I feel a rant coming on. Watchout bloggers I am feeling aggressive and there is no where to hide. About a month ago I started the 5:2 diet in a bid to be able to maintain my weight whilst allowing myself to eat more throughout my half marathon training. For those of you who have yet to stumble across this diet (where have you been for the last year?) it involves restricting calorie intake to 500 two days of the week whilst you are free to eat normally during the other five. There are massive health benefits and a common side effect is to loose excess weight. Score.
Following the diet to the last digit throughout the last month I have lost a grand total of plus ten pounds. Yes, plus ten pounds. I can hear you all arguing with me now, thoughts such as 'oh well you must not have stuck to your calories, did you weight your food? You must have pigged out on fast days?' Etc..No, is the answer, I followed the guide, didn't overeat and am really unsure what is going on.
So on reflection I have decided to do the following things:-
1) Throw out the scales and pick up the tape measure. I wake on a morning feeling flat stomached and light as a feather. After my morning toilet trip (every little helps) I hop on the scales and am surprised to see that the numbers are reading an increase, I hop off then hop back on again, rubbing my eyes in disbelief. No, I have gained weighed. As Eeyore's storm clouds gather moodily above my head, my tort stomach bloats out and my cellulite grows a persona all of its own. I leave the bathroom physically inflated and mentally deflated. This process will be repeated a minimum of twice a week. I am obsessively weighing and the scales must go. Instead, for a more accurate scale I am going to use the tape measure.
2) Stop dieting. Ok so this one is extreme. I started my first diet, 1000 calories a day, when I was ten years old. So my issues with food are deep rooted. I need to learn how to eat for function, for purpose and ultimately to satisfy hunger. Currently I eat when I am tired so I will try to tackle that by being in bed by 10pm every night and ensuring that I eat regular meals to stop myself becoming hungry which could lead to binging. I have never been without a diet, there is always one in the bag, whether it's surviving an grapefruit, eating only protein or alternative fasting. It feels bizarre but incredibly simple to decide- I shall eat when I am hungry and stop before I am full (easier said than done).
3) Exercise more. I work out every other day and I intend to continue doing this. However, I'm going to add in strength workouts, yoga and swimming on my non-running days. Running days I shall be going for the kill, pushing myself to the limit and realising that anything is possible.
Will this work? Will I crash and burn after one week? Maybe. One thing is certain though, eating three healthy meals a day combined with exercising moderately can not be a bad thing?