Big Changes, Get Fit!

At the beginning of the year, I tried to figure out what I wanted to focus on, areas I wanted to improve. One of the things starkly missing from the list was big moves about my health. I mean, sure, I’m doing Meat Free Mondays this month. But nothing about my endo or my weight.

However, as the first week of the year got underway, I decided I wanted to see if I could get a little more active. What if I could workout even only once a week? It’s not much, not a huge commitment. Plus, I’ve got the schedule currently. So I mentioned this sometime last week to my former roommate. We decided we’d hit the rec center together once a week. I’d been interested in going for a while, but, you know, anxiety.

Our first week went great! Half an hour on the bikes, then we walked a mile to cool down. While bikes are my comfort zone, I don’t want to restrict her to just what I want to do. So I might actually get to learn how the other cardio equipment works. Or even the weights and stuff — aka the things that kind of scare me because I have no knowledge of how to do it properly.

This weekend, since we had 50-60° weather, I asked my mom to guide me on some of the local trails. We walked for an hour; our round trip totaling a little over 2.5 miles. She explained the different paths and were they go. We talked a lot about random life stuff, as well as how the city’s been changing (for the better) since I was a kid. My mom loves, and prefers, riding her bike, so I’m glad she took the day off from her ride to take a walk with me.

And today, even though I still have my fitness date coming up with my friend, I decided I’d hit the gym again — all by myself. Does it feel weird being a 32-year-old woman who can’t do things alone? Yeah, a little. But again, anxiety and I’m coming to terms with it. I did another half hour on the bike (over 5 miles), and then walked for another 45 minutes. I lost track of how many laps, but based off my average pace (02:20 per quarter mile), I think I made about 5 miles. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do anything at all today. I woke up with endo pain. But I let myself rest a bit, then pushed through what was left. Hopefully that doesn’t kick me in the ass later, but currently I feel good! No worse, at least.

Along with all this exercise and activity, I’ve also switched up my diet. You know about the meat free days, but I also started doing meal replacements. As much as younger me is totally making fun of me for this… I started using the SlimFast shakes. They’re actually super tasty. At least the royale chocolate one I got. You’re supposed to replace your breakfast and lunch with the shakes. Somedays I do both meals, but during the week I still often eat a “normal” lunch. I still try to make sure it’s on the lower calorie side. Breakfast has always been a sort of tricky meal for me — it’s easy to get lazy about it — but these definitely help. It’s also cut down on my grocery bill, too.

I’d been using MyFitnessPal to track everything. I’m not that great with tracking, though. I get tired of recording things and feeling like some number (calories) are controlling my life. So, after wanting one for a while, I bit the bullet and bought a FitBit! I went with the Charge 2, even though the Alta was my first pick. I just really wanted the added heart rate monitoring (and I found an awesome deal on eBay). I thought if I could see how my heartbeat changes throughout the day, maybe I could identify stress triggers. One surprise? Reading for class stresses me out. I was reading Marx the other day and my heart rate stayed above 100 the whole time. So that’s something I need to work on.

But with the FitBit app I’m not just monitoring my heart and my steps, I’m also tracking my water and food! It took a little to adjust to their system, but I think I’m in a good rhythm with it now. The hardest thing is accepting that as a grad student with endometriosis, I will not be all that active. My goal is 5000 steps, and I’ve only hit it twice in the 5 days I’ve had it. Most of my day I’m at a desk or reading somewhere or in class. However, I’m not going to let that stop me.

Which is awesome. Because in the, essentially one week since I made all these changes, I’ve lost 6 lbs! My FitBit says 5, but I rounded my weight down one to make it end in 5. (It’s better than what I’d been doing on MFP, which is rounding down at least 5 lbs pretty much every time.) I’ve got a ways to go in my actual weight-loss wishes, but I am over the moon just that it even started at all. Between my endo and the medicine I have to take to function with it, weight loss has been an absolute struggle. It felt impossible. And now? I’m down 6 lbs. And it’s just the start. I know it’ll taper off a bit as I get going — that whole thing that happens when you start developing muscle — but again, it’s a start.

I keep laughing to myself that I’m getting fit so that I can fight in the resistance, and, well, it’s not completely untrue.