Thursday, July 12, 2012

How much do I want it?

In February 2007 I got back in touch with an old friend. We were buddies in college. Back in college, we did the typical things that 2 college girls do: eat, talk about boys, play games, go to the mall. Then we lost touch for several years, and then we were baaaaack!

During the several-year intermission, she went and got healthy. I didn't quite get the whole story, but it seemed like her boyfriend was in a position to take care of all expenses, so she had a lot of free time (more free time than the average person has). She chose to get serious about running initially, and then she got really into cycling, and then she got really into weights. By the time we reconnected, she had lost 50 or so pounds and was in great shape because she would literally exercise 3-4 hours a day.

Like a lot of people who really get into fitness and want to convert everyone else they know into a fitness lifestyle, she told me that I could do this too. Which I suppose I could have, but I worked for 40 hours a week, at the time I volunteered, and my zeal for exercising didn't quite approach her zeal.

Even back then, I typically walked 2 miles at least 5 times a week. Not too shabby, but let's just say it really wasn't intense exercise. It was about 3 hours a week of moderate exercise.

I told my friend at the time that I'd like to lose 10 pounds. She gave me an exercise regimen of 6 workouts a week (with weights/cardio) and then gave me a food regimen that limited me to something like 1,300 calories a day.

I was better at keeping with the exercise than the food. I could do an hour per day of more strenuous exercise pretty easily. Even eating really healthy, I'd get through the 1,300 calories by 3pm and then be starving, so I'd eat bad stuff when I got home while I was waiting for my dinner to cook. Plus I was exercising more, which increased my appetite. I was easily at 2,000 calories a day, but probably more like 2,300.

She would check in on me, and I'd feel bad that I wasn't keeping to the regimen that she gave me.

When all was said and done, after five months I ended up losing about 8 pounds (mostly through the increased exercise).

Then I got pregnant a month later. Gained 45 pounds over my new (low) weight. Lost 30 pounds within 3 weeks of having the baby. Gained 10-15 pounds due to having a colicky, cranky baby and being home all day and stress eating.

Lost 15 pounds after I went back to work pretty quickly. Then I lost lost another 5-10 pounds. If you're keeping up with the math, I'm now 5-9 pounds (depending on the day) up over what I was the second I got pregnant. But at the time I got pregnant I was down 8 pounds compared to what I had been for years, so now I'm essentially what I was at before I got all fitness-ified for those five months back in 2007.

This is a long-winded way of saying that if I really want it, I can probably lose those 8 pounds again. I just have to have a plan and stick to the said plan.

As I sit here and think about making a plan to do just that, I realize that I don't really want it that bad. I know I should want it. I want it enough that I'll get rid of the frozen fruit bars and Oreo cookies that are hanging out at our house. BUT... I want to keep lollipops as my chosen sweet. They take longer to eat. They are like 60 calories each and take 10 minutes to eat vs. a piece of cheesecake that's something like 800 calories and takes the same amount of time to eat. I found some lollipops on Amazon that don't have high fructose corn syrup, plus they don't have dairy in them (my current ones do have dairy in them). I can't wait til they arrive!

As for fitness, I want to keep it up. It's important to be fit and enjoy the exercise you're doing. But I don't have any desire to run a marathon or become a power builder. I just want to have fun and be healthy.

So here is my promise:
  • My chosen sweet will be naturally flavored fruit lollipops without HFCS. I can also do fruit smoothies with no added sugar. (Try not to keep ice cream, other candy, cakes, cookies, etc. in the house. Once in a while something delectable as a treat is okay in a small portion if other people are having some.)
  • 2 hours of exercise per week, whatever I want. I basically do this now, and even more than that because it's probably more like 3 hours, but I should really focus on varying my exercise and trying to incorporate more into my workouts.
That's what I feel comfortable with. I think I can keep to it. Will it make a difference? Who knows, time will tell. 


Wendy said...

Who knows if it will make a difference... Maybe?

I clock at least 4-5 hours of HIIT a week. Scale hasn't budged in months. So I know it has to be what I'm eating. Am I inclined to do anything about it? Still undecided.

B said...

But you have IT that helped you out a bit! :)

In your case, it seems like the exercise helps you maintain even if you eat more than you "should."

Wendy said...

IT only did so much and only on my upper abs. For the next 6 weeks, I've decided to try to get 6-7 hours of exercise a week and cut carbs. I want to be my wedding weight. If after all this and the scale still doesn't budge, I'm going back to my old ways.

Wendy said...

Have you tried group exercise classes? I have a hard time exercising alone but love group classes. I have an awesome group of friends at the gym and they are really motivating. ;)

B said...

No carbs??? I'm getting teary just thinking about it! It's definitely worth a try if you think it will get you out of your plateau, but you look great how you are right now.

It's hard finding people in my exercise zone. About half work out at a slower pace than I do. The other half are marathoners.

I really have thought about the community center group classes. I wanted to try a Zumba class until I found one online. It just seems like a production to get ready, drive there, get set up, and then reverse it all after the class. Seems like it would take an extra hour, which probably wouldn't be bad if I saw it as a social thing, but I guess I think of it more as a waste when I can do 10 other things in that extra hour. (I overthink it.)

Wendy said...

I don't Zumba. Period. Gym works for me because it is so darn convenient! It's a 3 minute drive, and I can be in and out in 70 minutes, and that includes signing the child in and out of childcare! If i had to invest an hour to get there, etc, I probably wouldn't be as motivated...

B said...

The classes are at inconvenient times, so they couldn't just be added en route to work or home. Although I do the morning ritual with J, so most morning classes would be out. The evening ones start at 6pm or 7pm.

A Saturday or Sunday could be worked in with errands though.