Sunday, January 31, 2016

Regaining the Weight I Lost & Starting All Over Again


 I've been sick for, like, three weeks, first with a really bad cold that became bronchitis that never really went away, & now apparently with a cold again. I finally went back to the doctor to get another round of antibiotics, though (eff you, Z-Paks), which I started today, so I'm hoping I'll be back in tip-top shape here soon.

Speaking of tip-top shape, though, going to the doctor's office involves my least favorite activity: being weighed. I usually stand on the doctor's scale backward, facing away from it so I don't have to see my weight. This time, I was so sick that I forgot to do it, so I was left facing my big, fat scale number head-on when it flashed on the digital screen. I did my best not to gasp &/or cry, though I did send a couple of very dramatic, weepy texts to my BFF in the immediate aftermath.

And then I got down to work thinking about why I've gained weight & how I can reverse that trend. The two primary causes I've identified are:
  1. I am historically notttt the healthiest eater. I love me some pasta & some tacos & some booze. I mean, I love green smoothies, too, but good food is one of my favorite indulgences. This was OK-ish when I lived in D.C., where I walked enough to even it out a bit, but...
     
  2. I moved back to a driving city, which means that I no longer walk everywhere, which means I don't move as much as I use to. To make matters worse, I work from home, & my local coffice (coffee shop + office) is less than a block from my apartment. My phone's Health app tells me that some days I don't even hit 1,000 steps!
The combination of these two elements has resulted in my gaining back a little more than half of the 35 lbs. I lost in 2012 when I was doing Weight Watchers. Case in point:


OMG, those first two photos.

But it's about more than just the way I look. Yeah, I'd rather not go back to the way I looked (or dressed) in 2012. Beyond that, though, I feel the return of all that weight - in my back, in my knees, in the way I (don't) sleep - & I'd rather not look it or feel it.

So I've launched a newly invigorated effort to be not-terrible at taking care of myself.

First, I located my long-abandoned FitBit, charged it up, & started wearing it again to track my movement (or lack thereof). I set a goal of hitting 6k steps a day, which is still well under the American Heart Association's recommended 10k, but it's a start.

To hit my steps, I've started pretending the coffice is further than next door & have been walking around a nearby park to get there. It's half a mile around the park's perimeter, which is no great shakes, but it's certainly better than not walking half a mile - & if I do it on my way to & from the coffee shop, hey, I've gotten an extra mile in!

To get in the rest of my daily steps, I'm just trying to be more intentional about my movement. When I'm cleaning the apartment, I put things away one at a time, moving back & forth between rooms as much as possible. For extra steps, I run in place; the doctor walked in on me doing it the other day & laughed out loud: "Can't say I've ever caught a patient exercising while they wait!" she told me. Today, I got an extra 500 steps in while I had a quick conversation with Mike.

I've also committed to running a 5k - my first! - come May, so I have something to work toward. When the weather's nice, like it is now (60 degrees in Cleveland in January?!), I'll try to run around the park & through my neighborhood, which is fortunately pretty flat. I am explicitly not a runner, so this will be an adventure - the bad kind of adventure, but the healthy kind, too, so it all evens out.

I've also started doing yoga - albeit not yet on a regular basis - with Jessamyn Stanley's EveryBody Yoga videos from Cody App. I found her on Instagram & was inspired by this larger-than-your-average-yogi body excelling at impressive-as-hell yoga poses, so I snapped up a discount code & bought the series. I love her laid-back attitude & her helpful modifications for beginners & folks with bellies. I love even more that it doesn't cost me a fortune, & that I can do it in my living room.

I don't know, you guys. I recognize that this doesn't sound like much, but I haven't been doing anything, so... this has to count for something. I'm trying. I want to be better. I want to be healthier. I want to be more of an adult. I'm 31 now, & my metabolism isn't getting any faster; I know this is only going to get more difficult, & for me, it's already hard as hell.

But I want my body to last me awhile, & I wouldn't hate if my pants fit a little bit more loosely in the meantime. Help me out: What are your tips for incorporating better health habits into your everyday life?
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