Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I'm totally into fitness

Fitness whole cupcake in my mouth!

Photo credit: Joanna Strauss 

As a homeschooler, it is really easy to sit at the kitchen table in my jammies all day long.  Finding time to exercise is tough and every time the kids have a snack, it's pretty easy to have one too.  When all you wear is yoga pants or pajamas, you don't even get the feedback of your clothes not fitting, until one day, you step on the scale and you are 100 pounds over your ideal weight (which is based on BMI, which is total bull, but that is another post entirely) and 50 pounds over a comfortable weight.  

2 years ago, we went to Disney.  I was near the lowest weight I'd been in my adult life and at the best fitness level.  I worked out 4-5 days a week, for an hour at a time.  Both kids were in school and I was only working a few hours a day, so I had tons of time to do that.  I ran on the elliptical, I did 5Ks (mostly walking, but I still did them), I lifted weights.  I felt great and coming home from Disney, I still felt like I'd been hit by a truck.  We pushed it to the limit, every single day we were there, and I needed a vacation to recover from my trip.

We are going back soon and when planning started for real (we decided while standing in line for Soarin' at Epcot that we'd be going back in 2 years but planning wasn't started until early this year), in February, it occurred to me that I would die if I tried to go back at the weight I was currently at and the fitness level (or lack there of) that I had.  I hadn't been to the gym in months and I had gained 50 pounds and none of that was ok.  

I started a low carb diet to lose the weight and I started trying to add steps to my day.  The diet was less hardcore than the low carb diet I did before.  It is maintainable for a longer term, averaging 1000 calories a day, instead of 700.  I drink my coffee for breakfast, which is carb free but does have heavy cream, so it isn't calorie free.  I have a protein shake for lunch and vegetables for an afternoon snack.  Generally, I have plain meat and vegetables for dinner.  Chicken, steak, and hamburgers, mostly.  I've done some low carb pizzas (they're fine, they just aren't real pizza and they are super labor intensive).  Vegetables are mostly salads, occasionally RF will make green beans with bacon, or a pepper cooked and mixed with my meat.  It is a low variety diet, but I'm a low variety eater and I prefer to live in my tiny little food box.  Although I do prefer when my food box includes ice cream.  

When I started walking, I was averaging between 1200-1400 steps per day.  I started slow, adding extra steps when I got up to go to the bathroom.  I'd make a lap through the kitchen on my way and then a lap through on the way back.  When the weather was decent, we'd walk around the park near the house after RF got off work.  It wasn't too far and it was nice to get out of the house and walk the dog once in awhile.  I'd do the cliche of parking at the edge of the lot when I went places.  I'd take the long route through the grocery store, instead of going directly to check out after picking up an item or two. When we'd go places, I'd pace.  The looks people give you, when you walk laps around a small space are pretty funny.

In June, I bought a fitness tracker, the Garmin Vivofit 2. 

 Prior to that, I had been using the motion tracking on my iPhone, which was fine, but it meant I had to carry my phone with me, all the time, instead of just laying it on the table most of the day.  I did a ton of research before I decided on this one.  I needed something that doubled as a watch and something that was waterproof.  This met both requirements and had the added bonus of not needing recharged.  It uses a standard watch battery and they claim it lasts a year between replacements.  I haven't gotten there yet, but so far, I've been very pleased with it.  The only drawback is that not nearly as many people have it as have Fitbits, so there isn't much competition.  The app is useful, but kind of plain.  I don't have fun colors or snappy badges, but it is accurate does what I want. 

I also started house walking.  Our house is laid out so the kitchen and living room create a loop.  I figured out a pattern and instead of going directly anywhere, I'd walk a few laps around.  My lap was about 50 steps, but it adds up eventually.  My first goal was 5000 steps a day.  It was hard.  I felt like I was always walking.  Eventually, I was hitting 5000 every day, comfortably and I decided to increase my goal to 7500, but several things happened all at once that made me go ahead and jump straight to 10,000.  My plan had been to increase by 1000 steps a month until I was regularly hitting 15,000 by the time we left.  That wasn't sustainable and I've settled in at 11,000-12,000 regularly.

I peaked in August, with 473,530 steps for the month!

Once school started, I decided that I wouldn't allow myself to goof around on the internet until I had 10,000 steps or I was walking.  So to check my email or play on facebook, my phone and I walk laps around the house. Sometimes, I'll watch a show while I walk, once school is done or I'll read.  Whatever, to keep me moving! 

Between the diet and the walking, I am 5 pounds from my final goal. Which means that I actually need to lose 10, so I can stay under it, comfortably.  Of course, that still puts me in the overweight BMI range, but like I said before, BMI is garbage.  My clothes fit better (actually, they fit terribly, I've had to take in ALL my pants, so they stop falling off).

This is a terribly unflattering picture of me in a skirt I made myself from a men's polo shirt. It was taken in April, shortly after I started getting serious about getting in shape.  Ignore how gross the mirror is, it is on WF's door and gets touched a lot.

Same skirt, picture in August.  33 pounds lost. 

At this point, I've lost this same weight 2 different times and I HAVE to make it stick this time.  Which means I'm planning to eat what I want on vacation (it's Disney, if you don't eat the food, you are crazy pants!) but then I have to get back to it.  When the holidays roll around, I have to take the day and then get back on the wagon.  I can't throw away a week or a month because I ate a whole pie on Thanksgiving.  I have to stay on track with measuring my food and tracking what I eat, even when it is off plan.  

As a homeschooler or as a mom, how do you stay on track with your fitness goals?  How do you find time to work out and what motivates you to keep at it?  Since I'm in the habit, I just have to stick with it and not let that slip.  

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