Monday, April 7, 2014

Older and wiser?

I can honestly say, I have no idea where time goes, but then unless you happen to be Sheldon Cooper I guess we can all say that.
So where have I been for the last year? Well, right here actually. For some reason I thought Blogger had ceased to exist, and never thought to check. Go me.
Life in the Easson household is the same but my angle on things has changed slightly - about the time I stopped blogging several things were happening - the Secret Pals swap I'd been a big part of for over two years was over and I suddenly didn't seem to have much of a reason to craft anymore. I'd also bought myself an e-reader, fondly named Obi, which resulted in most of the hours I would have spent crafting, in either reading or searching for free reading downloads. However the biggest thing that happened was the impending horror of my 39th birthday. I woke up after Christmas 2012 with the realisation that in one short year (and a bit, my birthday is in February) I would hit the big 4-0, and I needed to get fitter and healthier. Kind of stereotypical post Christmas feeling. I am fairly predictable you know.
Anyway, I swiftly went onto Amazon (told you I was predictable) and bought myself a Zumba workout for the Wii. Obviously I didn't pay extra for quicker postage - I was having a mid life crisis, not a personality transplant. So from January to May I threw myself into the Zumba workout with reckless abandon, sticking with an almost daily workout - it is actually amazing fun. My knees weren't quite so impressed, after never having any kind of joint pain in my life I now had constantly painful knees.
Life after Zumba does go on, and although sore, my knees didn't stop me from wanting to keep up with exercising, I finally worked out that maybe high impact stuff wasn't the way forward for me, and actually if I just walked a bit more that would help. So armed with new insoles I took small odd man on daily walks, with me walking and him riding his bike. The knees gradually improved and a long hot summer ensued. Oh and I also changed jobs.
Six months of exercise and not a pound lighter, I decided to investigate reasons why this should be. I will confess I am a bit of a geek, I did sciences at University and I always want to know "Why?", so then I turned my attention to food. I always thought we had a healthy diet, I cooked a lot, didn't fry anything and takeaways were an occassional treat not a regular occurence, and ok I love ice cream and cake but everything in moderation, right? Well yes, everything is ok in moderation, but perhaps the definition of "moderation" needs tweaking.
As a tech junkie, I turned to Google for answers, but being supremely reluctant to spend any money or give up chocolate and ice cream, I knew that most of the nutrition and diet stuff online is far too extreme and expensive to actually do in real life, so I downloaded a calorie counter app (free of course) onto my phone.
I can honestly say, that at that point I had no real interest in losing weight, at 158lbs I was a UK size 12/US size 8, and had been for years, I just wanted to know how much I was eating and decided to stick to a calorie count of 2000 per day, which is the UK standard dietary advice for women. After the first couple of days I was slightly horrified, I was eating a good couple of hundred calories over that figure everyday and it was generally on the stupidest things - the leftovers on small odd mans plate, don't want to throw them away! The handful of raisins from the food cupboard, the spoonful of hot chocolate in my coffee (4 times a day), the list goes on. . . .
So I tweaked a little here, and a little there and really, if I wanted ice cream I had it, and I counted it and I tweaked a little more to compensate, and suddenly my clothes didn't fit. By October I'd lost 15lbs without really noticing, I walked a mile or two a day, I kept a food diary on my app religiously, and none of it was hard or stressful or expensive and I had dropped to a dress size I had never even been before.
I cooked a little differently, and googled recipes constantly but the family hadn't really noticed a change in their food (or in me, but that's only to be expected with three odd men).
Winter rolled in and I must confess I did get a little twitchy at the thought of not being able to go out for my daily walk if the weather was bad, but we got lucky here and although it's rained a lot, it's been fairly mild, no snow at all. Christmas came and went, with trifle, roast potatoes and hunks of chocolate, all of which got put on the app, and another 11lbs disappeared.
The big 4-0 did appear, and was something of an anticlimax. It was just another day after all. The previous 380 odd days were far more important than that one day in my life. I've learned an awful lot about me, about food, about body image and about the way I look at life in general. I'm still the same person as I was 26lbs ago, losing weight doesn't change your life or make you a better person. Clothes don't magically suit you just because you're thinner, but food does actually taste better when you appreciate every mouthful.

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