Back in September, I said that one of my goals was to shed some pounds that I'd put on in the past year. (The weight gain was concentrated enough in time that I think it's probably directly related to going on birth control pills and Lexapro, both of which were medically advisable and neither of which I regret. But I do regret these extra pounds!)
So the three month update is that I haven't shed a single pound. Not one. And I either need to lose those pounds or I need to go out and buy new clothes, because the current weight/clothing situation means that I am wearing the same two pairs of pants to work over and over because I literally don't have anything else to put on my body. Not cool.
But here's the good news: I'm much stronger than I was three months ago!
All of which is to say that I joined a local gym in October. It's a local chain that bills itself as electronic personal training; that is, when I go to the gym I insert my flashdrive into the weight machine and it tells me what to do -- what exercise, what weight, what pace, etc. I'm sure that this would make some people crazy, but I LOVE it. No decisions, no thinking necessary, no standing around wondering what I should do next. And the weight machines are all-in-one, so there's no moving from machine to machine; instead, I claim a machine for half an hour and do all of my weight lifting at it. It's all very efficient. And for cardio, they emphasize interval training on elliptical machines and treadmills, so I choose which one I want to do and then listen to a recorded workout track on an .mp3 player that tells me what to do with resistance levels and speed and the rest. I'm out of there in about an hour, having done my cardio and weights for the day.
So this is all going really well, and if I don't exactly look forward to going to the gym, I certainly don't mind it. I've even been going *before* school, which I find pretty impressive considering that I have to be at school before 8:00. I'm just finding that if I wait until after school, it's much easier to let my tiredness win and not go at all.
The gym has a machine that figures out your muscle mass and some variation on BMI, and I do find it rewarding to concentrate on building my muscle mass rather than reducing my weight. And the great news is that I have gotten stronger. One does a strength test every few weeks, and I had my last one on Friday, where the results were impressive (at least to me): a 16% gain in bicep curls, 25% in chest press, 25% in leg extensions, and almost 29% in lat pulldowns, for an overall strength gain of 24%. Yay me!
What I haven't done is changed my eating, and that is clearly the necessary next step to actually shed some of these pounds. And of course December is hardly the month to begin restricting calories, what with all of the goodies lying around all the time. But actually, all winter is hard for me with the comfort eating to ward off the gray and the gloom. But I think I need to be honest with myself that I'm not going to fit into my current clothes unless I do some serious change in eating habits.
My other inspiration is that I just moved from the initial "sculpt and tone" phase of my weights program into the "fat burner plus" phase, which is all about revving metabolism. So maybe that knowledge will give me the extra push I need to focus on shedding those pounds while I continue to get stronger.
Even if I'm kind of bummed that I haven't lost any weight and still feel pudgy, I do like this new sense of myself as stronger and more powerful. That's positive!