Friday, January 31, 2014

February Resolution of the Month: Movement

I gained weight last year.  Not a crazy amount, but enough to make my skirts a little tighter around my waist.  For the last five or six years I might gain a little in the winter months and lose a little in the summer months and end the year maintaining my preferred, healthy weight.   I quite enjoy this natural, seasonal rhythm.  But, 2013 had me ending with an increase that I am not happy about.
An Uncle Mike photobomb, July 2013
Dr. Brain Wansink from the Cornell Food Lab has found that Americans gain, on average, ten pounds a year.  It’s only an excess of 100 or so calories a day.  It’s small.  This slow steady climb is gradual enough that it’s not so easily noticed until all the years add up.  I don’t want to go that road.  I’ve known and loved a good number of folks who’ve struggled with obesity and the resulting complications for as long as I’ve known them.   For much of my teens and early 20’s I was overweight myself.  So, I just want to nip the problem in the bud.  It’s easier to maintain a healthy weight all along than have to work to get pounds off after the fact.  When I went to my class reunion this past summer one of my former classmates remarked, while looking at old photos, how young and thin we looked then.  I was pleased to note that I am both thinner and in better shape now that I ever was in high school.  I’d like that trend to continue.  I've got a lot of mountains yet to climb.
Clothes swap/Sushi party, November 2013
Part of my problem is that I let myself start eating junk food more often again.  I’d snag three lollipops from the jar on the counter at the bank.  I’d buy snacks at the book store on campus to eat at my desk.  I’d ask Matt for quarters to spend on candy or gum from those vending machines in the entrances of grocery stores.  I’d try to drink my body weight in soda when people take me out to eat at a place with free refills.  Stuff like that.
Me and Kel, November 2013
The other part of my problem is that Matt stopped working evenings and so he now picks me up from work much of the time.  He gets off at pretty much the same time as I do and the library is directly on his route home from his work so it is pretty convenient.  I still cycle to work pretty much every day from late spring to early autumn, but that still leaves about a third of the year where it’s cold or icy and I am getting rides every day instead.  As a rule I don’t cycle when it’s cold or wintery.  When Matt was still working nights I always walked or jogged home during the months of snow and cold.  
Games in the park, August 2013
So, I am eating more and moving less.  That’s the classic recipe for weight gain.  But, it also makes clear the path back to my preferred weight.

So, on the heels of my experiment with abstaining from needless beverage calories I am plotting to get myself more active.  This is easy for me in warmer parts of the year so it seemed like February would be a super time to challenge myself to try harder--cold or no cold. 
Yellowstone National Park lunch break, May 2013
The Resolution of the Month for February is to dedicate at least 30 minutes each day to movement, to doing something physically active—walking, yoga, running, sledding, dancing, hiking, bicycling, etc.

This exercise resolution is so cliché that it makes me chuckle a little, but whatever.  It is what it is.  I guess it’s probably cliché because it is such a challenge for so many people in our increasing sedentary, mechanically-assisted lifestyle that abounds with cheap and easy junk food.

3 comments:

  1. Love your February half hour exercise each day, I've been exercising almost daily since November.

    I didn't solely drink water each day, but did up my water intake in addition to the usual peppermint teas.

    San

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good luck! My demise was medicine. I had no clue that prescription medicines could make weight gain happen so fast without even eating more.

    ReplyDelete

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