According to RunKeeper, I have run (at least) 526 miles this year. I have completed two half marathons. I have burned (at least) 68,797 calories. And I did not lose an ounce of weight. I worked out at least 4 times each week, sometimes for two hours straight and I didn’t drop a pound. I worked hard, yet I actually gained weight. (A hearty appetite will do that!) Don’t get me wrong, I felt great. I’m definitely stronger. My cardiovascular system is thankful for it. But I didn’t shed a pound. This isn’t a complaint. I’m just pointing something out here, something a lot of people don’t want to admit.
(Or maybe just me?)
I have often complained about not being able to lose weight in spite of working out a lot. And usually it’s Toby Joe who will point out that running isn’t the best way for a person to lose weight, especially a woman. Weight lifting and cutting calories is the way to go.
Back up… I used to see this woman at the gym. She had a great body. She was there every time I was there, which means she was there all the time. With a body like that, she had to be. She was roughly my age, size and stature, without the extra weight, of course. One day I finally got up the nerve to ask her how she does it. What does she do? What’s her workout routine? Because she looks great and I wanted to try and emulate whatever it was that she was doing so well.
She told me she works out for at least an hour every other day. She does the bike, jogs, lifts weights. But after all that she said, “Honestly though? I never lost a pound until I started watching what I ate.”
I didn’t want to believe her. Certainly all that work would pay off, no? If I could just work out every other day, run a lot more, certainly I’d lose weight, right?
On July 10th, while we were in Disney, I just got really fed up with the extra weight. I’m not obese; I’m far from it. I’m considered a healthy weight, average even. That’s fine. But I could stand to shed 10 pounds, 20 if you ask me. And it’s been that way for years. And I am sick of it. I am not happy about my extra 15-20 pounds. I used to be very thin, dangerously so. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for that again. But I’d like to be able to shop my closet.
I’m just sick of it.
So: I quit Weight Watchers. The new points system wasn’t doing it for me. And it was costly, $18.00 a month, if I recall correctly. Instead, I decided to count calories, keep a diary of what I consume and figure out what I should cut out, or eat more of. I downloaded MyNetDiary for the iPhone. I think it ran me 7 or 8 bucks, a one-time fee. I started keeping track. At first, loosely so. Then a bit more militantly. I got an idea of what an ounce of cheese looks like. I paid attention to portion size. I just kept track.
I’m quite pleased to say that I have lost 6 pounds since I started. I have 7 more to reach my goal. If I could get rid of five after that, I’d buy myself something really awesome.
I feel much better getting on the scale and my pants fit again, even the ones I’d hid way, way in the back of the closet. I feel better. Running is easier as well.
This has been an eyeopener for me. I had no idea how much shit I consume, how many empty calories I was eating day-in, day-out. It’s been enlightening, to say the least.
I’m writing this today to say that I hope in one month from right now, I can say I’m down another 5 pounds. And I hope that I’ll feel even better. I’d like to be done with this weight once and for all, and then just simply maintain it.