I’ve been trying to get more regular exercise lately, all part of my scheme to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I have been having a lot of trouble finding time to exercise, so it hasn’t been happening much. I would plan to go to the gym during my lunch hour, but would get called into a meeting at the last minute. I’d love to run outside but with a heat index of 100, that’s not happening. Once, I went to the gym after putting the kids to bed, but that means I don’t get to see my husband at all, plus I get to bed later than I want. And I can’t go in the mornings because…
Hey, wait a minute!!! For the last year, I haven’t been able to go to the gym in the morning because of the baby, but these days we rarely hear a peep from the baby before 7:30 AM. I used to go to the gym at around 6 AM and loved it. Why can’t I do that now?
So last week, I put my thoughts into action and look what happened:
- Tuesday: Treadmill (run 10, walk 3, run 10 + warm/cool)
- Wednesday: Spinning (50 minutes)
- Thursday: Swimming (25 minutes) + strength
- Friday: Jog/Walk approximately 2 miles outside
- Saturday: run 25 minutes at 4.7 + warm/cool + core strength
Right now, I’m trying to figure out where to go from here. I like to play it by ear when it comes to exercise, do whatever feels right on a given day based on how I’m feeling, how much sleep I got, what else I need to do that day, etc. But truth be told, that leads to a lot of days off. So I’m toying with the notion of actually scheduling workouts. This is what I’ve come up with so far:
- Sunday: Rest
- Monday: Spinning/Zumba/Swimming
- Tuesday: Running/Elliptical + Strength
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: BodyAttack OR Running/Elliptical + Strength
- Friday: Spinning/Zumba/Swimming
- Saturday: Running/Elliptical + Core Strength
The other thing I’m working on is diet (of course). I’m working with a nutritionist. She’s got me paying attention to portion size and focusing on nutrients (so making sure I eat fruits, veggies, dairy, etc. in proper proportions). I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet since getting my meal plan, so this week I’ve been focusing on eating more fruit and trying not to eat crap. When I go grocery shopping, I’ll get more veggies and stock up on healthy snacks.
I have always heard how the secret to losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume. That’s fine, and I believe it in principle, but I still didn’t understand how it worked. Plus I had no idea how many calories I was burning, so it was easy to just say “I’m sure I’m taking in less than I’m burning”. This web page will tell you how many calories you are burning per day. To stay at your current weight, consume that many calories. To lose weight, consume fewer. To gain, more.
Here is a great article on calories — what they are and how they fuel your body. Now, if you consume fewer calories than you are burning, your body converts stored fat into energy. But how? This article on how dieting works answered a lot of my questions. I learned how 3,500 extra calories leads to one more pound of fat on the the body. This explains how I never seem to gain weight when I indulge in too many cookies or too much ice cream, but over time, those calories do add up. And finally, this article explains exactly how the body converts stored fat into energy when needed.
So right now, according to the calories burned calculator, I am burning 1,995 calories per day. That means if I had a 2,000 diet, my weight would stay pretty consistent. Therefore, my current plan is to consume fewer calories than that and to exercise a little bit more so I burn a little bit more. Consume Less. Burn More. Weight Loss!
(Aside: I have a few friends who read my blog, who have questioned my need to lose any weight. Just to clarify, I am taking some liberty with the term “weight loss.” My goal here is to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Nine months of indulgent eating added up around the waistline. I know that I am not overweight. I don’t even care if the scale moves up or down. I am just not in fighting shape, and when I can comfortably button my old jeans, I’ll be thrilled, no matter what the scale says!)
That’s it. That’s the current plan. Pretty simple. Eat well and exercise, right? Speaking of which, it’s time for a cheese stick…