Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is a constant effort for me. I never had any problems with it as a child, but once I entered adulthood genetics and bad habits caught up with me and I’ve been ten to twenty pounds overweight for the better part of the last decade. The only time I’ve been successfully able to lose weight was when I was slimming down for my wedding. I lost twenty pounds over the course of a year. Totally reasonable, right? The methods I used were quite reasonable as well–no cleansing or fasting or fad dieting. I just did some cardio and kept a food journal. I kept it off for a few years until I got a job that had me spending lots of time on the road, where I resorted to grabbing a burger for lunch most days. Since then I’ve had a really hard time getting back into shape. After Jack was born I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight without any real effort and actually lost a few more pounds thanks to breastfeeding, but I was still overweight and as soon as Jack weaned I was right back to that same number on the scale. I kind of tried off and on over the last year–I got a trial gym membership on Groupon, took Jack on long walks, started hula hooping in my living room, and halfheartedly watched what I ate, but I wasn’t really seeing any changes and after a while I decided to just embrace my body for what it is. I of course immediately started eating ALL THE THINGS and gained ten pounds. I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been outside of pregnancy. Sigh.
I often find myself feeling bitter that I can’t eat the same things as Nick. I know that he’s over a foot taller than me and blessed with good genetics and a fast metabolism, but we live together and it seems unfair that he can have milkshakes and candy bars and second helpings and still stay relatively trim. Maybe my stomach has stretched out or maybe I’ve got something wrong with me, but it seems like I’m always hungry. I’ve had bloodwork done and everything looks normal so I don’t know what the deal is.
So anyway, when I lost weight before my wedding one of the activities I took up was running. I kind of hated it but it worked. And actually the only school sport I have ever participated in was track. I dropped out before the first meet when I realized that practice was four days a week. That was too much running for me, apparently. I reluctantly decided to try running again for the sole reason that it’s more time-efficient than walking. I settled on using this run/walk training plan from Runner’s World. When I ran before I had to carefully map my routes and keep an eye on the time, but predictably there’s an app for that these days. I programmed the training plan into the RunKeeper app on my iPhone and use it to track my intervals, pace, and distance. Pop Fitness Radio runs in the background on Pandora, and Jack comes along in a jogging stroller that I borrowed from a friend. I’m in the second week of training and am averaging a 16 min/mile pace (that’s with three minutes of running and three minutes of walking, plus a walking warm up and cool down). Nick can practically power walk as fast as I can run. Seriously, he walks with the stroller and I run on my intervals and he has no problem keeping up with me. I’m not sure whether that’s funny or not.
I also got a pedometer. The first one I bought (from Target) was total crap but this one from Amazon** is great. I wear it every day with the goal of getting to 12,000 steps per day. Even on the days that I don’t run this is achievable because my new job allows me to be very active. It’s in a hospital and I have lots of opportunities to take the stairs–as many as five flights up and five flights down, plus lots of short trips between my office on one floor and patient rooms on the next. I totally looked like this the first time I climbed all the way to the sixth floor:
I’ve been repeating it like a mantra that my goal is not to lose weight because I know that if I make weight loss my goal and don’t see results quickly I’ll get frustrated and give up. Instead my goals are specific to fitness–to take 12k steps per day and to be able to run thirty minutes without stopping, I have lost a few pounds already but I’m not making a big deal of it, especially since my weight has been so up and down over the last two years.
**Amazon affiliate link. If you make a purchase after following that link I will receive a small portion of the proceeds at no additional cost to you.