It is spring here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Weather-wise, we have been switching daily between unseasonably warm and unseasonably cold, with rain thrown in the mix. Just the kind of weather that gives conniptions to both your house and your body's thermostat. It makes it hard to know what to wear on any given day or what outside activities to plan on the farm.
This weather uncertainty has followed me into the gym and the kitchen. My weight loss has been stalled for weeks with the morning scale readings averaging around 175 pounds. In fact, about a week ago, I was reading a pound or two higher in the mornings. Looks like it is time to take a closer look at my diet and workout routines. On the one hand, what I have been doing worked pretty well for a long time. On the other, it doesn't seem to be getting me any further towards my goal of taking off another ten pounds of the belly fat still hovering around my middle. I am not sure whether it is time to reset my diet or to step up my exercise routine or, more likely, both.
Let's look first at the diet. I do not keep precise records of food intake, but I do have a general grasp of what I have been eating on a daily basis. Going back through the last few week's meals, I see a pattern emerging. The number of vegetables on my plate has been declining slowly but steadily. Not a good thing. I also have eaten a few more meals out than usual. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not the best either when trying to keep to disciplined eating. Even with that, I still couldn't figure out where the extra calories were coming from that accounted for the slight uptick on the scale last week. Then it dawned on me: the bag of walnuts I kept on hand for a quick snack had disappeared pretty quickly. Thinking back, I realized that a few nuts had turned into a handful, and a handful had turned into a couple of handfuls. That couple of handfuls (or more) a day were enough to keep me at or over 175. I have not replaced the bag since it went empty and the morning weigh in today was down to 174. The trouble is, I miss those snacks.
At the gym, I have decided that it is time to change my workout. The routine I have been using is still challenging, but I do not see any further decline in my waistline or great improvements in strength or flexibility. I have also noticed that I am bored with it. Boredom leads quickly to shortcuts and general lack of intensity. I normally take at least one day off altogether, but looking back, I have taken at least two days off each of the past few weeks and some of the days I was at the gym it was for an abbreviated workout. Also not good.
The mission this week? Look for ways to overcome dietary fatigue and exercise boredom. Any good recipes out there that I can also convince the rest of the family to eat? Any tips for keeping your intensity on the treadmill and weight bench?