I’m tired! I have been busy as most of you are also. Just life is enough right? Life feels like it’s really ramped up though for some reason. Something about home schooling four boys…
Lately, in all of the busyness though, I have really had to come to grips with something. Something I really hate seeing written down. But worse than seeing it written down is seeing it in the mirror. I have gained a lot of weight over the past year. Part of this I can honestly chalk up to sleep problems. Insomnia (and other major sleep abnormalities) have been proven to be strongly linked with over all poor health and weight gain. Last year when I was sick I literally spent a few months on the couch feeling pretty darn awful. I had very low energy levels and was just not emotionally well — severe insomnia will do that to ya too! I am not going to say any numbers. Yes, I’m still too self-conscious for that. Perhaps when I’ve lost most of it, I will come out with it and tell you just how much it was. Suffice it to say that it is just two pounds shy of how much I weighed fully pregnant. And that, folks, ain’t a purty number!
But my sleep problems alone are not to blame. I also have not had a regular exercise program in place for… well… a long time! It has always pretty much been according to my whims. And whims, shockingly, it turns out, tend to not really be great long term motivators. Who would have known?! I would walk and speed walk. If I had attempted running, I’m afraid I would have looked something like this:
As far as eating I had always felt that I ate fairly healthily, splurging now and then (then and now coming probably at closer intervals than I would have liked to admit.) For the most part we did not eat super fatty foods. I make sure that we eat vegetables with dinner and I never have junk food around the house, with the exception of ice cream because, well, my (blessed-with-a-fabulous-metabolism) husband really digs the stuff and I don’t always eschew it when presented with it either. Even so ice cream was by no means a regular treat for me — maybe once every couple of weeks. Still, I wasn’t proactively looking to get a maximum amount of vegetables, wasn’t differentiating between good carbs and empty carbs, wasn’t making sure to cook with primarily lean meats (though we always buy extra lean ground beef.) Certain butter-loving friends of mine who routinely post tempting treats and meals online, who will remain unnamed, haven’t helped much either!
So a few weeks ago I decided to do something useful with my negative feelings about myself. I could just sit in them and let them fuel more self-loathing or get up and do something. Now I’ve had a treadmill since last year, right when I started feeling better, around mid-November. I have used it sporadically when “the spirit moved” but had not determined to get on it regularly. Hence it became something like flossing — really unpleasant and therefore best left undone until the next time I felt really awful about not doing it. Only problem is, just as with flossing, that doesn’t help the problem actually improve and you never move past the pain.
I now get on the treadmill at least 4 days a week but usually more. I started out just walking. Walked for 20 minutes. Then worked up to 30 and soon was doing an hour. Now, I don’t do an hour every time. I will do anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. But my speed is vastly improving and I’m not just walking… I’m running for about half of it. And (believe me when I say that I never thought I’d say this) I am actually enjoying it. I used to always wonder how runners could stand running. I used to say that I really needed something to run after or from, like a ball or a T-Rex. Not now. I’ve discovered the formula for my running pleasure (mind you, this is just for treadmill running); loud upbeat worship music, a fan set to high and pointed at my face and a big bottle of ice water.
In addition to this I bought the kids (yes, it was for the kids I swear…) a trampoline. A big one. And that thing is fun! It not only gets them out of my hair (though they are still having daily collisions and the ensuing trampoline version of road-rage) but it also provides great exercise for them and for me. I try to get out there at least once a day. They seem to like it when I get out there and bounce them. Apparently I make it more fun (probably because I make them bounce higher.)
I’ve also started the South Beach Diet. In one of my moments of self-loathing I went to half.com and bought the Supercharged version of the book for .75¢ as well as one of their cook books. I am not a dieter. I should say, I’m not a fad dieter. I have never been on a “diet” per se. I have tried to eat right but I had not really read up on what I really needed to avoid. Then again I’ve never felt so bad about myself that I was willing to cut out something like bread. And it’s not out permanently. Just temporarily. But when it comes back it will always, always be full multi-grain bread. And even then I believe I will try to keep my intake of it to a minimum. It’s been really good to discover other ways of conveying food to my mouth than on a piece of bread or toast.
I’ve not been at it long enough for it to have produced massively exciting results but I have lost four pounds so far and progress is progress and I’m happy that the scale is starting to show results. Anyway, you won’t see me posting hideous before and after pictures with my nasty stretch marks hanging out of an ill-fitting bathing suit (don’t you always feel sorry for the poor souls who consent to be photographed that way on diet commercials?!) but you can expect me to give you an update now and then. I need the accountability and encouragement.
I know it’s a far off goal probably. Who knows… maybe it’s not as far as I feel it is… but I want to run a 5K. Or at least run/walk a 5K. I need a goal. Call it my ball to chase. I can’t help it. I was a soccer player in high school. I don’t know if I’ll end up doing it because I really want someone to do it with me, preferably someone who won’t leave me huffing and puffing in their dust. That person would be my husband. But as of yet he will not get on the treadmill. He prefers bike riding. But I’m gonna keep pestering him to do this for me. I may be just about as motivating as a whim. But it’s a goal.
Hold me to it.