I don’t know how long ago I’d stopped paying attention. To what I ate, to how much I moved (or didn’t).
Wait. Back up. It’s probably more accurate to say that I don’t remember how long ago I realized this was a thing. i suppose in this respect I was lucky. I was skinny as a kid. Good metabolism. I never struggled with weight.
I got used to the idea that my choices had no impact on my body. Until it did. The mere idea that I might have to think about what I ate or whether I exercised, kind of came as a midlife shock.
I just woke up one day, and I wasn’t that skinny kid any more.
And time passed while I didn’t know how to process that, or what I was doing. Couldn’t wrap my brain around it.
I don’t know how long that went on.
A while, anyway.
Back in NJ I had (finally) gotten good about paying attention to what I ate.
And I had figured out a better system to help me succeed. If I left my workout clothes by the door, then when I came home I had a better chance of changing into those instead of PJs first thing on arrival. It didn’t guarantee I’d work out, but already being in PJs guaranteed I wouldn’t.
More often than not, I did work out. And I that encouraged me to watch my snacking.
And I lost weight. I felt good. I suspect I looked good. Healthy, anyway. I kept that up for years.
And then… I didn’t.
There was a window of time (a large window, sadly) when I first moved here, and I hadn’t figured out how to trigger workout time in an almost-always-home existence. I didn’t have a system for it. There was no obvious end-of-day signal. No real start-of-day signal, for that matter. If I was up, I’d make coffee and start working. Late in the evening I’d knock off when I was done and eat whatever because by then I was hungry.
That didn’t do me any favors though.
Eventually I figured out to get up and work out rather than just get up and work.
And we had that one spring and summer that was delightful, and I’d also walk in the evenings. Over to my folks’ house, or around the local neighborhoods. It’s hilly here … better cardio than you might guess from the mileage alone.
That was working. I was undoing some of the damage. And once I’m working out, I start eating better, because I know you can’t possibly work off everything you eat, and I don’t want to have to try, so I eat more wisely when I’m aware of the work it takes.
It was a regular thing, and I was in the swing. I wasn’t where I wanted to be, but I was headed in a better direction.
Well I don’t know. I got sick, or I got sad, or it got hot, or it got rainy. All of the above, probably. It takes so little to throw me off track, and we did have a couple of summers here that it poured rain or hit record highs.
A couple of summers. Wow. I was off track a long, long time. And it showed. In how my clothes fit (or mostly didn’t), and in how I felt.
So. I made a start. (I made a couple of them, actually. I started moving more before I took the First Beautiful Niece to Hawaii for her graduation trip because we had a lot of activities planned and I wanted to have a chance at keeping up.)
It was a great trip, but my discipline didn’t last.
Tick tick tick. Realization:
This is NOT good for me. At all.
So, late in 2019, I started again.
I jumped in with both feet. And I was diligent. Every day for 6 weeks, like clockwork, I got my 10,000 steps. Worked out for at least 30 minutes. Started watching what I ate again.
A few pounds lost – I’m older now so it’s slower to lose. Plus I’d gotten SO out of shape.
But I felt better. I felt good.
And then I went to Asia. I got my steps there almost every day, the full day at each end in the air notwithstanding, because of all the excursions. Always on the go.
But I came home under the weather. When I wasn’t working or un/packing, I laid on the couch a lot. I slept a lot, trying to get better. I didn’t work out.
Then I went to the Mediterranean.
And a lot of days, when we weren’t sitting on planes, we got our steps. When we went to Pisa, we got almost double our steps.
But we also got colds. Which means as the trip wore on, we slept a lot.
(Which I suppose means we didn’t eat a lot. We weren’t too hungry. But what we did eat, breakfast aside, was probably not that healthy.)
As you’ve all heard until you’re sick of hearing about it, I came home sick.
I have slept a lot. Worked. Not worked out. Slept a lot.
I have eaten whatever was easy, and not paid a lot of attention to it.
But now I can feel I’m turning a corner. I know I’m almost all better now.
And I can’t just not pay attention forever. That’s not going to be a good long term plan.
So I got on the scale. Just to see how far behind a total of omigosh 8 weeks went by fast of working and traveling and sleeping and not paying attention has put me.
Ooh! What is this?? I’ve actually lost a few pounds.
Okay okay, part of that will be muscle atrophy (because of all the not moving and sleeping) and muscle weighs more than fat. So weight loss, by itself, is not necessarily good news.
I’m not thoroughly discouraged by being set back a long way. And I actually feel pretty good. As in, reasonably fit, all things considered. Normal amounts of hungry, not newly ravenous now that I’m better. Energy available. And I feel like I’m breathing well enough to start working out again.
So I’m getting back on track. One day of working out goes on the books. The aim is 30 minutes of movement and 10K steps a day.
Wish me luck!
I’ll 100% need it.