I’m making steady progress. If you look at my weight today and my weight 3 weeks ago when I started this, I’ve lost 5 lbs. I really think it’s closer to 3 as my weight bounces around a fair amount. Basically, my daily weight bounces up and down, but has been on a downward trend. Here’s the chart:
While the changes aren’t that exciting (a statistician would probably deem this not significant), it definitely feels like a downward trend to me. The dips are lower and the bump up is also lower. I dipped below 120 for the first time in ages. Despite its ups and downs, I like the feedback from weighing every day. The big jump ups I can usually predict (after July 4th, after a conference), so I don’t get too discouraged.
All I’ve really done is keep track of my calories (keeping it under a certain amount) and added in activity every day. I’ve mostly eliminated sugar (desserts and soda), substituting sugar free drinks (Crystal Light) or water and fruit. My activities have included walking, bicycling, gardening, and swimming. If I can move around to make something happen, that’s what I do.
I’m crossing my fingers I can lose 5 more pounds before school starts. Then, I think I’ll be in good shape to maintain my weight from there.
As a techie person, I spend a lot of time in front of a screen, sitting in front of a screen. Inertia sets in and it gets hard to get up an move. When I’m teaching, there are plenty of times when I’m not sitting, but still, a lot of my work is very sedentary. This summer, I’m trying to set better habits that I hope will continue once the school year starts. As I’ve mentioned before, technology has been a help, particularly Lose It! where I track my calories and activity. I get bored easily (it’s one reason I love working in both education and computing: never boring!!), so I have to change up my activity or I just won’t do it. I love being outside, so I keep an eye on the weather and aim for getting outside. So far, I’ve mostly been walking a couple of miles most days. I got bored with that (since I generally follow the same route). So lately, I’ve been gardening for an hour or so, which is still quite a workout. I also washed the car and walked to the Farmer’s Market. I even transplanted a shrub yesterday! Today, I have more gardening planned if the rain lets up. Otherwise, I’ll walk in the rain. Basically, if 4 o’clock rolls around and I haven’t done anything, I head out for a walk.
The other way technology has helped is to see not only how many calories I’m consuming, but what they are. This has allowed me to really visualize the empty calories I consume: oil, mayonnaise, soda, cream, etc. I’ve also been trying to watch the carbs. Yesterday, we had sandwiches and mac and cheese for dinner. I skipped the mac and cheese and opted for a salad. It’s still hard to keep the carbs down.
I have seen some very minor progress so far, but hopefully the longer I keep at it, the more progress I’ll see.
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.