I’ve been afraid to publish this post. I was even afraid to write this post. I drafted it and then scheduled it to sit for two weeks, because I was scared that I’d write about my current weight-loss efforts only to stop them. [ETA: and boy, is it tempting 3 weeks in…]
The thing about this blog is that it records in stark detail how I’ve tried to lose weight for 4.5 years, and now weigh 20 pounds more than I did back in September 2012 (back before J and E’s wedding, before W and K’s wedding, before H and D’s wedding, before P and M’s wedding…so much for the idea that wanting to look as good as possible in a bridesmaid dress will ever make any difference).
(also: holy shit, I am fucking sick of wearing bridesmaid dresses.)
…anyway. I weigh 20 pounds more than I did in 2012, and 10 pounds more than I did from 2014-2015, and I’ve seen too many people rejoice over being “back in ONEderland!!” to let myself get any further into the 200+ range.
The other thing this blog records in stark detail is how much work it always was. Looking at the Excel spreadsheets I put together myself, calculating every single serving’s nutritional data, is exhausting all on its own. I can’t believe I ever made it through four weeks of that, much less expected to go longer.
So. Here I am, back again, trying to get in better shape. But this time around? I am taking as many shortcuts and small steps as possible. This is hard enough WITH them, after all.
1.5 years into living at my apartment complex, and I’ve figured out how to access the weight room when the office is closed.
I’ve finally gotten a smartphone, and, 9 months into owning it, have added the Lose It! app. Lose It! has a free version, and a premium version you can buy. I opted to use the free version for at least a month before spending money on it; why buy something before I’ve proven I use it?
The free version lets you put in your current weight and your goal weight; has a spot to put in your weight each day; and has the means to put in all your daily food and exercise. The beauty of it is that so many users have added in particular foods that I can just pick from the available options; no tedious calorie calculating for me! The app has different choices for units (number of servings/cups/tablespoons/ounces of food, or duration/reps of exercise), so it handles that aspect of calculation too.
If you exercise, or take a certain number of steps (tracked by the phone’s pedometer feature), the app notes how many calories you’ve burned – and, by extension, how many you’ve earned under your daily allotment.
Basically, it’s the best. It’s not quite enough to make me wish I’d had a smartphone 5 years ago, buuuuuuut it’s closer than anything else.
A few other small steps I’m taking:
– It’s Lent and I’m eating less meat, more beans, and more vegetables. Chana masala and rajmah chawal for the win! Yes please to snacking on avocado with a bit of soy sauce. A bit of cumin makes roasted cauliflower so much more compelling!
– I am not eating foods I don’t like. No yogurt that needs sugar to taste good, no raw carrots, no raw kale. No stevia. No pretending that things are meat when they aren’t.
– I’m not dropping coffee or tea. At this particular juncture, it isn’t worth it. If I hit a plateau, I might cut them out later. [ETA: Lately I’ve been alternating between sweetened tea and unsweetened.]
– I did wash my Contigo bottle, so it’s easier to drink more water throughout the day.
– Instead of trying to carve out a 2-hour swath to go to the gym, change, warm up, work out, cool down, drive home, and shower…taxing my muscles to breaking point besides…I do 5-15 minutes of core work and light weights *every* morning. I can do it in my pajamas, it wakes me up, and it makes the shower thereafter feel well-deserved. [ETA: This worked much better before Daylight Savings Time. I’m trying to get back into a groove, but it feels so much earlier now 😦 ]
– Each time I use the bathroom, I do 50 quick squats (logged with Lose It!, of course).
– I weigh in every single day. It actually gets me out of bed. If the number is higher than before, it’s easier to say “tomorrow will be better!” than “…two weeks from now should be better.” There’s more immediate feedback, and it’s less likely that my weigh-ins will be thrown off by hormonal variations throughout the month.
– I got on Lexapro a year ago, failed to keep taking it/renewing the prescription, but have since got back on it.
– I invested in a HappyLight, which is useful when the real sun fails to make an appearance.
Basically, I’m getting closer to the renowned “lifestyle change” instead of trying to diet. I don’t know what will stick after Easter, but for right now I can say that this is a change for the better. I feel a bit more cheerful; I’m a bit more focused at work; and while long days are still exhausting, I tend to sleep earlier instead of putzing about online for an hour or two. I’ve lost 9 pounds [ETA: er…5…er, 7.2], and hope for more of these positive changes.