My weight gain journey #2
At the time of writing this, I'm halfway through week four, "mission weight gain!". While it feels like I've been on this journey for months, I haven't. It's been less than three weeks (trust the process, Chloe). In retrospect, that is no time at all and way too early to begin to see actual results and progress. It solidifies in my head that I expect results fast (as I think we all do) but, I'm realising the best thing you can give a journey like this is patience, time, and consistency.
Firstly, embarking on this journey is one of the best decisions I've ever made for my mental and physical health. I feel like I have so much more time to focus on other things I enjoy rather than obsessing over my steps and the length of my workouts. My relationship with food has developed into a simple relationship - I see food as fuel, and I'm beginning to remove any negative emotional attachment to it. I no longer label food as "good" or "bad"; food is fuel, and if I'm hungry, I eat.
In all honestly, I'm not finding it too difficult at all. I've been steadily increasing my calories, and I'm consistently eating 400-500 calories more per day than I was three weeks ago. I've dramatically reduced my cardio and, my daily expenditure is far less than it would have been four weeks ago. I've cut my workouts down from six/seven days a week to five days a week (three lower body, two upper body), my step goal is now anywhere between five to eight thousand steps per day as opposed to ten thousand.
So far, week three was the most testing of all. I realised that I was beginning to get worn out as I've been progressively overloading since the start of November with no break, and it felt as though my body needed a break this week or I was on the verge of burning out. So, last week, I decided to take a deload week and focus on pilates instead of weight training. The Chloe from six months ago would have FREAKED out!! That version of me would have beat herself up for feeling tired and would have reduced her calories because she was scared of gaining weight. However, this Chloe continued eating in a calorie surplus and took the time to rest. At times it felt counterproductive and, negative thought patterns would try to find their way in and take over my brain but, I didn't let them win. I challenged my thoughts, practiced speaking to myself with kindness and ate, SO much food - I'm so proud of myself. Now, I'm on week four, and I've hit personal bests every single workout. I'm so proud of myself for taking the time out for myself last week; I feel so much more motivated, as well as well-rested. Most importantly, last week was an opportunity for me to heal my relationship with food and prove to myself that a week off from training is not the end of the world <3
That's all, just a little check-in. A reminder to myself (and to you if it resonates) that the most growth happens when you step away from your comfort zone.