Well, to be more specific, I took a break from working out last week. A whole week. It was…good. I found that I’d been working so hard to exercise almost every day for the last month or so, and not seeing any results (I’ll get more into that in a minute) that I was dreading my workouts. Just flat-out, panic-inducing dread. I didn’t want to go and thinking about going was making me panic and start down a spiral of depression. So I didn’t go. Upside: Less dread in my daily routine. Downside: I tend to get physically depressed when I don’t exercise regularly.
I spent some time reflecting on what was going on with my headspace and I think part of the problem was I have been tracking my food and exercise religiously in MyFitnessPal.com. Good, right? Good if you have a normal metabolism. Unfortunately, my metabolism is borked (that’s a technical term). I don’t get to eat as many calories as a normal person of my size, so what was happening was I was looking at the results on the app, and it would tell me I had, for example, 635 more calories that I could eat one day, so I would think, “Heck, I better eat them! I love food! Why wouldn’t I?” Then I would eat more because the app said I could. But no, 1535 calories per day is not a maintenance amount for me, I actually gain at that level. EVEN WHEN I EXERCISE EVERY DAY. So using the app was actually backfiring. And it was super frustrating because every day it would say, “If every day was like today you’d weigh (X=10 pounds below my current weight) in 5 weeks!” But I was eating like that every day, and I wasn’t losing, I seemed to be gaining!
So yeah. If you have a stupid metabolism like mine, the standard Base Metabolic Rate calculations simply don’t apply. And that sucks.
So that’s been a bummer. I wrote an article about combating depression, because it’s something that I often have to manage as strictly as I manage my weight. Sometimes being alive is really annoying and complicated, but it still beats the alternative. I hope you find it worthwhile. Let me know, here or there, if you do. And have a great week.
Here are the last set of articles in my series on How I Maintain over on GYFT.
I hope you enjoy them. Feel free to leave feedback either there or here.
In other news, I’ve got a big month of business travel coming up in October – at least three of four weeks on the road, maybe more – so I’ll get lots of chances to practice what I preach about healthy behaviors while traveling!
I just got back from a 5-day business trip to Atlanta, GA. As with most business trips, I had very little input into restaurant selections (I was there with a team, and working closely with the local team in Atlanta – hence, communal decisions in an area where I didn’t know the restaurant landscape), not much free time, and WAY early mornings.
I managed to lose a half a pound. In my book that’s a weight management WIN. Here’s what I did:
- Hit the gym every single day. After I finished my work in the office for the day, but before dinner with the team there was usually at least an hour where I could go get good and sweaty, so I did. Most business-level hotels have some sort of fitness center. I was staying at the InterContinental Buckhead in Atlanta and they have a GREAT gym. As an added incentive, their fitness center had a bowl of ripe, inviting apples on the table where the towels and water sat, and I grabbed one every day after my workout to have as a mid-morning snack the next day. Since I knew I’d need some kind of snack around 10am every day, and an apple was perfect, I made it a policy to work out every day to “earn” my apple.
- Ate breakfast every day, and stuck with my usual – oatmeal and coffee. I located a coffee shop down the road from my hotel where I could get both before the daily meetings started.
- Chose wisely off the restaurant menus. Soup and salad is a good standby- it’s hard to go wrong, and it’s always enough food. One day everybody wanted to hit a burger joint, but I found a shrimp burger on the menu, which was perfect! Avoiding side orders, appetizers, free bread, and desserts is another wise choice I made every chance I had.
- One splurge – at the Cupcake ATM. Well, life isn’t all discipline and rules! —->
- Even with that cupcake I chose a sugar-free version. Although, thinking about it, I honestly have no idea how they made that red velvet cupcake sugar free. Stevia? Splenda? Something else? WHAT DID I JUST EAT?? Ah well, no sense worrying about it now, and it was delicious!
- Recorded my every bite in my food journal. My numbers said I should have balanced out, and so did the scale. I love it when it works out like it’s supposed to!
Back to the grind today. I need to go for a run today in the great outdoors. Gyms are great in a pinch but I chafe at the monotony.
A friend asked me at a party last night if I liked exercising, presumably because I do it so often. I answered off the top of my head that I considered it to be something that I needed to do, akin to brushing my teeth or going to work every day. Something that I needed to get done every day so it didn’t really matter if I liked it or not, it needed to be done.
But, also, now that I think about it, it’s one of those things that I need to do because if I don’t I know I will feel worse. Physically, yes, because my body starts in with the aches and pains pretty quickly if I neglect regular exercise. But mentally as well, and that’s a big part of the conditioning that keeps me at it. I know that if I don’t exercise regularly I will be disappointed in myself, and I will probably have a soundtrack that will start to berate me for my neglect, and that’s no fun. I tend toward depression, so work pretty hard at keeping a positive mental space and so if one of the things I have to do to keep things positive in my head is exercise regularly, it’s worth it.
Three more of my little articles on maintaining a weight loss got posted this week over on GYFT. I hope you enjoy them:
Last three are coming up next week and then I’d better think of some new article ideas!
So, back to my original topic: if you’ve been maintaining a loss, do you like exercising? Is it something you’ve discovered a passion for, or something you do to get it done and get on with your day?
My second series of articles is starting to go up over on GYFT, 10 Things I Do To Maintain a Weight Loss. Check ‘em out:
I’ve got four more in the pipeline to come out over the next few days, and I’m going to write the last 3 real soon now. I’ll cross-post the next few as they come up. I hope you are enjoying them!
I wrote a series of 10 articles to kick off my tenure at GYFT, “10 Things I Did to Lose 200 Pounds,” a collection of ideas and skills I used to drop a whole lot of weight:
It’s not a comprehensive list, obviously, but a good start. I’m working on my next 10-article series now, 10 Things I Do to Keep It Off. I hope I don’t start sounding like a broken record! Let me know if you like them, and which ones you think resonate the most with you and your experiences!
I posted a couple weeks ago about how I’ve stepped back a bit on weighing myself. I decided to weigh myself once a week on Fridays. Except last week I just didn’t feel like it, so I didn’t. This week, when I got on the scale I was amazed. Yet again, without constant daily vigilance, nothing catastrophic happened! Amazing! I’m really liking this new freedom from scale tyranny! I was even down a pound and a half this morning, which may have been attributable to…
I signed up to try an online food tracking web site. I’ve decided that doing reviews of the various sites might be a fun few articles for GYFT, since my editor there has been hinting lately that he’d like some more product reviews. So this week I’m trying out MyFitnessPal. So far I have some thoughts, which I’ll expand upon later, but what it boils down to is, when you’re used to writing down with pencil and paper what you’ve eaten it’s a bit of a hassle to have to search for it in their database, try to figure out what the right one is among the result set, then try to figure out what the portion you ate was when all they have are options like “100 grams.” WTF is that in the real world, please?? I imagine that will probably be the case with any food tracking site though. Welcome to the 21st Century!
Also the interface has a relentless focus on weight loss, which is a little off-puting to me. Not everybody who is tracking needs to lose weight. I’m just trying to maintain here, so daily summaries that tell me how if I ate like this every day, in 4 weeks I’d weigh (X which represents a several pound loss) are kind of annoying.
On the plus side, seeing my running total through the day and how much I have left at any point is nice and triggers a bit of a game instinct in me, causing me to try to stay under my target for the day. Never really get that with pen and paper tracking.
Have a great weekend everyone!