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Back in the health routine

24 Jan

This is a followup to an earlier post about my weight loss efforts. If you’re interested, my weekly weigh-ins are being tracked here.

We got back from vacation on January 12. (Pictures from our JamCruise vacation can be seen here. And, if you’re curious what JamCruise is, this is a pretty good description, fyi.)

Surprisingly, when I got home, I found that I had actually lost a pound during vacation. Usually, on cruises and vacations I tend to gain quite a bit. When I go on vacation, one of my favorite things to do is sample local food. And, I always give myself permission to eat whatever I want because, hey, I’m on vacation!

This time, though, I think I had three things working in my favor that allowed me not to gain. 1) I love, love, love fresh seafood, and that’s all I wanted when in Florida. And, seafood is actually pretty low in calories and fat (depending on how it’s prepared–but I really do love steamed and grilled seafood!); 2) the food on the cruise was horrible. I know, cruise food is usually pretty decadent, but this cruise was more about music than food, and the money was spent on the bands and was apparently cut from the food; 3) I danced my ass off, literally and figuratively, for 4 days. I also did a lot of hiking and climbed a 100 foot Mayan Indian ruin. So I was active.

On January 13, I started back full-force with my crazy working-full-time-and-going-to-grad-school-full-time schedule. For a few months now, I had been telling myself and others that I had a plan to work exercise back into my routine. I rearranged my hours at work so that I went in later in the morning, so that I could hit the gym before work. I even talked a friend into meeting me at the gym in the mornings to help with the motivation.

And, for the past two weeks, I’ve been sticking to that plan, for the most part. I made it to the gym three days last week and three days this week. Next week, my goal is to get there all 5 days before work. And, it’s been working! In the 2 weeks I’ve been back, I’ve lost just over 3 pounds, for a total of almost 13 pounds in 12 weeks, and as I said before, I lose very slowly due to hypothyroidism, so I’m extremely pleased about that number!

I am trying to be realistic, though. It’s just the beginning of the semester, so the stress hasn’t really kicked in yet. And, when it does, I don’t expect to continue to keep losing. I will be happy if I can just maintain and not lose as the semester comes to a close.

In addition to the exercise in the mornings, I’ve been faithfully planning and sticking to my meals and journaling everything I eat. I really do believe that writing down everything you eat is the key to losing weight. It’s so easy to forget about something you ate earlier in the day and underestimate the amount of calories you’re taking in, unless you write it down.

Another key, I believe, is community. Losing and maintaining weight is downright hard, and it’s much easier if you have support. I have an incredibly supportive husband, but he doesn’t struggle with weight like I do. So, it’s nice to talk to others who know what you’re going through, who can offer advice and encouragement. And, it’s empowering to offer support to others.

When I had time to attend Weight Watcher meetings, I got that. But, the WW center is a good 5 miles from campus and their meetings just don’t work with my schedule right now. So, I need to find that community elsewhere. And, I’ve found it in a couple of places.

First, I’m a social network junkie. One of my faves is Twitter. Since I’m almost always in front of a computer, it’s pretty easy to send and receive tweets. A small group of tweeple have started supporting each others’ health efforts by tweeting the results of those efforts and including the hashtag “#tow” in the tweets (which stands for either “take off weight” or “Twitter off weight”. Basically, this makes it easy to find and support each other. I’ve found this to be incredibly motivating.

(FYI, if the above paragraph seems like a foreign language, click these links to find find out more about Twitter and tweets, and hashtags.)

Second, I’m going to start attending a class next week with others interested in weight loss. The School of Informatics, through which I am obtaining my Master’s degree, has started a wellness program which includes things like Yoga classes and stress-reducing activities. They’re also starting up a “Healthy Weigh” class that will meet during the lunch hour one day a week for 6 weeks, where a registered dietitian will discuss with up to 15 folks holistic weight management methods and look at the root causes of weight loss. I’ve signed up, so we’ll see how that goes.

As a result of all this, I’m feeling very confident and in control, have so much more energy, and my jeans are all loose! 🙂

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5 Comments

Posted by on January 24, 2009 in Health

 

5 responses to “Back in the health routine

  1. martinmccrory

    January 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Very cool, Jenny. I am glad you have found a lifestyle that allows you to lose the weight you want to, and keep it off as well. I, too, am always re-arranging my schedule so that I can work out at the times I want, haha 🙂 Keep at it!

     
  2. Chaitanya Sagar

    January 24, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    “As a result of all this, I’m feeling very confident and in control, have so much more energy, and my jeans are all loose!” – A ton of people want to say this!

    This post can become a guide of sorts! I love to #tow. I would love to implement that myself!

    Congrats!

    Chaitanya
    http://www.p2w2.com/blog

     
  3. Sandy

    January 24, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Sounds like you are doing all the right supportive things. What about your thyroid though? You say you have hypothyroid but what are you doing about it? Many people are now being treated with T3 (the active hormone) if the standard thyroid medication is not working for you.

    Not all doctors are aware of this and do not prescribe it so you may have to find one who does. With all the effort you are putting in you would see your weight reduce much more quickly.

     
  4. Jenny Hertel

    January 24, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks for the info on T3, Sandy! I wasn’t aware of that. I take Synthroid, and it so far has been regulating my hormones well. I have a blood test done once a year to make sure the levels are where they need to be, and my next one is due in a couple of months. I think I’ll talk to my doc about T3 then, to see if maybe it is a better option. Sometimes I do get frustrated that I work so hard to see just a pound (and even less) come off. But, I try to remind myself that it’s better than gaining!

     
  5. Sandy

    January 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Well it depends on what you mean by regulating your hormones well. Do you know what your doctor is measuring? Often doctors go only by the TSH and sometimes T4 and assume the rest is OK.
    But many more informed doctors are finding that this is not the case.

    For more information and to find out about the importance of measuring free T3 as well go to http://www.drlowe.com/ and
    http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/t4-only-meds-dont-work/

    Others are saying treat the patient not the blood test. While there could be other reasons for finding it hard to shift weight like toxic chemicals altering the weight control mechanisms (and they affect thyroid function too) its worth looking at the total thyroid picture.

     

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