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Monday, April 7, 2014

Six Weeks & Counting

I've never been good at consistent exercise. I have gone in short and long spurts of getting regular exercise, but never stay with it forever. Taking regular time for me has always been a problem in my life. Sure, I get out with girlfriends and I take time with Mark or doing something I enjoy, like blogging or gardening, but exercise seems to be a tough one for me to stick with. At 46 years old I am back to a daily plan. The week of February break with Teale home was rough. She was in a bad cycle, back to raging often, basically daily. My way of dealing with the stress of that time was not good, I know I ate a lot of sugar foods. I was looking for that quick high, that happy boost after you ingest sugar. I knew what I was doing, but I was totally not in a good place to stop it. Instead of detoxing from sugar the day the kids went back to school I decided to up my activity level. I had gotten a Fitbit from a friend who got it at a huge discount. The first month or so, I just wore it, tracking my normal activity. What I found wasn't good, without my mother in law living here, I was getting far less activity or steps in per day. I had realized my steps went down drastically when she moved out in June because I no longer had to go downstairs nearly as often. When my MIL lived with us, I was running down to check on her or take her food, etc. several times a day. The set up of our house is different from most. Our bedrooms and main living space, including the main kitchen, are on the upstairs level. The downstairs has a similar set up and that was where my MIL was living. But without a reason to go downstairs, like doing laundry or getting something out of the second kitchen, I barely ever leave this level. Staying on one level had drastically cut my activity. When my MIL lived here I bet I was up and down the stairs at least 40 or 50 times a day. I truly wish I had had a Fitbit then! Anyway, in my head, I made a commitment to myself to start getting in 15000 steps a day on February 24, 2014. Today marks 6 weeks of that commitment. It hasn't been perfect, I've missed the goal somedays, but overall I have stuck to it and done well. My success has been a team effort with my husband, who has supported me in many ways. His acceptance of my not getting stuff done around the house has been a big factor. Taking the time for me and ignoring some of the less pressing things in our life has been a learning process. Walking away from unfinished chores to get on the treadmill, knowing if I don't, it will be tough to meet my goal by the end of the day has been a challenge. I've learned how much time it takes for me to get in the 15000 steps and I try to get in a third to a half early in the day. I've even started exceeding the 15000, getting in 18000 or more fairly regularly. The changes to my body are many and they are few. I feel mentally better, I believe my body is tightening, I'm building muscle and my stamina is much better. BUT I haven't seen a big drop in weight, so that has been frustrating. The goal I set did not include changing my eating habits because honestly, I knew that would follow. I knew seeing the effort I was putting in to get in the 15000 steps would make me want to make healthier choices. I'm an excellent "dieter" once I set my mind to it, I lose weight, but I end up gaining it back, I'm a classic yoyo dieter. This time, I have changed my eating habits, but not drastically. I decided I would exercise and just go with how I was feeling, changing things slowly because I am putting in much effort to my exercise. I know the food changes are more "important" to losing weight and my goals are both improving my fitness and weight loss. I guess I had to realize that upping my activity would not give me the drastic changes I was hoping they would. Now I have to accept responsibility and also make much better food choices. I am sure in another six weeks I will see the results I hope for, so long as I stick to the plan. 

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