Politics of (my) weight

I often like to believe that my main motivation for lifting heavily is to get strong, but it’s a lie.

It’s not a malicious lie and it’s usually not an intentional one, but it would be foolish to admit that it isn’t a lie. If strength were my main concern I’d eat at maintenance or I’d eat at a surplus (or take creatine, but that’s for another article). I don’t though. I have MyFitnessPal set for me to be at a 500 calorie deficit, and I strive to have calories left for the day because the 0 feels like the bare minimal standard, the C, the passing grade. It’s get me by but why would I aim for that when I can have 50 or 100 calories left? 1 I’m not so bad as to consistently allow myself to go hundreds under the already existing deficit (or to intentionally starve), but I’m happier with a major deficit than with going over in any amount… even if I’d still be within my 500 calorie deficit range. The little red number saying I went over makes me feel bad and I end up needing to justify it to myself. It ends up a stronger motivator than my lifts.

I can’t just blame the red number though because if that were the case I could simply set my deficit goal as smaller and see my goal as being to hit between 250 and 0 calories left. I’d see higher numbers on the “If everyday were like today, you’d weigh ______ in 5 weeks” at the end of each day, but I should be ok with that. I’m not at my goal weight but I’m generally happy with how I look. I still have a goal to get more ‘athletic looking’, but that’s possible with a recomp at my current weight. Or at least so I’ve been told.

After years of consciously trying to lose weight and be on a deficit, it’s scary to eat without the goal of weight loss. Even at my level of activity, I feel almost rebellious to have at or only slightly more than the standard recommendation for women. I read food charts of some of my friends and eat significantly more than many of them. It’s to the extent where I already feel like I’m accidentally mocking my dieting friends. I don’t feel nearly thin or athletic enough to get into the mentality of eating like someone who’s training instead of someone who’s losing weight. I also don’t know (I know of, but don’t know) anyone who’s tracking what they eat and not aiming to lose weight.

I’m a self-conscious eater. Not always but it bothers me to hear “Is that all you’re having?” or “You’re eating all of that”. It makes me feel the need to justify my food quantity. At a deficit I already feel like my food amounts are judged. It would even be more so at maintenance or surplus. And if I miscomputed, I’d put on some weight. I know it’s not a truly terrible thing because I’m not at the same place I once was, but I don’t feel at the point to stop losing weight. My minor fluctuations already bother me, but I have enough of a downward trend to be ok with it. I’d feel bad discussing my plateaus or slight weight gains because it seems rude to people who are struggling with far higher weights.

And then I’d be doing this for what? To maybe add more to my lifts? I’m sure breaking PRs on my lifts will feel nice, but I’d be the only one I know training to maintain and get stronger. And that’s when I know I’m not lifting mainly for strength: reaching PRs isn’t enough to want to not keep losing weight. It’s sort of sad too… I’d really like to break my 30kg bench press plateau.

  1. What makes it even more disturbing is due to the way my calorie adjustment works with my FitBit and MyFitnessPal means that I’m not ‘given’ extra calories when I lift. If I put in that I’ve lifted, then MyFitnessPal will use the number with the lifting included to compare to my FitBit calorie burn to and will adjust that down. It would work if the FitBit saw my lifting as particularly vigorous and as calorie burning as it is, but it’s likely more seen like a very slow walk. I’ve not figured out a way to add the calories on top of my adjustment instead of being a part of it.
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2 Responses to “Politics of (my) weight”

  1. Nice post , very informative

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