Shaping Up: Updating My Shape

I started my “quest to shape up” at the beginning of February, weighing in at about 188 pounds and standing five feet, seven inches tall (on the tall side for Colorado, on the short side for Minnesota.) The intermittent fasting diet began around the same time. Shortly thereafter, I began a free, online, 30-day yoga program and completed a lesson almost every day. Here’s a brief outline of what has happened since:

  • March 1: 181.1 pounds. Began my 5K training program with good attitude and good weather!
  • March 5: Hosted a 400 person, major stress-inducing event at work.
  • March 6: Came down with a massive sinus infection, head cold, and ear infection that lasted for two solid weeks. I haven’t been sick in two years, so this hit me hard. Yoga and 5K training were temporarily put on hold.
  • March 11-15: Logan and I visited Albuquerque (my childhood home) to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. The coronavirus pandemic was just hitting the nation and I was barely beginning to recover from my cold. Should we have traveled during this time? Probably not. But in the wake of so much uncertainty and stress in the world, the prospect of visiting my parents, celebrating a major milestone, and eating some authentic New Mexican food was too good to pass up.
  • March 16: Logan and I both began telecommuting from home due to the coronavirus/University shut down. General laziness began… Fewer showers, less exercise, more Netflix.
  • March 21: 178.5 pounds! How did I telecommute for a week and go to New Mexico and still lose weight?!
  • March 23: Began week two of telecommuting from home. The online yoga and 5K training has resumed, although my race (planned for May 17) has been postponed to an undisclosed future date.
  • March 27: Shelter in place for Minnesota has been announced. We suspect this is only the beginning of a very lengthy journey.
  • March 28: 181.3 pounds. Ahhh… there’s that telecommuting weight. A set back for sure, but not totally unexpected.
  • April 6: I experience a major pity party as summer in Minnesota has basically been cancelled. No parks, beaches, festivals, or live music.
  • April 8: Holding steady at 181.3 pounds. The shelter in place order for Minnesota has been extended until May 4th.

So here we are.

How have my individual shape up strategies fared so far?

The 16:8 method of intermittent fasting: This is by far the easiest diet I have ever been on. Seriously. I eat between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm seven days a week, and during the fasting hours, I drink water or black coffee. Thankfully, I have never been that active or hungry in the morning anyway, so skipping breakfast has been pretty easy for me. Truthfully, the hardest part has been drinking black coffee in the morning. I have become semi-accustomed to the taste, but I really miss my fancy, salted caramel, mocha coffee creamer. In addition to fasting, I am really trying to be conscious about portion size and eating more vegetables. I have recently discovered that I actually LOVE roasted vegetables. What once tasted like trash is now like candy to me. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes… really any veggie that is roasted until caramelized with charred edges is like a savory treasure to me now. {Logan here: I’m still working on her with regards to beets and asparagus… it’s a long battle that I am committed to someday winning.} 

I broke my fasting schedule during the weekend Logan and I visited Albuquerque, but otherwise, have stayed on track. To be very transparent, during this continued coronavirus quarantine, my wine and fast food intake has definitely increased.

Couch to 5K training: I began the training with a good attitude, then got sick, and my attitude and motivation have since waned. Since pandemic quarantine is an ideal time for lunchtime runs, I started my training again about 10 days ago, with Logan’s encouragement. My attitude is a little less cheery… Will I ever find that rush or joy in running? I guess we will see. {Logan here: “less cheery” is the rosiest way of describing her attitude…}

Yoga: I’m trying to convince myself that I have earned a membership to a yoga studio again. To me, that means practicing at least 3 times a week – consistently. And I was doing pretty good! I completed a 30 day program and started another one when I got sick. Once sick, I hunkered down into a downward spiral filled with mucous and self-pity. This continued until recently, when I could once again do a standing forward fold without snot dripping down my face. Until such time as I earn that studio membership, there are many wonderful, free options available on YouTube. One of my favorites is Yoga with Adriene. Her videos are very rudimentary so a tad easy for experienced Yogis, but when you’re as out of shape as I am, sometimes it’s nice to start over from scratch and build your practice from the beginning. Adriene has a pleasant, kind, and peaceful demeanor. Her dorky, hippie, earthy-sweet banter is good spirited and comforting. If you are curious about Yoga and just want to give it a try, I highly recommend you check out her YouTube channel.

In the spirit of honesty, I am disappointed with myself for being so flaky about the Yoga since being sick. The classes are short, not very difficult, and I feel better afterwards, so why is it such a chore to do every day? I lost my momentum, plain and simple. After skipping only a few days at a time, it’s amazing how fast you lose that muscle memory and feel like you are starting over from scratch. It’s frustrating, but also my own fault, so I have to find a way through this.

As of writing this post, I am still 181.3 pounds. I started strong, but illness, vacation, and quarantine have taken their toll on my attitude and discipline. Excess calories and minimal exercise has definitely found a few of the pounds that I had lost. Plus, by wearing stretchy pants all the time it’s difficult to tell when you have “re-poofed.” But, in this time of telecommuting from my couch, I guess I’m very happy that I am holding steady rather than gaining.

We are trying to find the new normal and to balance telecommuting with still meeting our daily exercise goals. How do we stay healthy commuting from the couch to the refrigerator? How do we shelter in place without getting cabin fever? How do we monitor our expanding bellies while perpetually wearing elastic-waist pants?!

I guess we’ll find out…


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