This morning I attended my very first “Body Pump” class at the YMCA we’ve joined. “Body Pump” is basically group weight-lifting. You use a barbell with various weights, an aerobic step, and pump it up to some catchy music. Apparently people become addicted to the class. I enjoyed it and will definitely go back, but the chance of me becoming “addicted” to working out is slim to nil.
I think this year was the first year in quite a while that I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions or set any goals for myself for the year- at least publicly. But I have been on a mission to lose the baby weight, plus a few extra pounds I need/want to take off and have actually been doing pretty well with it. My goal has been to maintain a weight loss of 1 pound per week. I know that I could go hard-core and lost it more quickly but I really wanted to make this more about changing my life style and habits and getting into a food/exercise routine that I could actually stick with.
When I got pregnant with LP I was in a pretty good place weight wise at about 135 pounds. (For anyone who doesn't know me, I'm barely 5'2" with what I'd call a "regular" build). A little heavier than when we got married but not much. I gained about 30 pounds with him though and had a hard time taking it off after (I am NOT one of those women who loses weight quickly due to breastfeeding). I exercised half-heartedly in order to lose a few pounds but figured we’d just be trying for baby #2 again pretty soon so I didn’t put too much effort into it. I was stuck right around 150 lbs. for quite a while.
Flash forward two years and we were STILL trying to get pregnant. I felt fat and gross and uncomfortable and miserable because my body was failing me. It felt as though I had no control over anything and I was emotionally eating huge bowls of ice cream every night (ice cream has always been my achilles heel). Eventually I decided that enough was enough and that if I couldn’t get pregnant I could at least get thinner. I started tracking my food and using the Wii to exercise in the basement. I think I got down to about 145 or so when I found out I was pregnant with Eliza. I gained about the same amount of weight with her and ended up right back where I started- On January 14 I weighed in at 154.
For my birthday at the end of January my youngest brother gave me a Fit Bit. It’s a fancy pedometer that tracks steps, miles, flights of stairs, calories burned and even how much sleep you’re getting at night. I’ve been using it pretty faithfully ever since. What I love about it is that I can set my own goals and it gives me updates throughout the day as to how I’m doing. My goals are 5,000 steps a day (surprisingly difficult, especially on days when we don’t leave the house), 10 flights of stairs (I ALWAYS accomplish this- in fact, I’ve had some days where I’ve done more than 30 flights of stairs- and that’s just from doing laundry in the basement, getting Eliza from the nursery, tucking LP into bed a dozen times, etc.), and 2 miles.
I use the Fit Bit in conjunction with My Fitness Pal where I track what I’m eating in order to stick to a calorie goal of 1300 per day (My Fitness Pal helps you figure out how many calories to eat in order to lose the weight as slowly or quickly as you want to). The Fit Bit syncs up with My Fitness Pal and I can eat any extra calories I burned during the day. I do my best during the week to really stick to the plan and then allow for a little extra on the weekends- we usually order takeout on Friday or Saturday nights. If I had to give up my sesame chicken and crab rangoons I’d be seriously unhappy! The main way that I do “cheat” is that I don’t track calories for vegetables. If we have sweet potatoes or something I’ll track those, but steamed carrots or raw peppers don’t get tracked- at least not by me! I know some people on My Fitness Pal are really sticklers for tracking and even track chewing gum or vitamins.
The final thing that has really helped is that Paul agreed that we could join the local YMCA. I haven’t belonged to a gym before and since I’m not working it’s been really great for all of us. The kids love going to the childcare room (LP was missing having kids his own age to play with since he stopped going to day care when Eliza was born, and Eliza really needed to be around other children and adults too since she’s been very attached to Mommy) and I can get in a really great workout. Last week I started a Couch to 5K program (I don’t think I’ve ever even fully run a mile in my life- so if I can get to 5K I’ll be very proud) and am changing up my routine to try out some new classes.
As of today I’m down 12 pounds to 142 lbs with an initial goal of 135. When I get there I’ll see how I feel and if I want to aim for 130. At this point though, I’ll be soooo excited to be in the 130’s- I haven’t seen numbers like that in YEARS!
It’s ironic that even when we got married, when I was right around 130, I felt like I was overweight. Today I’m pretty sure I’ll be happy to be even close to that weight! I’m also sure that this time I’m going to get there- hopefully by the time Eliza turns 1 in August. My goals are realistic, my plan is easy to follow, and while I’m not “addicted” to working out, I am addicted to how much better (and less cranky) I feel afterwards.
Not only am I working out and eating healthier for myself, but I’m also doing it for LP and Eliza (and Paul, of course). I want to be fit and comfortable in my own skin, and I want them to see that. And I want them to see that fitness and exercise and eating well are important, and the best way for them to learn that is to show them. Hopefully it’s something they’ll take with them into their adult lives (although, if they take after Paul and get his metabolism their weight will never be an issue- the man could eat 4 Big Macs a day and never gain weight. Blergh.)
So that’s what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been working on lately now that I’m a “woman of leisure” as Paul calls it, or a CFO (Chief Family Officer) as I prefer…
(I’m linking this post up to PAIL for this month’s theme “Body Image.”)