I have been very lucky. Never in my life have I had to diet or try in any way to lose weight. It just happened. More often it was a fight to eat enough to maintain my weight! There have been times in the past where my weight has plummeted despite everything I was doing – I recall one time Mom advising me to carry around a glass of milk to sip from just to get extra calories. Boost and Ensure were relied upon.
So now I weigh 162 lbs according to the scale at the gym. My ‘normal’ pre-pregnancy was 145. Some of this extra weight could be due to hormonal cycles – even pre-pregnancy I would go up to almost 150 around this time. But still!
I know that it’s not all about the actual number on the scale. Body composition plays a big role. So it’s hard to say exactly how much I would like to lose. I want my old body back, or at least an approximation of it. My hips are wider, I know there is nothing to be done about that. But I think that it’s fair to say I would like to get under 150 lbs again.
Before anyone scolds me, I checked! That’s a healthy weight! It’s not only within acceptable BMI levels but also the big health insurance companies say my ‘target weight’ for my height and build is there. Now yes, they are in business. They can charge more I am sure for customers who aren’t in the ‘ideal’ weight range, but at the same time they aren’t going to set an ideal weight range that is unhealthy and, to the company, risky.
So ideally let’s say fluctuating around a strong 147 lbs.
Okay, so that means I have fifteen pounds to lose. I went onto the handy website I used to track my eating habits while pregnant (to be sure I was eating enough at first), sparkpeople.
I am so horrendously discouraged. They want me to eat HOW LITTLE? 1250 – 1500 calories? I hit the upper limit by the end of lunch! This is their plan for losing two pounds a week, by the way. The “Womens Nutrition Guide” is a little more specific. If I eat just under 1600 calories a day, given my age, weight, and height, I will lose a pound a week. At the end of supper I had eaten pretty close to exactly what they say I can eat and maintain my weight. I need to find ways to cut out ‘useless’ calories.
But what, exactly, is useless? I had a 16 oz latte on the way in to work. That’s a whole lot of 2% milk. I guess I could have a skim milk one. But those calories help keep me going, and there’s calcium and protein in there. Alright, I suppose I could have oatmeal at home for fewer calories and have a more steady regulator of blood sugar levels. I’ve cut out my almond croissant already. But a hot chocolate at 10:30 is a much-needed energy pick me up. Okay okay I could find something healthier I guess. Bleeah.
The other side of the weight loss plan is exercise of course. Go me! I made it to the gym today on my lunch. Have I mentioned that I hate running on the treadmill? I despise it. But I did it for 25 minutes, maintaining a speed just at my break-point between a fast walk and a jog so I could easily alternate. The incline changed as I ran. Not bad for having been as sedentary as it’s possible to be while parenting a two-and-a-half year old for the last month. Then after a bit of stretching I hopped on the stationary rower for another ten minutes. I have blisters now. I haven’t yet done my sitpus or pushups, but I will, I’m just waiting on Cameron to truly fall asleep. Otherwise he will surely bound out of bed to find out what cool stuff Mommy is doing! All good news though, right? Okay, except … you see … I got discouraged. I diligently entered my exercise into Sparkpeople’s exercise tracker. I hadn’t even burned 500 calories.
Okay wait. Reality check.
I do not lead a sedentary life. My caloric needs are high. I climb the stairs at work instead of taking the elevator, I go to pick up ethanol at the on-campus chemical store instead of sending a grad student, I walk to and from the bus loop instead of hopping on another bus. I walk to and from the bus carrying a nearly-40-pound child on my back. Some of my job is at the computer, but I have been told by a lot of people that I’m always running here, there, and everywhere and seem very busy. So why was I gaining weight when my ‘typical day’ has me at maitenance-level caloric intake for an average person?
Mine is probably a little in need of some pampering. I don’t sleep enough. My stress levels are out of control in some ways. I am on all the time, either dealing with the challenges of work or parenting, and I find it hard to ‘shut off’ at night. All of these things can cause metabolism to go down a notch or ten, and put your (my) body into “store energy while I can” mode. I need to have a doctor’s appointment at some point in the near future, and perhaps I should also ask to have my thyroid levels checked. Most likely it’s not that, but hey – cheap and worth the blood draw to know.
So there ya have it. Day one. Time for some sit ups and pushups … then bed without a snack. The process of weight loss sucks.
Popping back to report … did my situps and pushups. 8, 8, 6, 6, 10.