I’m remembering this week what fitness-freedom feels like, shaking my head a bit at how often I need to re-learn and re-member this sense of freedom inside. How can I not anticipate the mind-habits that narrow and narrow, constraining and confining inside my body? So very curious, this gift of impermanence and remembering.
I dipped into my home gym this weekend, both for a drop-in WOD and to do the InBody scan before the holidays really land. For about 7 weeks, I’d been experimenting with an intermittent fasting routine that I’d read about in The Obesity Code–a MWF “don’t eat until noon” routine, so six hour eating windows on those days. The rest of the days, deep intentionality about making my calories’ daily intake. I did fairly well, keeping track. I noted some familiarity of energy-deprivation, satisfaction, at “what i must be losing” with such a routine. I found myself weighing in on the downstairs scale, to confirm the habitual weight-loss accounting.
The InBody showed the lowest BMR (basal metabolic rate) I’ve ever had. Yes, I was down in total weight, but muscle was also down. The fasting routine was lowering my body’s rate of metabolism. Though I know I need to eat more and aim for good fats, proteins, lower carb and no added sugar, I had inadvertently slipped into a calorie-reduction mode, frustrated I wasn’t reaching the lower body weight I had in mind. I was back into the habits of “refrain and reduction of calories” means fitness, when all I succeeded in was lowering my body’s metabolism.
This week, I’ve relinquished that “reduction” mindset, and stayed precisely on-plan, with the calorie amount recommended by my FatSecret app. It’s a lot of food, when you come right down to it, but there is also an abundance mindset that comes with it. A freedom to eat, and eat more. Each day has had less than 50g net carbs, sometimes even less than 30. I’ve not worried as much about fats and protein ratios, trusting them to sort themselves out while I restart my BMR climbing again. And I'm remembering the fitness freedom I've known before. It feels easy to not crave or desire old-habit foods.
All this may seem overly technical and even exhausting for those who don’t want to think so much about nutrition and body-fueling. I think my take-aways are pretty straightforward, signals for me once again…
- Stay off the f**king scale, even when it seems like it could tell you something. It’s too hard to see the numbers–either high or low–and have any clue to what’s actually going on. Standing on the scale leads to old habits.
- Love the abundance of food you get to eat in this way of being, more than gaming the dance with carbs or finding the least amount possible, which won’t really assist fitness anyway, in the end.
- Focus my fitness energies with other movement-goals, pursuits...
In the end, trust that staying off the scale, focusing on abundance of clean foods, and enjoying the movement like I do each week is enough. Focus on other fitness goals, like shoulder mobility and core-strength development, persistence.
Do that? Become more fit.
Good enough. Not only that. Just plain GOOD.