Hello Healthi family!
Coach Brianna here bringing you my update for how the month of April went for my weight loss journey. This update is a reality check and a solid reminder that sometimes best laid plans for weight loss get thwarted and other things need to take priority.
In last month’s post I talked about the 2 big struggles I was having: introducing my new APAP machine into my life to treat my sleep apnea, and some apparent gut health issues that were messing with my digestion and progress.
My APAP machine and I are finally getting into a routine. It took about 4 weeks, and while my Oura ring (sleep tracker) still doesn’t approve of the overall changes in my heart rate (which is interesting because it means the machine is making changes to how my body functions), I finally feel like I am sleeping well overall and that going forward my machine will be working FOR me rather than against me. It’s been a long journey, and anything that messes with your sleep can greatly mess with your body’s ability and willingness to let go of weight, so I just had to spend the month waiting it out while I adjusted to this new way of sleeping.
My journey to discovering my gut issues was really eye opening. I ended up doing a 5 day protocol to see if I was sensitive to gluten because I continued to not feel great. After the 5 day protocol, it turns out I have ZERO sensitivity to gluten. While I’m thankful (I love bread!), it had me wondering what the heck was going on with my digestion. Finally, I realized what the root of the problem was: stress.
Yes, stress! Stress can manifest very physical symptoms in the body, and they can be different for everyone. Evidently, my extreme stress and burnout manifests in gut health and digestive issues. This is a lot more challenging to solve than having a food be the root cause of the issues. If it was a food, I could stop eating the trigger food and my symptoms would resolve. Unfortunately, stress management is a lot more difficult to pin down. Ultimately, I did decide the best thing to do for myself would be to take a break from online content creation, so I did the thing I’ve been putting off for way too long and announced I was taking a vacation. Almost immediately, I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. That same week, I also lost 1 lb of weight that hadn’t been going anywhere. I don’t think that was a coincidence. Again, it was a physical manifestation of what is going on mentally.
While my coach kept my macros in a calorie deficit during this time, we both understood that expecting a loss from the scale while adjusting to my APAP and experiencing higher than normal amounts of anxiety and stress was not practical, so we didn’t. My weight and measurements have remained about the same on average, with normal fluctuations happening throughout the month and that’s okay!
I’ll admit, it’s hard not to get frustrated by the circumstances when I was SO excited to hop back into weight loss, but it’s important for me to take a step back and remember why I want to do this in the first place. My “why” for wanting to lose weight is about so much more than seeing a specific number on the scale. It actually has nothing to do with the number at all. I have no goal weight in mind. The numbers is irrelevant because my “why” isn’t tied to a number. My “why” is tied to my health! I want to lose fat so it is easier for my disabled body to move and live, so I have more energy, and so I can show up in this life as the best version of myself. In order to successfully do those things, I also have to make sure my body is functioning optimally, and given how my body started to respond to stress and my APAP, it was crucial that I get those things in check first. Figuring out those obstacles is more important to my overall health and wellbeing (my “why”) than seeing the number on the scale go down. ?
So, what’s the plan going forward?
The month of May, I’m essentially on hiatus. I’m taking time to do things entirely unrelated to my presence on the internet. Rest, relax, de-stress, and rediscover a creative spark that I feel the last few years has taken from me. During this time, I will also enter the “diet break” phase of my diet. A diet break is something that happens between 12-16 weeks into your calorie deficit where you increase your food intake to maintenance for 1-3 weeks so your body and metabolism can re-fuel. This is not a free for all time where I will be “off the wagon,” but it’s still hitting specific numbers every day, meeting my macros, and staying active, just at higher numbers. After my diet break, my hope is I will be able to go into “fat loss phase part 2” with less stress, feeling refreshed, and with a body that will actually me willing to help me let go of weight. It will be a true testament to how rest and stress plays a role in weight loss, and I look forward to sharing with you.
Until then, be well Healthi family!