Monday, January 26, 2009

One day at a time

215.0 (see?)

On contemplating my unchanging weight this morning, I was briefly reminded of an experience I had with a college boyfriend. (To maintain his anonymity, I will refer to him as "Pig Farmer." Some readers will get a chuckle out of this, for various reasons, but there is a specific reason for this moniker that will especially amuse a couple of my readers who will actually remember when I dated Pig Farmer.)

Pig Farmer was in the Army, which (as many of you may be aware) has weight restrictions for its enlistees. When Pig Farmer needed to drop a few pounds to get back under his weight limit, he would just play an extra couple of games of pick-up basketball every week. He didn't cut back on his eating or do any other type of extra exercise. . . well, to be fair, he already did daily PT *and* he was only 19 years old. But that small increase in his activity was always enough for him to drop 10-15 pounds in a couple of weeks.

Hearing Pig Farmer talk about this gave me my first window into how weight loss is different for men than it is for women. I don't know any woman (now or when I was in college) who could lose ANY weight simply by playing a little extra hoops with no dietary modifications whatsoever.

Actually, over the years I'd suspected that exercise alone would not make me lose weight, but I finally confirmed this during my first year of law school. Prior to that time, generally when I would undertake a program of regular exercise, it would be accompanied with dieting. (I was always kind of an "all or nothing" sort.) But during my first year in law school, I started working out regularly for the stress reduction and didn't really make a sincere effort to change my eating habits.

For over a year, I worked out 3-4 days a week for about 30 minutes at a time. Nothing overly strenuous: a brisk walk or the elliptical trainer. And during that year, I think I lost about two pounds.

(Eventually, once I was well in the habit of daily exercise, I did end up also modifying my eating habits and had lots of success on Weight Watchers, losing about 35 pounds in four months. But that's another post.)

Yesterday marked my 13th consecutive day of working out. My friend V and I went on a 3.8-mile hike which took us just under two hours. It was an absolutely beautiful day weather-wise, and the hike we went on--a new one for me--had some very gorgeous desert scenery and awesome views. We took Sebastian, too, so he also got a workout in. ;-)

I haven't decided yet whether I'll be going to the gym tonight or for a brisk walk around the neighborhood; it will depend in part on what time MM gets off work. But I will certainly be doing one or the other.

In addition to my daily exercise, I've quit caffeine (again). I started seeing a Traditional Chinese Medicine doc on Friday and had my first acupuncture session. She recommended that I quit caffeine and gave me various herbs to take. I haven't had a cup of coffee since Thursday morning, though I did have to break down and take some Excedrin for a mild headache on Saturday afternoon.

Surprisingly, unlike the last time I tried to give up coffee, my energy level and concentration have both been fine. Not sure if this is due to my daily exercise, the acupuncture, the herbs, or just plain good luck. . . . but I'll take it. ;-)

In other news. . . . Mom left yesterday morning to begin her trek back home to Ohio. I will miss her. Although he gets along well with her, MM is glad she's gone. She *was* with us for nearly three months, so I can see why he feels this way. He is looking forward to our having our house to ourselves again. . . for the first time as a married couple.

P.S. I am coming up on 500 posts and would like to post "something special" for post #500. Any suggestions for a topic?


TUWABVB said...

Again, I just feel this whole thing is whacky that you haven't lost a pound...but regardless, you've inspired me to try this out - working out for a certain amount of days in a row before I try to focus on my eating.

On another note - your mom was there for three months????? My husband would have left me so I just wanted to let you know truly, how luck your are! :)

Land family said...

I can't lose weight and exercise. It's contradictory as hell, but I get too hungry when I'm regularly excercising and it just doesn't work. You're certainly gaining plenty of other health benefits by exercising, and I'm not recommending that you stop by any means. Just sayin' the only way I can ever do successful WL is through diet alone. Low carbing unfortunately.

Valerie said...

I am impressed with your tenacity so far! Good job. :) LOL re: the pig farmer.