Saturday, June 19, 2010

12 days of hell

I turn 40 in 12 days. And I have probably put on weight every one of those 40 years. I stopped growing upward in my teens, but kept growing outwards. I have, in the past, kept my weight partly under control with a certain amount of exercise, but last year I went back to University to do a postgraduate degree and this year I started part-time work (after being at home with my kids for six years). I have really struggled to find the time to exercise.

It is not just about being thin (although that would be great). My health is really starting to suffer. I had gestational diabetes with my second pregnancy, so that adds to my risk of getting type 2 diabetes. I am tired and sluggish all the time. I feel unhealthy and unattractive. So, time to do something about it!

I have tried, and failed, to change my diet and exercise a few times recently. My husband thinks that I need some quick, positive results to keep me motivated. So I am giving my lifestyle change a kick-start. For the next 12 days I will:
* exercise for an hour at the gym 6 days a week
* stick to the daily calorie recommendations of the CalorieKing online program
* not eat after 9 pm
* track everything faithfully.

The exercise is going to be hard. I have done very little in the past 18 months (although I still have gym membership, at ruinous cost) so I am very unfit. Even worse, the only way I will able to get to the gym on weekdays is to go early in the morning. The classes are at 6.15. Just shoot me now. Usually I drag myself out of bed at 7.30. Or, actually, 10 minutes after that, after lying comatose for a while. And I will have to get out of bed at 5.50, assuming I don't have breakfast before I go.

I've chosen to count calories because it gives me flexibility about when and what I eat. Of course to stay within my calorie limit I will need to eat primarily healthy low-fat food. But I don't have to give up chocolate entirely.

My secondary goals are:
* drink at least 6 glasses of water every day
* eat 2 fruits, 5 vegetables, and 2 serves of dairy every day
* blog here every day.

I have committed to this for the next 12 days. Then I will celebrate my birthday, and then review the whole diet/exercise thing. I am hoping that in the next 2 weeks I will feel some kind of difference in myself, enough to motivate me to continue. I suppose that, really, even if there is no major change, I will have to continue anyway. Or find a better way.

Ok, here is the scariest bit. Today I weighed in at 83.1 kg on my home scale. This is my highest non-pregnant weight ever, and only 3 kg less than my highest pregnant weight. It was really horrible to see that number. If you think it isn't that huge a number - well I am only 152 cm (5 foot) tall. My BMI is about 32, which puts me in the Seriously Obese. Not overweight, not obese, but Seriously Obese. So, from today, I am doing something about it. I expect it to be hard. I will do it anyway.

I went to the gym this morning (for the 9 am class, it is Sunday so I didn't have to get up early). I worked hard in the BodyStep class. I bet I will be sore tomorrow. And that is an exciting thing. Calorie tracking is going well, and I expect to be comfortably under my limit. Day one is going well.

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