I forgot to weigh in, and I didn’t get to work out yesterday. Pretty short check in, wasn’t it?
In the past I have covered everything from food and drink to weight and exercise. I don’t think I have really touched on the adjusting much. It really is a very important part, that I don’t see many people talking about, and there is a lot to it that people just starting might not realize, at least I know I didn’t.
First, and hardest for me, was adjusting to drinking less soda. The biggest part about adjusting to drinking over half the soda as I was drinking was the caffeine and sugar. I don’t drink coffee, tea or energy drinks, and since I cut out sweets, soda is my only source of both caffeine and sugar. The biggest adjustment here is staying awake. Since I reduced my soda to three 16oz bottles a day, I have been tired. Not just in the morning or after a long day at work, but all the time. I go to sleep tired, I wake up tired, and I am tired most of the day. Also, I have this constant headache. It just won’t go away, and I know that all I need to do to get rid of it is down a couple Dr. Peppers, but I can’t do that. It can take several weeks to adjust to getting less sugar and caffeine. You get them enough in large amounts, and your body gets use to it, and even starts relying on it. If you wait, your body will eventually adjust, it is important to not allow it to get to you. Don’t give in and drink that extra soda to get the headaches to go away, or you will never get rid of that extra soda.
Then there is adjusting to eating less and something different. For some reason this one comes in spurts for me and isn’t a constant. When I switched to salad only, I was, I don’t want to say weak, but that is the best way to describe it. It wasn’t a hungry kind of weak though. It is more of one of those same things where my body is use to what I was eating and doesn’t like that I have drastically changed that. Now I have to get use to the new diet. That part has almost passed, but I do still feel it every so often. It comes with a wave of listlessness and lack of motivation. That is kind of where I am right now, and hope I can report things getting better in the future.
Apatite was also a huge one for me. This started last fall when I was trying to diet before surgery, and has returned this week while trying to get back to that diet. It’s not just about eating healthier, but doing so in a way that is less of an excess. A salad is good for you until it’s the size of a serving bowl covered in several types of meat and cheese and a half a bottle of dressing. I’m eating a reasonable sized salad with enough meat and cheese to flavor it and a few tablespoons of dressing. It’s just a lot less than I am use to eating. This has made me hungry all the time. I can have just eaten and be hungry, just how it is when you start eating reasonable portions when you aren’t use to doing that. It’s been long enough that I have a very odd feeling now. I eat and am full and hungry at the same time. On one hand I have eaten enough food and my body has adjusted to the smaller portions as being enough to fill me up, but hasn’t adjusted to the idea of not eating more yet. It really is a hard thing to get past, and you tell yourself constantly that you should pick up a dollar burger, or a snack cake, or something, anything, to fill up. You have to say no to that part of you and convince yourself that you ate and that is all you needed to eat.
That said, for those last two, be aware of how much you need to be eating. There is a number of calories and fat you need to be eating to survive. If you eat too much you gain weight, to little and your body goes into a starvation mode making it harder to lose weight until you eventually just become anorexic and lose too much. You need to be aware of how much you should eat to maintain your current weight and eat a reasonable amount less to lose weight. This number is different for everyone, there are some great tools out there to get you those number for you. According to this calorie calculator at http://www.calculator.net/. I need to eat 2859 calories a day to maintain my current weight, 1859 to lose 2 lbs a week or 3859 to gain 2 lbs a week. This is assuming based on my current weight and amount of exercise, both will change over time, so I will need to recalculate regularly in order to maintain a healthy number. I usually vary between 1600 and 2200 calories a week, at the moment, so I think I am about where I need to be according to this chart, if I also increase my activity level.
Last, but not least, is the exercising. When I started in August, is was nothing but adjusting. If you aren’t exercising regularly, you are robbing yourself of something. I’m not saying it always feels great, and doesn’t always seem to help, but you need to be getting up and out there. First day, you can go back and get a whole blog on it back in my August posts, I did a mile walk and was out of breath, felt horrible, and was sore. Day two, I got less than half a mile and my ankles were swollen up and I barely made it back home. Now days, I am limited in walking only by my back, I know that I can make it 4 miles or more, I’ve done it. Before surgery I was doing it daily. I had blisters occasionally, but I was starting to get over that. Now I know I can do it and it feels good when your done. On my bike, that is a different story. Cycling works more muscles and requires more stamina and respiratory workout than walking. So, in a lot of ways I feel like I’ve gone back to that first week of walking, when it comes to Cycling. While that has been the case so far, I can already start seeing how I am doing better. My muscles burn a little less, my breathing is slightly better, and I am able to recover faster. These are very slight but I feel them and know that if I keep it up, that I will be doing it with no problem this time next year.
That’s all I have on this today. Your body just needs to adjust anytime you make big changes. Those adjustments come with some back lash where your body is doing everything it can to tell you it wants what it is use to, but you have to say no, I am going to do something better than what your use to, and keep at it.