How Many Calories Do You Burn With A Good Cry?
Let’s talk about something I don’t like talking about out loud.
I hate talking about my weight, my diet, my lack of exercise. My deep, dark, decades-long love affair with baked goods. Mostly because in all other areas of my life, I am an incredibly disciplined, regimented, and competitive person. I’ve always been the good student, the hard worker, the church-every-Sunday kid. I barely ever drink, I’ve never smoked or tried drugs. I don’t go to wild parties or stay out all night. I work hard at my job and for the most part, go home and go to bed early. My second-to-last indulgence – shopping – has been hedged off by my Dave Ramsey schooling. Sugar is my one last thrill, and I should be allowed to have it. So goes the rationalization in my head.
Except I’m not 22 anymore. And I can’t just eat whatever I want then spend a day fasting and have my stomach shrink down so I eat smaller portions from then on and lose 10 pounds like THAT. And there’s that whole thing with this tiny human I am raising that kind of makes me want to be healthy and be around for him to grow up.
But my soon-to-be 32-year-old body is not allowing me a pass.
So that last bastion, the last battle, the last stand of denial and indulgences in my life is going to have to make its (painful, brutal) exit.
And I hate to talk about this topic and any attempts to change my life as they begin, because then it’s just a loud, public, written record of failure. I HATE being one of those people proudly, stupidly, declaring “THIS TIME!? THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT!” when all prior evidence would lead you to believe otherwise.
On the other hand, some would call that optimism, so maybe I should just jump in and do it.
Here goes. The painful, painful truth, courtesy of the Lose It app, which has been on my phone since I thought 149 pounds was a bad place to be:
(I hesitated to share this, like so many women. But I’ve come to the mindset that you’re not hiding anything by keeping the actual number on the scale a secret. People aren’t blind. They know what I look like. Knowing the actual number changes very little. So there it is.)
Now here’s how I’m moving forward.
- Public proclamations of intent. Step one, achieved. Hello world, I weigh 204 pounds and I’m gonna try to NOT weight that. A healthy BMI for someone 5′ 3” is 135. Don’t make me laugh. I’m pretty sure the last time I weighed that I was in college, ate nothing because I was broke/hated dorm food/didn’t have a car and walked 8 miles a day. How about let’s see if we can get in the ballpark of 150 first.
- Limit baked goods, simple carbs and excess sugars. I’m already in the high-risk zone for developing diabetes, so it’s probably a good place to start. And this is really my worst problem, because all I want at night is Sonic Blasts and giant bowls of sugary cereal.
- Get rid of coffee. Yeah, that lasted 36 hours. Let’s not get crazy here.
- Eat fresh, and eat at home. Maybe I wouldn’t feel sooooooo tired all the time if I was actually getting some vitamins. And I’m pretty sure the gummy vitamins I keep in my desk drawer at work and use as a “snack” when I’m craving something sugary aren’t quite getting me there. My budget could also benefit from the “at home” part.
- Keep it appealing. I need to feel like I am not punishing myself. (You know, once the initial sugar withdrawal passes.) So I am going to try a little harder at making healthy meals that actually sound good, and not view it as a diet where I punish myself with a salad every day. (Photos to the right are my attempts so far.)
- Tackle exercise next. I loathe exercise. I have never been athletic, I hate sweating and being dirty. I am INCREDIBLY uncoordinated and clumsy (ask anyone who knows me). I get bored on the treadmill, and for some weird (probably bad) biological reason, cardio makes me yawn a lot. Probably because my brain is not getting enough oxygen. So I think I’m just going to stick to my normal exercise of toddler-wrangling until I get into a nice maintenance mode on my diet/lifestyle change.
- Find my own inspiration. As a writer, I love a good, witty, inspirational quote. But to be honest, they don’t do a whole heck of a lot for me when I am feeling down. I have a little picture frame on my desk with quotes on card stock that you can rotate out. And on the days when I actually need them, I mostly just look at them with mild contempt for their overly-upbeat retorts. What I’ve found most motivating so far:
- Friends who are on the journey with you, and are real about it. I have more of a support system than I allow myself to acknowledge, if I would actually accept the help. So I’m gonna. Case in point: my friend Rachel who works for the Chamber has an amazing Instagram of super healthy, super yummy foods she shares on her journey.
- Lady Gaga. Because her new Joann album is pretty good, and you can’t listen to Born This Way without feeling better about yourself than any quote ever could have achieved. Also, her body in the Born This Way video is pretty much my ideal self. I should probably tape that to my refrigerator.
So let’s hear it. Feedback on the strategy? What works for YOU? This is all so not my area of expertise.