Day 4: I Feel Like I’m Doing This Wrong

I have a tendency to go into things really headstrong and end up kind of sizzling out really soon after I start. I actually don’t know that I’m really doing that this time, but I definitely am expecting more than is realistic. For one thing, running. I haven’t run in literal years. I get out of breath going up stairs. I don’t know why I expected to just be able to bust out an easy mile (especially because a mile has never been easy for me).

I’ve been trying to slowly increase my distance up to a mile this week and while it was going well, today I was the captain of the Struggle Bus. I decided today that I’d be increasing my total running distance to a mile and just break it up with walking in between. For some reason, I also decided to increase my speed as well. Honestly, I don’t think that was the nail in the coffin. I feel like I wouldn’t have hit a mile anyway. In fact, I barely did three-quarters.

The lesson to learn from me is to set reasonable goals. My dad has been telling me that this whole time, but I’m so anxious to already be healthy and active and lose weight that it’s hard to be patient. Really, it’s about finding a balance between pushing yourself and knowing your limits. I still think that by the end of the week I can do a whole mile, but I need to approach it a little slower.

I think this goes for dieting too. I’ve been eating whatever I want for the past year and I can’t expect myself to immediately adjust well to only having 1300 calories. It’s a fine line, folks. But we’ll just keep on walking it (and maybe run).

Day 3 Update: What I’m Struggling With and What I’m Not

In the past I’ve used a calorie tracker to just get a general idea of what I’m eating. When using it casually, a lot of the time I wouldn’t actually go far above their suggested 1300 calories (their recommendation was based on my height, weight, age, and activity level). Now that I’m A. consistently working out and B. trying not to go above it at all, I’m actually struggling to stay within my limits.

April 1st was my boyfriend’s birthday and he requested homemade pizza rolls. By the end of the day, I had over 2000 calories. I think it’s having so many days like that has increased my appetite so much. Even today, it’s only just past breakfast but I’m already almost to 500 calories. I remember sitting with my parents at IHOP the other day looking at meals that would have maxed me out for the whole day.

I think part of this has to do with how we as a country eat as a whole. For one thing, food is a really big part of our culture (as it is with most). In a lot of countries you don’t eat quite the same portion sizes as we do, particularly in European countries. I’ve heard a lot of stories about people coming to visit and being just astounded at our portion sizes. And with so much of our food being heavily processed, it really packs a lot of calories into everything we eat. As well as a bunch of stuff we should probably be limiting. I’m not trying to blame the country for my weight and eating habits, but I do thing it normalizes it, making it easier to fall into bad habits.

On a different note, the things that I’m doing well with are:
1. Remembering to track my food
2. Running!
3. Meeting my step goals

With running, I’ve been starting off very small. I’m not really supposed to run because I have some problems with my knee. But most of the stuff I do anyway is pretty high impact so if I stick to some of my PT exercises, I don’t think running is going to be much of a problem. That said, I haven’t really gone running in years.

When I was younger, every few months I’d get this idea that I was going to join the military (which I really just don’t think is a good fit for me at this point but that’s not to disrespect those who do choose to serve). Every time I would get into this mindset, my dad and I would go running together. I never really could consistently keep up with it but it was always my place to start.

Having not run in a few years, I can’t even run a mile. That’s why one of my goals for this week is to just run half a mile each day and build up to three-quarters. I’m surprising myself though. Day one I ran half a mile and broke it up in half with walking in between. Yesterday I ran half a mile in one go and after cooling off with a walk for a few minutes, tacked on an extra tenth. Today I did three quarters of a mile broken up by .6 and .15. I think I’m going to change this weeks goal to doing a full mile in one spurt. Next week I can focus more on my mile time but for now, baby steps.