Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Back to the basics: The power of a food scale, an elliptical, and a complete lack of ego

Lately, I've been trying to get back to the basics. It's been kind of humbling really. It's so easy to think that I know so much more than I did when I began, mainly because for the most part that would be a true statement. I do know so much more than I did then. But part of the problem is that it's easy to let things that I did religiously in the beginning slip by the wayside as time goes by.  But as I said a couple of weeks ago, I am trying to remedy that. My main mortal sin (should I say a Hail Mary?) has been not measuring out my food. I've never been great at estimating measurements, and I'm especially not great when it involves eating something delicious.

I've also gotten stuck in a rut with my exercise routine. Even though I know better, I have been queen of cardio lately and have been neglecting strength training. Part of that is because I hurt my arm surfing (3 months ago! I keep thinking it will heal on its own, but no luck, probably because I keep overusing it) and can't do arm stuff, but I shouldn't use that as an excuse. I could still be doing everything else. Well, I can't say that I did strength training today (shame, shame), but I did at least switch to some form of cardio other than running. I used the elliptical, which I haven't been on in months. The elliptical was something I used everyday in the beginning, but as I grew able to run, I gradually stopped using the elliptical altogether. I guess I got it in my head that running is a harder workout. I think a lot of people believe that, but that is not true. I did intervals on the elliptical today and I had sweat pouring off of me (as always, you're welcome for that mental image). Running isn't a better workout than the elliptical; it's just different. I even felt how it was using different muscles. Can you phone in a workout using the elliptical? Sure, but you can do the same thing running. No matter what kind of workout you do, you have to make a conscious effort to push hard the whole time.

The truth is, I am a creature of routine. I always have been. I think it's a control thing. And actually as far as food goes, that is a good thing for weight loss. Research has shown that eating the same thing all the time bores people and so they view food more as just a source of nutrition and not something associated with emotion, which makes people prone to overeating. But as far as exercise goes, routine is terrible. You need to constantly switch things up to keep your metabolism confused. So as much as I may crave the same workout every day, I have got to force myself to switch things up.

So far, so good during this month of temptation otherwise known as the holiday season. I'm getting all my workouts in, and not going crazy with the treats. My goal of losing half my original body weight by the end of the year is good motivation to keep myself going strong. I've only got 4 lbs to go!

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