Back at it

After basically giving it up all winter in favor of making like a squirrel and bulking up against the cold temperatures (what cold temperatures? though I guess I used everybody else’s complaints about the cold as my excuse), I started keeping a food and exercise diary again recently.

Today was the 47th straight day I tracked my calorie intake and my exercise.  If you’re looking into keeping a food/exercise diary, I highly recommend MyFitnessPal.  The web version is pretty useful, but I primarily use the iPhone app–since I have an iPhone 5S, the app uses the phone’s M7 coprocessor chip tracks my daily number of steps and seems to be fairly accurate, plus there’s a barcode scanner for quick entry of packaged food items.  (I’m definitely eating too much processed stuff, because I use the barcode scanner all. the. time.)  Over the last seven days, I’m 135 calories net calories under my weekly goal.  It sounds like I’m cutting it close, but last week I was almost 700 calories over.

As far as my actual eating habits go: on a daily basis I consume too much sodium and not enough protein, but just about everything else is where it should be, so I feel good.  I have cut waaaaaay back on my coffee intake and am sleeping tons better at night.  Today was the first time in over a week that I took a travel mug of coffee to work; I have been making low-caffeine or caffeine-free tea instead, and letting myself make and drink one cup of coffee as a treat on my days off.  I had a cappuccino this evening despite the fact that it was still in the low 90s outside.  It was probably the wrong thing to do, but it was delicious.

Exercise is coming along pretty well too.  I started a 30 Day Sit-Up Challenge on June 1st because I felt like that would make it easy to keep track of which day I was on.  I completed Day 9 (55 sit-ups) just a little bit ago and am already starting to see/feel a difference.  Next month I might try another one of their challenges.

I was a little concerned I wouldn’t have the willpower to keep it all together and actually complete the whole month, because I started a Nike Running 5K coaching program a while back and had to drop out of it because I was having trouble breathing before I ever got to the end of the first mile.  Dallas and I want to run the Labor Day 5K race in Macon this year, so I would like to restart the running program to train specifically for that race.  I start the 5K program over on July 8th, so I’m hoping I can make it through this time.  I really feel like part of my problem was that I was not fit enough in general at that point, and I definitely wasn’t eating very well either.  Maybe it’s borderline suicidal to start training for a 5K in July in Georgia, but I think many people would argue that my grasp on sanity has been pretty loose for a while.  One nice thing is that we’ll be in Michigan during a lot of the “long run” parts of the training program in August (the average high is about 77 degrees that time of year at home, and 90 or more down here), and I believe that our most likely date range for the actual driving up and back coincides with days I’m supposed to cross-train or rest.

So yes.  Operation “finish what you started three and a half years ago” is back in full swing.  Back in January 2011, I looked at a lot of height/weight charts and cried looking at the suggested weight ranges for my height and build, thinking those tiny numbers would be unattainable for someone like me who had been larger than the high end of those ranges since eighth grade.  I picked a goal weight, one single number from those weight ranges, and wrote it in enormous numbers on a leftover piece of poster board.  I propped it up against the TV in my living room and stared at it from the couch, and I just remember crying and crying, knowing I would never be able to do it.

I have finally made it to that weight.  I have gotten down to it before, but this is the longest that I’ve stuck close to it.  I’ve been within 5-10 pounds of my ultimate goal weight of 125 pounds since back in the fall, and since I’ve been eating better and being more thoughtful about what I’m eating, I’ve been sitting within a pound or two of my goal weight–sometimes over, sometimes under.  The next step is maintaining it.  The really crazy thing is that the last time I consistently weighed 125 pounds (other than part of my freshman year of college, which is a story for another long post), I was in probably sixth or seventh grade.  I went up to about 135 pounds almost overnight in eighth grade, I think, then I weighed probably about 140-145 pounds when I graduated from high school.

So yeah.  That’s what’s been going on lately.  Not very exciting, but it’s something.  This more regular exercise thing is also helping me stay a little more energized at work.  The lack of caffeine only really hit me hard a couple of days this past week, but those were days where the environment in our office was a little more stressful than usual, so I don’t know that it was a caffeine craving as much as a desire for the comfort a good cup of coffee brings me.  Tomorrow I’ll go back to bringing tea, I think.

Bottom line: it’s good to feel good about myself, even though I’m still trying to adjust to it.


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