Trying to eat better … and do some exercising

scrabble pieces on a plate
Photo by Natasha Spencer on

Whelp. I’ll tell you, the irony isn’t lost me on that I’m about to write this post while laying in bed with a vanilla French Chew Taffy teasing me out of the corner of my eye. I picked it up at the little grocery store down the street the other day as a little treat for myself.

And that treat for myself is because I’ve tried to get back into eating better and occasionally exercising and lifting. So that, “Here, I can treat myself,” becomes the rationalization.

As you may have gleaned from my previous post, I’ve been in a bit of a funk (understatement) for the last seven months on top of the usual funk I’m typically in. The reason for that is a blog post for another day, but suffice it to say, that funk has resulted in some bad eating habits.

After my kidney surgery in December 2019 (I just realized I don’t have that on the blog, either, stay tuned), I was about 164 pounds. My ideal weight is either 150 pounds (thereabouts my high school weight) or where I visually approve of my stomach. I’m not particularly worried about having big arms or anything like that, but I would at least like to have a flat stomach again.

In the seven months since, I’m up to my worst weight in quite some time: 176 pounds. I noticed that about 17 days ago when I hopped on the scale. The moment I saw 176, I deleted the DoorDash, Chipotle, and Papa John’s apps from my phone. Those have been the easy enablers of my bad eating these last seven months. It’s become far too easy for me to pull one of those up, hit a button, spend $25, and get food delivered to my door.

I was doing that nearly every day for the last seven months. Eating out. Going to a drive-through. Getting food delivered. The latter was more likely because of the funk, and not wanting to move beyond my bed.

Which was the other thing. On one hand, I was routinely devouring thousands of calories of bad food while also spending virtually my entire existence watching TV or being on my phone while laying in bed.

My existence for the last seven months was essentially this aside from the 40 hours I put my work hat on and a plastered smile.

So, since I deleted those apps, I re-dedicated myself to the MyFitnessPal app, where I count calories. I know this works. I’ve done it before. In 2015, I got back into this sort of kick, counted calories, and within seven weeks, I was 20 pounds down and had reached my goal weight of 150 pounds. That was with minimal exercising. Changing diet and watching what you eat is highly effective in my experience.

For these last 17 days, I’ve mostly been eating snack bars (Nature Bakery’s fig bars are great), beef jerky, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken, cereal, and toast. And of course, coffee. Beer is probably the worst thing I still do that’s harder to kick. Granted, I’m not drinking every night, but I reckon I go through a six-pack or so every week and a half.

I’m proud to say, I have not bought a meal out or had one delivered in that time. My bank account probably thanks me just as much as my waistline.

I have added some exercising. Tonight, I did laps in my pool. Previously, I have dared some outings at the local gym to get on the elliptical machine, and some weights. I’ve also brought my pull-up bar back. It’s extraordinary how fast our muscles atrophy when we’re not using them. In my heyday, I could probably do 15 or more pull-ups at one time. Now I’m happy to hit four without dying.

It’s hard, though. Even when you know something works, it’s hard to stick to it for all the usual reasons it’s hard to stick to a diet and exercising (bad food is yummy), but also because the funk makes me want to stick to my bed and stuff my face to smother the funk. It’s the “eat at Arby’s” meme manifest literally.

But, for now, here I am, trying to be good.

How are you all doing, especially during the last few months with the coronavirus and resulting shutdown, as it regards diet and exercise? Let me know in the comments!

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