Turning the Calendar Year
Saturday, January 02, 2021
Hello, sparklers! It's been such a very, very long time. I hope you all have been healthy and well in these very unusual times.
It's the new year, and like the start of every other year, turning the page of the calendar is a metaphorical switch to set goals. Nothing really is different between Dec 31, 2020 and Jan 1, 2021, but it is a reset.
Like everyone else, 2020 threw a crisis that was impossible to avoid, and every goal I had for my career and lifestyle changed without control. Also like many, I was in a funk for most of last year, which lead to depression and weight gain. I am thankful and lucky that my family and I have avoided COVID from last year, but my mental and physical well being has certainly suffered in other ways.
So once again, probably the oldest New Years Resolution on the books is on my goal list for 2021: Lose Weight and Get in Shape. Been here, done that, every new year of my adult life!
At least over my journey, I have a much better understanding of my body and what it needs to be healthy.
I can hardly believe that I joined SparkPeople back in 2007 and it's still around today. Back then, I joined because I just wanted to lose a few pounds. I diligently counted calories and exercise. And then over time I evolved what diet and fitness means for me.
I've experiemented and documented my journey with the low-fat diet and later with the low-carb diet. I've lost weight on both, and I've gained it back with both. The unfortunate truth with me is that my body is just very efficient at storing fat. If I do anything for any length of time, my body will adapt. I will lose for a little while, then start gaining it back.
I am envious of those who can eat what they want, seemingly do a little bit of exercise and stay trim. But that's just not me. It will never be me.
And that is ok. I just have to work with it.
I know that my body wants to store fat, and it wants to adapt. Carb cycling is what works best for me because my body can't adapt. It has to switch between using different types of fuels, so I can burn either carbs or fat.
The other component is HIIT exercises. I love that I can workout for just 12 minutes and see results, instead of jogging for an hour. I've never been much of a jogger. It's not my thing. But I love the sprint intervals in HIIT. They make me feel so energized for hours afterwards.
- If I carb cycle and regularly exercise with HIIT, I lose weight. I have a propensity towards laziness, though. I really would just love to sit at my computer or the TV instead. So it is hard to pick myself up and do it. Losing weight isn't the most challenging part - I know what works and how to do it. It's just the slow creep backwards...
- Like many people, I have been working 100% from home since the start of COVID. If I am not spending the time commuting, I should be able to spend that time with moderate exercise instead. I downloaded a 7 minute workout app that I keep meaning to do after waking up and before work, but I haven't been consistent with it.
- Meals should be easy since I am only eating food from my house and not going out to eat, but it hasn't been. I like to eat differently than my husband, and honestly, if I were single, I think it would be easier. My husband likes to eat things like fatty ribs. That isn't my first choice of food to eat, but if it's around I tend to eat it. I've been making a more conscious effort to make the foods I like to eat like baked salmon and salads, and if he doesn't want to eat it, he can make something else. Though I hope that he'll switch to eating the healthier foods I like to make rather than the other way around.
Why do I want to lose weight?
- Be healthy now and later. In 2007 I was 33 years old, and now I am 46. It just gets harder to rebound every decade that passes. My husband and I want to retire early and spend our retirement in good health and happiness. Good health later in life starts earlier in life. To give us our best chance later in life, we have to invest in wellness today. And especially with current events, it's important to start with a healthy foundation.
- I have a closet full of nice clothes that don't fit. Marie Kondo would be terribly disappointed in me, but I just can't let them go. Yes, these dresses bring me joy. Not being able to wear them does not bring me joy. So I don't want to rehome them or throw them away. I want to wear them again, rather then replace them with larger sizes, which definitely does not bring joy...
It's always funny to me that the turning of the calendar year inspires motivation for new changes. What really is the difference between Dec 31 versus Jan 1? You can start new goals any time. But there is something symbolic about the passing of the calendar year.
I completed my first HIIT workout of the new year, and ate a healthy breakfast and snack. I know that I feel like a reset has occurred.
Happy New Years - I wish you the greatest of health in the coming year. May you have success and good fortune with your health and goals, whatever they may be.