Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Health and Fitness Update #1: Getting Started

As the creator of the hastag #ChubbySwag you’d think I’d embrace my plumpness and happily munch through a bag of Cheese Puffs without a second thought. 

This isn’t the case.

After years [decades] of disliking my looks and loathing my figure, it dawned on me that I was just as miserable at 130 pounds as I was at 230 pounds.  Your size doesn’t matter, I realized, your physical and mental health are what is important. 

While I have consistently looked after my mental health for years, I realized I had been neglecting my physical health for quite some time.  After a couple of medical crises rocked my family earlier this year I realized that the time to take control over my own health was now: I needed to lose some weight, start eating healthier, and get into a workable exercise routine.  Weight loss is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer; now that I am in my thirties, time is running out for me to reduce the risk of developing these life threatening disease. 

I began my weight loss journey about a month ago by starting going to the gym in my condominium community and doing an hour workout.  Exercising alone, I realized, wasn’t enough to shed the pounds; instead, I needed to be mindful of what I was eating, how much I was consuming, and how I felt when I when I did eat.   

To help keep myself on track, I rejoined Weight Watchers Online and have been diligently tracking what I have been eating and paying close attention to portion size.  When I felt bored, instead of chowing down on a bag of candy, I would do something constructive like grade papers, read a book, write, or work on my blog.  If I felt sad, and there are at least a couple days a week when I feel blue, I’ll try to talk to my mother about how I am feeling or go for a workout.

I’ve found the easiest way to get exercise in is to engage in activities I would do otherwise but with greater purpose.  For instance, now that summer is upon us, I like to go to my community pool and swim laps.  I love swimming to begin with, but laps give me a fun and challenging way to burn off some chub and get stronger in the process.  If I can’t make it to the pool, I like to spend time either walking incline intervals on the treadmill or doing mountain intervals on the elliptical.  Also, I get a mini workout on weekdays when I walk to and from the bus stop.  When it comes to exercise, it’s vital that you make physical activity part of your daily routine; the automatic your exercise becomes, the better. 

In the two weeks that I have been back on Weight Watchers I have lost 5.2 pounds and have increased my stamina exponentially.  Even though I have a long way to go in my weight loss journey, I know that I am taking the right steps and getting ever closer to my health goals. 

What tips do you have for healthy weight loss?

No comments: