In the spirit of the New Year, and because Jay is getting married in June (WHAT??? I’m going to be a Mother-In-Law???), I’ve decided that I need to try to “get healthier.” Well, that’s a vague phrase, isn’t it.
I exercised three of the first six days of the year, but then I went back to work and I got tired. I also generally use food as my reward for making it through the day, so it’s not uncommon for me to, after I’ve put Ad to bed, enjoy a glass (or two) of wine, several (15 or so) cubes of cheese, and a couple (a sleeve) of crackers. And then I need something sweet. Elle made cupcakes the other day. I ate two.
Twenty years ago, my waistline could take this kind of nightly hit. On the downslide to 50, not so much. My body seems to be spreading like a pat of butter in a hot pan.
Jay is all into health stuff as a pretty serious college athlete, so he offered to help me come up with a plan. I warned him it had to be do-able. That means don’t cut out any food that I really like and don’t make me exercise every day. So, basically, if he could use the Force on me or Harry Potter’s wand and just disappear 10 pounds or so and build up some muscle mass, that would be awesome. Although he didn’t offer those solutions, he did come up with something I can do.
First, he said just log what I eat for a couple of days. Well, this is a little problem. Not because I can’t. It’s because I don’t want to. I don’t want to actually have to write down and admit I eat all that stuff. (Could this be part of his strategy???) Then, I’m supposed to up my protein intake. Okay. Whatever. I like meat. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) Eventually, I’ll have a target calorie range for the day. But, he says to me, “If you go over one day, it’s not a big deal. Just make sure to hit it the next.” Okay. Forgiveness. I like that.
The other element is the workouts. But, he has a little lifting program that I only have to do twice a week! Two times! I can do that. When I asked him about cardio, he said I could if I want. But it’s not required. Woo hoo! Now here’s where this weird psychology kicks in. I don’t have to do it, but I feel very magnanimous and proud of myself if I do. So, yesterday when I got home from school, I plopped Ad in the stroller, tucked a blanket around her and went for a 20 minute walk.
Let me tell you about this walk. I tried to walk fast. Within three minutes – three – my calves start to tighten up and burn. Really? Three minutes. By seven, I could feel it in my thighs and hamstrings. I could feel my heart rate pumping. This is really hard (Oh my gosh – this is hard and I’m literally just walking. Am I 100 years old?). I think I must be burning some good calories here.
When I get home, I grab my phone and open up my little Fitness Pal app to log my exercise. I burned 67 calories. Really? That’s it. For twenty minutes, a re-introduction to my leg muscles and a little bit of sweat, actually, I burned 67 calories. Only 3,433 left to go to burn off a pound. That doesn’t at all make me feel like quitting – or like losing 10 pounds will be a herculean task. Not at all.