Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Caution: May be habit-forming

The rain stopped yesterday afternoon, and the sun actually came out for a couple of hours before it moved on to the Central Time Zone. I feel fairly certain, after seeing the depth of the water in the river last night, that it washed across the road in a couple of places during the height of the storm.

Today's my last day caring for my neighbor's horses and dogs. I'm still trying to think of a daily hard chore I could do around here, and, short of buying a llama, I haven't come up with anything. I suppose I could damp-mop the floor every day, instead of every third or fourth day, but that seems a little OCD to me.

I begged for a llama the last time I was married. We lived on five acres in the Middle of Nowhere, Ohio, so there was lots of grazing room. The conversation went downhill quickly.
Former Husband: What would you do with a llama?
Me: Brush it and use the fur to make yarn.
FH: You would need equipment to make yarn.
Me: Well, yes, I guess I would need a spinning wheel. And a carder. And I'm sure there are a few other accessories.
FH: And then what would you do with the yarn?
Me: Knit it, of course! And maybe learn to weave.
FH: Ahhh, then you'd also need a loom.
Me: Well, yes, I guess you're right.
FH: And you'd probably finish one scarf and decide you don't like taking care of the llama any more, and we'd have the most expensive scarf in Ohio.
End of conversation.

Because he was probably right. At that time, my attention span was as short as a puppy's.

A friend who reads the blog e-mailed me yesterday and said she thought probably motivation was the most important factor in the weight-loss progress I've made so far. I disagree, and told her I think it's patience.

I'm doing this deal for a year. That's a short time in the whole, grand scheme of things, but a long time for a woman with the attention span of a puppy.

What I hope is that at the end of the year, the behaviors I'm practicing will truly be habits and my body will truly be comfortable at a normal weight. Last time I lost a significant amount of weight I did it in five months. I didn't know how to maintain it; all I knew was I was damned tired of working out hard two hours every day, and I quit.

For me [you regular readers will note that I use those two words, in italics, frequently – I would never presume to tell you what to do, but I'm happy to share my experience], exercise has been the missing link. All the calorie/carb/fat gram-counting I've done over the last decade haven't amounted to much weight loss at all, and certainly no weight loss that lasted. When I throw in some cardio actvity [walking outside in good weather; treadmilling, rowing and aerobic DVDs in not-so-good], I do better.

And here's the kicker:
When I add weight training,
my body works like an
efficient, well-oiled, fat-burning machine.
Oh, how I hate to admit that. Because I truly, truly don't care for weightlifting. At one time my intention was to do the weight workout before I walked, but I'm usually too eager to start walking. I do keep Shuffling when I start lifting, and that helps some.

I'm now at the point where I actually lift three times a week, every week that I'm not traveling. I'd like to be more enthusiastic about it.

I still have six months to work on that habit. Patience, Grasshopper. Patience.

P.S. Mar!a asked in the comments if the Diamond Patch would be suitable for beginners. If you were wondering as well, and are an adventurous beginner, then the answer is 'yes.' You need to be able to cast on, bind off, knit, purl, decrease and pick up stitches. Mar!a, be sure to check your e-mail.


Stretchy said...

I think you are right. exercise is key, and variety in exercise.
I worked so hard to lose the weight, I was so diligent, and found maintaining it difficult at first. I'd gain back pounds, re-lose them, and get frustrated and eat another cookie. I found that when I just accepted that exercise (for me, daily) is what I need... I had to accept that I could not lounge around much. My body craves the best foods when I'm exercising daily, and when lounging too long, it just craves snacky things in larger quantities. Once I accepted what I needed to do, then I found I could have some chocolate cake once in a while!
I could be "normal" and think about other things!

Mar!a said...

It's funny, weight lifting is the only exercise that I've always enjoyed. Oh well, glad we're not all identical!

PastaQueen said...

Ooh, ooh, buy a llama! That would be awesome. Think of all the blogging material it would give you!

Ms. X said...

I agree with you, exercise is so important! I was just saying that on my blog, and planning to modify my plan a bit so I can include it. Geez, I never would have believed I would MISS working out. Gasp! LOL

Greta said...

The sentence that caught my eye was:

"I'm doing this deal for a year."

If you do it for a year you will regain everything you lost. If you want to maintain then you probably need to change your thinking to:

"I am doing this for the rest of my life."

That's the sad and frustrating part of dieting. You have to keep doing it forever. Usually you can ease up a bit and eat a few more calories, but you can't ease up too much.