I've been following a bunch of healthy living blogs for about a year and a half or two years now. I started reading them during a slow period at work a few months before my wedding during the summer of 2008 and got hooked. I love discovering new foods and getting inspiration to mix things up a bit when it comes to working out. I owe so many staples in my diet to blogs -- I mean, really. I'd never heard of Greek yogurt before it swept across the blogworld, and now I start every day with Chobani, berries and granola.
Hmm. Well, maybe not EVERY day. And that brings me to the title of my post...WHY a blog?
See, over the past year or so, I have slowly let myself slip. While I wasn't at all TRYING to lose weight for my wedding, I did drop a few pounds. I had also trained for and run my first long race, and PhillyGuy had put together a new lifting program for us that had me changing up the body parts I worked and the exercises that I did. So, on my wedding day, I was thrilled with the shape I was in:
And then, over the next 18 months or so, little things here and there added up to little POUNDS here and there. PhillyGuy and I moved, and while our new house is fabulous, the gym in our development is nowhere near as good as the gym from our old apartment building. Still, we were so used to not paying for a gym membership that we didn't even consider joining a better facility. As a result, we couldn't do the full amount of lifting that we had done before, and rather than try to find alternatives, we just cut everything down.
And eating. Oooh, eating. I started to get lazy and didn't make my breakfast and lunch as frequently. The every-once-in-a-while bagel and cream cheese became my go-to breakfast at least three or four days a week. I also got busy at work, so when I ran down to the food court to grab something, I went with the fastest thing possible, which was a grab-and-go wrap from DiBruno's the size of my head. I knew I was making a bad choice, but justified it because it wasn't the WORST choice -- after all, I could have been getting a cheesesteak or a crabcake sandwich! And I didn't even get the chicken caesar or turkey-bacon-cheese wrap, I got the MEDITERRANEAN wrap! Never mind that the tortilla must have been two feet in diameter, or the fact that each wrap contained about four ounces of feta.
But (as I tend to do), I digress. It should come as absolutely no surprise to you that about 18 months of this has resulted in a pretty significant weight gain. And because it's not an overnight thing, I brushed it off. What's a couple pounds? No big deal! Until it becomes a couple, and then a couple more, and then a couple more, and then all of a sudden my pants are uncomfortably tight. I got on the scale this morning for the first time in months, and it was not a welcome sight. I have officially gained at LEAST 18-20 pounds.
So, that brings us here. So many bloggers have fantastic stories. And just like most of them, I know how to lose weight -- I've done it before! When I was in college, I dropped about thirty pounds and went from a size 10/12 to a size 4/6 (note that at my smallest, I was an easy 4, but I was also on the Atkins diet and eating roast beef for breakfast, so I don't like to count that). I maintained that pretty easily until my first year of law school, when -- not unlike this past year -- I embarked on a combined regimen of slacking at the gym AND eating pretty much whatever I damn well pleased. I gained about 15 pounds back that year and lost them again within a few months after I buckled down.
It's time to do that again, and I started this blog in the hopes of remaining accountable. I haven't taken any full-body pictures recently, mostly because I know what I'm going to look like in them and I just don't want to deal with it. That'll change and I WILL take "before" pictures, though I likely won't share them until I'm ready to take progress pics (c'mon, I'm human).
So here's my plan:
- I bought a small notebook and am recording everything I eat so that I can get a grasp on how many calories I'm taking in and what the composition is. I suspect I eat way too much (duh) and that I don't get enough veggies. After a week, I'll have a good picture and will be able to cut about 500 calories per day and identify where my nutrients need help.
- I am abandoning the body part split PhillyGuy put together for us and am going back to a push/pull/legs split. This month's Oxygen magazine has a great routine, and so does Krista at Stumptuous.com.
- My cardio is about where it needs to be -- 3-4 times per week, mix of steady-state and intervals, long (40-45 minutes) and shorter (20-30 minute) sessions. I know from past experience that it's my diet that needs to change, not my time glued to the treadmill, but I will revisit this if I'm not getting results.
For now...that's it. I'll revisit in a month and tweak as necessary.