Update: Six Months of Intuitive Eating

I’ve just passed the six month mark of intuitive eating and I couldn’t be happier. After years of macro or calorie counting (even when I wasn’t trying to lose weight), it feels so good not be constantly measuring my food and trying to figure out how to fit in food.

At first, I was struggling some with the freedom of not having to eat specific amounts of food but now I’ve settled into eating enough to be full but not stuffed. Of course, because I counted calories for so long, I have a pretty good idea of how much I’m eating versus burning on a daily basis just by eyeballing portions. So I’ve been able to maintain my weight without having to be on top of measuring my food (which hasn’t happened before).

 
10/1/17
11/1/17
12/1/17
1/1/18
4/1/18
10/11/18
Weight (lbs)
142.6
137.8
135.6
135.6
134.9
133.9
Body fat (%)
27.5
26.3
25.7
25.7
25.5
25.2
Waist (inches)
29
28.5
28.5
28.5
28.5
29
Hips (inches)
37
36.5
36
36
35.5
35.5
Thighs (inches)
20.25
20
20
20
19.75
20
Forearms (inches)
11
10.5
10.5
10.5
10.5
10.25

My weight has gone down just a little bit since I did my last round of measurements in early April, not surprising since I was at peak marathon training mileage at that time and was probably retaining some extra water. I have randomly jumped on the scale a couple times during the last six months and have seen my weight range from about 132.5 to 134 lbs. It feels really good to know that I can easily maintain my weight without obsessively measuring my intake because I haven’t been able to in the past.

One other thing that I’ve found that has gotten easier with my transition to intuitive eating is getting in a variety of vegetables. Even when I was counting macros, I didn’t really get in a variety of vegetables or many servings of vegetables in general. But once I wasn’t measuring my intake, I wanted to make a focus of getting in more vegetables on a daily basis.

So now it’s second nature for me to have a side salad for my lunch and to look for ways to add in vegetables to what I’m making (as evidenced by the recipes I’ve been sharing on the blog lately). I’m actually finding that now I have to pay attention to getting in some fruit on a daily versus when it was so easy before!

To wrap up this six month recap, I wanted to talk about a change I’m making to my workout schedule. I’ve been running five days a week for a while (probably since I started training for my first half marathon in 2015) and I’m cutting it back to four days a week. I’ll be running about 19-20 miles a week and adding in a second cross training day of weights and easy cardio.

Here’s what my workout schedule will look like going forward:

  • Monday: strength training (Triple Threat on the NTC app) and spin class

  • Tuesday: alternating 3 mile interval run or 30 minute tempo run

  • Wednesday: 3 mile easy run

  • Thursday: strength training (Better Basics on the NTC app) and easy cardio

  • Friday: Rest day (yoga)

  • Saturday: 5 mile run (pace run every three weeks)

  • Sunday: 8 mile run

I have three reasons to make this change: building muscle, injury prevention and regulating my cycle. I’ve really enjoyed the muscle that was showing during my cutting phase last winter and I’m hoping to get that back by adding in an extra strength training day. And since I’ve been running faster, I’ve noticed more soreness and I’m hoping cutting back on an easy run day for more strength training will help out with that.

And then there’s cycle regulation, which is a huge topic that I’m probably in no way qualified to talk about. But we are hoping to have a baby at some point and I’ve been off hormonal birth control since May because of this. My cycle is still regulating itself, not surprising since I was using hormones to regulate it for almost six years, but I’ve started to wonder if continuing to run five days a week while not training for a race is the best thing right now since those are pretty intense workouts compared to strength training. So I’m going to try for a couple of months to see if cutting out one run a week will help my cycle regulate.

So be on the lookout in the coming months to see how my progress is going with switching out a run day for a second cross training day while intuitive eating!


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