Archive for August 2nd, 2007

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Keep Movin’

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Well, I’m still on the subject of managing one’s weight in a healthful manner. I am a healthy, happy mom and gramma, and I’m also overweight, by approximately 40 pounds. Do I have a plan?

As I mentioned in my first post on this subject, I plan to stay away from “diets”, since I believe they are a good way to unbalance one’s metabolism. However, I am willing to be more conscientious about the quality of the foods I eat. I tend to feed my family mainly whole grains and very little sugar for a while, and then gradually let lesser quality foods back in.

I’m not going to rely on supplements for weight loss. At one point I consulted a naturopathic physician, who suggested conjugated linoleic acid, L-carnitine and a B-complex to help my body metabolize its own fat stores. This seemed to work for a while (I effortlessly dropped 15 pounds.) but caused a lot of intestinal upset. Finally, my throat would just clamp shut so I couldn’t even swallow the pills.

I do go for a daily walk, but I don’t think I’m really getting enough exercise. So, that is what I propose to do: Become systematically more active.

The gentleman who cuts my hair has had good success with the following exercise regime. Doing the routine once requires just SEVEN MINUTES of one’s time. He told me to do this routine for two days, then rest a day, etc.

EXERCISE ROUTINE

Do each exercise for 30 seconds. Walk around for 2 minutes to rest after all exercises are done. As strength and stamina increase, repeat routine, rest, repeat routine, etc.

MARCH Lift legs high and swing arms
PUSH UPS
SQUATS
SHADOW BOXING Stand with legs apart; do not twist at waist
SEATED BENT-KNEE LEG RAISES
HOLD STAFF AND SWING LEFT LEG
HOLD STAFF AND SWING RIGHT LEG
TOE RAISES (while standing behind chair for balance)
JUMPING JACKS
SIT-UPS (CURLS)
SWIM STROKE 15 seconds freestyle, 15 seconds backstroke
SIT KICK Sit in chair; try to kick alternating shoes off
STRETCH TO SKY, THEN TOUCH TOES
WINDMILL Alternate toe touches

To Be, or Not to Be (Thin, that is)

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

thin.jpg
This picture was taken in my kitchen about nine years ago, when I weighed sixty pounds less than I do now. The weight gain started about eight years ago. I promise you, this change did not result from suddenly becoming a foolish, intemperate glutton. Whatever happened?

After our youngest child was born eleven years ago, my natural, post-baby weight loss plateaued at 185 pounds. I joined a ladies’ exercise group and did a combo of aerobic exercises and mild weight lifting. The result was very pleasing. From that beneficial activity, I lost my desired 25 pounds, taking me down to 160 pounds. Being a tall girl, that poundage was fine with me, plus the class was fun and I was feeling great.

Then . . . BIG MISTAKE HAPPENED. Whatever was it, you may ask? I went on an extremely restrictive DIET for one year. I didn’t want to go on this diet, but succumbed to social pressure. My exercise instructor, who had been so helpful to me after all, wanted the entire class to try the same diet she was on. I faithfully weighed all my food to ensure that the portion sizes were kosher. The food allowed on this diet was all healthful, nourishing food, but in amazingly small portions. After one year, I had lost a total of only 10 pounds, and was the extremely thin person you see in the above picture. I was also very unhappy with my lot in life, since the simple pleasure of dessert was nevermore to be heard of in this diet. I felt like an anorexic, obsessing over the exact amounts of everything I ate.

I stopped the DIET, and resumed eating the temperate portions of healthful foods which I had been eating when I weighed 160 pounds. I was also still exercising at the gym three times a week, and had even graduated to a more intense step aerobics class. The speed with which my body packed on the lard was amazing! I was so dismayed.

This is my theory about what went wrong:

  1. By depriving myself of a normal food intake for such a long time, I convinced my body that it was starving. My poor body was pushed into a mode of saving everything it possibly could to keep me from starvation. Weight gain mode was switched on.
  2. I was in the midst of menopause, when a lady’s metabolism naturally slows down. Double whammy.
  3. I think I was exercising TOO HARD. I forget where I read that this does not help with weight maintenance, but merely burns whatever carbs one has consumed. I’m a bit hazy on this part, not having read about it for a while. All I know is that gentle exercise helped me to lose 25 pounds. On the vigorous exercise regime, I gained weight FAST.
  4. I was going through some mega-stress in my life, which contributes to weight gain also.

So, here I am today at 210 pounds. The children say I look healthier and happier than I did at 150 pounds. I could really be happy with 170 pounds, though, or even 160. I’ve been carrying this weight for about eight years now. I still eat temperately and healthfully. I almost daily go for a one to two-mile walk. However, there is definitely room for improvement, and I have a plan. But . . . Guess what is NOT part of my plan? A diet!