Thanks for the link love! You’re pretty badass yourself!
Torea Rodriguez says:
Thanks for this… its as if we have identical minds on some days! Seems like ever since my thyroid meltdown in 2008 things have been a similar path. Just yesterday was another “Let’s try adding x” to my protocol for trying to find out why my body feels horrendous, yet my lab results are “normal”…
Here is another one that, perfect timing, showed up yesterday:
In all that is thyroid jankyness…
Alicia Keyes and Nicki Minaj-Girl on Fire.
Downloaded it this week and helped perk me up before an early gym session.
5-10lbs up or down effects me. Its a work in progress and deffinitely effects my confidence. Growing up my grandmother, mom, and aunts were always commenting on the way I look so it has always been something I struggle with…we are all in this together!
Ahhhhh, I love this post and I so empathize. I spent the better part of the last year rehabbing myself from a cascade of injuries that I’m sure was years in the making. I went from being a hard core CrossFitter and martial artists, to not being able to hold a grocery bag at my side without being in pain. Now, after a year of diligent and mindful training, rest, and recovery, I am again hitting lifting PRs. But there are some things I will never do again…and certainly some clothes I will never WEAR again. And then there’s that 10lbs that’s hanging out that I really just want to go away. *sigh* But I know in my heart I am probably healthier than I’ve ever been, even if I am less “fit” and less thin.
Just discovered your site today and your post could not have spoke more directly to me. Thank you, I will be checking back in often!
Thanks for posting. It’s a nice reminder to all of us what it means to be comfortable in our skin while working to be the best we can be. I’ve bookmarked this post and plan on reading all the articles you’ve suggested.
Great bunch of posts and some new sites to check out! It’s so hard in this society to focus on internal health instead of outward physical appearance but at the end of the day I’d rather have my health than my “ideal body”, which isn’t a real thing anyway. Keep going!
Mine from a while back… “I used to hate my thighs.”
Thanks! I am 44 – a CF Owner/coach and am struggling with hormonal change.. I am eating better than ever and my midline is pooching out. It is hard to draw the line between what fitness is and what it should look like. I was just telling a gal today, that if my athletes are paying me to coach them, they expect me to be in a certain shape. Struggles!
Tom R. says:
With the disclaimer that I don’t understand women generally and I further don’t understand their physiology, hormones, etc., I will say that I believe most of us tend to make “it” too hard.
Without being asked, my one and a half cents:
Strength train as you have, focusing on the fundamental lifts. Met-con approx 3 times a week in the 10-12 minute range. These can be done on the same day and perhaps even at your old CF gym. Other days, hit the yoga, long walks and play, as needed. If you are lower on energy one day, that’s not a good day to met-con.
Nutrition (not “diet”)-
Paleo on the low carb side (due to weightloss goals). Don’t weigh/measure. Up your protein to allow for good strength-building workouts. Consume the majority of your daily carbs PWO. Good fats in smart amounts.
Most of all, enjoy life, be greatful and have a little fun here and there.
Thanks for sharing with us.
Tom, thanks, as always, for your input.
I need to respond to some of your recommendations to help readers remember that the paleo framework must be adapted to their individual situations.
What you’ve outlined is a really solid, general paleo framework — and I agree that for most people, that’s an ideal place to start and it may get their bodies exactly where they want to be.
However, my situation is complex, and some of your recommendations will not work for me and can be detrimental.
For context for you and other readers:
- I had my thyroid removed in 2008. Not having a thyroid creates all kinds of complications not experienced by people with a functioning thyroid — and that influences both training and nutrition.
- I have a history of obesity and have lost 50 lbs. two times in my life. That changes how my hormonal systems will work forever. It sucks, but that’s one of the things I have to live with.
- I’m currently working with a doctor to correct my thyroid medication, adrenal burnout, and low testosterone — all of which impact how I train and eat.
So… having said that…
Yes, strength training is essential, and I do 2 sessions per week: Deadlifts + overhead press, squats + bench press. I also supplement with DB work and body weight stuff.
I’m working up to 2 short met-cons per week, but for myself and other readers with adrenal or thyroid issues, this is important: MORE IS NOT BETTER. It is absolutely essential to recover completely from metcons and to keep them under 20 minutes. Any more than that is too stressful for your system and will be counter-productive.
Nutrition: Most women and particularly women without a thyroid cannot eat a low-carb diet. I went pretty low-carb last year and that’s how I went from being 5 lbs. over my ideal to 17. For detail, see this post:
My recommendation, based on research and my personal experience is that lower than 100g of carbs per day is too low. I get really frustrated when paleo practitioners make blanket statements that the way to fat loss is low-carb, because it’s not true for everyone. We must all be cautious about the recommendations we make — context matters.
I also take issue with the blanket statement to not weigh and measure. I agree 100% that if things are functioning properly, our bodies give us the messages we need to eat the right amounts. But if there is any hormonal disruption, the communication breaks down. Additionally, without a record there’s no way to track what needs to be changed.
I don’t recommend weighing and measuring and food logging for everyone. I don’t even recommend it for most people, but data leads to understanding patterns and provides context to make adjustments as necessary, particularly when dealing with a medical issue.
As part of my treatment right now, I need to track my energy, my temperature, and my pulse. It’s essential that I know how much sleep I’ve gotten in relation to how much I’ve eaten in relation to how my energy and mood are feeling. There’s no way to track all of that without specificity — and trust me, dealing with having no thyroid requires specificity — at least until I get my dose of hormones correct.
So, Tom… I hope this doesn’t seem like I’m picking on you. I love when you comment on my posts.
It’s really important for readers to remember that all of these guidelines — how to eat, when, how much, how to train, when, how much — are subject interpretation, based on individual’s needs. We’re all unique snowflakes.
I wish more than you can know that I could happily do everything you outlined, but some of that stuff would work against me.
Tom R. says:
I enjoy the discussion and look at it more so as education for me rather than “picking.” I know I come off as picking as well, which is certainly not my intent.
I am a not a doctor (or a woman) and don’t even play one on TV. I do tend to think those of us who care about out health sometimes over-analyze. I am example #1. I won’t create my own blog but I went from 230# (ex college football player) to the “healthy” weight of 120#. I am not 3 feet tall. I have managed to get back to 175# through much trial and error and self-evaluation that has sometimes done more harm than good.
I certainly don’t mean to jump on your toes and apologize if I have. Love the blog and really continue reading because I am rooting for you to find that happy place.
100 grams of carb! Thank you for posting this article!! That’s 2 bananas and a whole yam…I love you!
just one more reason I keep reading what you write. sometimes I think you’re eavesdropping on my self-talk.
Thanks for this post, as usual makes me think. And for what it’s worth, your stunning!
Thank you so much for the post. I am a new reader, and am in love with your blog! I think we all feel the need to be better, thinner, more perfect, etc than we already are…and that is a lot of pressure! Thank you for putting things into perspective in such an eloquent way Can’t wait to read more!
What a great post. Having fought those demons in my teenage years; this is a topic of which I feel strongly. Sometimes I still crinkle my nose when I look in the mirror; but I no longer beat myself up. Instead, I make decisions that move me in a positive direction and I take pride in who I am.
As Maya Angelou says,
“It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
That’s me. “
Catherine Knight says:
this is my favorite post EVER on women, paleo, fitness and weight.
I love these and truly needed this today, thank you!
I’ve been paleo for a while and lost the initial water weight as I expected but have not lost any more. I did a whole 30 in July to jumpstart my weight loss again to no avail. I have extended it until the end of September with high hopes
I go to crossfit and build up crazy amounts of muscle that is smothered in the fat I haven’t lost yet…but I’m really strong!
I eat meat, coconut oil, vegetables, home made mayonaise, eggs with yolks, avocado, very little fruit, no whole grains, no dairy and sometimes a sweet potato, but only if I’ve worked out…so many people are saying this is the way to lose weight so I’m keeping at it despite how heavy it seems!
I guess in the grand scheme of things, if we are really thinking of paleo in terms of history, I probably do look quite a bit like a paleo woman….strong, healthy, great skin, kick ass attitude, beautiful confidence, stumpy muscular legs, saggy boobs, a little extra hair and a lower belly gut.
I love myself but dammit it’s 2012 and I want to fit in some jeans without spilling over the top!!
Hi Sarah, Sarah here
I think that Melissa’s response to Tom up there is perfect for what you’re going through too. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to nutrition, because we are all so different. Yes, some things you can blanket – we all need to get enough nutrients into our bodies! But the balance of fats, carbs, proteins, sugars… All of that changes from person to person, based on so many variables. Keep that awesome attitude! I hope you find your perfect place ASAP and enjoy those jeans
We all needed to hear this. Thanks.
I <3 you Doppelgänger! (oh, cool how your spellcheck added the 2 dots over the 'a')
I will definitely be bookmarking this one for future reference. I can absolutely relate to your struggles in my own way and I know many (if not most) women need a good reminder that self-love and acceptance are what truly lead to a more fulfilling life…not the number on a scale or the size of your jeans.
rock on lady!
Thank you for this collection. I don’t have time to read everything today, but I’m looking forward to future positivity!
I was struck by the Whole 9 quote “Shooting for an ideal makes you stop listening to your body. When you stop listening to your body, you break your focus on overall health.” It’s not just body image – I’ve had a goal of hiking a Colorado 14er (a mountain with a peak above 14,000 ft) by Labor Day for the last year. Labor Day came and went and I still haven’t felt like I’m in good enough shape to accomplish it. Earlier this summer I pushed myself too hard (sleep, stress, workouts) and got heat exhaustion on what would normally have been a SUPER EASY hike. I need to remind myself that I’ll climb that mountain when I’m ready, and I don’t need to set a timetable to this effort.
At 32 I had a bi-lateral mastectomy due to a breast cancer diagnosis. Then i got tons of melasma on my face from hormone changes due to a year of chemo. Then I had two babies 9 years later after being told it would never happen. I’ve survived and thirived, working out and eating clean paleo, but have days i’m more obsessed with the scars, brown spots and cellulite – its insane i know – but seems like we all fall prey to it. Your post is empowering and a great reminder that a healthy body is the best body! Thank you awesome lady!
Ms Jane says:
Thanks for your honesty Mel. We all know that it shouldn’t matter how we look, the number on the scale etc but it’s so ingrained in every woman’s psyche. I manage a gym and see it every single day. A few years ago when I was really unwell I lost 10kgs (very rapidly) and I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every person that commented on how amazing I looked. I felt like I was gonna die!!! And I re your follow up comments I totally agree with the low carb protocol not working for everyone. I’ve found I get depressed if my carbs are too low. I can’t explain the science behind that but I FEEL it. I hear your frustration and totally understand it. It’s hard when your body doesn’t do what it’s meant to do. Stay focused girlfriend and I’m sure you’re gonna get there xxx
Looking forward to reading through all these links! Thanks!
One of my personal favourites – very powerful:
[...] Tuesday 10: Excellent Body Image Posts | theclothesmakethegirl I don't know what Paleo blogs you follow, if any, but I thought you might like this one. At least [...]
Wow. All I can say is thank you. I don’t know how you knew, or how serendipity exists like this, but I REALLY needed to read this today.
Daryl Broussard says:
Great post, full of wisdom. Great site, too, I spend way too much time at work on it
One of my favorite shows is The Big Bang Theory, and the really quirky main character has “offended” the female lead by saying things weight related and his comment back to her is always “Oh, I’m sorry. Did I insult you? Is your body mass somehow tied into your self worth?”
It just makes me laugh and reminded me of this post. We all struggle with these things, not that it makes it any better, but you’re certainly not alone. I look forward to reading these posts!
For me, I think being thinner represents feeling younger, like having this faux accomplishment of “I am at my high school weight” as if that is really something bragworthy. It’s also a cultural thing. Thinness and youth are worshiped in this society. If you do not have those, you might as well be nothing in terms of anyone paying attention to you. It is a sad reality, and all I can say is that I am glad I have a significant other, otherwise I would be incredibly depressed because I am no longer in my 20s!
Great post! I totally hear you. BEEN there! Hell, I’m circling the neighbourhood now. It’s so goddamned hard. At work I am way fitter and stronger than probably every woman here (most of whom are 10-15 years younger) and yet they have smaller waists and wear smaller clothes. My diet is nothing like theirs (I eat very clean paleo too). So that can be a bitter pill to swallow but I can’t change my body shape (a big-chested, broad-shouldered apple, not a narrow pear) any more than I can change the fact that my rock hard calves make theirs look like twigs! I take the good with the bad.
In terms of awesome body image posts I’d like to chime in for Jason Seib over at Everyday Paleo. Jason has written some wonderful articles about women that really resonated with me. Here’s one I like a lot:
Thank you Mel for being (t)here!
Suzanne H says:
Thanks so much for sharing. These were great. I particularly loved the one by Scott Abel.
I wanted to share this, it’s a nine part series. I’m not sure I agree with everything in it, but I found it very interesting:
Teri Pittman says:
There was a time in my life when I picked apples for a living. I worked 5 1/2 days a week, 8 hours a day, going up and down a ladder with a bag filled with around 40 pounds of apples. I never weighed less than 180 (pre Paleo, so who knows what it would have been like if I had been eating differently). Whenever I feel bad about what shape I’m in or how much I weigh, I think about how much I weighed when I was in the best physical shape of my life. I’m a lot more gentle with myself. I’m older now, my knees and feet are banged up so I’m less active and my job now has me sitting all day. I realize that an hour at the gym may improve my muscle tone, but it’s not going to make me skinny or athletic. My body is what it is. All I can do is fed it well and work on being more active.
You are an inspiration to a lot of folks, at your current weight and with that perceived less-than-perfect body. It seems to me that you are doing a great job of taking care of yourself and you seem to have a guy that loves you as you are. You can bet that those women that you think of as perfect also feel that they have flaws. So let go of that desire for perfection!
Thank you for such a great post on a topic that is near and dear to many women I’m sure….. including me! I look forward to reading every single one link. LOOOOOOOOVE your blog. Oh and Well Fed is my bible! Can’t wait for the next book. Keep up the great work!
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