Sunday, March 15, 2009

Journaling Experiences

The last time I tried to keep an exercise and food record of some sorts was when my younger son was about three months old. I desperately wanted to lose the remaining 20 lbs that I still had to lose after my second pregnancy, which had occurred well into my 30s. Losing all of the exactly 50 lbs that I had gained proved to be A LOT harder than 16 years earlier after my first child was born.

Losing Weight Now and Then
Then, the weight had literally melted off without me doing much. I exercised and ate reasonably well, but I didn't do anything special. This time I did everything and nothing happened. That is, I went for at least an hour walk EVERY day since the baby was 10 days old. In addition, I worked out with weights and did cardio at the gym at least 4-5 days per week. I watched what I ate. Since nothing happened, I decided to write down what I did. I bought a pretty journal and started writing in it with a pretty pen. I added up hours of physical activity and calories consumed. (That's quite a task when done manually. I really have to look for an electronic way to keep track of physical activities and calories.) I noticed that I was eating A LOT more calories than I had realized. After all, my metabolism had been slowing down for years, so my calorie intake should have been slowing down as well. But looking at the numbers in the journal made it clear that I wasn't slowing down (and that was after giving myself a 500 calorie allowance for breastfeeding.)

Detour to Weight Loss
After a few weeks, I took on three new, demanding teaching assignments at once and the journal "got lost." While I decided not to tackle the extra weight right then and there, the journal helped me to see where my problem was and a year later, when the baby was about 14 months old, I was finally back at my pre-pregnancy weight. (I had come across the journal numerous times and, each time I picked it up, it reminded me that I should watch more carefully what I ate.)

Well, I can't wait to tackle some of the issues that prevent me from being truly well. I also hope that I can't so conveniently "forget" or "lose" this blog... More soon.

Be well,