Back to the Basics

At the end of this year, it will have been 5 years since I first started to do something about the extra weight I had gained.  I hadn’t gained much in the years prior, an extra 15 lbs, but it had crept on slowly.  My jeans got tighter in the thighs, my love handles were spilling over the waistband of my jeans.  I was wearing looser fitting clothing and had actually gone so far as to buy clothing with an elastic waistband.  I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what.  I didn’t feel like I was eating horribly.  I was slightly active, but wasn’t really exercising.  I wasn’t sure what really needed to change.

We had taken the kids to Universal Studios for Christmas 5 years ago and it was on the way home that I had told my husband I really wanted a treadmill.  I’d wanted one for years, but could never really afford a nice one.  When we got home he went and bought me one.  I just really wanted something to walk on while I watched tv.  I thought it would help me get in some additional steps for the day and burn off a few extra calories in the process.  About the same time I decided to start using MyFitnessPal to track what all I was putting in my mouth. This is when reality hit.  I was consuming way more calories than what I was burning.  But not only that, it was where the calories were coming from.  It was astonishing.

I got obsessive about learning everything I could about eating healthier; good calories, empty calories, sugars, sweeteners, fruit sugars, calories going in, calories going out, how many calories my body burns just sitting still.  After all, knowledge is power, right?  I started making little changes, like giving up 48 oz of pop every day for plain old water.  In the beginning I would eat a snickers bar and then tell myself I’ll just run it off on the treadmill later.  And then, my mindset slowly changed and I would really ask myself, “do you really want to waste your calories on a snickers bar?  Is it really worth it?”  In the end, it was the small changes in the choices I made with food that helped me lose the 15 lbs.  I felt healthier, looked healthier.  I dropped a few pants sizes and didn’t feel ashamed to wear shorts the following summer.

But then….this year I got lazy.  I fell back into old habits.  I’ve had more glasses of pop this year than I have had in awhile.  I’ve snacked on chips, cookies, ice cream….all my old vices.  I’ve been training for a huge running challenge in Disney coming up this January, and I don’t feel ready.  My training has been hit or miss, and my nutrition has sucked.  I’m getting older and I need to be more proactive about injury prevention than I have been in the past.  I’m having calf and hip flexor pain that I hadn’t had before and I know it’s because I haven’t been taking care of myself properly.

So starting today I’m getting back to the basics.  I’ve opened up the MyFitnessPal app, I’ve entered in my breakfast and I’m going to make tracking my food a habit again.  Keeping a food diary will give me the visual I need to keep myself in check.  It also helps me make healthier food choices.  I’ve put it out there on facebook and have invited my friends to join me.  I think I’m even going to go so far as to post a screenshot on social media.  If I have others potentially scrutinizing my food choices, I’ll be more likely to make better choices.  

After my big Disney race I’ll start up a new exercise program.  Gabby is wanting to start doing something to lose the baby weight now that she’s 6 weeks postpartum and I don’t want to start anything right now being only 20 days away from my race.  I’ll let her pick the program and then I’ll follow it along with her. 

I’m also interested in learning more about Intermittent Fasting.  If you aren’t familiar with it, it seems easy enough and there are days that I’m actually already doing it, but not realizing it.  Simply, in a 24 hour day, you have an 8 hour window where you can eat, and a 16 hour window where you fast.  For instance, you would eat your meals between 11am-7pm, you would not eat or drink anything containing calories after 7pm, you would go to sleep, wake up, and not eat breakfast until 11am.  There are so many days where I’m not eating until late morning/early afternoon anyway, that the morning part won’t be hard.  It’s the evening part that would be difficult.  Especially since we don’t eat dinner until 8pm-9pm some nights just depending on my work schedule and the Caiden’s school activities.  So in those instances I would have to plan ahead and adjust accordingly.  This will encourage me to make what I eat during those 8 hours worth it.  They need to be healthy calories, not empty calories.  I want these calories to be used as a source of fuel, and not just as a temporary means to alleviate the hunger pains.

Now I’ve gotten to the end of my post and I want to make it clear that, yes, I have gotten a little soft over the last couple months.  I don’t need to lose a lot of weight, I probably don’t need to really lose any weight, but I do need my body to behave properly and the only way it will do that is if I treat it properly.  Garbage in, garbage out, right?  I have the knowledge.  I have the tools.  It’s time I put it to use.

Find me at MyFitness here.