Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Chitty-Chat – Starting IIFYM Again

by Cristina

September 1st! It’s that time of year again. For everyone else, it probably means Pumpkin Spice Lattes, but for me, it means I need to get my health back in check and renew my commitment to being a regular at my gym. I’m starting IIFYM again! Why? Because real estate stress is no joke! We thought our little real estate endeavors would be done and wrapped up in June and it ended up taking over the entire summer. This means that life stress and the disruption of home buying and selling has challenged my eating habits, and interfered with my gym time, but also it’s interfered with my quality of life habits. When you are in survival mode (and I use that term very loosely because our stress is so minor and for positive reasons compared to what’s going on in the world this week) you prioritize survival and the first things to go are your quality of life habits. Gym time, preparing and eating food with intention, proper sleep, taking care of yourself, having fun. For some people that may mean unwelcome weight loss, and for others, it means weight gain. I’m definitely in the camp of ‘life stress = weight gain’. Our life disruption isn’t quite complete because we are moving at the end of the month (yay!), but at least we now know where we are going, and we can see the horizon, and the selling our house portion of the equation is over.

Because of all this stress going on over the past 3 months, and disruption to my entire routine, I’ve gained 10lbs. Ten.Pounds. I am so unhappy with how my body feels in clothing, and I feel so scared to get back to the gym because of how out of shape I’ve gotten.  My stress level and lack of proper nutrition have resulted in a horrible summer cold this week and I just feel overall miserable. It’s going to be so hard getting back to the gym and I’m so scared of regaining my cardio.  I’m starting today with my calorie counting, weighing and measuring food and macros and on Monday (hopefully) I can get back to my gym routine.

I was kicking around the idea of starting a whole 30 today, or doing the IIFYM diet (weighing and measuring, macro targets) and I opted to take it easy on myself and do the IIFYM. The whole 30 would have been perfect as a reset because clearly, I need it, but it’s also a level of stress that I can’t handle at the moment. I need to just get back in the habit of eating regular nutritious meals. It’s not that IIFYM is the easier option, but it’s the easiest to maintain during a month where my entire kitchen will be in disarray as we pack. I know both eating plans would work well for me as far as weight loss because really what it is is re establishing proper eating habits. I know how I got here, and I know what I need to do to get the weight off. I just actually have to do it and stop feeling sorry for myself.

I’ll keep you guys posted on how it’s going. Hopefully, I can do a weekly post or occasional check-ins. I always find talking about diets and weight loss so boring, but maybe there will be a little sub community of people here in the same boat as me and we can keep each other motivated.

Are any of you starting eating plans this month? Do you gain weight during periods of stress in your life? Tell me I’m not alone in this.

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Cee September 1, 2017 - 12:35 pm

Hope you’re able to get back into a good routine soon! Congrats on buying/selling. Are you staying in the Coquitlam area?

Anonymous September 1, 2017 - 12:55 pm

Yup, we are staying in Coquitlam. We love it here.

Jennifer September 1, 2017 - 1:18 pm

I can sympathize with you. 10 months ago I moved to a different province (which included selling my home and buying a new home). It happened in about 6 weeks total. During that time I lost 5lbs from stress. Then when I was trying to settle in, I gained that 5lbs back plus a new 5lbs and it makes me feel like crap. Like you, I know what I need to do, get back in my routine of healthy eating and going to the gym but it’s been a real struggle for me. I look forward to following your journey and hope it will be a catalyst for my own!

Cristina September 1, 2017 - 1:30 pm

Oh my gosh, that is a special kind of stress. 15 years ago my husband and I moved from BC to Saskatchewan temporarily. We didn’t own a home then so that part of it was simple but we had to find an apartment, find a job, furnish a temporary home and then move all that back after we decided to move back to BC. It was easier when we were young and didn’t have kids, property or pets but still very stressful.

Mrs. O September 1, 2017 - 2:51 pm

You are definitely not alone! As you know, I have significant dietary restrictions because of my health condition. For awhile, I gained weight from the stress of learning about my condition, worrying if I would get better (or if my symptoms would be permanent), the drastic lifestyle and dietary changes I would need to make, and not being able to stay active. Over the course of 9 months I lost the weight I gained. Once I was able to fully commit to a workout schedule and conform my diet to my health needs, the weight flew off. I think it was the relief from stress and knowing I was going to recover. The past couple of months I’ve been working out hard and eating right. Unintentionally, I lost inches and a few pounds. That was a great surprise! I was content with the way I looked and felt two months ago. Working out and keeping to my dietary needs is a life and death situation for me. This is what keeps me motivated and the fact I refuse to be debilitated by my condition.

Congratulations on starting again! We all go through life’s ups and downs. Making changes before the “bad” gets too bad is the hardest part of all.

We’re here for you and I know a lot of us struggle with the same things.

Anita September 1, 2017 - 5:04 pm

I too can sympathize with the stress weight gain. I have gained 16 pounds since February this year. I haven’t gained weight for 10 years. A knee injury in January, that wasn’t properly diagnosed has caused me to stop yoga, Zumba, curling and at times walking. Other life stressors have also contributed but I have been so discouraged without exercise in my life. After my diagnosis last week(small meniscus tear, bakers cyst and stage four osteoarthritis all in my right knee ), I have decided to try an anti- inflammatory diet to try to settle all of the inflammation. Swimming three times a week, may not reduce the weight but hopefully make the knee stronger because physio hasn’t really helped. I am going to focus on getting physically stronger and healthier and try not to think about the weight. I find it hard not to compare my fitness level pre injury to the post level. I am starting at the beginning and hoping that I am back in the yoga studio by next summer.
I admire your determination to do a health reboot right now. It is motivating for me to hear that others are also starting this journey. Thanks for sharing, you never know who you might be reaching.

CT September 2, 2017 - 7:05 am

Stress sucks and you are by no means alone in letting yourself go during times of stress. I can count numerous times over the course of my life when stress has led me down a path of poor health decisions. All I can say is don’t beat yourself up too much about it because it’s human nature I guess that we tend to cope with stress in ways that are not healthy for us. I think it’s smart of you to choose not to get back on track with a diet that can cause you to stress out just trying to implement it! It sounds like things are taking a turn for the better and I wish you a smooth move and much happiness in your new home.

Bronach September 3, 2017 - 5:35 am

Take a look at #FWTFL ….. Faster Way to Fat Loss with Amanda Tress. It combines what you’re doing with workouts, macros and adds intermittent fasting.

It’s via social media. A prep week and 6 week program. I didn’t set out to lose weight, it was more to offset some poor eating habits that were starting to be habitual and show in my mid-section and to shake up my normal run/bike routine. I lost 7lbs and definitely see changes. The testimonials will show you many lost double digit inches and lbs. The next round starts Sept 10th. I have a link to use if you are interested.

Whatever you do, I have no doubt it won’t take you long to get back in the grove and feeling better about yourself.

Anon September 3, 2017 - 5:58 pm

Your situation is completely understandable; I hope you won’t beat yourself up too hard over it. You’re already wise enough to know what you need to do to get back on track, and it takes time. I know you love the gym and your activities, but sometimes the hardest part is getting there and that adds to the stress of life. When you cannot get there (gym etc.) just go for a long, powerful walk. You also live in beautiful BC, with the most beautiful nature and scenery!

Be well!

Anonymous September 5, 2017 - 10:08 am

Something similar happened to me, the stress just took over my body and I wasn’t eating healthy, or working out. Today is my first day back to the gym in a month and I’m a Fitness Instructor, I’m embarrassed to show my face there after all this time but I just have to do it.

Julie September 5, 2017 - 11:08 am

You are not alone. I live in Houston, Texas and vacation near Rockport, Texas which was Hurricane Harvey’s bullseye. I’m not normally a stress eater, but between my husband at home for 8 days and sitting 3 dogs, we were housebound for days watching 24/7 local weather news. Needless to say we ate every kind of junk food available. And it was delicious! We were fortunate. Our house stayed dry & we had power. Yesterday, we went to the mall to check on our favorite sales associates at Nordstrom, Athleta & LLL stores. An Ed at LLL joked that we were all a bit “Harvey heavy” now & very sore after returning to our now open gym.


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