Eating and working out. On day 29 of my 60-Day Get Fit Challenge, it has all come down to those two activities. I eat more because of my cardio. Then I work out more to try to offset the extra calories. Basically, I'm a hamster, spinning around on a little wheel and going nowhere.
The last time I found myself in this situation was when I was breastfeeding. My milk came in on day three, and I decided to pump. Every time I pumped my breasts seemed to produce more milk, so I pumped more. By the time I took my daughter to her two-week checkup, I was making enough to feed a small village. After watching me down my sixth cup of water in five minutes, her pediatrician finally set me straight; the more you pump, the more you produce.
The same momentum has taken over ever since I went on vacation last week. I had zero self-control when it came to food, so I exercised a lot. I pretty much went from the gym to the all-you-can eat ice cream bar and then right back to the elliptical. During my next visit I plan to save everyone some time and put the yogurt machine between the water cooler and headphone stand. I can see it now: cup holders overflowing with yummy chocolate sprinkles.
I started this two-month fitness challenge to get strong and healthy. And that’s definitely happening. I no longer keel over after ten minutes of cardio, and I have so much more energy throughout the day. But what I also noticed recently is that I don’t have to pull up my pants in the morning praying that they’re going to zip up all the way. I'd like for that to continue. I’m going for Thin and Lively here, not the Incredible Hulk-ette.
So what should I do? Do I decrease exercise or simply keep eating everything in sight and try not to worry about bulking up? I experimented with what one friend recommended, which was to eat a full plate of fruits and veggies every day. What she didn’t mention was the tremendous amount of gas that comes along with this strategy. Healthy, sure. Pleasant on the olfactory senses, no.
Once the air cleared, so to speak, I realized that this Get Fit Challenge is about more than getting strong. It’s about getting a grip on how much I care about how I look. Have you seen this video? It shows how media exposure deeply (and negatively) impacts young women’s body image and self-esteem. Sadly, I don’t have to wonder what it does to 38-year-old moms. I know.
If you could be the size you want without working out or be stronger, healthier, and subsequently bigger through exercise, which would you choose?
~By Wendy Widom, Families in the Loop
The pic comes from our friends at MediManage.