I’ve written on this subject before but things have changed so this is by way of an update.
Some years ago, I started keeping a food diary, just listing everything I ate in a day and the amounts. I didn’t make any deliberate changes to my diet, just recorded it. Of course, there would be some changes simply from the fact that recording what I ate, and how much, enforced a degree of portion control. When I started that, I weighed about 260 lbs. Over the next three months, my weight dropped to about 230 lbs.
Outstanding! I thought. No going hungry. No denying myself foods I loved. Just recording what I ate and I dropped thirty lbs. Now, according to various height/weight charts and BMI, I was still very much overweight, but according to a home body fat test (making measurements of various body part dimensions) I was running 20-22 percent. Not great, but not terrible either (note: the more measurements involved in a single “test” the better I did–those that just measure a couple of things tended to report a higher body fat than those that measured more parts of the body).
Unfortunately, shortly after I dipped a bit below 230, my weight started creeping up again. No change to the diet. I had the record to prove it. When my weight was back up to 250 I abandoned the food diary.
Some time after that, I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. In addition to the medication, I also started aggressively reducing net carbs and especially sugars from my diet. Once again, my weight started coming down. Once again over the course of three months or so, it dropped to around 230. This time it wasn’t so pleasant. The carb cravings were bad. But, eventually, I got over them. (And this is why I’m so adamant to avoid anything with a lot of net carbs–by itself and in moderation it won’t hurt me, but it brings back those highly unpleasant cravings).
Once again, I got a bit below 230 and, again with no change in diet (no diary this time, but trust me) my weight started creeping up again. It was a slow climb, over the course of several years, but again it went back to about 260 lbs.
This was, as you might imagine, very frustrating.
Along the way, I tried adding exercise programs, but…they seemed to be cursed. For a while, there was a Gold’s Gym not to far from here. It had plenty of weights, plus a pool for lap-swimming for a nice, low-impact (my knees are in pretty sad shape) aerobic workout. They also had a place to leave young kids where they can play while parents work out.
Naturally, before too long, they close. In fact, I looked around and could not find any good gym within a convenient distance to where I lived. Nope, all I could find is Planet Fitness. So I sigh, and say “well, better than nothing.”
Only time became an issue. Every time I’d get started on some workout program, something would come up and interfere. I’d fall out of the habit and…I’d be back where I started.
In time, a friend of mine who’s also a trainer helped me develop a workout program that fit my goals–overall fitness and staving off the debilities of age as much as possible–that worked with my time constraints and my desire to have something I could do along my daughter both to help her with her own strength and endurance building goals. Oh, and could be done with the gear available at Planet Fitness. It’s a six day a week program–three at PF, three doable at home. The workouts at PF alternate between two sets of exercises that work somewhat different muscle groups.
Once again issues arose. Some of those became really big issues. And among other things, my daughter started ballet so she wanted a somewhat different exercise routine. And again, I fell out of the habit of going.
Eventually, I kicked myself in the rear and realized at least as far as cardio, I had the internet. I had YouTube. I could find a cardio routine that I could work along with at home that wouldn’t require any equipment or any trips to the gym. So, I found just that, a routine that’s just over a half hour (including warm-up and cool-down), that’s the beginning of a series so that I can move to more intense exercises as appropriate. In fact, I did move up one. But then, I got straightened out on the latest interference (my daughter and I taking turns being ill) and was able to work out a schedule to get back to the gym.
This time I backed it off a bit. Instead of three times a week, I dropped it to two, one each of the two sets of exercises. I also backed off the cardio temporarily from the “stage 2” to “stage 1” since I was adding the weight training in.
That’s where I am now. Fingers crossed this time.
I will say this, the guy leading the routine in the “Cardio Starter” workout’s incessant chatter helps. It gives me something to focus on to help pass the time through the exercise. I have no idea what the reputation of this “body project” is, but it seems to do that job of keeping me motivated to get up, get my heart rate up, and maybe burn a few calories.