I realize my post last night didn’t talk about HOW I got to 2200 calories a day and the answer is reverse dieting. I hope this answers more of your questions, if it doesn’t and I forgot anything then feel free to comment or email me! I will do a workout post soon, but to give you an idea- before I started reverse dieting I mainly ran, when I first started reverse dieting I did upper body workout about 4 times a week, and now I workout 5-6 days a week with a big mishmash of cardio and weights.
I started my instagram promoting a clean and active lifestyle. But little did I know that clean and active did not necessarily mean healthy. And my lifestyle (though I was in denial of it) was FAR from healthy.
I love to run and I was running about 30-35 miles a week in September. I get a huge runner’s high and I really feel like I’m on top of the world after a good, long run. Well back in September, I felt on top of the world and I was exhausted. Why? Because I never wanted to go over the forbidden 1200 calorie mark UNLESS I ran 8-10 miles that day. Then I allowed myself to hit 1400-1600 AND I FELT GUILTY. WHAT?! I literally burned nearly 1000 calories just from a run and felt guilt about eating a big breakfast of dry wheat toast, egg whites, and a some breakfast potatoes.
Let me break down exactly why that is so ridiculous (using rough estimates):
1600—approximate number of calories I consumed ON A TEN MILE RUN day
(1000) – approximate number of calories burned on the run
(1000)—approximate number of calories burned by literally being alive
(800)—approximate calories burned with day-to-day activities
(1200)—calorie deficit. And that was my absolute highest calorie day.
Was I losing weight? No. Was I gaining definition? No. Was I skinny? Yes. Did I have abs to show for my hard work? Eh… More like a little pouch and some ribs.
My body was in a starvation mode of sorts, which I figured out when I started seeing people who were reverse dieting on instagram with “IIFYM” or “If It Fits Your Macros.” I was intrigued so I did some research and this is one of the best articles I found:
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/208407-how-to-repair-a-damaged-metabolism-stavation-mode- this is an article by Tom Venuto who is a well respected nutrition coach and author- he also has a great website: www.bunthefatblog.com — with interesting health articles.
But despite the success stories on Instagram and my research- I was still hesitant about eating more. Then tragedy (in my self-absorbed, little world- more about that later) struck. I tore my quad in three places. I couldn’t run at all. My little happy pill was gone. I was so afraid I was going to gain weight and restrict and go back to the days where I ate 1000 calories or sometimes well under that in a day.
I have always said I don’t want to make myself a victim of circumstance. I am a fighter. I went through a lot of things in high school, but I wouldn’t let it get to me. It wasn’t truly a bad day if I could still manage at least one smile. I realized when I got injured I was victimizing myself. The last thing I ever wanted to do and I was ready to take action. I had far too many things in my life to smile about to let a little injury get in my way of happiness!
I decided not being able to do cardio was the perfect time to start reverse dieting and start weight lifting. I started at 1650 calories because that was the absolute highest I was comfortable eating and I was full ALL THE TIME! But I also got to eat more fun foods and I really didn’t feel too guilty because I kept telling myself “It’s a process.” Before I knew it (literally within a week), 1650 didn’t keep me full so I upped to 1700 and then to 1750 and then to 1800. By that time I was able to start running short distances again and my weight workouts were drastically increasing. I was feeling pretty dang good.
I had been taking progress pictures and realized my abs were better than ever and I actually had arm muscles! I was still fitting into my little sizes even though I had gained some weight (it was all muscle). I upped again to 1850 and started running up to 3 miles a day (it started will ½ a mile a day).
(pardon the bra :/)
After Thanksgiving, finals hit and I stopped working out, did a lot of stress eating, and ate a lot of processed junk without much sleep. I had clearly gained a bit of fat weight in those couple weeks and my initial reaction was “RESTRICT RESTRICT RESTRICT!” But then I took a step back and gave myself a very stern talking to,
“Tracy what the actual f**k. You have come so far. You are so much stronger and happier than you were. Since when are you the little b**ch that makes yourself a victim of circumstance? Answer: you’re not. SO SNAP OUT OF IT! You have this entire break to get back in shape and get stronger than ever. Let’s not take the stupid and easy route of restricting and undoing all the profgress. Challenge yourself! BREAK THE 2000 BARRIER!!!”
“uh… that’s kind of scary…”
“says the girl who has jumped of cliffs, into canyon, and out of planes.”
“you’re right Tracy! I’m a badass b**ch who is about to start eating 2000 calories a day!”
^Yup, I do have conversations with myself.
(my body after two weeks off, not too shabby! my abs were still better than when I was eating 1200 a day!!)
Anyways, I decided on 2000 because my body was used to 0 workouts and lots of bad calories the weeks leading up to that moment and I figured it could handle 2000 good calories a day with lots of added workouts.
And boy was I right! Not only did I have tons of energy to smash my workouts, I also felt SO freed from a calorie intake that I feared for literally years (since I was like 13 or 14)!
In the first week I lost two pounds. And it no longer kept me full. I upped to 2100 and on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, I indulged without binging or restricting or guilt.
The day after Christmas, I looked in the mirror after eating 1000 calories within 4 hours of waking up. I looked at my little food baby (that was surrounded by some slightly popping muscles) and I SMILED. I realized I had been liberated from guilt over food and self hate. I realized I was free to enjoy this remarkable existence that I have. I realized I was truly, genuinely happy. I realized I had started the next chapter of what I know will be an amazing life.
(my day after Christmas body and happiness)