It’s all about keeping perspective.
I’ve seen a few photos of myself recently that I have not been impressed by. At all. Some were from the end of my holidays, the others in training this week, and all I can see are the flaws.
I feel like I’ve actually bloated up in the last 2 weeks. It’s visible in my face and even worse, my greatest personal dislike of all, overflow of bra fat. I’ve been doing all the right things, eating quite well, I did have a few glasses of wine and lollies the other day. But I’ve been actually tracking food so know where my calories are coming in at. It’s been easy to drink enough water because the weather is warming up, particularly when I work out.
I first started to notice it last week when my body was in a world of ‘back to full-time training’ pain. 2 hairbands on my wrist left channels on my skin, and my socks and legging ends are visible long after I’ve taken them off.
There is an interesting article on the Legion Athletics website about What Causes Water Retention and How to Get Rid Of It. It talks about cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenals in response to stress and low blood sugar levels. Cortisol doesn’t usually cause water retention, except in particular circumstances.
According to the article, people suffering from water retention were usually:
- In a large calorie deficit. I am in a calorie deficit, but I don’t think a large one, maybe I do need to add a bit more fuel to the fire, it’s one to watch.
- Doing large amounts of exercise, particularly cardio. Well yes, that is certainly a factor. But I’m not just spending hours on a cardio machine, it’s all in the classes I teach, and there have been quite a few days of running and cardio based workouts at Crossfit over the last 2 weeks.
- Not losing weight over the last several weeks despite the calorie deficit and strenuous exercise. This was covered in the Legion athletics article where subjects in a study were losing fat, but it was obscured by increased water retention. I’m hoping for me it’s this one.
I’m not sure what my plan should be moving forward. More good food to boost my calorie intake could be a start. I can’t do anything about the exercise I do when I teach, maybe I should take an extra rest day soon from my own training. But my focus has been on consistency about getting to class. Rather I should make a conscious effort more often about just getting into class to move, instead of push myself to my current limited, limits.
I was talking to a client last night, and she’s one of those clients who inspires me to do what I do. We met when she started as a Zumba student, and has since lost quite a bit of weight, joined my Strong class, which is not for the faint hearted. She then joined circuit class and is now doing personal training. She’s been well and truly bitten by the exercise bug. She was telling me all about it last night, and how much better about herself she feels. And she feels so much more confident about how she looks. The joy flowing out of her as she said it all made me want to grab my phone and capture the moment on video. (which of course I didn’t).
As an outsider, she is such a lovely outgoing person. You couldn’t’ imagine her not as a smiley, confident ray of sunshine in class. And she always seems to have been that way. I know she gets frustrated and often says how disappointed she is with herself when she can’t do something. And I totally get that, I’m currently going through a period of eating humble pie and rebuilding after essentially a year’s break from Crossfit.
I mentioned understanding the frustration of not being at a standard you expect of yourself, and she just said ‘But you’re beautiful’. And that’s where keeping perspective comes in. No matter where you are in your health and fitness journey, or any aspect of your life, the bar always keeps moving and there is always someone else better, or thinner, or stronger that you wish you were them. But in reality, you are the person someone else wishes they were.
The moral of today’s lesson, look at where you are, there are always learnings from every situation, but appreciate the wins. Like having a body that can walk and move and do the things that bring you happiness.