Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ya wanna take it outside?

Sometimes, even when it's cold and even when I have a cool new piece of gym equipment, I need to walk outdoors. Yesterday was one of those days.

I waited until mid-afternoon, when – theoretically – the temperature had climbed to its peak for the day, and did four miles, rather effortlessly. It helps me a lot to take the Fat2Fit guys with me. No matter how many times I listen, I hear something new, or I hear something and realize I can apply it to my situation.

If you're new here, the Fat2Fit philosophy is to eat the number of calories daily you would need to maintain your goal weight, according to your BMR. There are tools on their website to help you calculate this number.

(I want to stop and give a shout out to Shauna, who directed me to the F2F podcast in the first place. Brilliant! Thank you!)

New Years (and, to a lesser extent, Mondays) offer such hope and promise for changing behaviors which have held one back. Speaking for myself, of course! Heh. I began implementing the F2F philosophy in late November, but allowed myself to indulge a bit more over the Christmas holidays. Before 1/1/11, though, I was back in the saddle.

The most difficult and challenging aspect of this philosophy (they don't prescribe a "diet") is eating enough. After a lifetime of reading (in magazines and books) and being told (by doctors and husband[s] that I should eat 1200 calories per day to shed lard, it's hard to make myself eat more. And, frankly, I'm not shedding lard, but from what I've learned that's to be expected when you go from starving yourself to feeding yourself. (1200 calories is what a hospital would feed a 7-year-old girl in a coma daily in order to keep her alive.)

I have every confidence that lard will be shed. If not, you'll be the first to know.

At any rate, I'm not adding lard and I'm eating much more than 1200 calories per day – 1700 to 1800 as a rule.

It's wonderful to eat a filling breakfast, a decent lunch, a satisfying dinner, a couple of snacks and not gain weight. When I was trying to limit my calories to 1200/day, I would eat part of my breakfast before my walk, finish it afterward and not eat again until dinner. I would be hungry all day, tempted by "bad" foods and take out my frustrations on those around me. I was rarely satisfied and I thought about food all the time.

Not any more. When I'm lusting for a high-calorie treat, I either fit it into the day's calories or decide the calories aren't worth the cost. Or I decide I'll have it later – later in the day, later in the week or later in my life.

It would be much more difficult to change my lifestyle were it not for the little food diary I loaded onto my BlackBerry. Keeping a food journal has been shown to be a major predictor of weight-loss success, and it's also one of the hardest good habits to establish. I use the FatSecret app, but there are many others available for all the smartphones out there.

Why am I rambling about all of this today? I'm not sure. I don't feel like my enthusiasm is lagging, but maybe yours is. If so, I hope I've helped. It always helps me to realize that what I'm doing has benefits, that I'm working toward goals and that I'm more likely to reach them by taking it slow. I've done quick-and-dirty weight loss before. Just look where it got me.

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