Tuesday, July 07, 2009

My First Diet

Yesterday I went to the gym and had them calculate my body fat and BMI with a nifty little electronic device they use. I was hoping they'd come up with better figures than I had, or that my added heft was somehow all muscle, but no such luck. Both numbers are indeed too high, but I can get back into a good range if I lose ten pounds.

(And before someone comments on this: yes, I know all the reasons why BMI's bunk, and the gym folks know them too, but the fact is that I've been steadily gaining weight and am no longer comfortable with how I feel, even though I'm not quite technically "overweight." And the gym folks and I all know that I may not be able to do anything about it, given perimenopause and so forth. Can't hurt to try, though, right?)

So I sat down with a trainer and came up with a plan. The diet part of it mainly consists of watching portion sizes and spreading calories over five small meals a day, rather than three bigger ones, to ramp up my metabolism. That would probably be a good idea even if I weren't trying to lose weight, since my energy level tends to see-saw and I'll like to stabilize it.

The exercise part consists of exercise every day (preferably more than half an hour, since thirty minutes a day is the CDC recommendation for maintaining current weight). They strongly recommend water aerobics, which will be easy on my knee while providing lots of benefits. If I indeed lose some weight, that will make life easier on my knee, too.

Sunday I swam for an hour. Yesterday I did thirty minutes on the elliptical -- which bothered my knee a bit -- and another thirty on the recumbant bike, which didn't seem to bother my knee at all. Today I swam for forty-five minutes. Tomorrow I'll try an aquasize class, Thursday I'll swim, Friday I'll do machines again (or maybe go for a walk if the weather's good), and so forth.

I already sort of flubbed the diet part today by combining the five meals into four, but my energy level has been noticeably better anyhow, so that's good.

I'm not going to beat myself up if I can't stick with this, but doing something makes me feel better. Oh, and in case you wondered, weights are not part of this plan. I know all the benefits of weights. I hate weights. If I have to do weights, I won't do anything. The aquasize includes some light weightwork and resistance training, though, so that's a plus.

And now I'm off to knit with Katharine. I may finish the Sock that Ate Reno tonight. If not tonight, soon.


  1. My grandfather swam once or twice a week and it did him wonders! He was able to exercise without worrying too much about his circulation or arthritis issues. It kept his weight steady while also reducing stress. If I could swim, I'd probably develop a similar routine. It seems win-win all the way around. I hope it works out for you too. =)

  2. Good luck with this, Susan! I admit to having dieted several times in my life since I passed 40. The diet(s) didn't work for me to any great degree or have any lasting effect. What did work was having a visual image of a goal I wanted to achieve. I wanted to be the same size top and bottom and be able to fit in a sheeth dress. I achieved that goal and I think I was successful because I wanted it enough to be able to see it clearly. Prayers ascending for your plan and work to accomplish it!


  3. I hate exercise. Godspeed to you.


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