Nearly two weeks ago, the Man and I decided it was serious high time to refocus, get in shape, and get our consumption under control.
What did that mean? My husband's plan was, vaguely, this: eat better and exercise.
As a former teacher, the problem was immediately visible. NO measurable means of progress...how would we know we were "eating better"? What is "exercise", exactly? The easiest way to measure eating better is keeping track of calories and weighing ourselves regularly. And for me, exercise would be to be start running again, with maybe eventually the goal being to enter some kind of 5K race in the future.
And here's the irony of all this: my husband, who's an IT guy and works with technology all day long, is more likely to just wing it when it comes to portion control, calorie counting, and exercising. Whereas I dive headfirst into the World Of Phone Apps to find programs that will help me keep track of all this.
For eating, I found this: Lifesum. It's a British app, so they use kCals instead of cals, but the same thing really. I entered my height, weight, gender and it kicked out a daily calorie goal for me, which depended on whether I wanted to a.) maintain my weight (no!) b.) lose weight or c.) build muscle mass. I also can keep track of how much water I drink and the exercise I do. It's an all-purpose app for tracking info (and FREE, too)...but be wary, some foods are hard-to-find or exercise calories might be off a little. Still, it's easy to tweak and use
For exercising, I downloaded the MapMyRun app. I'd seen this often on Facebook, when FB friends of mine could "share" their route, run time, etc., for everyone to see. Frankly, I opt NOT to do this, because a.) I don't think people really give a flip about my morning run and b.) I'm only running a mile, pretty weenie right now, and I don't want to people to see that. Anyway, this app is great because it's got my location, so it maps my route as I run, gives me total running time as well as pace and split times. Also, it tells me what I burn for calories, which I then use when I'm entering my exercise into Lifesum. I've also downloaded the MapMyWalk and the MapMyRide apps (all free!) for when I take a break from running and decide to walk or bike.
So far, progress is good. I'm simply trying to eat less garbage, less processed foods. I have no desire to cut back to barebones portions, because I do enjoy my butter, my cream, and my alcohol. When I plateau, weight-wise, then I guess that's the weight I'll stay at. It is what it is.
I've only been running a mile at a time, because frankly, it's enough for me right now (I'm not a runner), and I like to see immediate results in the improvement of my pace times. For example, I ran my first mile back on Tuesday, June 16 (almost two weeks ago), and I ran it at almost a 13-minute pace. That is sad. In the last thirteen days, I have run eight of them, and my pace times have been: 12:51, 12:29, 12:25, 12:44, 11:51, 11:54, 11:32, and 11:36. In two weeks, I've nearly cut 90 seconds off my pace time. I'd like to get myself down to a 10 minute mile...then I'll think about beginning to increase my distance.
It's all a very slow gradual process, to be sure, but it's a whole lot easier to incorporate the changes into my lifestyle. I'm not one for fadsy diets that ask me to go without things. Give me my butter, my cream, my craft beer!
Speaking of gluttony, my oldest son returns home today after ten days at Boy Scout camp near Mount Rushmore. His welcome-home dinner?
Beet-braised Short Ribs
Hasselback Potatoes (have wanted to try these for quite awhile now)
Swiss Chard Gratin
Raspberry Hand Pies