New Year, New Me (aka How I’m losing weight without hating every moment of it.)

I am trying to lose weight.

I know, it seems like everyone is trying to lose weight this time of year, but I’m REALLY trying to lose weight.  I’m 5’8″ and on New Year’s Day I weighed 204lbs.  That’s not healthy for anyone.  I could tell you that I want to lose weight for some really lofty reason, like my health or so I have more engery to chase the girls, and while that is true, the real reason is that I’m sick of looking like a tub of lard.  I want to be hot and be able to buy clothing that actually looks cool, not like something my grandmother would wear.  Call me shallow, but there it is.

I started my journey by joining my mommy group’s Biggest Loser challenge.  We all paid in $10, and whoever loses the most weight (by percentage, not poundage) gets the pot.  I’ve known these women for five years, and I feel comfortable posting before and after pictures of myself in my undies so that they can see them.  We trade recipes and workout tips.  It is really loving and supportive.  I am determined smoke them all.

I also joined myfitnesspal.com, which is a website (and cellphone app, if you have one of those) that tracks everything you eat and drink and all of the working out you do.  It’s pretty cool and has a huge food database.  You can enter in your own recipes and everything.  You put in your age, height, and weight, and tell it how much you want to lose, and it figures out your calorie intake goal for the day.  It also tracks fat, protein, sugar, sodium, and pretty much everything else.  It’s pretty cool.

But not perfect.

The problem is that it centers all of the goals on calories, and as we all know, all calories are NOT created equal.  If I was hungry, I’d look at how many calories I had left, and make my food desisions from there.  Sounds logical, right?

Not always.  An apple has a lot of calories.  More than a handful of pretzels.  So do I eat the apple, which I know is healthier, or do I eat the pretzels so I can sat within my calorie goal?  I really hate seeing my numbers go in the red, so I’d eat the pretzels.  Not good.

I really wanted to learn how to eat properly, so I started looking at other options.  I talked to a bunch of friends and family memebers, and finally bit the bullet.

I joined Weight Watchers.

That’s right, just like like a zillion other middle-aged housewives before me, I joined good ol’ WW.

And do you know what?

I LOVE IT.

Seriously.  I love the little tracker tools, and the way that points are figured out using fat, protein, fiber, and carbs, not just calories.  I love that most fruits and veggies are worth zero points, so I can fill up on them whenever I need a quick snack and not have to worry about them counting against me.  I love all of the recipe ideas.  I love that going to meetings is no longer mandatory, because there is no way I’m sitting around and discussing my feelings toward food.  But most of all, I love the weight I’m losing.

I have lost 12 pounds.

TWELVE pounds in four weeks!

I’m never hungry, either.  The points are generous, and you get a set amount of weekly points you can use anytime, so say, for example, you spend the Superbowl binge-eating pizza and chips, there is a cushion for you to fall back on without having to worry about it too much.  You don’t end up feeling defeated just because you pigged out for one day.  Everything is calculated weekly, with a weekly weigh-in.  It has all of the features of myfitnesspal, plus so much more.

I don’t want this to turn into an ad for WW (since I’m not getting paid for it), so I’ll just say one more time that I think they are awesome, and I’ll move on to the other half of the diet and exercise plan…. working out.

I hate exercising.

No, really.  I LOATH exercising.

There is nothing about it that I enjoy.  I think that people who say they like to work out have several screws loose.  I don’t like being hot, sweaty, or out of breath.  I don’t like feeling the burn.  I think working out is boring, uncomfortable, and an over-all pain in the butt.

But I know that one does not get skinny by sitting in front of a computer all day, watching Galavant.  (Have you seen it?  It is hysterical.)  So I started trying to find an exercise I didn’t hate.  I can’t afford to go to the gym, and even if I could, the idea of jiggling through a workout in front of other people is so repulsive to me that it is completely out of the question.  I can’t afford any kind of equipment, either, so no matter how cool those elliptical machines look on TV, that isn’t happening.  I live in Pennsylvania, where the world is two degrees and coated in ice, so outdoor activities are going to have to be put on hold for a few months.  Also, I can’t do anything that requires me to leave the kids unattended.  What does that leave?

I tried aerobics.  There are a ton of aerobic videos on You Tube that are free for the taking, so I gave a few of them a try.  Most of them move too fast from one thing to another, with no explainations.  By the time I’d figure out what the heck they were doing with their feet and arms, they were moving on to something else.  I know that if I did the same video over and over, eventutally I’d figure it out, but it was just SO discouraging.  The same thing happened with Zumba.  By the time I figured out the first three steps, they were moving on to something completely different.  Also, my coordination isn’t zumba-worthy.  Ask Chev about my dance skills. Plus, in order to do aerobics or zumba, I had to clean up the living room, move the coffee table and ottoman, lock the dog in the kitchen, and try not to kill myself tripping over the kids.  WAY too much work.   It was an exercise in futility.  (See what I did there?  I’m so funny.)

Then I thought to myself, “What CAN I do?  What is easy enough that I will actually do it?  What can I do to motivate myself?”

The answers:  I can walk.  Walking is easy enough that I don’t mind doing it, and even though I can’t go outside, I can walk in place.  While I watch Netflix.

And there is was, my new fitness plan:

I will walk in place while watching a TV show.

So simple, so stupidly lame, that even I can do it.

I picked a show (Glee) on Hulu and started walking while watching it.  That’s it!  That was my whole workout.  45 minutes of walking while watching angst-ridden teens and twenty-somethings sing about life.  I didn’t hate it!  Score!

Since starting, I’ve ratcheted up the workout.  First, I started jogging during commercials.  Then I added 3 lbs weights that I do arm exercises with while I walk.  Sometimes I do side-steps and wide marching.  Now I’ve started doing jumping jacks during commercials, which is something I’ve never been able to do.  I can tell that I’m getting fitter.  Soon I’ll be jogging through the shows!

While I still don’t like to exercise, I DO like knowing that I can do stuff now that I couldn’t do before, and I’m looking forward to spring, when I can start walking and jogging outside.  But I’ll miss watching Master Chef while I’m doing it.

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