Saturday, January 5, 2008

Free! A little pathetic, but free!

I haven't talked about it yet, but I have a gym membership at a local gym. I got the membership in October when I re-started my "weight loss journey" (as they say in Weight-Watchers-land). You haven't heard about the gym because, um, I haven't been to the gym. Well, I haven't been since December 21st, anyway. Last night, I went back to the gym.

At our gym, they had this super-cool motivational contest where you weigh-in October 29-November 2nd, and then you weigh-out January 1st-4th. If you maintained or lost weight through the holidays you won a free gym bag. A gym bag! For free! Sweet! I'm all about free, so I participated. It was good motivation, because, yeah, did I mention I'd get something for free? And I was trying to lose weight anyway, so ... sweet! Free gym bag!

Yesterday I'd decided to blow off working out, and I had no intention of going to the gym, but last night I remembered it was my last day to weigh-out for the contest. So around 9:30 PM I put on workout clothes and headed to the gym for the first time in two weeks.

Don't get all excited about my wonderful workout, though. The workout is nothing to get worked up about. You see, I put on workout clothes, and I went to the gym, but I didn't actually work out.

How sad is that?

The good news is that I did win my free gym bag. I'd lost about 7.5 lbs according to their scale. Woo hoo! Free gym bag! Actually, the gym bag was kind of a piece of crap. But so what - free!

But how pathetic is it that I managed to put on workout clothes, get my ass out of my house, get over to the gym, and then not work out? Ugh. Last night it seemed like a fine plan - I needed to wear the same clothes pre/post, it was late and I was hungry. Last night it all made sense. Now, the next morning, it seems a little nuts to me.

Ahhh, well, whataryagonnado?

I won't make it to the gym this weekend - they have very few group fitness classes over the weekends, so I might as well use my stationary bike and dumbbells at home - but I am SO getting my ass back to the gym on Monday. And this time, I'll actually work out there.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Today's daily weigh-in. What? Daily?

Well, my daily weigh-in shows a downward movement. I'm sure some of that is water weight, but hopefully some of it is also a real change. I finally got my eating back on track yesterday - hooray! I didn't exercise, but the plan for today is eating well AND exercise. My body might explode from shock.

I know Weight Watchers recommends weekly weigh-ins, but I weigh-in daily. Years ago when I was working on losing 35 lbs, the weekly weigh-ins worked well for me. But at that point, I was all about LOSING. I didn't dedicate much brain-power to thoughts of maintaining. Now I've got my eye on maintaining, and from what I've read a big key to maintaining is daily weigh-ins. So even though I'm trying to lose weight now, I'm weighing in daily to prepare for maintaining the weight loss. I want to be in the daily weigh-in habit.

I'm not pulling this daily weigh-in idea out of my (larger than ideal) ass. Here are some articles on research which support the daily weigh-in game plan:

I'm not saying everyone should jump on the scale daily. I'm not one of those preachy types who assumes what is good for me is good for the world. I am, however, a research-geek. It's true - I believe in well designed research, and the research suggests this is a good plan for most folks. Now, it isn't a good plan for people with eating disorders. And if you really honestly can't handle the daily weight fluctuations up and down, it probably isn't a good plan for you.

You may be able to learn to deal with the daily weight fluctuations, though. I had a little bit of a problem with the daily weight fluctuations at first, back in October when I started losing again. What helped me work through it was some positive self-talk and watching the trend. Even though my weight went up and down through a two week period, it always trended downwards, and I always saw a drop from the beginning to end of the period. Well, that's what I saw if I was following the Weight Watchers plan.

I also began to learn what behavior affected my daily weigh-in results ... after a long hard exercise session I might see an initial spike in weight the next day but then a nice big drop a day or two later. If I eat sushi or Chinese food or any other high-sodium treat I'll gain some water weight. If I travel by plane my weight goes up a bit (even if I eat well), but then it goes back down after a day or two (and what is up with that? Do you see that, too? Does anyone know what causes that? It is a mystery to me ... but that's the pattern I've seen). Learning those types of patterns and telling myself that if I'm working the Weight Watchers program the program works (it's true!) helped me get comfortable with the daily weigh-ins.

Anyway, if you're eating disorder-free, here's my suggestion. If you weigh-in weekly, you might consider weighing in daily. It may not work for you, but it might be worth at try. It appears to help folks maintain, and if it helps folks maintain, that's a good pattern to learn, right? Because I can tell you, losing the weight is great, but gaining it back sucks. Isn't losing it and keeping it off what it's really all about?

That's my plan this time around. Losing the weight and keeping it off.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Cleaning out the house

Other than starting this blog, yesterday was a crappy day for fitness. I ate and ate, then I ate some more, then I had a little more to eat. Then I ate. Ugh.

During the week and a half around Christmas and New Years I ate whatever I wanted to eat, with no consideration of calories or fat or health. Our house filled with junk food that normally wouldn't be here. Yesterday morning my husband took some of the junk to work with him, but not all of it, and I went a little nuts eating my way through what was still here. Cookies and candy and leftover lasagna and more cookies and .... blech. The more I ate, the crappier I felt, but somehow that didn't stop me from eating.

It was a little crazy, really. What was that all about?

Finally around 8:15 PM I made myself get on my stationary bike and do 30 minutes of cardio. I didn't want to get on the bike, but I forced myself to do it. And since it's hard to ride the bike AND shove food in my face, that stopped the binge.

I didn't buy this junk food - my friends and relatives brought it into the house, and I haven't felt like I could remove it until now, post-holiday. I don't trust myself to have junk food in the house. Once I get into it, I can't get myself out of it. I open the bag or box or tin and fall right in. Junk food I haven't touched yet is somewhat safe, and I may never touch it. If I haven't tasted it, I have some level of control. But if I've tasted it, heaven help me. I know this about myself - I don't completely understand it, but I know it - so after the bike ride I threw away the rest of the leftover lasagna and put the rest of the junk food in a grocery bag for my husband to take to work today.

OK, in all honesty, I had one more homemade Christmas cookie, THEN I put the rest in a grocery bag to send to work with my husband.

I'm trying to look back at yesterday as something other than a complete failure. I started this blog, I did a little cardio, and I ultimately did the junk food clean-up. It was a start. Now I just need to keep on going.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The first blog post

Well, well, well. Lookie here. Another fitness blog! Started just after the new year! What a novel idea; what an earth-shattering new approach. Happy 2008, it's fitness blog time!

Yeah, yeah, I know. It isn't an original plan, that whole "I'm going to start a blog to help motivate me in my fitness goals" thang. But for me this one is different. How? This one is mine. I've read other folks' blogs through the years, and now I'm starting my own. Why? Because I'm ready for a change.

Ha. Ready for a change - that sounds so dramatic. For me, the change would be to simply be consistent. The reality is that I've been physically healthy on and off my entire life. I'm not overweight at this point, although I'm close to the top of my healthy weight range, and I was overweight a couple months ago. Since the beginning of October I've lost a total of 8 or 9 lbs. Now, had Christmas and New Years not come along, I could have said I've lost 12 or so lbs, but ... yeah. Christmas and New Year celebrations did happen. Like almost everyone else in the world, I'm getting back into my wellness routine now that January 2nd is here. I want to continue the weight loss I started in the fall, I want to set and reach some fitness goals, and I want to live a healthy lifestyle. I hope this blog will help me connect with other folks who are trying to live a healthy life, too.

So ... here we go! What do you need to know about me? Let's start with the stats. I'm female, I'm 5'6" tall, and as of this morning I weigh 144.8 lbs. I'll fit back in my clothes again once I'm back around 135 lbs (although the exact poundage will depend on muscle mass, I imagine). Right now I have a closet full of cute clothes that make me look like a stuffed sausage. I'm ready to be back in those clothes, and I'm ready to feel good about myself again.

Heck, I'm ready to feel good in general. I started to feel the positive emotional and physical effects of eating well and working out in early December, but now I'm feeling sluggish and turtle-like again. Yuck.

I think that's enough of an intro. My first goal? To post here every so often. I'll write more as the days pass and I set goals, work out, and my weight changes.

Welcome! And please bear with me. I'm new at this.