I originally wanted this post to be about an update, but I didn’t know where to start. Then, I kept changing what I was doing, having different thoughts and feelings–it was all to chaotic to put into words. But what I realized through this is that I don’t know, and that’s okay! It’s okay not to know. It may be a bit sporadic, but the message will be there and hopefully this blog can help you with anything you’re going through whether or not you can directly relate to me and my situation.
So at first, I was going to mention that I wasn’t gaining much weight so I had been increasing my macros. I’m essentially on a “reverse-diet” so this is appropriate; however, I don’t have a coach–it’s all just me. Yes, it can be frustrating at times because I don’t see a lot of progress from my own eye and I am kind of scrambling around blindfolded trying to see what my body works best with macros wise–and let me tell you, I’m still searching. I’m constantly feeling tired and bloated and just blah even after increasing proteins then decreasing carbs, then increasing fats and carbs, etc. Now, I don’t mean to make this a whole thing a ranting session, so I’ll stop there.
Anyway, I weigh myself when I go home to my parents house (every 1-2 weeks) because I don’t have a scale at my apartment and I found that weight gain had been slow: so I increased my calories to 2600. Another 2 weeks went by and I gained about a pound in those 2 weeks eating on average 2,570. I say average because I’m not perfect. I strive to hit my macros perfectly every day, but it hasn’t been easy for me. I’m never more than 3-5 off from a macro, but sometimes I went a little lower and some days I had “extreme hunger” and continued eating after having all my meals for the day. I’m doing my best and that still caused me to gain a pound which is progress so I decided to increase up to 2700 (2697 to be exact).
Well, that fell apart. I don’t know if it was long time coming or just this week or what, but I felt overwhelmed trying to hit those. Not only because the amount of food, but just stressing to hit my macros and plan since I work full-time. I would spend 15 minutes a day trying to plan out what I was eating the next and massively reconfiguring it all when it didn’t reach my macros. It was obsessive for me and not healthy. I also had been super annoyed with meal prep for the past few weeks too. Now I know no one likes meal prepping, it’s just something you have to do if you want to hit your goals, but I never minded it until recently. I had made so much food progress recently buying bagels, bacon, things not on my grocery list, etc. and trying to have more food freedom so this was hard setback. On top of this, I’ve still been constantly tired, bloated (even when waking up), and having horrible digestive issues. I decided it was time for a change.
That change leads me up to where I am today. 2 days into 2700 calories, I decided to stop tracking and counting and take a much needed break. I’m not saying give up when things are challenging, or don’t push yourself to your goals; I’m saying understand when you reached your limits…or in my case ran right past them. Currently, my training schedule for volleyball isn’t conducive to a true bulk. And while yes I need to keep gaining weight to be healthier, I’m not in the place to see the fruits of eating a lot, stuffing myself even when full, hitting high macros, stressing about it, etc. I’m pretty sure I want to do a true bulk once season is over, but for now I want to feel my best and perform my best, I want to learn to try to listen to my body more and to not track.
I’ve been tracking, weighing, and counting for a while (at least 1 year) and have been researching into it so I know what foods to eat to fuel my body and the right amounts, etc. I know I won’t eat as much as I need to everyday and honestly in the place I am right now, that’s okay. Some days I’ll probably eat more and some days I may eat less; some days I may be ravenous and others I may have to still force myself to eat because I can’t trust my hunger cues yet. Do I know if this is the best decisions for me? No. I don’t know if it’s the perfect solution (or if one exists), I don’t know if I should be tracking or if my hunger cues are okay, when I’ll start tracking again (probably loosely during season) or what I want to do in the future with all this.
This is my point. It’s okay to not know or have a clear picture. Sometimes you need to step break, take a break and just breathe. Take time to figure it out, to experiment and try new ways of living and eating. Living a healthy lifestyle is all about finding what works for you at that moment in your life–this will change as you go through stages and seasons. Instead of stressing about not knowing or making the “right” choice, choose to embrace the journey. Pick a path, try it out, and assess from there. You won’t always know, heck you may never know, but that’s kind of the beauty, isn’t it? As hard as it is, it’s okay to not know. Not knowing allows you the freedom to look around, experiment, and choose what feels best. It allows you to find what you works and what doesn’t. It allows you to realize that not knowing is normal, it’s okay. Embrace the unknown.