braindribbles

Posts Tagged ‘health

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I haven’t checked out since, um, before the end of term.  And I was doing OK before that, thanks to the heaps of exercise I was getting at various classes.

Yeah…

It’s fallen a bit flat.  Classes have been a no-go; they no longer accept kids over five years old in the creche (and I don’t blame them, really – would you want a bunch of school-age kids rampaging over the babies?).  I’ve also been revelling in no routine.  Which is good for feeling rested and relaxed, and blooming awful for getting anything done.  (I’m also heavily behind on my laundry.  Previous posts boasting of conquering Mount Washmore are shamefully inaccurate right now. We haven’t quite got to the inside-out underwear trick, but we have come close.)

Anyhow, I suspected I had put on a fair bit of weight when we went camping (marshmallows, beer, etc.), so I hid from the scales for a while.  Then, when I got back on the scales, they generally said the same thing for a few weeks.  Somewhere between 12 st 1 lb and just over.

I’ve been watching what I eat, but not particularly carefully.  I am trying not to make it feel like a diet.  Of course, that generally means I’m not losing any weight; it’s a fine balancing act, but at least I’m not gaining at the moment.

Of course, if I don’t get a move on I won’t lose any weight at all this year, so I think I’m going to have to keep the status quo for now and return after the holidays with a vengeance.   I know, I should be out there, enjoying the outdoors with my family. I just never seem to get round to it at the moment. (Current excuse is the house move – I’m constantly on the laptop either dealing with admin or trying to find somewhere to live.  I am relieved that the kids are quite good at entertaining each other without constantly resorting to the TV.)

Anyhow, watch this space.  I shall come back in September with half a hope of being fighting fit before the end of the month.  Maybe.

Amazingly (that is, in spite of eating huge amounts of rubbish on our camping trip), I have been sensible enough this week to lose the tiniest amount of weight since last time.

A fortnight ago, I was 12 st 1.2 lb.  Well, get out your trumpets and blow a fanfare because this morning I weighed in at … 12 st 1.0 lb.

I’m actually quite pleased about this since I weighed myself on Monday and it was considerably higher.  But, I did make it to ‘Dance & Tone’ on Wednesday night, and I have been restrained in my eating.  Somewhere along the line my insatiable appetite is diminishing.  Why? Well, it’s possible that it’s partly due to no longer breastfeeding (we were camping, she didn’t want it, I didn’t complain), but probably more likely that I’m eating REAL food.  (I have a theory that real food sustains you both physically and emotionally in a way that junk food, or processed food does not, but that’s another blog for another time.)

xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.netWhat I really wanted to say was, it’s always easy to find an excuse not to exercise.  Reading back over my Friday posts this past few months, you can find many.  Some are legitimate.  Some are a bit wimpy.

renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.netThis week I have a nasty cold.  But it’s not terrible. I don’t feel like death warmed up – or at least, I didn’t till this morning after a night of coughing -I am capable of doing some exercise.   Loved one has been in at the right moments.  I have gone to classes.  Paid in advance so I feel financially obliged to attend.  And somewhere along the line, it’s working.

I’ve even booked the gym class and creche for Monday morning, in the hope of exercising properly at least twice a week (Pilates is great, but it’s not really a calorie burner..).   If, IF, I can just sustain the momentum of keeping twice a week exercise going, I will eventually be reasonably healthy.

It’s an awfully big if.  Life can be so complicated these days.  Not only do you have to fit in around the needs of your entire family, but you are stretched to the limit to cope with daily life.  I’m not complaining, I’m just acknowledging that it’s not easy.

I do feel, though, that if you can get that regular exercise, you feel better in yourself, you are more energetic the rest of the time, the rest of your life is considerably better as a result.

I hope I’m right.

I also hope I keep overcoming those barriers.  Let’s see, shall we?

Everyone knows that if you want to get to a healthy weight, you need to eat less and/or exercise more.  So today I’m just going to get back down to basics and reflect on what’s going on for me in these areas.

Intake

This has been excessive, possibly more so than usual.  I have a monstrous appetite.  Yes, I’m still breastfeeding, but only a couple of times a day now.  My appetite is disproportionately huge.  It’s partly because I’m stressed about moving house.  Nevertheless, after a month or two of not monitoring what I eat, I suspect I’m moving in the wrong direction.  In fact, the only thing I have improved on and kept up since beginning this at the start of the year is drinking less alcohol.

I need to make a small goal and stick to it again, stress or no stress.  For now, I’m going to focus on eating between meals.  Unless it is planned as a social event, the only snacking I plan to do is my new weekly ‘graze‘ box; slightly better than the biscuits or chocolate I might otherwise resort to.  And tasty too – have a look at some of the things in their box.

GrazeGraze
GrazeGraze

Till the stress lessens, I’m not going to try and curtail my eating at mealtimes as currently that feels like a sacrifice too far.

So. Snacking is out.  We’ll see how that goes.

Output

I’m still doing my Pilates classes, which are great for improving strength and stability, but they really are not helping me to lose my excess weight.   Clearly I need something a little  more cardiovascular.

The Pilates is working as I have to keep it up every week, having paid in advance.  I need something with a similar format, so I can’t duck out easily.  I love dance, so to me the obvious answer is  to find a local dance class.

Of course, it’s tricky when loved one is away so much.  But Mondays seem to be OK.  In the area, so far there is street/hip hop, Zumba, and Irish dancing on a Monday night.

Can’t quite see myself blending in to  a street/hip hop class, particularly when the instructor is a hip and happening young dude and I’m an overweight, unfit, untrendy thirty-something.  Irish dancing sounds like fun, but for now I’m going to contact the Zumba instructor and see if she has any space…

I have no idea what Zumba is about, though I gather it involves dancing in an aerobic manner.  Sounds great.  Gonna give it a try.  I mean, look at the picture from the website.

Zumba Fitness

So. Two small measures to gradually improve my intake and output.  I’ll let you know how I’m getting on in a few weeks time.

I may already have mentioned this, but in an effort to be healthier, I’ve taken up Pilates once a week.

I’ve been to three whole sessions at the time of writing and about to go to my fourth, so clearly I am now an expert and ready to blog judgement in whatever way I see fit. Yes, tongue firmly in cheek, though I do love to expose my judgemental side when I can.

The thing about Pilates is that because it’s all mat work and there is no cardio aspect to it, you can leave the class feeling like you didn’t really achieve anything. It’s remarkably relaxing and there’s more than a hint of yoga hidden in there.

Yes, those ab curls were a bit of a struggle, but they didn’t have you fit to bust a gut.  And since I’m unfit and my gut is ready to bust out any time it gets a chance, this type of exercise really must be low impact.

And then I wake up the next day and feel the ache in my muscles as I haul myself out of bed, and realise that perhaps I hadn’t been wasting my money after all.

After three classesI am finally aware of my stomach muscles.  (It’s been a good eighteen months since I was last able to say that. Admittedly these  muscles are under layers of fat a whale would be proud of, but it’s a start.)

Here is the type of Pilates I do.  If you’re interested in checking it out, please do.

Body Control Pilates

Young, old, fat, thin, they’re all in my class…and they all fit in just fine.  A revelation in exercise classes: no snazzy sports outfits or people so fit you turn green with envy, just a bunch of real people trying to get a little bit healthier.

Me included.