Let’s face it. I let myself go. I am fat. In fact I am obese according to the body mass index scale. How could this happen? How could I let this happen? I used to be an athlete in top physical form. I ran marathons. I followed the rules. But now I find myself obese and tired with high blood pressure, migraines, and I snore.
I have gained 30 pounds in 10 years. Those extra thirty pounds snuck up on me. I consider myself to be a smart, educated individual that knows what is good for me and bad for me. After all, I earned a master’s degree in chemistry and teach it to nursing students at the local community college. I cook almost all my meals using fresh ingredients from the “outside” areas of the supermarket. By that I mean I primarily stick to the produce, meat, and dairy sections of the supermarket and limit prepackaged, premade products high in preservatives. On the occasion that I eat out I choose entrees with lower calorie counts or bring half home in a doggy bag. Of course, I do spurge and sometimes choose the bacon wrapped anything with French fries or another fried delight. But even then, that isn’t the majority of my eating habits.
In terms of vices, I don’t really have any except for really liking good food. I don’t smoke, but I occasionally drink in social situations. I would not be considered a binge drinker by anyone’s standards. I don’t like getting drunk. It doesn’t feel good, especially the next day. My choice of beverage varies depending on the occasion, time of year, party theme, mood, etc. Despite the research that shows one alcoholic beverage a day is good for your heart, I haven’t cultivated that habit. I have tried twice by consuming one shot of whiskey or one glass of red wine every night for a week, but all that seemed to happen was weight gain and morning fog.
My exercise habits have decreased significantly. While in college, I was a member of the women’s rowing team where I exercised multiple hours a day with a combination of cardio workouts and weight lighting routines. After college, I religiously worked out after work and ran on weekends. Slowly my exercise routine became less rigid as social meetings and happy hours became more prevalent. Exercise changed to social activities like rock climbing, bike riding, body surfing, golf, air soft, etc. As I approached 30 and our group began feeling body pains, the social activities took on a more leisure path and focused on food and drinks. I continued to run until I suffered an ankle injury while training for my second marathon. After that my physical activity pretty much seized. To this day, almost seven years later, I am unable to run for more than a few 100 meters before my ankle starts to throb. I tried boot camp and P90X only to aggravate joints and old injuries and set my physical fitness goals even further back. Now, I workout in the privacy of my living room to yoga videos or an old stationary bike.
Obviously, my weight gain comes from lack of exercise and eating too much. After all, weight is a simple calculation of calories in and calories out. If I burn more calories than I consume, I will lose weight. Conversely, if I consume more calories than I burn, then I will gain weight. My goal in this blog is to record my transformation as I get back to basics: prepare healthier, organic, natural foods and increase natural physical movements for pain-free sustainable workout regimes to improve my overall health and wellbeing for the rest of my life. All this while continuing to work two jobs and living in a one bedroom apartment (that story for another day). I hope you enjoy and follow along with me as we transition together.
October 1, 2015 Update
Time-wise, I am about halfway to my target date. Weight-wise I am not. Looking back at the last three months, I haven’t been as dedicated to my exercise goal as I have been to my diet goal. After a month, my 12 hour exercise regimen cut to once a day, and two weeks ago, I skipped exercise altogether.
My weight decreased ten pounds, but I am back up five. Overall, my body is smaller. I purchased a new pair of size 8 jeans last week, and it wasn’t just for my “skinny day” pair. So even though my weight hasn’t changed significantly, I have seen improvements.
Staying “good” is hard. And it takes a lot of planning. I still think I can reach my weight loss goal: loss 20 pounds by December. The looming holiday season is exciting and intimidating at the same time. I love fall, fall foods, fall festivities, and I don’t want to short change myself and skill fall parties just because I am weight conscious. I will need to bump up the effort a few notches to see significant weight loss before the holiday season officially starts. I am thinking that if I do a spurt of heavy diet and exercise, then I can re-energize my psyche and get back on track.
December 30, 2015
2015 is almost over. This hasn’t been the merriest of Christmases or best of holiday season. Rich and I got incredibly sick, he worse than me. Unfortunately, the illness hampered holiday baking, decorating, and my overall holiday spirit. We decided not to have a Christmas tree, but we did put up a few decorations around the house.
We managed to get well a few days before Christmas. So I was able to whip up at least one cake and a gingerbread house. And I finally felt the holiday spirit on Christmas morning. Better late than never, right?
Anyway, I look forward to a happy and healthy 2016.
lose 20 pounds in 6 months.
morning bike for 20-30 minutes
evening yoga for 45-60 minutes
breakfast: steel cut oatmeal with berries and coffee (because I need my coffee)
lunch: homemade sandwich or salad with homemade juice or smoothie
dinner: homemade soup or other entree