Saturday, May 31, 2003
posted by Julie |
A new thing is happening with my body. I swear I am getting my metabolism back. The annoying news is that it's happening in exactly the way it's supposed to, in the way I truly didn't believe it ever would.
It's coming back not through use of a new drug or drink, not through a missing nutritional link, though I'll walk to my grave sure that kicking sugar and wheat and saturated fats has helped get me this far. But this latest important bump in my metabolism is most welcome to a girl struggling to maintain her loss, who loves to cook and loves to eat. My nutritional needs have bumped up to the tune of an additional 200-500 calories per day. That may not sound like a lot to you, but it's a huge advance to me.
I've been getting three kinds of exercise, gentle aerobics, intense aerobics, strength training.
During the past month I've spent at least a half an hour to an hour a day of pure, fast walking. Walking to get somewhere. About every third day I've gone on a long, intense-for-me run. About an hour of running. And then a little Pilates and stretching every night. This is travel exercise, and it's been fantastic. Painless. Mostly. Well those long runs are not painless, but you get the idea.
About three weeks of this, and I'm not only not suffering hip spread, but I'm certain I'm burning off all this extra food. By which I mean beer.
When I normally eat around 1100-1200 calories per day to maintain my weight, I'm eating 1400-2000 calories per day right now, counting the Murphys and the Guinness and the Blond Biddy, and have averaged that since I've been here.
I haven't actually weighed myself, but I'm tracking calories pretty closely, and I know I'm eating far outside of my normal limit while my jeans are loosening up and my hips are taking up less chair all the time. After months of not being able to budge the same 5 lbs. I've wanted to lose, it's an amazing feeling to eat more and feel the mass whittle away.
It may be that I'm acclimating to Irish living - walking, dancing, shivering, walking, dancing, with a few decidedly un-Irish runs thrown on top. (These people do not run on the roads, and if you saw the roads, you'd know that's because they're too bright to run on these roads.) But for the most part I'm living my normal sedentary life, working on my butt through the middle of the day. But I have to walk to work and back again, walk to the grocery store, walk to the bus stop, walk and walk and walk.
I'm fairly sure this third, gentle form of exercise while increasing the intensity of my aerobic efforts has helped bump my sad little metabolism back up a notch.
The intense runs, I'll write about a little more later. These have been long runs of slightly more than an hour, about every third day or so. They keep me hot and sweating for hours afterward, and healing for a few days. All that tearing down my body and healing it back up again is, I'm told, a huge metabolic kicker. And of course every time my body is forced to heal up after those long runs, it builds more strength, more ability, more calorie-burning muscle.
I've been resisting writing to you about it, because who needs more news that exercise is the key to long term weight loss?
Sorry even to mention it. But it's working. Eww. I'm annoying even myself.
Importantly, I think it may be combining all these forms of exercise to do the work we need to do to unstick our sticky metabolic meters.
Gentle exercise + Intense exercise + Strength exercise. There's something to this.
Now the trick will be figuring out how to keep it up when I get home… Hmm…
Okay, I'll be disconnected for another day or so. Monday is Dublin Mini-Marathon day for me. I'll be there, blistering and sweating. Will check back in with you Tuesday to tell you all about it.
Exercise gently or intensely? Both.
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