Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thing Number Twelve | Watch

I am watching my weight.

Wow, do I miss my 20-year old metabolism. I could eat anything with impunity and my weight never seemed to change. I avoided the freshman fifteen when I went to college. My wedding dress had to be taken in slightly just before the big event because I’d been accidentally losing weight through the summer. Well, that stood to reason; I was doing my hospital placement and it was very stressful and all I did was go to clinic and sleep. Mom used to heat up an enchilada microwave meal for me just before I got home and I’d eat it and then fall asleep on the couch. I did gain some weight a few years into my marriage; not exactly sure why but I took it right back off again.

Now I’m in my late 30’s and I’m 15 pounds over my ideal weight. In the good old days, I’d just eat a little less, move a little more, and the pounds would fall off me. Not anymore. Darn it. Now I have to eat a lot less (and I am really bad at that) and move a lot more (I’m better at that). I’ve been hitting the treadmill about four times a week. I walk at 3.5 mph or do intervals of walking at 2.5-3.5mph and running at 4.0-4.5mph. I’ve also been lifting 10 pound arm weights, doing a variety of leg exercises, and I’ve gotten back to my Pilates. I rotate through any of those about four times a week as well. Each exercise routine (treadmill, weights, etc) is 20 minutes long and I watch a DVRed episode of “The Big Bang Theory” while I’m working out. I’ve been working out for two months now and I haven’t lost a pound. Not. A. Single. Pound. It’s discouraging. I have, however, lost one inch off my bust, one and half inches off my belly, and a quarter inch off my thigh (well, presumably a quarter inch off each thigh but I only measure one). My upper arms definitely look better. My waistbands aren’t as tight. And everything’s a little less jiggly. I’m trying to focus on those positive gains but it still kills that the scale hasn’t moved.

Part of my problem is that I perceive myself to be less overweight than I am. In an America that is collectively struggling with obesity, where everywhere I turn I see people who are fifty pounds plus past their ideal weight, it’s easy to convince myself that I’m doing ok. That I look fine. But it’s really not ok. I’d be healthier if I weighed a little less. I know it and I know how to fix it. I just don’t really want to put in the effort.

Why is that? I feel better when I’m working out. My joints are more supple. I get less winded when I’m climbing stairs. So why don’t I exercise joyfully? After all, I’m watching tv while moving and I could just as easily be watching the exact same show while lying sloth-like on the couch without the added benefits. So what’s my hang-up? Here’s my answer:  I don’t know. I just know that I have to do it, it’s good for me, and I don’t really like it. Oh, well, gotta suck it up. But, wow, do I miss my 20-year old metabolism.

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