Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 53 of Phase 5: Why Exercise? Here's Why...And don't expect to ever eat a lot again...unless you wanna be one of those regainers we all fear we will be...aka Reality Rock and How To Make It Comfy...

No scale today.

Exercise: Pilates with trainer in the pm; walk outside for 27 mins in the early evening.

I felt bad when I woke up. Congested, sore throat (no doubt from mouth breathing/snoring due to said congestion from allergies). No energy. I was sooo tempted to cancel Pilates. I had gone to bed late cause I am hitting a deadline with some stuff, and I was up late doing it. :P

Didn't cancel. Went. The asthma was a bit acting up, but we got through it.

Felt better afterwards (we did some chest opening positions) and had my healthy lunch, more fluids, and once it got cooler (we got into low 90s today), off I went for my walk. Managed better than day before. Yesterday, I was struggling to breathe. Walking was...a chore. Breathing = very important. Oxygen = critical. Trust me on this. ; )

If I had canceled our session at the studio, I guarantee I'd have vegged out like a zombie, feeling sorry for my sickly butt. Instead, the blood got pumping, and I had to focus on breathing deeply, and I had to get my mojo going. And in the end: felt better, got my energy back to maybe 80% . Mood drastically improved, to the point a fella at the farmer's market (I needed produce) said, "My, you're very happy, aren't you?" And I said, "Yes! I am VERY happy!"

Exercise--makes you FEEL better, aside from everything else.

Anyway, for those still couch-potato-ing it, here's an article that might push you into moving:

EXERCISE: ANTI-AGING AND OTHER METABOLIC BENEFITS

If that made you wanna start moving, then here is a google list for you. Start reading. Get on it TOMORROW or-- if it's early where you live--TODAY.

I was calculating how much I should be losing on 1200 calories (roughly). It's not pretty. I know my metabolism is damaged, and I knew it most clearly when I checked what it took to maintain a year ago or so. I lost less than average when I was 268 (which I learned by tracking my food and looking at what the average loss should be at that weight with my calorie deficit). I was lower than average. I was off by about 250 calories. Meaning, I maintained at that many calories FEWER than the average estimates for my height/weight/age.

But by my rough calculations, at 1200 calories, at my current weight, it's about a bit over one pound a week, a pound and a half if I exercise daily--hard.

This is not the cheeriest bit of news. But, okay, not gonna whine. At least I know I can lose. I just gotta take a longer view than some. All I gotta do is focus on eating soundly (and not a lot) and moving well and let my freaky body do its thing at its pace. I do more than an hour of exercise 2x a week, and I do at least 30 mins or more the other days, other than my one day of rest, my Sabbath. That is not  unsustainable for me for life.And I do have this long view: What can I do as I continue to age? If I can't sustain it, then what is the point? Go through all this just to be fat and inert again?

I constantly assess: What can I sustain? How can I live and be well, but not feel trapped in an obsession of "health mentality"?

(I say this with the understanding that I've set aside this period of my life to GET out of obesity so I can then stay OUT of obesity while actually getting other stuff/projects done and dreams fulfilled. This is step ONE. Get to healthy weight and healthy habits so other dreams can take center stage. This is the foundation.)

I don't intend to do the TBL type of thing and exercise hours a day to get a bigger weekly loss. And I'm not gonna eat less and go hungry. So it is what it is. My final goal weight may end up being heavier than current goal weight. It all depends on what is SUSTAINABLE.

 So, between my metabolic reality, my weight goal, and my exercise-feasibility--I reminded myself that the way I'm eating now is pretty much how I'm gonna eat for life. A bit more perhaps until I get older and need to cut back. But I don't foresee being able to eat more than 1400 to 1500 calories unless I want to get obese again.

That's why you don't go off diets, really (unless you're a big guy or an athlete or a manual laborer and can eat scads more than many of us/most of us). You have to eat less...permanently.

I wish it were otherwise, but I guess I see this sort of eating as the training ground. I may be able to eat 200 to 300 calories MORE and maintain a goal weight close to normal. Maybe even normal--though I doubt it. But really, 200 to 300 more is NOT a lot more. It's a nice bit of leeway, but it's not , "Hey, let us eat cake and pizza" leeway.

The way you're eating to lose. Can you sustain that, a close snapshot of that, for life?

If not..re-evaluate. Cause you can never go back to how you ate before without regain.

The exercise needs to become a habit. The food vigilance needs to become a habit. The acceptance of limitations to our hedonism needs to become part of our philosophy.

I'm working on that. I tell myself this every day: It's gotta be like this every week and month and year from now on...keep going. Make it a habit.

Okay, what a bummer kind of reality-slap note to end with.

But really, not. I guess. Facing the truth can liberate us from wild expectations. Getting slimmer and stronger doesn't make the food issues magically disappear. If it did, no one would regain, right? It's liberating because we understand that if THIS is how it must be, then our energy can go not to dreaming about "off the diet splurges and binges", but dreaming about how to maintain healthy habits and grow old with better mobility, flexibility, strength, cooking skills, food shopping savvy, and enjoyment of healthful feasts.

It means growing up about food. And at 51, it is long past time I did that. I feel...like I'm maturing in that area. Mature people don't delude themselves or whine about what they can't have. They face the rock and the hard place and make it work as a livable place that helps them prosper.They sew cushions and plant radishes and sing songs right at the rock face.

Late-blooming is better than never-bloomed...so, start planting flowers next to that reality rock....

Happy resting for those reading this late..or GOOD AND HAPPY NEW DAY for those reading this tomorrow....

4 comments:

Food Freak said...

Although I'm reading this late at night, I'm going to accept your best wishes for a good new day tomorrow. Thanks for them!

Remember, as with obesity and other diseases, exercise is only correlated with those good things. It hasn't been proven to be a cause. Personally, however, I believe that exercise is one of the greatest boons to humans--even a necessity for mental health. I see my cats running around, even at advanced age (23), to get their daily exercise. It's as though they can't live without it. If they can't, why not us?

You walk all the time and I'm convinced that relates totally to your cheery personality, optimism, and your hopeful and bright attitude. It's always a pleasure to read your blog as a result.

On your important choice about losing weight. . . I'm with you. I went back to school in computer science in my 40's because I figured if it took me five or six years to finish a degree, I planned to live another five or six years anyway. Did I want to end up in my 50's with or without a degree in computer science? The same with you. If it takes you two years to get to goal weight (which it won't, of course), do you want to be the same weight or heavier in two years, or be maintaing at goal? I think we both know the answer.

I studied for nearly two years, then dropped out simply because the more I learned the less I liked the field. But I never regretted spending the money, doing the work, nor otherwise throwing myself into that major. I was two years older and had more knowledge to show for it. You'll have 50 lbs. to show for it--slenderness. What the heck, right?

Thanks for the good post.

Suzan said...

Great post. This is exactly why I like Primal Blueprint diet and fitness. It's a way of eating I can live with for the rest of my life. And regarding exercise, what's easier than: move around at a slow pace every day, lift heavy things, sprint once in a while, and play! The folks who "go on a diet" and starve themselves will gain it back. The body does not react well to being starved. Once it gets more food, it doesn't want to let any of it go. Doing chronic cardio will harden arteries and a person will burn out at some point. Most chronic dieters have damaged metabolisms. We've got to find something we can do for life. I used to think that was a negative, but now I'm actually excited about my way of eating. I have to get into the exercise groove, though. Thanks for the encouragement!

Candy kankles said...

I love this post.I never want to go back to eating like I was and maintaining is something I wasnt good at thats why im back in the 200's.guess its time for me to do some maturing!
Hope your having a happy bloomin day!

gracies tough journey said...

I believe that exercise has helped me in so many ways(weighs) lol. Besides losing weight. Mentally,and physically, I feel younger and better than I have in years. Hope you are feeling better today. You are looking awesome!