Yesterday, I wrote about how I wound up so out of shape to the point where I now have Type 2 Diabetes and am required to take at least 6 pills each day. I also wrote about why I think that now is a great time for me to get back into the gym and to start counting calories again. Today, I intend to write about what I plan to do differently this time around as compared to when I first lost over 120 pounds back in 2004 and 2005.
Here are some things that I intend to do differently this time around…Tracking Calories Online. This is a change for me and one that I’m taking on for a specific reason. When I lost 120+ pounds a few years ago, I didn’t track my calories. Instead, I just ate less and worked out more. In fact, when people would come up to me and say, “Wow! Did you lose weight? How did you do it?” I would say, “It’s easy. Eat less and work out more.” And, in truth, that is the secret to losing weight. However, times change and so do perceptions.
For example, I tracked my calorie intake for a few days last week and I was shocked at the amount of calories I was taking in everyday. Sure, I knew that I was eating too much, but I had no idea that I was taking in that many calories! Without going into the gritty details, it was shocking.
In addition to the mini-experiment I ran last week I decided to track my calories for another reason. I only really lost weight once in the 4 or so years since I gained back the majority of the weight that I lost the first time around. When I dropped a few pounds, it was when I was using a calorie tracking website to track how much food I was eating. If I remember correctly (and I probably don’t), I think I dropped some 20 or so pounds in about a month solely by using that calorie tracking website – there was no working out to compliment the tracking efforts.
So between the mini-experiment last week and my successful use of a calorie tracking website in the past, I decided to sign-up at myFitnessPal.com. Soon, I’ll have a widget on the sidebar of JerseySmarts.com tracking the amount of weight that I’ve lost. I have to get more familiar with their system first and then get myself acclimated to using the tracking website multiple times each day. Be on the lookout for that widget, though!
No Pedometer. I used to always wear a pedometer – up until sometime last year. Using my pedometer, I tracked the amount of steps that I took each week and tried to notice trends over time. What trends did I notice? I walked more steps during the weeks where I was attending major events. Big surprise, right?
Keeping track of the number of steps that I take each day and each week was not a part of my big weight loss the first time around and I’m not including this time around either. Plus, the damn pedometers are prone to getting broken, lost, or just plain busted once in a while!
No Out of the Ordinary Scheduling. When I lost all of that weight a few years ago, I was going to the gym at ridiculous times of the day. I’d go first thing in the morning around 8:00am and then maybe go a second time at 5:00pm or 7:00pm – whenever I felt like my day was over. The reason that I was able to keep that type of crazy gym schedule was because I was working part-time at two different jobs and I was still in graduate school. It’s pretty easy to go to the gym twice a day and work yourself to the bone when you don’t have any large, major commitments that you need to attend to on a daily basis!
But, for all of the reasons that I noted yesterday, I don’t have that type of free and loose schedule any more. So no more going to the gym at random times of the day because there’s nothing better to do!
No Swimming. This change in my approach to working out really is a shame. From winter 2004 through summer 2005 I swam at least 5 times each week and for at least an hour each session (most weeks I swam 7 – 10 times each week for at least an hour each session).
But there are some issues you can do something about and others that you can’t and this one I can’t do anything about – there’s no pool at the new gym. No pool = no opportunity to swim each day after each workout.
And that’s really about it in terms of what I’ll change during my second big attempt at losing weight. The way my life is structured these days, I can’t do what I once did and at least I realize that, you know? I can, however, give this attempt a real effort and do what is within my power to make it succeed.
I guess we’ll see what happens!