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(2)Exercise + Food = Weight Loss

I jumped right back on the wagon and tracked my calories all day, so I’m going to call it a win, even though I went over by 200+ calories. If I would have had more time to exercise, I would not have gone over . . . or if I would have skipped the banana and 100 calorie fudge bar I ate when we got home after running my daughter to dance rehearsal. After doing the math, I still decided it was worth the extra calories.

I knew this day was coming but I was hoping I would cope better. Now that after-school activities are in full-swing, I do not have as much free time after work. I relied on those exercise calories all summer. Thanks to the onset of the Covid 19 Pandemic last spring, activities were cancelled so I was home a lot and could take more time for myself.

Listen, I am thrilled that my girls can participate in sports, confirmation and other fun pursuits and I am happy to support them, especially when they are still living at home. It’s what I signed up for when I became a parent. I just got spoiled last summer when I got a taste of what life would be like when I am not a taxi driver and constant cheerleader.

It had been 18 years since I could put my own needs closer to the front of the priority list. (Again, not blaming anyone and I would give up all of my dreams if I could make their dreams come true. Thankfully, they are not asking me to make that sacrifice.) For now, I am happy to be the annoying mom, cheering from the stands as long as they will let me. It just means that I will have to work extra hard to limit my calories on days when exercise time is hard to come by.

The sad part is that I took the time to exercise twice today but only accumulated about 450 calories because I was limited to 30 minutes each time. First, I took a high intensity interval training class over lunch and then I walked for about 29 minutes after work. Both work-outs resulted in some pretty substantial sweating, so I know I burned calories, but I would have liked to have added 30 minutes to both of them. Then I would be 200 calories UNDER my goal, rather than over.

If I look at my food diary, it’s pretty clear where the problem lies – in the Snacks section. It’s time to limit myself to 1 granola bar instead of 2. Also, I should cut down to 2 fruits instead of 3. I had some pears (144 calories), grapes (100) and a banana (110) which totaled over 350 calories, which was more than my body needed. So by cutting out 1 granola bar and one fruit, I would have stayed within the recommended calorie limit. Hindsight makes it look so simple but my hungry stomach would not have been so easy to convince. Doing the math helps me decide how to plan tomorrow better, though.

It will be even harder to get exercise tomorrow since my daughter has a 4:15pm volleyball game. Maybe if we get home by 5:30pm, I can walk for an hour before I take her to dance. Maybe I will take a quick walk over lunch, but since I have to leave early, I am not sure when I will get a chance to make up the hours. Oh the trials and tribulations of a full-time worker mother of 2 who is trying to lose weight!

I just might have to keep my eyes on the big picture this week, since my daughter has games or activities every night. Her last volleyball games are Friday night, so starting next week, our Thursday and Friday nights open up. I am more than willing to be patient with myself and slow my weight loss a bit so I can be a good mother to my daughter while she still needs and wants me to be in her life. I have the rest of my life to be selfish and spend hours at the gym every day, but I only have about 2.5 years left when my youngest daughter still needs me to drive her places.

But that’s another reason that I am glad I am not paying anyone or anything for their services to help me lose weight. First, I do not have to feel guilty for going off course for a day or two and second, I want this journey to be a lifestyle change, not a short-term hobby, so I am not wasting any money by taking my time.

There are many people in my exercise classes that stay for more than one class, or come back later in the day. I can see myself doing that when I retire. Exercise is my drug. It makes me feel so darn good and inspires me to truly enjoy life. As it turns out, it also allows me to eat more, giving me more satisfaction while still losing weight. Glass half full response: I am glad that I have discovered this information and I will tuck it away and use it when I get more time. But until then, I will happily take my daughter wherever she needs to go and cheer her on. GO SPARTANS!

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