I’ve been sadly aware of a slight “thickening” or squishiness about my midriff of late. My thighs don’t have the svelte, toned sleekness of a few months ago and this week I noticed my BOOBS were growing. Enough, says I. Enough. Time to go back on the ol’ calorie count, and up the exercise.
Trouble is, now that I’m back at PhD, the exercise tends to go out the window a bit. I’m still very strong – in fact, probably stronger than ever. Today my trainer (yes, I still have one at the same gym, but he’s now called Tyson-the-tyrannical-torturer) made me do jump squats, jump lunges, 40 pushups, 30 bench triceps, 20 high-step high knees holding 5 kg weights, 20 side raises holding 5 kg weights, and 10 straight-arm lifts holding 4 kg weights. Plus a bunch of other stuff such as Ab work in a Circuit. I have no stamina and my breath management is terrible. But I am still exercising. One day a week (plus lots of dog walking) is just not enough. And I feel TERRIBLE. Very unfit and my body hates me right now, lots of aches and pains, and general schlumpiness.
So I thought I should start counting my calories again. I’m not being very cautious about my eating habits at present, and I’m frequently very hungry, so I thought I’d check what I’m actually eating by reconnecting with MyFitnessPal. Most days my diet is about 2000cal, which includes a small icecream and 2 glasses of wine. So, take out that and my diet sits in the right band for healthy weight management. But there are still things I can do to be more vigilant. Firstly, I’ve taken to eating pasta, bread and potatoes again. Time to take them off the menu, and replace them with in order: cauliflower “rice” or quinoa, cruskits or low-cal crispbread, and pumpkin instead of potato. That should cut my carbohydrate intake by about 300 cals per day, and still allow me those 2 glasses of wine. Because I need the wine. I really really do. It’s the only thing that will get me through 4 months of PhD study.
I don’t weigh myself any more, because it’s more about how well I fit into my lovely, lovely slim clothes. I have one particularly snug fitting pair of red pants, which is a good barometer for me to see if I need to lose weight. When they become a little snug (not round the waist, it’s around my thighs and butt) the waist band pulls on my back, giving me back ache. Time to take action. Now, in the recent past when this happened not so long ago, I just added an extra workout to my week. However, I’m struggling to get to the gym early in the week, so I need to find other ways to maintain my exercise regime. Maybe yoga? Or dance classes? Both sound great. Or I could go on holiday to the beach and just do lots of swimming in the ocean, running along the shore in the soft sand, and taking the dog for long walks while I think about the next piece in my PhD puzzle.
At any rate, I’m reminding myself to be vigilant during this holiday season, because I will no doubt be at my most sedentary and snacky as I try to finish my lit review.