Sunday, September 03, 2006

A ride to nowhere?

I got myself an exercise bike yesterday. A colleague at work had no use for it anymore so happily delivered it to me for a bargain price of £15. Its just the next step in what to me sometimes seems like my increasingly vain and desperate attempt to get fit. Okay, lets not be so harsh on myself. I have managed to loose 2 stone in about 8 months, which I guess is quite an achievement. I would like to loose another 2 and that is proving very difficult and improve my general fitness. I don't have any lofty aims for this, after all I am not hoping to have the physique of a bodybuilder at the end of it, I just don't want to see that great mound of pale flesh that is my stomach all the time. Its almost like a cruel taunt in some ways, there never seems to be any less of it, so I do wonder where did I loose those 2 stones from?

I am hoping that the exercise bike will help. For a while now I've also been doing an exercise video, which is basically an hour long work out, although I've only managed to get through about half of it. Still that's more exercise than I've ever done in my life before. Plus, I am trying to do a lot more walking, taking this more gentle exercise to and from work every day, if possible. And on a Sunday I aim to either go out for a walk or do some gardening.

Trouble I really have is that I don't eat well. I go through phases of being quite obsessive about what I am eating and calorie and fat counting. I get to weeks of denying myself certain foods - chocolate, crisps and cheese tend to be the most popular ones I'll cut out - and then end up having a binge at the weekend. I have almost entirely cut out alcohol, which although I never drank a lot, does make a difference.

Probably my main problem with food is that I always eat too fast. That's bad because of course I am tempted to eat more as doesn't it take something like 30 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you're full? Consequently I have a tendency to over-eat sometimes and feel quite bloated and uncomfortable, especially after dinner. Simple answer is to eat less and eat slower. I try although habit and instinct are difficult things to overcome.

Essentially I seem to be stuck in this dichotomy of some weeks being good, exercising frequently and then swinging to the next week when I will eat too much and do too little exercise. The latter is particularly bad as I can then get into the negative mind-set of convincing myself that I always be fat and what the hell with all this calorie counting and exercising, it ain't going to make the slightest difference. But I know it does.

If I look at how I feel now and compare it to where I was a year ago, I feel a lot healthier. I am not as fit or healthy as I should be and I have a long way to go in that regard. However, I think I need to stop feeling guilty about it, after all I've made steps in the right direction. Okay, I lapse, as we all do from time to time. That shouldn't stop me from focusing on what I have achieved and thus what I can achieve if I just keep the goal in sight.


Derek said...

Great to hear about your bike! Keep reading Carla's blog for inspiration with the healthy eating/fitness stuff! :) As I said on the phone today, maybe some gardening would be good for you? Put that 'water feature' and the spuds in!! :) :)

Carla said...

Good bargain you got there! A stationary bike will help you mix up your training so that you aren't getting the same type of exercise all the time--it's called cross training and it is very good for revving up the metabolism.

You are definitely on to something by pulling out of the old all-or-nothing trap. A good rule of thumb is: don't make any changes at all to your diet that you do not intend to keep permanently. In other words, don't say to yourself, I am going to cut cheese out of my diet entirely for one month and see how much weight I lose, then I'll go back to it. You might lose, but you'll just gain it back. I knew when I stopped eating certain things that I never intended to eat them again, and I enthusiastically embraced that new life. If you cut things out grudgingly, or temporarily, that's not going to work. You will feel deprived and go into rebellion and binge. Trust me, I have been there so many times!!

Same with exercise. There is no end to exercise. There is never going to come a time when you will able to stop exercising because you've 'reached your goal.' Exercise has to be done routinely, for the rest of our lives. Find something that you actually like doing and it is not bad. Really! I suggest you try sitting down with your work and social calendar and plan your workouts for the entire month. Write them on the calendar. Plan rest days as well. Then just do them, same as you would brush your teeth or do the shopping. Routine. Order. Organisation. You said you love that stuff--so use those skills! :)

Good work losing 2 stone in 8 months. That is phenomenal!

jamie the hutt said...

i don't understand why,for a young amn who lives within earshot of the beautiful surrounding countryside of outer MK,you've chosen to buy an exercise bike?!?
surely a bike would have made more sense? just as long as you stuck to the cycle paths and wore high-visibility clothing and a helmet.
but good luck with it,nonetheless.
i fancy getting one of them rowing machines. i bought the jacket of my dreams the other day but my fat gut and moobs totally ruin the look.
got to get rid of them.

jamie said...

it's wednesday already and we haven't had an update all week!!!


oh my god,i feel terrible.
you haven't had an accident,have you?
oh no,marks come off his exercise bike!
he shouldn't have taken the stabilisers off yet!

Carla said...

Oy Mark!! Where are your rumbles??? (Jamie, do you think we should call the paramedics?)

jamie said...

he's okay.
he must have landed on his tummy.

Mark said...

Jamie, you are so cruel sometimes but very funny, lol