My Experience with Eat to Perform

So, I have put off posting this and I’m not sure how many out there really care about my experience but just in case others are struggling, I thought it may be a little of a lifeline for you.

If you know me, you know I am committed to working out regularly, watching what I eat, trying to make good food and portion choices and keeping on top of my health as much as possible.  When I started gaining weight, for what felt like absolutely no reason, I came across a Facebook feed post about Eat to Perform.  You can go back and read all of my related posts, if you have the time and want to learn a little more.

In a nutshell, they are selling (literally) a philosophy that basically states, if you are any kind of athletic or work out regularly as well as watching your weight, you probably are under eating to get the results you want.  There also is a formula that helps you figure out the correct mix of protein, fat and carb grams along with a little explanation of how the formula works on their website.  I used this formula to come up with my target grams for each, along with a target calorie to consume, which was approximately 200-400 calories higher than I had been targeting before.

I stayed with this program for 2 solid months and maybe they would argue that’s not long enough.  That’s fine but I know by the end of those 2 months, I was so miserable, I just couldn’t do it any longer.  Not only had I NOT lost any weight or body fat, I actually gained about 3 or 4 pounds and 1-2% body fat.  I was also so obsessed with lowering carbs and increasing protein, I was drinking protein shakes almost every single day to try and reach my protein gram goals.  Now, I have NO idea what caused me to gain so much weight – so much that I reached a new high weight for the 1st time in about 4 or 5 years, despite Eat to Perform telling me that I was starving myself.  Was it the protein shakes?  Was my body getting too much protein for my size, despite their formula?

I didn’t change my workouts at all – well, wait, that’s a little bit of a lie.  I actually tried to INCREASE the intensity of my workouts because Eat to Perform tells you by eating more, you will have more energy to get the most out of your workouts.  I never experienced that energy boost in the slightest.  And the kicker to the whole thing is, unless you buy into their program for the low price of $9.95, there is no way to talk with anyone who created to program, ask question, not even on their Facebook page and the hundreds of teaser articles they post.  I tried to comment a few times, asking others for their experience and was told I could find out more if I paid.

So, I just quit.  I was unhappy, uncomfortable, felt deprived and never looked back.  I lost a couple of pounds within the first week and unfortunately, due to a stomach flu last week, am now back within 2 pounds of my goal weight.  I now eat carbs and not feel like I want to kill myself.  I haven’t had a protein shake in about 2 weeks and despite just investing in oh. . .about 60 of them, I’m not sure I will drink them much anymore.  Maybe once in a great while after a really intense workout, like a boot camp class.

I don’t know what the magic formula is to weight loss – is it Weight Watchers, Fitbit tracking, Atkins, Paleo, gluten free?  I think it’s different for everyone.  It’s what you can live the rest of your LIFE doing, not just for a finite period of time.  There is no goal you will reach and then you can just go back to what you were doing before.  You do – and the weight will just come back.

I get it, we all change as we get older and to help myself with that aspect of my health, I have gone back on herbs that I was taking late last year and early this year, to help keep my metabolism on track and my hormones from fluctuating quite so much.  But in the end, I will keep doing what I have always done to be healthy – watch my portion control, avoid the bad foods I can do without, eat the ones I can’t sparingly.  I will keep walking and tracking my steps on Fitbit, I will keep trying new classes to keep workouts interesting, I even would like to give myself a new goal for 2016 to run a 5K before the end of the year.  I have tried running before, with absolutely no success but I really want a new challenge and feel like this will give me something to shoot for.  If I am finally able to run a mile continuously, for the 1st time in my life at 42, well, then I’ve achieved another, new fitness milestone.

I have stopped tracking my calories daily, for a time.  If my weight starts to go back up again, I might do it again but it gets so tedious, doing it every single solitary day, it feels obsessive and ends up being all you think about.  I think it’s very helpful when you are first starting to try and lose weight and change your lifestyle, to give you a better idea of what to shoot for, what a portion looks like, learn the nutritional information of what you are eating to make better choices.  But I know all this, I have done it off and on for YEARS.  I can tell you the serving size and calories by memory for almost any idea on the shelf in the grocery store.  I just need to keep reminding myself to make good choices, but also not beat myself up so much when I don’t.

I won’t give up, I won’t give in, nothing is more important than how you feel, how active you are, how much you can move your body and how comfortable you are.  I plan to hang onto that as long as humanly possible, making it as fun as I can in the process.

So, back to the drawing board in 2016.  I hope you stick with me for the journey!

Stitch Fix #8 (and Final)- December 2015

Well, another month, another Fix shipment. I put off receiving one in November, just because I’ve had so much luck finding clothes on my own recently and I think this Fix seals the deal. . .I am think I am done with them.

Positive things about Stitch Fix – it has taught me a LOT about fashion.  What I like, what I don’t like and all those searches on Pinterest have been invaluable to building up my wardrobe.  I have tons of fun, cute clothes I love now, some Stitch Fix, some not.  I love the surprise of delivery, never quite knowing what they might send and finding things you like you never expected you would.

The negatives?  First, it is just too darn expensive.  For instance, this Fix, I got a casual blazer that cost as much as my winter coat!  My HEAVY, super nice winter coat!  It’s just not practical to expect people to spend that much money for one piece of clothing.  Even if the quality were insanely better (which it’s not), it doesn’t matter if it just doesn’t fit in my budget.  And finally, the ever dressed fit.  So far, I am batting about 50% on fit for clothes they have sent me and this Fix, pretty much 0%.  That’s what happens – I get a box I love then one that’s a dude and it doesn’t seem to matter who the stylist is.  One that hits it out of the park one month, sucks the next.  Type A me does NOT like inconsistency.

This is Fix # 8 and I’m sorry, if their job is to be a personal stylist, I think I have given them plenty of time and information to get to know me.  Unfortunately, I guess the only one who really knows what I like and don’t like. . .is me.  So, with sadness, I present to you, my last Fix.

SF 1

SF 7

I was thrilled to see I got Hannah again.  She does a great job of describing the items and how to wear them together and with other things in your closet.  Unfortunately, we struck out on every item this month.  Let me show you why.

First up is the Absolutely Mellisa V-Neck Pullover Sweater in Jewel Tone Purple, size XS, regular price of $64.

SF 9

SF 3

First off, I adore the color but unfortunately, I adore it so much that I already have a ton of it in my closet.  I like the weave and maybe $64 isn’t THAT bad, if it fits well and is super comfy.  Not the case for me.

SF 13

I appreciate it isn’t super long but the arms are too tight for my linebacker biceps.  You can’t tell in the picture but I can barely bend my arms. . .so pretty far from comfortable.  I paired it, as Hannah suggested, with the winter white pants in the Fix, metallic heels and a statement necklace.  I have to say, an odd combo, I think.  The sweater felt way too casual to be dressed up like this.  Also, it’s winter and I am not a wear strappy sandals in 30 degree weather sort of person.  So, this one definitely will be SENT BACK.  Now, on to the pants. . .

These are RD Style Leigh Straight Leg Pants in Off-White, size XS, regular priced at a whopping $98!

SF 11

SF 5

Let me tell you what – if I am gonna pay you $98 for a pair of pants, they better have some substance and these most certainly did not.  They were so thin, a stiff breeze comes up and you would freeze and while they did have pockets, they had this weird, Sag Harbor, grandma pant thing going on with a stretchy band in the back.

SF 14

Again, winter.  Cold.  Maybe some cords would have been better?  I did ask for winter white pants but maybe should have been more specific that I was looking for business casual or casual.  Either way, these are definitely being SENT BACK too.

So, what do we have left to work with.  I was very disappointed to see a dress included in this Fix.  I did not ask for one and would have specifically requested them not to send one if I’d had more room in my Stylist Note.  I guess I should have went back to my style profile and removed dresses for the winter – since my office went casual, there really is no need for it and I am set on holiday dresses.

Still, I received this Skies Are Blue Velia Dress in Teal Green, size SP, regular price of $64.

SF 8

SF 2

Now, this is a little bit better priced item and I have to say, I have had the most luck with Stitch Fix with dresses.  Pretty much the ONLY thing I’ve had luck with them.  They usually fit better, are comfy in pretty patterns and colors but somehow, they were able to take one of my favorite colors and make it look bad, somehow.  It wasn’t flattering at all and ill fitting too.

SF 15

As you can see, once again, the top of the dress is too tall and just kind of hangs on me.  I had to hike it up so you could see I need about another 1 or 2 on me make this work.  And it’s a petite!  Totally depends on the cut of the dress though and this one isn’t it.

SF 16

It also has this weird cutout thing in the back.  I don’t think it is supposed to gap open quite that far and it just happened to hit right by the back of my bra so not sure how I personally could wear it with one.  Again, not the look I want to go for this holiday season so it too will be SENT BACK.

Now, in their defense, I did request a blazer and this is the second one they’ve sent me.  I think this one is about as odd as the first.  None of them traditional cuts, which is fine, all of them cotton rather than some kind of other material, both plain colors and an odd cut.  You be the judge.

This is the Eden Society Cales Collection Striped Knit Blazer in Light Grey, size XS, regular price of $98!

SF 10

SF 4

Is it that it doesn’t have lapels that throws me off? Or was I destined not to like it because of it’s high price tag?  It feels like sweatshirt materal, is it really worth that much money?

SF 17

Again, an odd fit on me.  The sleeves are too long and I can barely get it buttoned so it doesn’t close as much as it looks like it should from the picture above.  No more needs to be said on this one – it too is being SENT BACK.

And finally, the nail in the coffin for me – they sent me a purse.  I have never asked for a purse because I have a TON of them, all shapes and sizes in name brands so however cute they are, I just don’t need one.  So, I didn’t ask for one this Fix and they sent it anyway.  I have seen this one included in a lot of the Fix blogs I read, in various colors.

This is the Street Level Juno Small Folded Clutch in Teal Green, regular price $38.

SF 6

SF 18

SF 19

It’s super cute with lots of pockets, it’s leather (or faux leather) and has a nice long chain to wear over your shoulder messenger style.  Again, I just don’t need it but rather than lose my $20 styling fee, I think I will keep it and give it away to some lucky girl on my Christmas list!

So, there you have it, folks.  I may toy around with getting another Fix in summer, for cute summer dresses but . . .I doubt it.  It has been a fun experience getting to know this company and I think for many people, it is a valuable service but only if you are probably at least 5’2″, find a stylist that REALLY gets you and your build and are willing to spend a lot more money than me!

I hope you have enjoyed my posts and I know I will be sorry to see them go as much as you but I will still post from time to time on my style adventures elsewhere.  I will still check out Pinterest for tips, trends and outfits and plan to recreate them here for you!

Also, I haven’t posted any updates on Eat To Perform in a while and there is good reason.  I have chucked it out the window.  Done.  Fine.  I will post more details on that soon!

Mortified, Petrified and Vilified

I sit here this morning with so many emotions – fear, angry, shame and I can’t help the tears from running down my face.

I work hard.  I may not be perfect but I work harder than the average person, I think.  I watch what I eat every single day, I work out 4-5 times a week, if not more, I eat good, quality, healthy food.  And yet, despite all that hard work that I’ve been doing every week of my life for the past 10 years, here I sit, a whopping 7 pounds heavier than when I start this year.

I haven’t been this heavy in . . .I honestly can’t remember the last time.  Before I started this journey, back in 2005?  I had ballooned up to a weight I was not happy with and in hindsight, sure, it was a LOT heavier than this.  I was wearing size 10 clothes at the time and on my way to a size 12.  Is there anything wrong with that size?  NO but it was not the size I felt comfortable at, felt healthy at, felt I could maintain long term and be able to do all I wanted to do.  I was 31 at the time and I sat down with my husband and he created a plan for me that changed my life.  It took about year, from start to finish but since then, for the most part, I have enjoyed an active, comfortable life.

Something in me has changed.  I feel like an alien has invaded my body and no matter what I do, there is no stopping it.  I have killed myself for months now, trying to adjust different things in my diet, my workouts to stop this from happening and no matter what I do, it just keeps getting worse.  6 of these 7 pounds has come on, just since August but WHY?  Every morning, after a particular good workout or eating day, I get on that scale, looking down at the number, just praying for ONCE, it starts to go down and every day, it stays the same or just keep creeping higher.  Today was the highest number yet, a whole pound up this week, again and I just sat down and sobbed.

My clothes are starting to not fit – oh!  All of the beautiful, gorgeous clothes I have bought over this past year.  I go into my closet now and smile, knowing I don’t have the same 3 outfits I need to wear over and over again, NO!  I have a dozen pretty outfits to choose from now and it was so much fun trying them all on for you, for my friends and putting them all together.  I have never done that before and it felt great.

Now, I am desperately close to losing all of them.  I have a company Christmas party tonight and dresses I’ve bought over the past year or two I had hoped to wear and in the back of my mind, I know they probably won’t fit me now.  I just want to go into a room, turn out all the lights, crawl into a ball and never come out.

The question that keeps screaming in the back of my mind is WHY?  Why is this happening and why is this happening now?  Yes, I changed my diet to Eat to Perform and let me tell you that is going out the window this minute.  I still think it’s a good idea to strive for higher protein and lower carbs but 2 months of doing that, according to their plan and look what’s happened to me??  Obviously, my body is not responding and I need to stop jamming protein and calories into it, waiting for it to achieve some magical balance that is going to make me, all of a sudden, shred tons of body fat.

But then what do I do?  I am SO sick of tracking my calories, especially when I see them climbing for the day and know I probably shouldn’t have more but my poor stomach is growling, growling, GROWLING so loud, I can barely hear myself think.  I choose healthy things – an apple, a piece of cheese but sometimes, like yesterday, I choose crackers but only a whopping 130 calories worth of crackers.  Carbs can’t kill you, right?

I have becoming scared of food because I don’t understand, for the life of me, what it is doing to my body.  I don’t know what to eat anymore, I don’t know how much of it to eat, I don’t know what workouts to do when I used to be so sure of myself.  I loved the compliments of, oh wow, you look so great and I was proud, not because they said it but because I knew how hard I had worked to achieve it.  Now, despite all the work, it feels like I’m doing nothing at all.

You may be reading this thinking I’m incredibly narcissistic to go on and on about my appearance and my weight but as women, we are programmed to care, a lot about it.  As one of my male Facebook friends pointed out, when the recent Annie Leibovitz picture of Amy Schumer came out – how skinny a women is doesn’t make her sexy, but her confidence, at any size, does and right now, my confidence is utterly and completely shattered.   My workouts are getting tougher because I am heavier – last night, on the treadmill, I couldn’t even get myself to do the short sprints I had been testing out because my legs were SO sore from boot camp class the night before and I felt SO incredibly heavy. I feel like I am trying to carry around someone I don’t know.  My body isn’t used to it. . .and I don’t want it to get used to it.

So, what’s the answer?  Do I go to the doctor and get checked out?  I didn’t have any blood work done this year, like I normally would because my company did away with their annual in house screening.  Do I get back on the herbs I started taking in October last year?  I have already contacted my herbalist and she is rustling something up for me.  Last year, it helped me shed about 4 pounds AND feel better but what does this mean?  If they work again, does that mean I have to take them forever?  Do I change how I’m eating and drop my calories more?  Cut out alcohol during one of the most festive times of the year?

I don’t feel like eating, I don’t feel like drinking because I feel like every bite, every sip is taking me that much closer to a place I don’t want to be.  Why I am I sharing my deepest, darkest, scariest thoughts right now?  Because if I feel this way, there MUST be others out there having those same fears, those same resentments, those same struggles.  Struggles of a Healthy Foodie have never felt more so than now.  At least not for a very long time.

I don’t know what the answer is except to keep trying to live my life the best way I know how.  But I know the way my brain works and it will be impossible not to obsess about this under something changes.  I just wish I knew what.