>> Thursday, February 13, 2014
I haven't weighed myself since, well, I don't know when. It's not that I'm terribly concerned with a specific number on the scale, however -- when I notice my favorite clothes (and many of the rest) don't fit well anymore, I like to know what the damage is. So, I went out and purchased a fresh battery, popped it in my scale, and weighed myself last night.
I wasn't shocked.
I wasn't terribly disappointed or frantic.
I was, instead, informed.
I am a solid 7 pounds up since the last I knew my weight over six (?) months ago. This winter has been tough, there's no denying it, and despite getting in a good number of outdoor runs, I haven't been as active as I'd like. What this new number shows me is that a body out of regular, daily motion tends to hibernate and eat lots of carb-and-sugar heavy foods to stay warm when the temperatures dip well below zero.
OK. Let's make that whole last statement less passive, I take full responsibility.
What now? I hesitate to write/blog about weight loss, since it's a somewhat touchy subject to put out there in black and white. It's also something I don't have a lot of experience with, since my activity used to completely wash away my bad eating habits. Turning 30 has definitely impacted my metabolism, but -- more -- my habits are drastically different than they were even three years ago.
See what I mean?
- Working from home means less walking around. I used to walk during lunch breaks or at very minimum during breaks. I also had to walk 1/4 to 1/2 mile to/from my car each day -- all on top of my regular running schedule. Several miles of walking each day that I no longer do.
- Whereas I used to pack semi-healthy lunches and even breakfasts, I now have my entire refrigerator and pantry shelves at my disposal all day long. I can whip up anything my imagination can dream up at a moment's notice.
- We quit our gym, which means I haven't had access to weights and classes I might regularly tack onto my running routine. Having a structured environment for this sort of stuff makes it easier to stick with, along with the guilt of spending the money and not going. I still get regularly cross-training via our spinning bike, but I've become lazy with regard to my push-ups, etc.
- My priorities have shifted along with my new role as a mom (it isn't inevitable -- there are plenty of awesome #motherruners, but I've allowed in for the sake of better balance). My training is still important, but definitely isn't foremost in my mind anymore. If life takes over, I skip my workouts much more willingly than I did in the past.
- I also used to have way more time to think about myself -- my appearance, my body, my running, etc. -- I simply don't spend the same amount of mental hours thinking about, well, me anymore. I think this is a good thing, but I can also see how I need to invest more in myself versus always in others.
And instead of going crazy working out (too much), etc, during pregnancy -- I'd rather take a preemptive attack now and nurture myself when the time comes.
First thing is first (image source): I won't be going on a diet. But there are certainly some obvious areas of my eating and exercise that I can easily swap or modify that I think might help. Here are some ways I'm hoping to change my habits that don't involve calorie counting or traditional diet methods.
// MOVE MORE
Not just running, but taking walks or finding excuses to move my body beyond training. I'd like to make a goal to even just move 30 minutes to an hour more a day than I do now. I started a couple days ago with a moderate pace spinning bike "ride" while Ada ate her breakfast. The weather is still pretty cold and snowy to be dragging Ada out for walks, but I know it will warm soon.
// DRINK LESS
It's not just my nightly beer that might be keeping me more on the bloated side. I have landslided into caloric beverage territory this winter. Hot chocolate, countless homemade chai lattes, "natural" sodas (I love me some Ginger Brew!), fresh juices, and -- yes -- beer. I'd like to reserve these drinks for weekends or special occasions, not indulge every single day or, in some cases, multiple times a day. Obviously, I would like to drink more water and I absolutely love sparkling water, so hopefully that will quell my fizz craving. (Have you guys tried Poland Spring's Raspberry-Lime? Yum.)
// CHALLENGE MY BODY
A lot of slow miles dragging along in the snow? It shows dedication, that's for sure. I'm doing well with my running and I'm sticking to my plan. Thankfully, my half marathon workouts are kicking up a notch this week with more speed and hill work, and my body is feeling it! I need to do more fartleks, speed sessions and things that challenge versus maintain my fitness levels. Along with running, I need to really incorporate my upper-body and strength training. We bought a 30-pound kettlebell, so I'd like to do a workout maybe twice or 3x/week -- that should do the trick.
// ADD MORE VEGGIES
I like to approach eating with what I can add versus take away. I do eat a lot of vegetables and fruits now, but not enough, admittedly. I'd like my veggies to take up half my plate, not a quarter or third. And I think protein is another focus area. We've been eating a lot of veggie-topped pizzas, which definitely feature a lot of bread and cheese. So, meal planning will definitely be at play here. I think the slow cooker will also be helpful. Eating more protein for breakfast should start the day off right, too.
// SKIP DESSERT (ON OCCASION)
Along with drinking lots of calories, I've also got into the habit of eating dessert(s x 1,000) every single day. I recently wrote an article about the health benefits of chocolate (it's not out yet, but it's a good one -- and I'll share ASAP!). But most of the benefits can be taken in with a couple small squares of dark chocolate, not an entire batch of cookies or pan of brownies. As with drinks, I'd like to save full-on desserts for special occasions and weekends and the rest of the time snack on a couple pieces of dark chocolate.
// WEAR REAL CLOTHES
Yes. An undeniable luxury of working from home is that I can wear yoga pants or leggings every single day if I want to. While it's been super comfortable and great, it's also not working out so well for me. How my clothes fit is how I usually monitor my "weight" or -- rather -- my habits. I need to bust out the real pants on most days, not only to take pride in my appearance, but also so I don't become scale-dependent.
// WRITE IT DOWN
I'm putting out my intentions not for judgement or review, but -- selfishly -- because I think it will help me stick to my plan. I also think writing about it from time to time in a personal journal (and even a bit on here) will give me that mental space to think about myself and my goals.
After all, this isn't so much about losing 7 pounds as it is waking up and seeing that a lot of my habits have just changed and could be better. I'll excited to see what these seemingly easy changes/swaps do. Again, I don't care so much about the actual number on the scale, but I'd like to fit back into my pants because I know it's not all new muscle down there!
I feel good putting this all out there.
Thanks for reading + stay tuned!
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