Friday, January 20, 2017
Although I burned off 70 pounds a few years ago, I moved into a third floor walk up apartment and stopped exercising. I felt uncomfortable working out above my neighbors heads, but I also stopped going to the gym. My walks to and from the train station also stopped, because I now live three miles away from the closest station.
Slowly, I regained the weight and more.The weight disrupted my sleep. I couldn't breath properly, and I ached in one place or another every day. I was chugging ibuprofen for the pain, but I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Eventually, I was in enough physical discomfort that I went to the doctor, and of course, I'd developed diabetes, high blood pressure, GERD and worsened my high cholesterol. He prescribed a crap ton of medication, getting my blood sugar under control, and exercise.
I had to make changes, but I was too tired and in too much pain to do any physical movement beyond walking. So, I started walking 10 minutes a day, several days a week. I was already a pescatarian, so I started adding back the fruits and vegetables I crowded out with carbs. It's amazing how many carbs one consumes when not paying attention. I started drinking more water, finding low sugar juice options, and cut back on my portions. I was still eating whatever I wanted, but those changes helped me lose 20 pounds.
Eventually, I hit a set point, and the scale wouldn't move. I was still in pain, but I'd cut back on the ibuprofen. Small steps.
Just after Thanksgiving, I bought a birthday cake for a friend. I'd told myself that avoiding sweets entirely was unrealistic, so sweets were okay as long as I kept them to one portion. I ate three slices of cake that day, and I made myself sick. Leg cramps. Nausea. Disrupted sleep. Just icky.
I scheduled a follow up visit with my doctor, and during the several weeks it took to see him, I started tracking my food and checking my blood sugar twice a day. By my visit, I'd dropped another 8-10 pounds, and he was happy about the weight loss and my blood sugar readings. On a side note, he also told me I was slightly anemic and might have chronic fatigue syndrome, which I still can't even begin to process.
Armed with new data, iron supplements and sleeping pills, I made tweaks. I decided to avoid sugary foods (baked goods, ice cream, most breads) entirely, found palatable sugar-free sweet options, got the iron supplement I'd been skipping, reintroduced myself to berries, and gave up most caffeine. I also promised myself I would get to the gym and set up workout dates, but it didn't happen. Still, I lost another 8 pounds before hitting another set point.
No worries. I knew weight loss isn't gonna happen on a straight slope, so I kept doing what I was supposed to do. Eventually, the scale started moving lower.
My dilemma is that I'm still not working out, which is odd. I've released 38 pounds without exercise, and the irregular levels of movement were unintended. I work long hours and have a lengthy commute, but I exercised all the time when we moved here. I specifically picked a new place near scenic hiking and walking trails, a track a quarter mile from my house, and a gym within two miles.
To motivate myself to get more active, I bought new workout gear to motivate myself over a year ago. I fell in love with yoga pants, but I didn't get to the gym or dig up a workout DVD. I still can't find half the new gear, but my old workout clothes were waiting for me along with a fluffy towel, exercise DVDs, a yoga book, a body weight training book, bands, free weights, a weighted ball, an unopened portable pilates trainer, and a weight rope. Did I mention I treated myself to a pilates reformer with a trampoline after the first doctor's visit, which has been gathering dust in a corner. And, I still have a gym membership.
While I'm grateful to have a lot less pain, getting better sleep, being ibuprofen free and fitting snugly into my old jeans, I'm not feeling excited about adding more movement to be honest. I'm going to start moving anyway, so I washed my old workout gear, picked out a good starter video and made a goal to do at least 30 minutes of cardio in the morning.
I can't believe after losing nearly 40 pounds I have to pep talk myself into starting a work out plan, but it is what it is.