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.
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! 🙂