Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Starting Again

I am on a health kick. Or shall I say, a healthier kick. I know, I know, shock! A new year so a new fitness outlook! Actually, for Jeff and me it was the result of several weeks of holiday eating and laziness that eventually made us feel like blah slugs. It was not only the holidays but a trip to Gatlinburg, just he and I, that we really enjoyed, but we also over-indulged the entire time. I mean, we chose where to eat one night by which restaurant would serve fried pickles. I won’t say which one of us requested that. Ahem.

So, once the last party was had and the last meal based on cheesy/buttery appetizers was eaten, we Got Serious. Now, we have Gotten Serious many, many times before but I feel a little different this time. One reason is that we are not trying to suddenly get fit before an event, like when we suddenly took up running before Warrior Dash. I’m not trying to lose weight for a vacation, I don’t have a timeline. I’ve been on the treadmill every day now, for at least 30 minutes. I’ve started a few exercises that I do every other day like pushups, crunches, lunges . . . things that don’t take any equipment and I can do while watching t.v. or listening to music. This little set of exercises takes maybe 10 – 15 minutes. I’ve started off super small, I can barely do anything I’m so out of shape, but I’ve noticed a difference already. I can do more pushups. I can do more lunges. I can go faster and further on the treadmill. I have more energy. I don’t feel like the laziest person on the planet anymore. This all feels fabulous and I do NOT want to pause the momentum.

I don’t know if I’m necessarily eating much better, but I am awful aware of what I’m eating. I have an app on my phone that is a calorie counter sort of thing, and after a few days of logging what I eat it has made me super aware of portions and how much I can allot myself for the rest of the day. This means a bunch of little changes, like less creamer in my coffee (I never realized how many calories I was drinking every morning), eating just a sandwich without any sides, not snacking constantly throughout the day. I know that there are many more changes to be made, but I’m all about going slowly with food changes. I’ve found that going hardcore all of the sudden makes me binge later. I know that I’ve got to start considering how much caffeine I’m drinking but, again, I will address that at a later time. Caffeine is my best friend on the mornings that I have to wake up at 4:00 a.m. to spend the day at the hospital.

One of the hard things for me is realizing that I’ve been down this road before, lost the weight, after two pregnancies, and now it is so much harder on every level. It’s harder to find the time, what with two kids and a full time school schedule and a husband who is out of town for a good portion of the week. It’s harder with the kids being older, and that’s what I have to keep reminding myself; when I lost all the weight before, the kids were eating baby food and such. Now, we have snack foods, foods for lunches, casseroles made with lots of calories. I’m not going to put the kids on a diet just because I’m on one. I realize that children need to eat well and have healthy snacks and all, but I want to have cookies in the house for goodness sake. I’d like Faith to be able to take chips to school for lunch once in awhile instead of veggie crisp sticks. Also, the kids are such picky eaters that if I have to get them to eat a wider variety of food by baking it in a casserole containing butter and cheese and bread, then that is exactly what I’m going to do. My kids are on the skinny side anyway, and the extra calories won’t hurt them, but it does hurt me and I have to learn to not indulge in their foods. Which means making different meals for me a lot of the time, which I don’t like.

Another thing I’ve realized is how much time I spend sitting down since starting back to school. True, when I’m at the hospital I’m on my feet all day, but when I’m home I’m just sitting. Constantly. School requires such an insane amount of reading so I spend hours and hours just reading textbooks, not moving much at all in the process. So the 30 minutes on the treadmill is just adding an activity level that most people probably have in just daily life. I should probably spend even more time on the treadmill, but I need that time for school . . . and kids . . . and making meals, doing laundry, washing dishes, sweeping the floor, sleeping, etc.

So, it continues to be a work in progress, and a slow progression it is. I lost three pounds and somehow mysteriously put them back on despite my daily exercise and calorie restriction. I don’t understand it, but I’m not going to let it deter me. I have a need for instant gratification and I know that it will be a long time before I can actually have the scale reflect my efforts and a while yet before I can button my pants more easily. But, ah, it feels so nice to be working towards it.