My new goal: exercise less, eat more. Sounds kind of contradictory to what a healthy living blog should be promoting, huh? I’m usually the one that is telling my husband that he doesn’t need that eleventh cookie he is about to eat or reminding my clients that they need to exercise and move more. Needless to say, it won’t (and hasn’t been) easy to exercise less and eat more.
I debated back and forth if I even wanted to go into all of this on the blog. It gets into some personal stuff, and it’s probably been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with and accept. However, it very much goes hand-in-hand with my food and fitness habits, which is what my blog is all about! That being said, I decided that sharing my new lifestyle changes is most definitely blog-worthy.
At this point, you’re probably like, “What the heck are you even talking about, Ashley?” Ok, well let’s get down to the nitty gritty here. I mentioned several weeks ago my struggles with the absence of my menstrual cycle and how I was going to make some changes to my diet in hopes of things turning around. I’ve also been in contact with my doctor and have been getting some tests done, so we’re in the process of figuring out some more concrete details.
In the meantime, I have decided to drastically decrease my exercise and increase my calorie intake (particularly in the form of healthy fats). My exercise will mostly consist of walking, hiking, doing the elliptical, riding the stationary bike, doing yoga, or hiking for no longer than 40 minutes each day. I will also focus on getting at least 2-3 rest days per week. This also means no running, which also means no half marathon. Yep, I’m super bummed and sad about this. I plan on talking about my decision to cut out running and back out of my half in a future post, so stay tuned for that. You can see on My Daily Workout Log that I already implemented these changes this week. It’s been hard. I’ve cried. A lot. I love high intensity exercise, and I miss it a lot already. But I also know this is what is best for my body right now. It needs rest. I’ve over-worked it for far too long, and now it’s not doing what it’s supposed to be doing.
Eating more hasn’t exactly been easy for me either. I thought I’d enjoy it since I naturally have a bigger appetite, but I can’t help but worry that I’m going to get “fat” as I’m noshing down the extra calories. I don’t necessarily need to gain weight, but my body needs those extra calories (especially in the form of healthy fats) to help my body and brain to start functioning normally again. So yep, I might put on a few pounds through all of this, but is it worth it to me to be able to have children someday? Absolutely! I guess I have an excuse to eat even more peanut butter now and embrace those cute flowy sundresses.
Wrapping my head around all of this has been extremely difficult and quite depressing at times to be honest. Taking away one of my most beloved hobbies (running & high intensity workouts) and gaining weight are two of my biggest fears in life. I suppose this is a time where I need to step back and realize that there’s more to life than getting in my run for the day or fitting into a certain size pants. This is about fulfilling one of my biggest dreams in life: to be a mother.