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I am stout.

I've been heavy for most of my life, but I am no longer heavy.  I am stout.

I do not wish to be stout.

The picture in my head does not match the picture in my camera - and the picture in my head isn't the most flattering.

I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to work more movement into my day.  Ten and a half hours of my day are spent either at work or in transit.  There is definitely three hours of chores when I get home, although I don't always get them done.  I'm trying to get eight hours of sleep, although I really seem to need about nine, because I can't get up in the morning.  That leaves two and a half hours, which need to include dinner - which I really ought to start cooking again occasionally (Bob has been doing the cooking.)  What am I supposed to do - stop eating dinner to free up that time, or try to cut my sleep back even further?


It would be great to be able to disappear to the gym for two hours in the middle of the day like the attorneys do, but I'm hourly, not salaried.  That would mean staying late to make up the time, and I don't want to watch my daughter "grow up horizontally," because I only ever see her when she's already asleep.  A coworker and I are going to try to start walking at lunch, but that has it's own issues.  Sharing the road with large trucks is one slightly hair-raising problem.  Also, spending the rest of the day at the office all sweaty and disheveled just bugs me - especially in July and August.  Ick.  But I'm just not sure what the other options are.

I wish I had my husband's metabolism.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 13th, 2010 12:52 pm (UTC)
I can completely relate to this. I had to start working out recently, not because I didn't like the way I looked (besides the point), but because I was beginning to retain water--bad diabetes juju.

If this is a "vent" post, that sucks and I hope it gets better. If you are looking for a suggestion--other than the obvious (i.e. exercise DVDs and/or a cheapy treadmill from Walmart), I've got nothin'.

If you do figure out how to add more hours to the day, please share.
May. 13th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
I think the secret to a very busy person being able to exercise is to make existing tasks serve two functions. (Workout videos and cardio equipment at home can help too, as above.)

Since you do 3 hours of chores...this may sound crazy but...make your chores physically harder. If you're mopping the floor, do it HARD. Scrub like there's gum over every inch of the floor, making sure you have your core pulled in and are using it as well as your arms to do the work. You don't have to take any LONGER at it, just make it into more exercise.

That's just a random example, of course. There are a lot of household chores that can be turned into pretty good exercise if you try to. (Usually we try to make chores EASIER, but if chores are taking up every bit of time you could use to exercise, then it makes sense to turn some of the chores INTO exercise so that you're getting both done at the same time.)

More exercise is a lot better than less food...but a modest calorie cut is often a good idea as people usually eat a lot more than they should to begin. Just don't cut them lower than you could maintain on a nearly-daily basis for the rest of your life, because your metabolism WILL lower to accomodate whatever your intake is. If you only have ten pounds to lose it's not so bad since it takes time for your metabolism to lower, but cutting calories a lot is not an effective way to lose, say, 50 lbs. (It can be done...*I* lost 50 lbs that way...but I've had to live on a quite low calorie intake ever since and that is HORRIBLE.)
May. 13th, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
I need to lose 50 or 60 pounds, which is a dauntingly huge number. It's not like I didn't already know this, it's that I had one of those moments of horrifying clarity.

I do need to cut my calories - I eat for stress and often for boredom. But I hear you loud and clear - I'm only going to cut down to where I *should* be, and just concentrate on maintaining that. I used to keep a food diary, and it helped me a lot. I want to be able to still have a treat if I really want it, and backing myself into a corner where I really can't do that won't be good.

And that doesn't sound crazy at all. I really need to put the *work* back into my housework - things like saying "no" when my husband offers to take the basket of laundry upstairs for me.

Next week we're going to start walking at lunch - assuming that she remembers to bring walking shoes. We'll brave the trucks, and everyone will ask if I'm okay (I'm SO fair that the slightest exertion makes me go bright red - even if I'm not winded. Red, red, red. It looks like I'm having a heart attack even when I feel fine. Kinda embarrassing at work.)

I'm also going to sit down with a map - maybe I can find a way that we can all go for a walk right after work a few days a week. I've got to do *something*.
May. 13th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
Mowing the lawn (NOT with a self-propelled mower...or at least with that feature not turned on) is a pretty intense workout for any beginner. (It's tough even later on, depending on the landscape and the speed you mow at.)

Also, if you RUSH through your chores (mop as fast as you possibly can, for example) you'll tend to be getting a pretty good cardio workout. Push hard for muscles, go FAST for cardiovascular benefits. If you do both at the same time you'll half kill yourself, but it's a great workout!

(I actually advise beginners to only push far enough that they're a bit sore the next day, not so that they're throbbing all over. You should really WANT to quit by the time you do so, but it shouldn't be a breath away from real torture. Too hard at the start and you'll burn out or just give up.)
May. 13th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
PS: In total I lost 65 lbs, about, and have managed to keep over half of it off for 10 years. I wish I could have kept 3/4 off (I don't really need the full 100% because I've gained quite a few pounds of muscle) but when you have MS, you have to deal with the fact that there will be times when you CANNOT exercise intensely, and if your metabolism is lowered (as mine is) then you're almost definitely going to gain some weight.

It sucks, but I'd still say I'm pretty successful as far as losing weight goes.
May. 13th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC)
Making the time to exercise is hard, especially if, like me, you don't enjoy it. I've spent 30 minutes each day this week doing some sort of exercise, and haven't really enjoyed it. But, it needs to be done.
May. 14th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)
At work they're doing a fitness thing and they've given us all pedometers. I've found that just jogging in place for 100 or 200 steps is helping increase my step count. I've set my calendar to half hour reminders and try to do 100 steps either walking around the building or in place each time it goes off. Not happening every time, but I've increased my activity some and hope to do more.
May. 14th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
You know what I've discovered? Ab workouts are quick, easy, and the results are scary-fast. I'm not kidding.

Go buy yourself one of those inflatable balls to sit on...they cost about $20 at Target. Sit on that thing and do a set of crunches every night, before dinner. Do it while dinner is cooking. 25 slow and 50 "pulse" crunches. Because of the ball, it won't even hurt your back. It'll take maybe 5 minutes.

Once you start to build muscle in your core, you'll burn fat in that area & you'll look & feel better. Core strength = back strength = more energy and it all just gets easier from there.

You know me...I'm not svelte but I am strong, and feeling strong = feeling better about yourself & just everything.

Just give it a try. I swear it works and it's not hard to stick with at all.
May. 14th, 2010 10:49 am (UTC)
I hate making contrary remarks, even on small issues, and I desperately do not want to be argumentative with a friend (I don't even like it with strangers but it's much worse with friends) but having not-completely-correct info about nutrition and exercise got me into what is the biggest regret of my life and a constant burden that I'm still dealing with, so I just can't not say anything...

If you've tried this and found it to be true, then I have no comment on that; what works is very much an individual experience (doing 5 minutes of core work doesn't do anything for me, personally, maybe because my stomach is already flat.) And strengthening the the core is one of the best things you can do for your feeling of well-being...it improves posture (often) and for me, prevents me from getting backaches.

However, this part: Once you start to build muscle in your core, you'll burn fat in that area

I wish that were true, oh god how I wish it, but it's scientifically impossible. You can't burn fat in an area by building muscle in that area. Spot reducing is not possible. If you build muscle in your core (or anywhere) you increase your metabolism, and your metabolism will need more fuel. If you don't take in any extra calories to feed it, it will burn off fat. All true.

However, your metabolism will burn off fat evenly from ALL OVER your body, not just in the area where your muscles are positioned. Some people have a natural proclivity to gain more weight in one spot than another, and may LOSE fastest off another area, but that's determined by individual biology and can't be changed by weight training or any type of exercise or diet.

However, training your core will tend to tighten your abs and if you tighten your abs, it physically PULLS your stomach in a bit, which can give you a smaller waist.

That may be what you meant to begin...just that training your abs can shrink your tummy/waist fairly quickly. Definitely possible, though more so for some people than others. It's just burning fat in a specific area that is not possible. (The only thing that can spot reduce is liposuction.) :)
May. 14th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
I had interpreted it as "you'll build muscle in your core and that muscle will burn fat." I hadn't actually read it as being able to target particular fat - maybe because I alreay know that doens't work.

Which is a DAMN shame.

I really, truly hate to exercise. Oh well - mom never said life was fair.
May. 14th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
It was only the 'burn fat in that area' part that I had any issue with. Beyond, of course, the fact that there is nothing that works for everyone, but I assume everyone KNOWS that.
May. 14th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
Ya. But I'm impatient and entitled and want something guaranteed that will work NOW. Fortunately, I'm not enough of a spoiled brat to actually believe in that - I just wish it existed.

I'm concentrating again, and I'm keeping track of what I eat. I eat for stress, so it's been really, really hard the last couple of days. I'm not hungry - I stop and kind of check that - I'm just eating out of stress and habit. I think next week is going to be tough, but once I get into it I can do okay. I just have no self-control...
May. 14th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, sorry that there's no such thing :)

Right now to stave off frustration/blue moods/boredom, I'm doing 20 crunches every time I start to feel one of those things (and thus start to want to eat, as I eat primarily for boredom and to calm down if I get angry or etc.) It seems to work fairly well, but then, you do have to be able to do 20 crunches easily to manage such a strategy. It might still work with only 5 crunches, though, or jogging on the spot as fast as possible for a minute (or 30 seconds, or whatever is possible) Having your blood pumping sort of temporarily kills appetite. It also makes you feel a bit more clear-headed.
May. 14th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
PS: Right NOW, I hate it too. Usually exercise makes me feel healthier and a bit more energetic and in control and focused. But right now, exercise just makes me feel exhausted and in pain. But that's the fault of MS, not of exercise.

The key to exercise is finding one you like. SOmething you think of as a fun hobby rather than as exercise. Like me and biking and hiking and gardening and Meri's kayaking. Then you set aside time for those active hobbies.

Weight lifting is another story, of course...hard to convince yourself that it's a fun hobby, but seeing how the weight you lift goes up and realizing that you're really STRONG can be fun by itself. Still, I'd go with finding a fun overall activity first.

But this entry was how to squeak activity in when there is no slot in the schedule so I didn't go into anything else. :)
May. 14th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
You're too nice to me. You DO know that 25 crunches would *kill* me, right? :-) But you've got to start somewhere...
May. 14th, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
I'm in the exact same situation, though the problem isn't so much the time,as the knee which hurts when I do almost anything, and the wrist which won't let me put any weight on it (so a *lot* or yoga is right out...).

I found this helped the other year, and then had to move things and put it in the closet..

For work I got one of those mini-cycles, it-s just the pedals. You can put it under your desk and use it while you are reading your e-mails,or taking the 5 minute break from the computer screen every hour that we're all supposed to do, and I know I never remember. Or you can use it at home if you ever sit and watch television. I've also read that just figiting, bouncing you knee or whatever while sitting can help, you're doing more activity, however minimal, and it burns up some of those calories.

You can also do mini-crunches at your desk, just working your abdominals,and you may not lose weight, but toning your middle can really change your appearance.

So I'm off to get that little mini-cycle out right now so I can't conveniently forget!

And now that I can almost see things around the house, time to start my official decluttering, whioh should be an impressive set of workouts in itself.
May. 14th, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on that. For us, the chores have lost...and the house shows it. Now that Rob's cough seems to be going away at last, we are going to start walking again at night...at least until the mosquitoes drive us back inside. But it's sure not gym time, so I too am trying to work in incremental exertion.

I plan to find the pump for my Pilates ball because it doubles nicely as a chair at work. It was suggested to me because at the time my back was bothering me. I pleasantly surprised to find that after only a little while, I got *tired*. I guess all the balancing was using different muscles. (Only reason I stopped is because I brought the pump home for maternity leave and it never reemerged from the shed....and now I'm purging baby gear so I will find it darnitall!)

One thing Rob used to do when he was on the phone so much doing tech support was get up and pace. I tried...but stopped after I broke two phones pulling them off the table. I have read some people keep handweights at the office... but I like to joke that I'd just use them on idiots. But I was thinking of strapping on those annoying anklet weights because I jigger my legs under my desk and hey every calorie counts.

Another thing I thought about doing was trying to "Walk to Rivendell" -- http://home.insightbb.com/~eowynchallenge/
But I have enough things to keep track of... mileage is going to get annoying.

So in the meantime, I'm trying to get back on the flylady.net bandwagon... I might even give in to desperation and try out the exercise program her friend is touting on the emails. Dunno...I haven't even been deleting the emails lately let alone doing the 15 minutes a day & one hour on Monday that she touts for basic home care. So how I think I'll be doing more work I don't know. I had hopes for the slow-cooker, but mine just seems to burn things. I think even its "low" is too high.

I need more hours in the day...at one point I had hoped Rob would get a job near mine so we could move down to that area and slice my commute, but he ended up working 60 miles from my office. Oh well.
May. 15th, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
We all wish we had his metabolism. I hear you! I've actually started swimming at the local Y once a week. Usually I go for an hour. Last night was more like 45 minutes, but I PUSHED. No lazy laps. I was especially proud of myself since the person I go with is on vacation and I did it anyway.

It was definitely a thing I had to make myself do. There may not be immediate weight loss, but I'll take building stamina and better cardio health.
May. 15th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
Another site which helped me the other year (and then I had the knee surgery, and the wrist surgery, and just found lots of excuses to drop out) is SparkPeople.com. Sort of a virtual weight watchers/support group, but more. They have lots of groups based on interests or goals, and they do have one for the Eowny Challenge!

So I'm off to start back up, and maybe try to walk a mile or so. Though I could just clean up my living room so I can open up the treadmill again....
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )