Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Weigh In and true hunger vs. emotional hunger

Did my check-in weigh-in this morning: 127. It is what it is! I've been battling the post-hike munchies on Sunday and Monday. It's a phenomenon that occurs when I put myself into freezing temperatures for most of a day and exert like crazy for 14 miles, completely exhausting my muscles. I imagine it has something to do with the recover/repair period for my body and muscles and I just want all. the. food.

But I've been good, trying to eat moderately but also listening to my body and not letting myself linger in true hunger pains for long. Giving myself lots of lean protein and fresh veggies instead of the junk I'm actually craving (sugar! salt! bad fats!). Still, calories were a little higher than normal that past few days, as expected.

I was talking to Chris about that "feeling" on a hike when you know you are challenging yourself, pushing your body to do more than you thought. I really like feeling that soreness that lets me know I dug a little deeper and went a little further than I thought I was capable of. I like that feeling in that last couple of miles when I am just bone-deep tired, but my body can still move through the woods at a good clip.

I forgot to tell you - I did the 14+ mile hike in almost exactly 7 hours! That's a GREAT pace for me, 2 miles per hour. Especially climbing the tallest mountain in the state. Usually, in the High Peaks region, which is pretty rugged and can get really steep (and we don't have switchback trails like out west), on the ascents, it isn't abnormal for my pace to drop to 1 mile per hour. So maintaining 2 miles per hour is awesome - I felt really proud :)

I was looking up stuff on the internet about your body needing more food after intense exercise and found this great paragraph on http://greatist.com/grow/when-exercise-makes-you-overeat:

"Hunger is the body’s way of asking to be refueled, so don’t ignore a rumbling stomach, particularly if you've recently started working out or ramped up your exercise routine. Stronger hankerings than usual may be a sign your body and brain are adapting to a new set of physical challenges, but craving tons of treats may also be the mind’s way of asking for equal attention in the form of rewards and comfort food. Try to tune in to the difference between physical hunger and the emotional desire to eat, and hang in there as you learn to accommodate new habits. Opting for more fruits and veggies will promote feelings of fullness, and staying fueled and hydrated throughout each day could stave off binges."

Definitely good advice!

It's hard to re-learn to listen to my body after decades of completely ignoring it. But it is a worthy cause. I don't always succeed and sometimes eat out of boredom/stress/sadness/etc,  but more often than not, I am trying to feed my body when it actually needs fuel to keep performing at optimum levels!

It's been an important task the last couple of years to get comfortable with the feeling of hunger again (not doubled-over intense hunger pains, just that little bit of stomach growly-empty belly-time to eat feeling). When I was obese, I feared hunger. I was NEVER hungry. I kept it at bay always. But now, it's a normal part of life, a body cue.

I'm going out to dinner with one of Chris' old friends from growing up tonight, we are all going to go to one of our favorite restaurants in the area, the City Beer Hall! Because my weight has been trending so high, I'll stick to a lighter option, like salad (they use gorgeous seasonal/local ingredients, though, and the chef is really skilled, so even a salad there is really lovely). Also, though I don't think I am pregnant this month, I will be continuing to abstain from alcohol :)

Have a good one, friends <3

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