So, there you have it. In the past ten days, I’ve lost four pounds – or so. My weight (like everyone else’s) fluctuates by the minute, so I never trust the measurement completely.
That said, I found that after ten days of making myself go out and do something every day (normally just a long walk, but sometimes something more challenging), I felt weird not doing it. Monday night was the first night that I came home from a LONG day of classes (five classes, one of which was a presentation) after carrying around a 20-pound backpack all day, and just couldn’t sit on the couch. I sat down and played a couple of rounds of Mega Man 9’s endless stage, and then got up and did a half hour of Wii Fit because I felt weird not doing anything. (It was also really cold outside, so going for a walk was completely unappealing.)
I’m not doing anything crazy. I’m not cutting out foods (in fact, quite the opposite: I eat sausage, half a bagel with cream cheese, a small bit of cheese, and some grapes for breakfast almost every single day!) and I’m not trying any intense workout program. There’s nothing wrong with intense workout programs, but I can’t stick to them. It’s not even a matter of willpower; I just get bored and want something new. I think that’s why this is working for me. I’m not bored with it because I get to do what I want.
There are two incredible tools that are helping me right now, though. MyFitnessPal has been great for tracking everything I eat, and I absolutely love that I can scan packaged foods to add them instead of having to search through a long list of items. This makes it so much easier! Also, I’m using MapMyWALK on my phone to keep track of the speed and amount of time I walk when I’m out for any extended period of time – even just walking to the bus, since it’s about a half-mile there. I can then use the speed and time to enter the walk into MyFitnessPal for exercise, and it’s so easy that I hardly have to think about it. It’s not always accurate, though; I think my phone is a bit weird and the GPS doesn’t always work. On those days, it shows that I’ve walked 0.0 miles at a speed of 0.0 miles per hour – which I know isn’t true! So I just use the amount of time since I started the walk (it still keeps track of that) and my normal average speed, which I’ve gotten used to, and go from there.
I think what’s working the most is the fact that I don’t have to constantly think about it. I’ve reached some tough points – going out to eat was a challenge, but I made sure to enter everything in as best I could, and it seemed to work out. We don’t really have the funds right now to go out to eat often, but it’s good to know I could approach it from a calm point of view instead of freaking out – we even went to the mall and I ended up getting a taco from Taco Bell because I knew it fit in with where I wanted my calorie goal to be for the day. Not the healthiest food ever, but it was a day that we walked for three hours, so I felt justified in splurging a bit.
All in all, though, it’s pretty much automatic. I eat what I want, as long as I can, and if I don’t have the calories left, I have to just move somehow – Wii Fit, a walk, something else entirely – until I can “afford” to eat it. It might not work for everyone, and it might not even work for me in ten or twenty more pounds, but it works right now!