Wednesday, January 4, 2012

battling it out: weight loss

I absolutely love food. Its been almost a year since I started taking some cooking classes here and there and I don't think my love of cooking is going anywhere but to my belly any time soon. Seriously, cooking has been a great therapeutic gift from God this past year and I pray frequently that it will be a gift to my family through the coming years. I imagine endless tables of food and fun and laughter in the kitchen cooking with my children. I dream of dinner parties with friends and family (although I have crazy fears that no one shows up to the parties, thus the reason I hardly entertain, I'm insecure, old news). Back to the food. I love it and I love cooking it. I love learning to cook and having my husband tell me its restaurant quality (and I don't think he was referring to the pre-made stuff at Olive Garden, but don't get me wrong I love that place too). I just love cooking gourmet meals and eating dishes filled with flavor! I love learning new techniques and trying new food and combinations! I love that when I came into my house this morning from getting the mail it still smelled of garlic and onions from the Chicken with Pan Sauce that I made last night. Ok! I'm hungry and haven't eaten lunch yet, this is a bad time to be writing this post (especially since there is a pan of fresh brownies sitting on the stove).

Speaking of those brownies, they are the reason for this post. You see, since my love of cooking has grown astronomically this year, I realized that I needed to keep up with the cooking and the inevitable consumption by exercising. I am not one to exercise. I played sports in high school and conditioned because I had to in order to play. I've had shorts spurts throughout the past 12 years and that is it! I did pretty well when I was losing the last of the baby weight but even losing that put me still well above where I was when Ryan and I married 5 years ago. Well, this fall I started walking 3 days a week. I've been consistent to that, thanks in part to a great friend and walking buddy. Then I fulfilled a subconscious goal to run a 5k on Thanksgiving and that sparked my interest in running. I've been running 1-3 times a week since Thanksgiving and right before Christmas ran 8-9 miles that week! Pretty exciting stuff for me. I've been losing the weight but there is that last 5 pounds. My body was sore, my leg pain was back, and my feet were sore and achy after running so much in a week. Its a lot on a body when its used to 0 miles. I started looking at my body (something I generally avoid) and realized that I needed desperately to work on my core. Then I willingly accepted an invite to work out with Ryan (that doesn't happen too often because he's brutal-in a good but painful way). He went through a circuit for me to do and showed me 3 core exercises. When I attempted one I literally fell to the mat and started laughing. I have on ab muscles. ZERO! What has happened to me? I know I had a baby, but I can't blame it all on the baby, its been almost 3 years since then. He had to scratch those exercises and start with something a little more "basic". Ya thanks! Then that night I decided to indulge myself and bought a Jillian Michaels 6 week 6-pack workout video. What was I thinking? I know I must really love my food! 

That leads me to my current state-- I'm feeling conflicted. I love cooking and eating food so I've been exercising to make up the difference and keep up that lifestyle. I'm seeing progress, but its slow and I know that's the case because I haven't been willing to sacrifice more with my eating. I have cut out some sweets, but not really. I'm more picky about what I eat (making sure it is really worth it) and I'm trying to eat smaller portions, but not really either. I am trying to lose those last 5 pounds of my goal and know it'd happen easier if I was more restricted in my eating. Argh! I increased my exercising to compensate, but I'm wondering if the physical pain is worth the food at this point!

Case in point, those brownies again! Was that really two paragraphs ago when I first mentioned them? Sorry. Well, last night I saw the brownie mix in the pantry. It was calling my name. I wanted them. I mentioned my urge to Ryan and he said he wanted some too. That did not help. So, 5 minutes later I came up with a solution. I'd pop in the Jillian Michaels 6 week 6-pack and then justify eating brownies. I told you I love food! So, Ryan made the brownies and while they baked I worked my water jug. It was brutal. Its cardio mixed with ab workout to burn fat and boy howdy it was painful! But I sure did enjoy that brownie afterwards. Still though, its a vicious cycle it is, because the rest of the brownies are sitting helpless and lonely on the counter to be eaten and today I'm sore and heck and know exactly what I'd be getting myself into doing that workout again. Oh the dilemma! And you know what, I'm leaning more to enduring the torture of working out just to get more of the chocolate goodness. But then I still have those 5 pounds. Oy vey!

Anyone else suffer from this madness? What's your choice of weapon for weight loss? Are you addicted to getting on the scale like I am these days? You'd think with that addiction I'd skip the brownie, nope! 

The exciting thing is that once I'm back to my target weight I think I'll be able to maintain it pretty easily, until I finally get pregnant and have another baby and then it will start all over again (although I plan to be active and exercise through pregnancy this next time around). 


  1. Oh Stacy, I can totally relate. I LOVE food and I love to cook and bake and exercise, well, I pretty much have to force it and I am weekly recommitting myself to get moving to stay in shape. Lately I'm doing good if I exercise once a week and awesome if I do twice! Pathetic! I know that it's so much easier to maintain weight than lose weight, so I believe in frequent weight checks, too. But I can easily eat 3 brownies in one sitting and feel fine about it! If I could just get a little self-mastery and make myself wake up earlier to exercise... At least I feel like self-mastery is a worthwhile, eternal attribute to be striving for, rather than just striving for a certain college days pant size or something!

  2. I have a friend who swears by lifting weights. She lifts and runs just so she can eat treats with her kids and still look good--and she does! 5 lbs is nothing...I've still got 15-20 to go from the last baby.

  3. oh girl, i fought that battle for many years!!! i'm not sure what i did other than just be REALLY in tune with listening to my body. it just got to the point where i wasn't enjoying it anymore b/c i felt so awful, both physcially and emotionally afterwards that it was taking the joy out of cooking. so yeah, i just try to listen listen listen to when my stomach tells me it's full. i always eat what i want, but i usually never eat how much i want, and not b/c i'm restricting myself b/c i def don't restrict (not worth it!!!), i just stop when i have to take that deep breath when my body is full.

  4. The abdominal muscles play a significant role in core workout. The deep abdominal muscles contract to stabilize the spine before the arms and legs can move. The drawing-in maneuver and the plank are great exercises to activate the deep abdominal muscles.