Worry about weight, again

Let’s move on to other important issues, shall we?  Like weight.  I am once again frustrated by my having a few extra pounds.  The sad thing is my frustration stems from pure vanity.  I no longer have my 20-year old metabolism and therefore, no longer have my 20-year old body.  I consoled myself by sitting down with a bag of Fritos and french onion dip.  Aside from that occasional treat, my eating habits are pretty good.  And I don’t think there’d be much to gain just from my cutting a few calories here and there.  Plus, I really like food, and having to count every bit of it depresses me.  But I’m not countering those extra calories with the extra exercise.

I’m just a few days away from the 60-mile walk, which for me was supposed to achieve two goals.  One, it was supposed to contribute to a cause and connect me with my late stepmother.  That goal was mostly achieved, except I do wish my stepmother could have made it to this day.  But two, I thought that having a higher goal like that would motivate me to do more exercise.  But no.  I’m not entirely sure how well prepared I am for the walk.  Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was walking 7-8 miles a couple of times a week.  But I only managed a 3 mile walk this weekend and I don’t think I’ll have time to walk much more than that before the walk.  I find walking to be pleasant enough–even the longish ones–but I am sooo aware that I’m doing it to “exercise” not because there’s scenery I want to see.  I’m looking forward to this walk being over because I won’t feel like I *have* to walk or feel guilty if I don’t manage to walk.  Which is just a sad sad thing.

Part of me wants to just chalk this up to being 40-something, eat at will, and be done with it.  Another part of me wants to not be squeezing into pants and feeling disgusted when I look in the mirror while trying on clothes.  And still another part worries that if I do eat at will, and don’t exercise, I’ll end up not 10-15 pounds more heavy than I would like, but more like 30 pounds more heavy.  And then, sigh.  I think I need to find a hobby that burns some calories but doesn’t feel like exercise.  And I can’t do it alone.  That’s one thing I’ve realized about walking.  I didn’t like doing it by myself.  I should have reached out to my teammates more and scheduled walking time.  I tried to get the family to join me, but not much luck there.  And of course, winter is upon us, so outdoor activities might be limited.  Suggestions appreciated.  Commiseration welcome.

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11 Replies to “Worry about weight, again”

  1. Weight-wise, my own experience is that caloric restriction and cardiovascular exercise isn’t very effective. There are a lot of people who say that’s the only possible way to lose weight, but I think it comes from an overly simplistic (aka “not geeky enough”) understanding of how metabolisms work.

    Drastically reducing carbohydrates in my diet worked wonders. I still have a lot of weight to lose, but my energy level is up, my ability to focus has improved, and my mood has improved; I’d recommend checking the low carb / paleo diets out and trying those for awhile. I know they seem faddish, but it makes sense and seems to work for a lot of people.

  2. I turned 40 this summer, had a scary-high cholesterol number, and decided to make some changes. I’d say that, as unhappy as I might have been from time to time with the number on the scale or the limits on my wardrobe because of sizing issues, it was really only the health/aging issue that motivated me to change. And even then, it took a few months and a recommendation to try the Lose It app before I started to see real results. So far, I’m about half-way to my goal, and just about exactly on schedule.

    Turns out, this time, for whatever reason, changing my diet to lower my calories while helping my blood numbers (e.g., big bowls of oatmeal for breakfast and lots of veggies in the afternoon) while also exercising IS working. The exercise, I’ll confess, is just a chore. I probably visualize plugging myself into our elliptical more than anything else, and I think about all the studies that show blood chemistry changing after 10 minutes of exercise. I don’t honestly know why it’s working this time, and why I haven’t quit, but it’s been more than two months, and I haven’t.

    What’s been truly FUN has been a weights class I’m talking at our YMCA, not on the machines but with hand weights in a classroom. I like the energy in the room, I like the teacher, and I like the subtle effects I think it’s having on my energy level. But I don’t think that will be sustainable long-term, just because it’s a full hour out of my day, three times a week. I’ll do it until we leave for the UK and then see what happens.

    And yet, weights are really important now. I believe I have to keep doing something with weights for the duration, more or less.

    I hope the walk goes amazingly well.

  3. Throw your scale away. Numbers are just numbers.

    Walking several miles a few days a week is terrific. Is there a Hawaiian Dance class near you? Hawaiian Dance is awesome, fun, and makes you feel very connected to everything.

    Hawaiian Dance doesn’t appeal? How about swimming?

  4. Oy, do I ever feel your pain. I’ve become increasingly less interested in exercise. I will say that I’ve been doing Weight Watchers for two weeks and have lost 10 pounds–mostly water weight, but suddenly counting calories seems to have paid off. Still, I have 22 pounds to go before I’m at a BMI I consider absolutely healthy.

    When I am physically active, I hate when it feels like exercise. As you point out, nice scenery helps. So does terror. 🙂 I used to ride horses a couple times a week, and even though I was pretty good at it, I was terrified of falling off (I was waaaaay overdue for a spill, statistically speaking). I focused, accordingly, on nothing but riding well. It was incredibly cleansing, physically and mentally and emotionally, to have that singular focus.

    Is there anything similar you might do–something that distracts from the exercise through an ironic focus on it?

  5. I started yoga again this summer, and I’ve got to say it’s the only physical activity I can do that doesn’t feel like, “Look at me!! I’m exercising!!” It’s also the only time when I feel like I’m completely in my body, and not totally in my head. Focusing on moving my body in small, specific ways has been so calming and therapeutic.

    I know it’s not an intense cardio workout, but I do think it’s really good exercise. Great for flexibility and core strength.

  6. I love yoga, Martha, and a new place just opened up down the street. There’s another one near me, but it did not look appealing–the place is kind of run down. But I might have to give yoga another shot.

  7. I am here only to offer commiseration–I’ve been feeling similarly blah about my body lately and wishing I was magically 5-10 pounds lighter without being upset enough to actually do anything about it. I cut down on my unhealthy taste for potato chips but haven’t stepped up exercising at all, which would probably be the crucial piece. I just don’t want to, to be honest!

    Part of me thinks I would really enjoy swimming, and the other part of me doesn’t want to spend the winter-pool membership money it would take to find out.

  8. All I can say is that if you don’t come up with a new plan for exercise, eating habits or both, you’ll continue to gain weight as your metabolism continues to slow down and perimenopause/menopause kicks in. It will eventually not be simply a matter of not fitting in X-size pants, but of compromising your health. I swim a mile a day, but it’s not for everyone, and you do need access to a nearby pool. If you enjoyed yoga, it might provide a bridge at this busy time to something more aerobic later on. Can you use the gym at the school? Are there elliptical machines there? 10-15 minutes on those each would also be make a good “bridge.”

  9. Jan, I hear you. That’s my real worry. Right now, it’s all vanity, but that might not be true in 10 years. I do have access to the gym. I need to find the best time to exercise. Lately, I’ve had a lot of meetings after school, but I could definitely go for 30-45 min. at the end of the day.

    The next step, I think, is to schedule time to do the required orientation.

  10. Ola, chica. It’s so hard, and especially hard when there are many other stressors. A little bit now will add up later. Take it in easy steps! Commiserating!

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