Move More, Eat Less

A month ago I announced I was trying to shave a few pounds off.  My long term objective is to ‘move more, eat less’ everyday.  Short term, I’m jump starting the process by cutting my calories way back and exercising more so that I can lose 10 lbs in 3 months.  My goal is to go from 36%  to 27% body fat.

My starting weight was 157 lbs.  At 5’8” it’s on the top end of the BMI healthy scale.  Losing 10 lbs puts me right in the middle.  At my goal weight I feel less bloated and stronger.  I feel stronger because to keep at that weight I have to work out consistently, so it’s a win-win.

Body image is a strange thing for women.  I feel lucky because I think have a pretty positive body image of myself.  Lucky, because as a dancer it goes against the dance culture to actually think you look good (especially if you are not stick thin, which I rarely was).  Last year I wrote a post on my own myths and one of them was about my body image.  I walk around thinking/feeling that I am a taller thinner version of who I actually am.

Portion control, please!

Portion control, please!

Enter middle age.

I made it through college, post college and pregnancy without feeling my body was inferior (note I did skip high school- but that’s an entirely different story).  My weight stayed pretty much the same from the age of 15 through my mid thirties.  It bobbed between 140- 150 lbs.   My diet was horrendous but I exercised regularly.  When you have a frame at 5’8” going between 10 lbs is not a huge visual difference.  I gained 50 lbs when I was pregnant with Pistol but it came off after she was born.

Let me not forget to mention that up until my mid-thirties I had  a ‘sensitive’ stomach.  Eating to excess would make me feel nauseous.  My stomach would fill with food and BAM!  I’d feel sick.  It would go from hardly noticeable to so severe  that I’d have months where I would live on salad and peanuts.  It may sound like a convenient way to control your appetite but I found it annoying.  I finally went to a doctor, found the cause-  I had to take antibiotics for a prolonged period as a child which killed off most of my stomach flora as well.   I got on a probiotic regimen which cured my nausea but my weight started to rise (Hmm, surprise!  Didn’t see that one coming!).

Three years passed and I was up to 165lb.  I looked good.  And here comes the dilemma…when I looked in the mirror right after I weighed myself I thought, ‘God you look good at 165lbs.’ (cause I did!)  I was eating a healthier diet.  I was no longer picking foods based on if they would or would not make me feel ill and I had broken my Diet Coke addiction.  Mike also enjoyed the heftier Molly.  He echoed my attitude about my body.  If you ask me most heterosexual men are happy to have a naked woman in their lives.  They typically don’t slow down to criticize her shape.  I joke that their big brain stops after, ‘She’s naked!’ and the little one says “thanks bud I’ll take it from here!”.

As I started buying new clothes that fit the new Molly I realized that at rate I was gaining weight I could be 100 lbs overweight by the time I hit 40.  It seemed to me that losing 20 lbs now would be easier than 100 later.  So I went on a diet for the first time since high school.  I cut back my calories and worked out like a maniac.  Mike joined me which made it easier.  He too had gained weight at about the same rate I had.  In 4 months we had both reached our goal weight.  We didn’t fall back into our old eating habits entirely but we did start eating more and working out less.  My weight was pretty stable for a few years but it was not so easy to keep at or under 145 lbs.  I didn’t worry too much about it.  About a year and a half ago my weight started climbing again.  I exercise and watch what I eat but there’s been a shift.  The weight does not come off like it used to and if I eat just a little extra it stays around.

Welcome to your 40s Molly!

The number on the scale is just one signal on how I’m doing health wise.  I spent most of my adult life at a healthy weight but ate like total crap.  I know it’s not the entire picture and becoming obsessive about my weight ages me in other ways.  I’m sure the stress causes wrinkles, I’m just sayin’.  I realize that to stay healthy as I get older I can’t eat the quantities of food I would like and I must be consistent about working out.  I can feel all of you over 40 readers nodding your heads right now.

So how are my numbers?:

Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Goals
Weight 157 155 147
Fat % 36% 32% 27%

 

I had hoped to have lost 3-4 lbs by now but haven’t yet.  I’ve lost 4% of fat- not bad.  Tracking my calories and exercise has led to better habits.  After tracking my diet for a couple months I can see that I regularly don’t eat enough protein and need to cut back on my sugar and fat intake even more.  I’m not feeling starved but I do feel very thoughtful with my portion sizes.  I exercise for at least an hour most days doing things like running, hiking, various strengthening exercises, Zumba and oh, I tried a hula hoop class the other day!  All in all it couldn’t be going better.

 

Do you have any tips?  Have you ever struggled with your weight?  

 

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