It’s been a bumpy road, no doubt about it. I was on and off the wagon so many times that they just couldn’t insure the damn thing anymore! Going to the gym and doing the treadmill 3 days a week became more and more boring to me, so I did what any good teacher would do – I switched up the skill-building activity for variety and added another challenge to keep it interesting.
On Monday I decided I’d had enough of ducking my personal trainer’s calls and made up my mind to give my personalized workout a retry. I strode confidently into the YMCA, and did the following:
- Jumped on to the elliptical machine (not the treadmill) for 15 minutes
- Did 1 set of 12 reps on the weights
If you remember, I was trying to get back in shape doing 30 minutes on the treadmill 3 times a week. The elliptical machine and weights made a nice change and the constant variety kept me motivated. I think I’ll try doing a different cardio machine, such as the rowing machine or stationary bike, each time I go to the gym.
Yesterday, after buying myself a combination lock, I hit the pool. I had been meaning to go for a while now, but I my old lock bit the dust –which here means “Wouldn’t open reliably or even fit through the locker doors, so caused me the untold humiliation of having to have the Y staff cut the damn thing off my locker”- so I hadn’t been swimming in a while.
To tell you the truth, I was a bit nervous about how I’d do. There have been times I have gotten back to swimming after not having swum for a while where I was winded after one lap. Fortunately for me, I began smoothly with the breast stroke, moved on the front crawl, and wound up my set with the back crawl. 600 metres later, I had figured out a starting point for my swim workouts, consulted with the lifeguard for more ideas, and realized that my goggles were just not going to cut it. I hope Santa brings me a new pair for Christmas.
That just about covers variety; on to the challenge portion.
In addition to all of this varied and aquatic exercise I have been enjoying, I have also started back on Weight Watchers. I have experienced different amounts of success following Weight Watchers and it tends to be proportional to how much effort I put in and how often I eat at home. I joined up on the Points Plus plan this summer, but had to stop going due to budgetary reasons. I still have all the materials, though, so I decided to start tracking again. It’s actually turned out to be easier than I thought. Could I be one of those freaks who eats less in the winter than they do in the summer? Epimetheus and I have made a point of making a plan and cooking at home for the last few weeks, and I think that may have something to do with it.
Confession time: we used to eat at McDonalds a lot. I mean – A LOT. Before you turn up your nose at me, feeling smug about the fact that you would never eat there and in fact don’t even like the food there, may I present this video that sums up everything I think about your claim:
I once knew a woman who claimed that her kids didn’t like McDonalds. Seriously. As a child, my brother was a supertaster who demanded that his burger consist only of meat and bun and wouldn’t consider even touching the thing if it contained so much as a stray diced onion (believe me, he checked), and he still totally loved McDonalds. Forgive me if I have my doubts about your claims, lady.
Epimetheus and I have learned that a good meal plan is key to avoiding the trap of “I didn’t really plan dinner and don’t really feel like it, so how about Wendy’s?” We have a ton of great cookbooks and we each pick a few recipes for the week. We take turns cooking the entrees we pick and the other person is responsible for planning vegetables to go with the other person’s entree. Our veggie intake has increased quite a bit by doing this. Am I the only one who finds that deciding on an entree seems to be so taxing that considering veggies to go with it is next to impossible? Maybe it’s an Attention Deficit thing. Who knows?
Last night’s dinner was Vanilla Pod Marinated Chicken with Butternut Squash Hash from my Weight Watchers cookbook. Epimetheus made it all himself and it was incredibly yummy and allowed me to have a treat of Almond Roca after dinner. We tend towards 4 serving recipes so we can eat two for dinner and use the other two servings for lunch the next day. I like sandwiches as well as the next person, but I’m a total variety hound and I like lots of different food for my lunch. The lazy Weight Watcher points-tracker in me likes the fact that I did the math for one serving the night before and can just copy it off the previous day’s food diary.
So far, so good. I am noticing slight pangs of hunger before meals and just before bed, but they’re not blood-sugar dropping emergencies. I figure it’s the feeling of weight-loss. I have yet to get really hungry – they’ve decided that fruit is worth 0 points, so I make a point of reaching for an apple, pear, or orange for a snack.
The plan is to make good choices about what I eat and keep moving. Stop moving and you die.
READER QUESTION: I know some of you might not be exercise fans, but on those occasions that you have to do it, what is your favourite form of activity?