Many past posts I have opened with a remark about how fast time goes, so you may be inclined to believe I had a typo in this title and meant to write “Where Did the Wait Go?”, but I didn’t. I want to take the time in this post to talk about something a little more controversial than time…my weight (yet there I go again referring to the time ie: ‘take the time in this post’). Let me get right down to it before I chicken out about from posting a personal post.
This winter I slowly watched my hard-earned muscle mass dissolve from my bones. I’ve unintentionally lost weight this winter and I want to take a step back and reflect on what caused it because I am definitely not alright with it. The reason I am posting this isn’t because I think my readers will benefit from it (although I hope someone can). The reason is because I am hoping it will make me more accountable for rectifying the situation. Since everything is easier to comprehend in list format I’m going to make this easy: A list of what may have contributed to my unintentional muscle loss.
1. A long cold winter
We have all heard the weather complaints over the past 5 months and regarding how especially cold this winter has been. Where I live it has been the 2nd coldest winter in 25 years. Being a commuter with ~25 min outside walking I felt the strong winds and struggled climbing over the deep snow mounds every single day. Trekking through these condition with an extra 5 lbs of clothing (ie: two scarves, two sweaters…) uses a lot more energy than a leisurely stroll to the subway in a sundress and sandals with a smoothie in hand.
2. Less stress (mentally and physically)
There are two things that have caused less stress for me over the past 5 months. The long cold winter (refer to point 1) has caused me to greatly decrease the number of miles clocked running compared to my regular schedule. I’ve missed runs and I’ve cut my runs shorter meaning I haven’t been putting as much physical stress on my body.
Secondly, I started a new job which has a significantly lower mental stress level than last year. I consistently get my lunch break and never have to go long periods without having a snack on hand (ie: no long meetings or delaying lunch to get a job done)
I believe having both my mental stress level and physical stress level decrease so significantly has changed the hormones in my body for the better. I sleep better, have more energy to go out and do things, and am generally in a much better mood. All of which may have contributed to a better metabolism and extra energy expenditure.
3. Cutting back on bulk
A bountiful summer of fresh berries and large watermelon only to be followed by a plentiful fall harvest of fresh veggies caused me to load up on filling fibrous foods.
Above: Microwave cookies with fruit
In the fall I was concerned with how enormous my fruit and vegetable portions had become as my dinner plate was literally a mountain of pure veggie. I made the conscious decision to cut out the extra vegetables and replace it with more protein and fats. The extra berries on my microwave cookies also disappeared and were replaced with a tahini topping or melted dark chocolate.
Above: microwave cookies without fruit
All of which I thought (and still think) were good choices for balancing out my nutrition, however I think these choices also left me more satisfied and less snacky later in the day.
4. Replacing chemicals with coconut
It’s not something I was happy about but I used to get a closet sweet tooth around 3:30pm each day last summer/fall. Nine times out of ten I crave a salty snack so when a sweet craving does roll around I’m at a loss of what to fill it with. In the past I opted for my dirty little secret: sugar free candy. You know the cheap kind filled with chemicals and preservatives? Those are the ones I got and it became quite the habit. I started having them even when I didn’t want them and that is when I knew I had to kick the habit in the but. So in January I said goodbye chemical, hello coconut in the form of coconut butter. I’m convinced this is pure evidence that not all calories are created equally.
I’m not usually this lengthy in my post, but I’m also not usually this personal. In fact I’m not usually even posting on a Sunday so I think it is safe to say that everything is rather unusual at the moment. Unusual posting, unusual winter, unusual weight loss, and unusual feelings. All of which lead me to an unfamiliar territory of what to do next. A territory which I plan to explore in an upcoming post.
Can you relate to what I have experienced?