So, I’m probably way more excited then I should be, but I got a new elliptical. It’s not like we really have any room in our tiny one bedroom apartment, but, dammit, I’ll make room. I told my husband, “I have to do it. I’m tired of being fat.” He always just laughs at me.
But last week he admitted that he was proud of me for making an effort to change the things about myself which makes me unhappy, namely the few excess pounds that have slowly crept up on me since my mid twenties.
I’m not really obese. I just am not happy with the extra weight, and I just had a child about a year and a half ago. I want the weight issue firmly under control so that I never get obese.
I am 5’2″. My goal weight is around 118-120. After the initial water weight and baby weight loss, my weight plateaued again around 136-138.
For the past nine months to a year I have been pretty regularly keeping a “food diary” of sorts. I don’t write down everything I eat in detail; I merely keep track of the calories I take in, even the drinks. It’s been a very eye-opening experience. I have not eaten poorly since I was in college, however, I have always eaten in… abundance.
I started the diary with the goal in mind to work towards 2000 calories a day. I was still nursing frequently as well, so in my mind I allowed even for 2300 calories. But I was not prepared, when I actually started keeping track, for exactly how many calories I was taking in as beverages. My old habit was to pour myself a tall glass of juice and keep it with me in the living room. When it was gone, I refilled it. Multiple times a day. I like to have a beverage on hand, because it seems like I am always thirsty. But I was taking in probably 400-600 calories in juice and chocolate milk easily. SO I took a plastic cup and marked a 4oz and 8 oz line on it. From then on when I went to the fridge, I would take a only one or one-half a serving of beverage at a time, and it all went in the food diary.
Likewise, I became more mindful of my snacks. Instead of eating chips out of the bag, I put one serving’s worth according to the packaging on a plate. I also began tallying the ingredients I used to make meals. The internet is a great tool, people. Calorieking.com, caloriecount.com, and livestrong.com are my personal favorites as far as when I need to look up a whole food item, or an item that does not come with a caloric count.
Now, I want you to understand, I did very little in the way of depriving myself of anything. It was all about portion control and the very act of being more aware of what I put in my body. That was a huge key. I found that just keeping the food diary led me to automatically want to make better choices in what I ate and drank. I did not stop eating if I got to 2000 calories in a day. I merely kept counting, using midnight as the changeover time, and started again with an effort to do better the next day.
I also started to do some more muscle toning floor exercises and practice my yoga more regularly. I play recreational volleyball once a week.
It was a slow process but after many months, I was actually below my pre-pregnancy weight, and fitting back into pre-pregnancy clothes that I had given up on. As of Dec 2011, I was down to 126lbs. Also, I was able to stop taking my blood pressure medicine.
Lately though, often due to insomnia or my baby’s erratic sleep schedule, I have been eating a lot in the middle of the night. I believe I have gained back four or five pounds (I don’t have a scale of my own though, so I rely on other people’s and the ones at the doc’s office.)
So when my elliptical comes in, I am going to redouble my efforts. Starting with the day it is set up, I will be giving myself a one month challenge, with a goal of getting down to 120 pounds. I had an elliptical before, and found it easier to get longer increments of more productive exercise in as opposed to just trying to do floor exercises. So I’m hopeful.
I’ll give an update on my progress later in the month. Hopefully, someone, somewhere can benefit from what I have learned, especially people like me who really, really like to eat. I still miss the days of my youth when I could house two Big Macs and never give a thought to my waistline. I yearn for the days when I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted. Hopefully, the new elliptical will give me some of that freedom back, although I hope I will continue to employ the portion control and wiser choices I have learned along the way.