Okay, now don’t laugh. …

Okay, now don't laugh. But would you believe, I went to the gym for like, half an hour yesterday, and woke up feeling fine but am now discovering that it hurts my arms when I try to type? Because apparently I have become such a wimp in two months of not going to the gym that a piddly amount of exercise on the elliptical machine is more than my pathetic arms can handle? Argh.

It's not exactly a New Year's resolution as such, but I do want to get into better shape this year. Thanksgiving + Christmas + being away from home for a month landed me with five new pounds that I really have no use for. And in general, I'm pretty damn tired of being overweight, of always having the consciousness of it, if that makes any sense. And there's no good reason for it -- I gained most of this weight back in college, before I had my thyroid condition diagnosed; once I started taking replacement thyroid hormone, I rarely gained weight -- I just didn't lose any. So, a set of goals: lose ten pounds soon, lose thirty pounds total by the end of the year.

I know, thirty pounds sounds like a lot, but that'll only take me to 120, which for a 5'0" woman, is actually still on the high end of a normal weight range. It's what will make my doctor happy, and make her stop telling me I'm overweight. That'd be nice, for all sorts of reasons. My dad (a doctor) sat me down this Thanksgiving and gave me a stern-ish talk about not being overweight anymore, because I was getting old enough that it would soon be a risk for developing diabetes, like my grandfather. I so do not want to stick a bunch of needles into me every day! So, the goal.

I'm going to need some help with that goal, though. I have a gym membership -- I could theoretically go every day. Working at home, it's not as if I don't have the time. But did I mention that it's cold outside? 20 degrees yesterday. That's a powerful disincentive not to take a 20-minute walk to the gym. Cold. I hate the production of winter, the piling on of the sweatshirt, the heavy coat, the scarf, gloves, hat, and when you walk outside, your face is still cold when that wind comes off the lake, and eventually your ears start to hurt. So am I going to go to the gym every day, or even every other day, on my own? Not likely.

I was talking all this over with Kevin last night (talking = complaining/fretting) and he suggested a personal trainer might help. Now, that isn't cheap. The cheapest one my gym has is $60/session. Which seems like an awful lot of money to me. Kev thinks we can afford for me to have a session a week; we'll crunch some numbers later today when we pay bills and confirm that. Might have to skip eating out for a while, but I suppose that can only help with the goal, 'cause when you're at a nice Italian restaurant, how can you resist the gnocchi in a tomato-cream sauce? :-) (The worst part about trying to lose weight isn't being hungry, or tired from working out -- it's thinking about food all the damn time. Drives me crazy.) Somehow personal trainers strike me as kind of goofy, but even if I just do a couple of sessions with one, enough to develop a good regimen, that might be really helpful.

Anyway, we'll think about it some more, see how it goes. But I gotta say, I like having a sweetie who a) doesn't care for himself whether I lose weight or not, and b) who supports me when I decide I want to. His other suggestion, to make it easier to do portion control, was that the next time I made up a big batch of curry, he'd measure the ingredients, figure out the calorie counts, and then help me divide the curry up into little ziploc bags (for freezing) that were of an appropriate size for dinner. Which would hopefullly keep me from doing things like going through half a loaf of bread and an equivalent amount of curry, just because they tasted oh, so good together. I do that sometimes. The ziploc thing is kind of silly, but it might actually help.

Gosh, it'd be nice to be at MLA next Christmas, on that job market, with actual interviews, and feel like I looked decent. I swear, interview people think you're dumber if you're chubby. Especially if you're young and chubby. Sad, but true.

10 thoughts on “Okay, now don’t laugh. …”

  1. Sorry if I sound evangelical, Mary Anne, but Adkin’s _does_ work. And I, at least, feel so very much better than I ever did before I was on it. You can have a little rice on it, after the first few weeks.

  2. I’m not arguing that it doesn’t work, David, just that I know I won’t be happy unless I have the option of having rice and curry for dinner, every night. It’s what I grew up with, it’s what I’m used to, and anytime I’m on a deadline or otherwise stressed, it’s what I revert to. Atkins requires committing to a certain way of eating for the rest of your life that I’m just not interested in. Not to mention that after rice and curry, sandwiches are probably my favorite food. I just love my starches. 🙂

  3. Have you considered having some sort of exercise machine at home? I know most people don’t use ’em for long after they buy ’em, but it would mean not having to walk to the gym.

    Re arms hurting: do you stretch before and after exercise? In my (limited) experience, that helps tremendously with the hurting-later problem.

  4. To fit an exercise machine, we’d have to get rid of the tv. Excuse me while I bust a gut laughing at the very thought. 🙂

    And yes, I hear stretching is nice.

  5. Mary Anne –
    I lost 25 lbs in the last 3 months doing some modified WW work with myself, and excercise. It’s all about the portion control. Drop me an email and maybe we can chat about it – i’d be happy to share the tips and tricks that really help me out.

    And what you say about Kev is dead on with R; i’ve just never said it quite so clearly. It’s pretty fantastic having exactly the right kind of support from your partner. We’re lucky! 8)

  6. Well, there goes the advice I was going to give. My anti-fibromyalgia diet looks a hell of a lot like Atkins (& I gather it’s very similar to an anti-diabetes diet), and my energy levels are rising, symptoms are falling, and on Old Year’s Eve I fit into a pair of jeans that I wore on my first date with David and haven’t been able to get into for about five years. I’m having fun re-discovering items in my wardrobe. I thought I’d hate eating like this, too, especially how little fruit I can have, and quitting sugar. But I’ve found brands of Stevia (vegetal sugar replacement) that aren’t bitter, and I can have some fruit. I miss it less than I thought. I thought I’d have to go without bread and crackers, but I did some digging on line and found low carb recipes for them using flax and almond meal that taste really good. And curry’s totally fine; had green curry last night. The trick for me seemed to be sitting down and planning out what delicious things I could eat, and hunting down tasty substitutes for the others. I made it into a game, and eased into it; if I was craving something & the craving wouldn’t go away, I just bloody well ate that something and enjoyed it, and got back on the wagon as soon as I could. I’m a meat and seafood eater. An eating regime that encourages me to have lobster, crabs’ legs, bacon and lamb is all right by me!

  7. Yah, I find it interesting that there really do seem to be two basic diet approaches that work well for weight loss — I know lots of people who have lost a lot of weight on a low-carb regimen, and just as many people who have lost a lot of weight on a low-fat/portion control regimen. I think you just have to pick the one that suits your eating style and desires.

  8. It may be more than whichever approach you like better. Low carb seems to match my physiology better. I initially lost weight doing a low fat diet, but it all came crashing right back on, and then some. And I got no healthier w/r/t my other symptoms while I was doing it. And it was hard, and I felt deprived and things tasted bleagh, and I had to watch how much I ate. Anyway, I’m proseletyzing (sp?). Stopping now. Bravo to you, whichever you do. And I envy your ability to get to a gym with any kind of frequency. Still haven’t been able to crack that nut, despite having been an aerobics instructor for years who liked lifting weights.

  9. I think you are right, Nalo. When I was eating low fat, or at least trying to, my weight kept creeping upward, I always had heartburn, and I had little energy. Now, the heartburn is nonexistent, my energy level is better, and my weight is slowly dropping (225 to 195 pounds in 3 years.) But some people find the transition period impossible to get through. For me it took three tries. But it was much easier, both psychologically and physically, than quitting smoking cigarettes, which I did 27 years ago. And if I crave pecan pie, for example, I eat it; but usually one small bite is enough to satisfy the craving and I do not want any more.
    I also am a bit evangelical about the low carb diet.

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