Posts Tagged ‘holidays’
I don’t know why I can eat right and exercise throughout the Winter, Spring, and Summer, but Autumn always makes me crave more calories. Is it the increasingly colder temperatures? The lure of holiday baked goods and other unhealthy fare?
This particular Fall a number of various events have made it harder to eat right or get exercise. It’s the busy season at work so I’ve been spending more hours working. The shift to Standard Time means that it gets dark earlier. The weather has gotten cold very quickly, so I don’t take walks as much outside. My wife started a new job so I don’t have a couple of uninterrupted hours in the morning to walk on the treadmill while she’s sleeping anymore. Plus, there are a few other personal issues that have come up that take my time and attention away from Clean Livin’, or require me to eat & run more often.
I can come up with any number of reasons, but what it boils down to is that I’ve slipped. Luckily I have so many healthy habits that they haven’t all fallen by the wayside. I still weigh-in every day. I still record everything I eat (even the unhealthy, high-calorie foods).
How I Start To Slip
At first maybe I’ll grab some food on the run, or not calculate my caloric intake for dinner until the next day. Then maybe I miss recording a meal. Then miss recording a day. Then I get busy with other things and don’t do any research or writing for this site.
So far no matter when I’ve slipped a little (or a lot) I’ve still weighed-in. I think of all of my Clean Livin’ habits, weighing myself and then recording it are the easiest things to do. After four and a half years weigh-ins have become ingrained in my daily routine. Sometimes I forget to weigh in when my routine changes, but barring a day or so every few months where I don’t weigh-in, I have a solid record, and can at least see when I gain weight rather than lose or stay the same.
It’s hard to gauge gaining or losing weight when you weigh in every day, though, because you do go up and down even when you do everything right and are on a trend of losing weight. I think my threshold for thinking “Shit, I’ve got to do better” is going over a five pound mark. For instance, I was down as low as 254.4 a couple of weeks ago (so close to 250!) and then a few days ago weighed-in at 260.0, after going up and down a pound or so here or there for the past three weeks.
So that was a wake-up call. The hard truth is that losing weight takes conscious effort and attention. You have to think about it a lot more than you may want to, and stick to your daily budget most of the time. Sometimes it’s okay to go over budget, but not most of the time. When those indulgences become more frequent than eating right, you’re going to gain weight again. I don’t know about you, but I’ve worked too hard and come too far to backtrack now. Fuck that noise.
Back On Track
It’s not like I haven’t written about derailment or plateaus before. When it happens, no matter how many reasons I have no one to blame but myself. A slip can be just the kick in the pants you need to refocus your weight loss efforts, no matter how cold it is outside.
I’m not sure how long it’ll take me to lose the next ten pounds (some of those pounds… again) but I know it’s doable. I’ve done it for weeks, months, years now.
Losing weight may be harder as the weather grows colder, life gets busier, and habits slip by the wayside. Plan for weight loss to be slower then, but as long as you’re aware of the difficulty and consciously plan means and exercise, you can hunker-down and do it.
Update: Slipped on Posting Here, Too
Speaking of slipping, I originally had this post set to publish in late November and haven’t finished it until just now. Everything else still stands, and now that the holidays are over and I’m back to focusing on weight loss, updates should be more regular once again.
Back in the Fall the news screen on the elevator at work said that Americans gain an average of nine pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. A little research reveals that scientists say it can be as little as one pound, five pounds, seven pounds, etc., depending on which study or set of statistics you read.
However, the number nine stuck with me and since it’s not unreasonable for me to lose ten pounds in five weeks, I thought I would try to lose nine pounds while everyone else was gaining them. Also, losing weight over the holidays would help me be a little more smug when I got back to work.
So how did I do? I lost six pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day – not my goal of nine, but I also didn’t gain any weight. I’m going to call this one a “win.”
Besides working out (somewhat – I definitely didn’t go to the gym as often as I regularly do, or should have, throughout the holidays) I also tried to reduce my portions of holiday snacks, cookies, fancy meats and cheeses, beer and mixed drinks, etc. – but it wasn’t easy. I figured I could have a little of various bad-for-me things. I probably over did it.
I also doubled-up on my walking between Christmas and New Year’s. I usually walk an average of three miles per day – during my “staycation” in Chicago (where I took vacation days and just stayed in town relaxing) I walked an average of seven miles a day, more than twice what I usually walk on average. I probably would have walked more if it wasn’t so cold.
So that was my first moderately healthy holiday. Will next year be easier or harder? I’ll certainly weigh a lot less by this time next year, so maybe I’ll have an easier time avoiding the cookies, sausages, drinks, and eating out.
Or maybe I’ll be like everyone else and just work out more in January.