I posted awhile back on Instagram on how I decided to do a small cut for my best friend’s wedding this year. I’m her maid of honor and my decision honestly wasn’t based on being in her wedding but I’ve been wanting to lean down a little so why not have a goal date? I figured it’d keep me on track to have a set date in mind. So I got my macros all calculated and got back to tracking for awhile, and things were working out smoothly.
I honestly am not trying to lose a huge amount of weight, maybe like 5-7lbs and it’s not even about the weight. If I didn’t lose a single pound but my muscles got a bit more defined then I’d be totally cool with that. It’s not about the numbers for me anymore, really and truly. I just want to lean out a bit in some areas for a couple different reasons. Personally, I’m curious to see what muscle I’ve managed to build recently and leaning out is one of the easiest ways to compare progress. I often go through cycles of building and then cutting to look at progress pictures of what I’ve managed to accomplish and improve on. I want to see what muscle base I’m currently working with and if there are any areas that I want to grow more. I’ve been absolutely thrilled with my upper body progress lately because it’s FINALLY coming in after over two years of putting in hard work. So that’s been really motivating and definitely one of the areas I want to work on more.
I know I’m rambling at this point but I guess it’s just to say that even though I want to do a cut it doesn’t mean I’m not already comfortable in my skin (which I am) or that I don’t love my body (which I do). It’s ok to have goals, whether they be athletic or aesthetic and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to do a cut to lean out. I’m constantly working on my body whether that’s through pushing for a new PR, aiming for getting stronger, running more miles, or growing certain muscles. Just because you want to work on your body doesn’t mean you’re at an unhealthy place or that you don’t love yourself as you are. Just wanted to clarify that!
I will say, though, that I got to a point about a month ago where I hit a wall with tracking. And it seems to be a common pattern with me that I’ve noticed the past couple times I’ve tried to do a cut. I thought that maybe it was because I didn’t have a goal date or specific timeline so I would just kind of drift away from tracking, but I’ve realized now that I just can’t do it anymore. Everything is fine for the first few weeks and then ever so slowly it just isn’t.
If you’ve been following me for awhile then you know my story and if you don’t well the main thing you need to know is that I went down a very, very unhealthy path with tracking that led to restricting about five years ago and then suffered with binges until two years ago. Long story short: it was hell.
Now, what I experienced recently with tracking was nothing, NOTHING compared to what I used to go through, and honestly I know I will never get to the point where I go through that again. I’m mentally at a place where I know it’d be impossible for me to go back to that so I’m not worried. But I will say that I just hit a wall with tracking and I can’t quite explain it.
It just gets to the point where I can’t do it anymore. I lose touch with my body, I become like a robot just eating what my macros tell me, and go through the motions of eating. If I go out with friends I don’t stop myself from enjoying time with them but it’s always at the back of my mind then the next day I’d be like “ah well got to jump back on the horse”, and I slowly begin to feel as though I lost my natural sense of balance. A sense that I worked very hard to get back over the past couple of years.
I began to miss how I used to feel with food, zero stress zero worries. I still wouldn’t say that I was stressed about tracking or food during my recent cut (trust me when I say I know the difference) but I won’t lie and say that tracking doesn’t alter my perception of food a bit. I began going back to viewing things in terms of the carbs, protein, fat ratios and if it’d fit into my macros rather than if I was hungry and wanted to eat it. To ask myself “is this something that my body wants to eat” vs. my macros just telling me it’s what I need to eat.
If I let myself eat naturally and listen to my body I won’t lie and say I am a carbaholic haha! Like really and truly my body L.O.V.E.S. carbs and I can easily down 250-300+g a day without a problem just by listening to my body. But when I get to cutting and following my macros, I don’t listen to my body as much and just follow my macros. I get that it’s the idea of macros, to follow them and have structure, but I lose touch with my body. It never had been an issue before I transitioned back to intuitive eating and honestly I don’t know if I’ll ever want to go back to tracking.
Before anyone calls me a hypocrite, because as a macro coach well I help people track macros, in NO WAY am I saying that tracking is bad. Tracking is not inherently unhealthy or bad for you, it’s what you make it. I have tracked healthily and unhealthily during my fitness journey, and I wouldn’t even say that the past couple months were unhealthy at all. They just made me realize that tracking is not for me anymore. I’m a big advocate for macros but I’m also a big advocate of walking away from them when you need to. I tell my clients all the time but my end goal for them is to help them get to a place where they no longer need or want macros. However long that takes. It took me up until about six months ago to get me to that place where I was ready and where I’d be able to handle it.
SO with all that being said I decided to give an intuitive cut a shot. I literally have zero clue of how much I eat per day (at least 2,000+ calories, probably closer to 2,200+) but I’m going to work on eye-balling portion sizes and scaling back on them. I don’t want to do anything drastic because I don’t want to end up under-eating but I might scale back a little bit at one meal like cutting down on my rice at dinner. I don’t have an exact plan but I’m just going to try to be more conscious of my choices and see how it goes.
I’m excited for this phase because I’ve been trying it out for a week and prefer it much better so far because I still listen to my body. If I want carbs I have carbs, if I want fats I have fats, and same thing with protein. I allow my body its natural cravings or whatever I’m in the mood for, and all I simply do is be aware of the portion sizes.
I have zero idea if this is even going to work haha but like I said I’m excited to experiment and see how it goes. I’ll make sure to keep you posted on the details!