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Week 2: Weigh In + Update (Nutrition Certificate, EMDR…)

Second week and I’m NOT down BUT, it was a minimal gain and I am still down 1.6 pounds from the start. In my food and activity diary below, you can see how my overall calorie intake was lower this week averaging 1690/day, but my activity level was also much lower so I wasn’t burning as many calories. For this reason I’m not surprised I didn’t lose weight this week.

I didn’t understand this years ago when I was eating the intended calories each day, but wasn’t seeing weight loss during certain weeks. It’s simply about eating less calories than are being burned and this week, particularly the first half, I was quite lazy and definitely didn’t burn more calories than I was eating. Though I missed biking and doing some other activities, the weather wasn’t great over the weekend and I really enjoyed having some lazy time at home with the kids.

Click for Week 2 Food & Activity Diary

Starting a Nutrition Course!

After doing some research over the past few weeks, I decided to sign up for a nutrition certification course last weekend that is in line with my values to make long term changes for overall health and wellness. I’m so excited to take this course and dive deeper into the science of nutrition which I can apply to this journey and share along the way!

As I was finishing this blog post today, my books arrived so I’m really looking forward to diving in.

Increasing Activity – Why I’m Apprehensive

Over the past couple years, I needed to make quite a few adjustments with my exercise after my nervous system had become overloaded.

Back in 2015, I had started to do one-hour HIIT classes at a local gym 3-4 times a week which felt great at the time and and helped to give me energy but by the end of 2016, I was experiencing a lot of emotional stress and the combination was putting far too much stress on my body. It took some time to realize how the intense workouts were negatively affecting me with so many other stressful things happening in my life but once I did, I decided to work with a personal trainer at a different local gym instead.

That was in the summer of 2018 which is also when I discovered I had adrenal fatigue. As a result, I significantly reduced my cardio and focused on weights and body resistance, stopped drinking caffeine, stopped drinking alcohol even though it was only occasional prior to that and made some adjustments to my diet and vitamins. After about 6 months I started to reintroduce some light cardio, and by about a year afterwards I was feeling pretty good physically so wanted to go back to the original gym and see if my body could handle the one-hour HIIT classes again. November of 2019 I had gone back to HIIT, but after a couple months I realized those workouts were still just too intense for me.

In February of this year I finished that membership and was getting the pull towards yoga. My therapist recommended Yoga with Adriene on YouTube as a good place to start so I started March 4th right before her channel grew even more during Covid, while it helped so many other people during those months too.

I enjoy high intensity workouts but having adrenal fatigue and generally feeling overly exhausted in recent years, I’ve been nervous to increase the intensity again and fearful I’d need to heal all over again since it took so long before. This past week however, I had my first appointment with a Doctor who I’ll be working closely with for EMDR over the next few months and she asked me to start increasing my exercise and yoga intensity to help my nervous system calibrate to a higher level of resistance. So, Doctor’s orders – I’ll slowly be increasing the intensity while also listening to my body and staying mindful to not push myself too quickly.

Week 2 Food & Exercise Diary

Average 1690 /day
– Whole grain wrap with 2 scrambled eggs, spinach and lactose free cheese
– Popcorn
– Apple
– Dark chocolate chips by Enjoy Life
– Chicken, organic sweet potato fries
137224 min
– Whole grain wrap with 2 egg whites, spinach, and lactose free cheese
– Smoothie with organic plain greek yogurt, super fruit blend, kale and banana
– Organic chicken breast with Montreal chicken spice on salad with organic spring mix, grape tomatoes, red onion and goat’s cheese
– Popcorn
– Protein Bar
– Dark chocolate chips by Enjoy Life
156028 min light jog30 min
– Whole grain wrap with one egg and one egg white, spinach, mushrooms, lactose free cheese
– Protein bar
– Banana
– Organic chicken breast with Montreal chicken spice, garlic & herb perogies, sour cream, salad with iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes and goat’s cheese
– Popcorn
– Dark chocolate chips
– Whole grain wrap with one egg and one egg white, spinach, mushrooms and lactose free cheese
– Smooth with super fruit blend, organic greek plain yogurt, kale, and banana
– Protein bar
– Popcorn
– Restaurant take out: white chicken breast, multigrain roll, Chalet sauce, side of salad with ice berg lettuce and small portion of house dressing
– Few bites of son’s left over poutine (my weakness!)
196148 min walk & 289 steps on stairs

34 min walk (to pick up dinner :))
26 min
– Plain organic greek yogurt, kale, super fruit blend and banana smoothie
– Salad with mixed greens, goat cheese, salad topper ((pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries), breaded chicken
– Cauliflower crust pizza, caesar salad with ice burg lettuce, parmesan and caesar dressing
– Protein bar
– Pumpkin spice steamer with almond milk, half the syrup and no whip
– One mini smarties
189725 min
– Mushrooms, spinach, eggs, parmesan
– Smoothie with organic plain greek yogurt, super fruit blend, banana and kale
– Chocolate and mint protein bar
– Cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, mayo, ketchup and onion
165025 minute walk28 min
– Whole grain wrap with 2 scrambled eggs, mushrooms and lactose free cheese
– Chicken fingers and plum sauce
– Whole grain spaghetti with lean ground beef, tomato sauce and broccoli
– Protein bar
– Cheese crackers
– Mini chocolate bar (Kit Kat)
179326 min
WEIGHT LOSS – /GAIN ++0.6 lbs177 lbs
Total calories/pounds lost since Sep 25:5,600 cal-1.6 lb

Overall this week was much easier with the portion sizes, as it usually tends to be after the first week or two of reducing the calorie intake and felt much more satisfied instead of hungry all the time. As mentioned above, I was not as active this week which also contributed to me not feeling overly hungry.

One change I made this week with my food that helped was to change my breakfast from a higher carb (oatmeal with fruit) to a higher protein breakfast. I find when I eat enough protein, especially in the morning it helps to fill me up and keeps me satisfied for longer while reducing random cravings for the rest of the day. A couple years ago I was eating two eggs with spinach and mushrooms every morning and it helped curb cravings for the day, but because it was such a low amount of calories and protein, I found myself hungry not too long after. This week I wanted to modify that breakfast so made it into a wrap with cheese and found it was much more satisfying. And tasted really good too!

I became somewhat a carb-a-phobe a couple years ago and realized it was making me incredibly unhappy. I think many of us will try the new fads thinking they’ll be the solution for everything but dismiss what our body actually needs during that process. Learning what is actually in our foods can be frustrating and elimination diets absolutely work with intention but eventually I took the eliminations a bit far where the ‘can’t’ and ‘shouldn’t’s’ became unhealthy for the psyche. Not to mention unsustainable. While I try to choose healthier carbs, I no longer feel like I “shouldn’t” eat any at all. It feels much lighter to stop restricting myself entirely and just focus on eating more real food, and watch portions for those foods which aren’t. There is no such thing as a magic bullet and I’ve found life becomes easier once we accept this.

NO ‘Low Fat’ or ‘Low Calorie’ Foods

I wanted to point out that all of the foods I buy are the original version, meaning I don’t buy low fat or low calorie alternatives for anything. The two main reasons are:

  1. I don’t like the taste
  2. They’re usually filled with alternative ingredients that aren’t real food and/or with extra sugar (which often isn’t real sugar)

I also can’t tolerate sugar substitutes. I’m of the quality over quantity mentality and would rather eat less of something I really enjoy, than more of something I don’t.

To add to this, I’m an HSP (highly sensitive person) so I tend to taste and feel when foods are low quality and can feel right away when it’s not good for me. (I can feel like a human guinea pig sometimes!) Others have a higher tolerance to food that isn’t real, but I tend to get either an upset stomach, irritability/anxiousness, brain fog, tired or need to go to the bathroom right away. This is one reason why I try to buy organic whenever possible. I can also feel when a protein powder is over processed or a protein bar has sugar alcohols so I’m careful with all foods that I choose.

With that said, I do occasionally indulge in certain foods I know aren’t the greatest. Those mini halloween chocolate bars for example seem to be ok so long as I keep the portion under control, otherwise I do feel it. I’ve recognized the all or nothing mentality doesn’t work for me since I tend to shame myself when I don’t stick with it, and I’d rather have one or two of the small chocolate bars (in this example) and feel satisfied rather than restrict myself completely.

Overall, I’m still feeling really excited about sharing this process. Tracking and blogging are both helping me to stay mindful, which I’ve found to be very beneficial throughout my personal healing.

Traumatized people are terrified to feel deeply. They are afraid to experience emotions, because emotions lead to loss of control.

Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk

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