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I was a little hesitant to write this post today but I had to…
I was hesitant because I'm talking about fat loss.
What will my people think? Is it going to be triggering for them? How do they respond? Will they unfollow? These were all the questions racing through my head.
I talked about my fears with my best friend. She asked me:
“Do you feel like you're fully recovered from your past disordered eating, overtraining and body image issues? Because if you are, there is no reason for you to hesitate. Most healthy people want to lose some weight at some point in their lives, for one reason or another, and if that's you too, there's nothing wrong about it. You can want to lose fat after recovering from burnout.”
It's interesting that I needed this permission, but sometimes that's just how we are. I'm telling my clients who are working to get their metabolisms back up and running, to stop caring so much about what other people think, and do what's best for them. Now, I had to take this advice myself.
I Wanted To Change My Body
And here we were: In March 2020, I decided that I really want to change my body a bit. I wanted to look leaner, more “toned” if you like that word, I wanted to look like I work out! I love seeing muscle on my body.
I also wanted to get a bit better handle on my sometimes mindless snacking. I wanted more structure too.
“Just Eat Intuitively”
Just eat intuitively is a great piece of advice, but unfortunately, if you're already eating intuitively but not seeing any change, it's not all that helpful. I was very intuitive, but looked the same month after month. Nothing wrong with that, and I am 100% honest when I say that I loved and liked myself the way I was, but for my own self, I wanted to feel lighter and better.
I reached out to my friend who is a macro coach, and asked more about macro tracking.
Macro Tracking after Full Recovery from Burnout
For me, macro tracking was a new thing. I had never done this before. For a long time after my burnout recovery, I had no desire to track anything, but now, because I wanted to see a change, I started getting curious: What would it look like? Could I do it without becoming obsessive?
My friend put together a plan for me. We took a really gradual and careful approach. My deficit was only about 5-10% from my back then calories, not more. That's because I wanted to avoid rapid weight loss and keep my hormones healthy. And, because I like to eat and was not going to go on a 1700 calorie diet! No way 🙂
There was a learning curve at first, but after a few weeks, things got much easier. After 6 months, I have reduced some body fat. The difference is relatively small, but that was the goal. I didn't want to lose too much too quickly. I've lost a lot of weight too fast in the past, and seen where it took me.
Results After Tracking My Macros for 5 Months
Here are the results that I've seen about 5 months after tracking my macros:
- Moderate fat loss, especially around my midsection. Moderate was the goal, as I mentioned
- I do feel better energy and my workouts feel great! I'm getting stronger
- My periods still come!
- I feel leaner and lighter.
Do I Recommend Macro Tracking After Burnout Recovery?
I don't recommend it to anyone who….
- Has an active eating disorder or disordered eating habits. In my case, I can tell with 100% certainty that I don't have them anymore
- Gets really obsessive with numbers
- Is not able to give herself a break, like eating out, eating meals that someone else has made, etc
- Is hoping that through losing weight, she'll be more liked or loved.
If You Want To Track Your Macros To Change Your Body….
- Make sure that your body has been recovered for a LONG time. I know that LONG is relative, but only you can know when you're ready. I didn't start until 3.5 years after my recovery from Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. You may not have to wait as long, you may need less, but you may also never want to do it. All are fine!
- Make sure that you are doing it for YOURSELF and not for someone else. If there's a slightest desire to change only to be better liked by others, you're doing it for a wrong reason
- Don't set extreme goals. Don't drop your calories by 20% if you've had hormonal issues before! This is likely too big of a cut
- Keep a close eye on your symptoms. Are you still sleeping well, feeling rested, getting your periods, and being reasonable around food? Or are you losing your sleep, losing your period, and tracking is making you super irritable?
- Be kind to yourself. You can't do it if you're too hard on yourself or if you have the punishment mentality. It's not going to work until you have fixed your relationship with yourself.
If You Need Help with Balance After Burnout Recovery
Because I've been happy with my results with macro tracking after burnout recovery, I signed up for a macro coaching program myself and will be a certified macro coach next year. I am starting to coach clients already soon, so please leave me a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more details.
And remember, tracking is not mandatory! You can totally find your healthy balance with food and fitness after your burnout recovery, without tracking a thing. I've worked with countless women 1:1 after they have recovered, helping them to resume normal and healthy exercise and eating habits, and some of them do and others don't track their food.
Many of us feel after recovery that we are sluggish, tired and keep snacking unreasonably… That was me too. Others feel like they can't stop exercising once they start, and they go overboard with it again and get sick again. Whatever it is, I am here to help you. Read more about my coaching services HERE.
You don't have to change your body, if you don't want to. At the same time, it is possible to change your body after you have recovered from burnout. I've chosen to do it via macro tracking and weight lifting, and I've found that macro tracking has been an easy tool for me to use. You don't have to feel bad or wrong for wanting to change your body, but you have to do it right — with plenty of food and reasonable exercise, and never starve or overtrain yourself.