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Dear Anita– Thank you for your advice. Especially on avoiding fighting. We don’t have two separate rooms, but maybe I could sleep on the couch, or we will look for a better sleeping arrangement in our respective apartment hunts in July. For now, I think your reminder to avoid fighting is key.
I agree with Anita on this one. You’ll have to experiment and see!
I would venture to say that your problem is not exercise right now. Your problem seems to be food. It could be that you are exhausting so much of your self control trying to get yourself to complete more intense exercises, that you don’t have any mental strength left to defeat your food cravings. Maybe you should try taking it a little easier on yourself at the gym, but turn the bulk of your attention towards finding a food strategy that works.
First, I just want to say that there is no need to compare your body to anyone else’s body, not even your past self’s body. Our bodies change, our metabolism changes, sometimes in ways we don’t like, but sometimes in ways we come to love as well. The important thing is to nourish it and care for it.
It sounds to me like there are exercises that you enjoy doing, such as yoga. Exercises we enjoy are quite often the only ones we’ll stick with. Yes, there are people who push themselves at cross-fit, but the most dedicated are the ones that enjoy that type of exhaustion. There are other people that maintain a healthy body by walking to work or doing their errands, because it works for their schedules and they enjoy it. I personally would never achieve the peace of mind that I enjoy from a good sweat session, if I were just to walk, but I have no interest in pushing myself to my limit like they do in Crossfit. I think that in adopting any exercise, if you want it to be sustainable, it should be something that you enjoy. If the gym feels more like a chore or punishment, then I wouldn’t recommend doing it anymore. Being active is important, but that doesn’t mean the gym is the solution! (By the way, yoga is not easy, so kudos to you for thinking that is taking it easy!)
Now as for the sweet tooth and the addiction to sugar… so many people have this. I do! There are some bingeing stories that I would never admit to, but hey- a lot of people seem to share this struggle so I’m not going to beat myself up over it. I don’t bake either because I know I’ll eat it all. I also don’t keep sweets in the house because I’ll eat them when I’m bored/stressed/craving sugar, etc. Sometimes if you recognize a vice, a good way of defeating it is to just remove yourself from the temptation. I know plenty of alcoholics that will not even let their spouse keep wine in the house, because it could make them relapse. That doesn’t mean they’re out of control, it means they’re doing what it takes for them to stay in control. If you’re sugar crazy right now, lay off the baking, it’s what works for you and you’re already doing it so great job!
I also recommend not counting the calories, at least not your fruits and veggies. I would try to eat as much fresh possible as you can at meals, drink lots of water and herbal teas if you like them, and try listen to your body to find out when it’s actually hungry. Definitely drink a full glass of water before any binge. The binge will be smaller, and you might not even do it if you have the time to pause with the water anyway.
I know people say you must eat breakfast, but if you’ve had a big dinner the night before, you might not need it first thing when you wake up. We tend to be in better self control in the morning anyway, so if you think you might want to treat yourself to a bigger meal later in the day, you can plan ahead by eating a little less starting at breakfast. These are just tips, they are not necessarily what will work for you. But I went through a similar experience and I felt that diet and workout science was not the answer… the answer was finding pleasure in a healthy lifestyle that worked for my schedule, energy, and budget. Much of our food is filled with chemicals or ingredients like sugar that are designed to get us hooked, so don’t feel like you are at fault for over-doing it on the sweets. It’s sometimes a long haul, but if you’ve struggled with food and body image, developing a happier relationship with food and exercise is one of the greatest feats and feelings. I know you’ll get there!
I hope this helps, keep me posted.
Thank you so much for taking the time consider this and reply to me! I especially liked the idea of letting go of those nights out. Cooking for them is a FANTASTIC idea that had not crossed my mind. And coffee and tea once in a while is cool at any age in my book.
I really appreciate your thoughts and time!
Thank you for your note. In response to your questions:
1. I haven’t asked my mom much about this. To be honest, she never really kept friends or hobbies. All of her free time seemed to be spent caring for other people and now that she’s an empty nester, she gotten back into some hobbies. I might want to ask her her thoughts on this.
2. My boyfriend doesn’t live with me. We are both young (24), and he lives at home with his mom, saving money, helping her around the house. So whenever we cook or are hanging out, it’s at my house. He definitely helps out by making the bed and doing dishes when we finish eating. Sometimes he’ll bring dinner over. He definitely doesn’t expect me to prepare meals for him, but I like to, and to be honest I’m a little self conscious about my inability to cook so I don’t draw a lot of attention to it. The biggest challenge for me is that whenever I cook, it’s a stressful day of thinking about what I can cook, finding a recipe, and shopping for every ingredient since I don’t know how to keep a stocked kitchen yet. If I scheduled time to try recipes more often, it wouldn’t be as big of the deal, and I’m trying to get to that point eventually. So I guess my feeling here is more that I want to improve in this area, but which will also be appreciated by my partner.
I’ve asked him for input on my career and his advice is pretty risk-averse… definitely don’t quit your job until you have another job. Maybe go back to school, take the GMAT. He also has a great job, but isn’t that happy with it anymore and he’s following the same advice.
He thinks I should quit the sports and just join a regular gym, but I don’t know if he realizes how much of a social aspect they play in my life… to him, working out is just a chore to stay in shape. For me, it’s a lifestyle that keeps me sane.
Anita, does this help? I wonder if you might be able to comment now. To be honest, you’ve made me think that maybe I should seek my mom and boyfriend’s advice on these again!