am just going to keep gaining and gaining. I can't remember a time in my adult life where I have ever been this sedentary. It's scary.
It was advised that I stop tracking macros as it was obsessive, however I'm so afraid if I don't keep track of my calories I'm just going to go off the rails. Any thoughts about how to manage distress with weight gain and changing bod? did you ever have that fear about body changes not stopping?
Ohhh, girl. I know.
Here's my response. Just FYI...when I write emails back to people, I write in a conversational manner. Don't expect Shakespeare here, but what follows is my reply:
Like you, I thought:
1. Do I have to do NOTHING??? I feel lazy. I feel gross. WTF
My answer: going for walks outside made me feel SO much better. I discovered that what I really love is movement and being outside; not necessarily running per se (a HUGE discovery for me).
2. Will I gain forever?? I'm going to end up like one of those reverse #transformationtuesday pics. I am not ok with that.
My answer: Jill, stop looking at Instagram. REALLY. I removed a lot of the accounts that I followed from runners, fitness people, and even (this is a little controversial, I know) the "in praise of all shapes" ladies. While I love what they do, I had competing thoughts in my own head about their mission. It was hard for me...my mind was too small at that moment.
Second Answer: Eat healthy food. I know that many people enjoy the moment of adding calories and taking a break from the whole "good food/bad food" argument they had in their head. It's mentally important for them to eat whatever. While I support eating with no restrictions, common sense rules here. You know the difference. Eat cookies, YES! Eat a bag of cookies, probably not.
3. I NEED TO TRACK MACROS. LIKE, I NEED TO.
My answer: People have been eating food since the dawn of time. Silly, right?!?! None of those people, until maybe a few years ago, whipped out calorie trackers to calculate what they could or should eat. None of those people consulted a macro plan to decide what they wanted. Our lives have become complicated; so complicated that we can't figure out what or how to eat. Can I eat without numbers??? God, I hope so!! Life is too short. Think about it... Tracking takes power away from you. You are smart enough to know how to eat. You are not going to go off the rails. TRUST.
4. My body is going to change so much I will look like a pumpkin. Whose body is this??? I feel like I am wearing a fat suit.
My answer: I went to yoga. I didn't go to "sweat till you drop" yoga. I went to regular yoga. You know what else? I did some pushups sometimes and also some good, old-fashioned sit ups. I went for walks. I bought workout clothing that fit so I wasn't squeezing my new curves and hate-wearing my old tiny pants. I don't look like a pumpkin, but I did feel like I was wearing a fat suit for quite a while. No lies on that one. This issue of a changing body is inevitable for anyone who wants to be a mom. In my mind (as a woman with no children) I say "it's easy to gain when the purpose is clear", but I know that it's not so easy. Try to keep your eyes on the (baby) prize with this one.