Sunday, 18 August 2013

Exercise, diet and weight loss

So, about two weeks ago, I found out that I'm overweight. According to my BMI of 26.9...

Once you have measured your BMI, you can determine your healthy weight range. If your BMI is:
- Under 18.5 - you are very underweight and possibly malnourished.
- 18.5 to 24.9 - you have a healthy weight range for young and middle-aged adults.
- 25.0 to 29.9 - you are overweight
- Over 30 - you are obese.

I've been steadily putting on weight over the last twelve years since I've left school. I've averaged about two kilograms a year, and have slowly gone from a size 8 to a 14. I did lose a lost of weight when I was pregnant however, so my gain-per-year rate is actually higher than two.

Contributing factors which I can see include
- a less than stellar diet (not awful, but room for improvement)
- no exercise
- motherhood
- hormones/medications
- not being seventeen any more

My diet is ok, but not great. We try to eat healthy foods, but I probably eat too many carbs and too much cheese. We don't tend to buy lollies, chocolate, soft drink and the like but when things get busy I will eat whatever is shelf stable and quick (such as cheese on toast, or raiding the chocolate drawer at work.) I try to keep portions down, but this is perhaps something that I need to work harder on.

I currently do very little exercise. I used to go to the gym before Chubs was born, but it just became too hard after she was here. They do have a creche at the gym, but none of us were comfortable leaving her there. There wasn't anything wrong with the creche, however Chubs was always more comfortable with people whom she knew. The expense when I wasn't attending was guilt inducing and I didn't really feel that it was working before Chubs, let alone after. I cancelled my membership when I finished my maternity leave.

Motherhood itself has probably had a large effect too. Whilst pregnancy for me wiped of 12 kilos and the 500 calories a day that breastfeeding uses were very helpful, the craziness and constant demands of life with a little one mean that often meals are easy, quick and shelf stable - more cheese on toast. If we're out during the day (which we often are) we will stop at a cafe for a coffee/ bubbachino and a little something to break up the day and give little legs a rest. One thing that we do a lot is attend mothers' groups and go on playdates. I was talking to Chubs about a friend (from mothers' group) that we were ging to visit. When I asked her what she was going to play with her friend she told me 'babies and coffee and playgrounds' - which shows that she knows her from mothers' group! Everyone brings a plate, and while we often have fruit, veggies sticks and other healthy options, the cake, chocolate biccies and other yummy yummy goodness are always in plentiful supply, as they are at birthday parties.

I've been on various medications that have had an effect on my mass (I think) but it's always hard to know as I can't exactly run a controlled test without a time machine. Dysmenohhorea, possible PCOS and possible gestitational diabetes haven't helped with trying to work out what is going on either. While 500 - 600 calories a day is the commonly quote figure for exclusive breastfeeding, I'm yet to find any information on the calorie demand of breastfeeding a toddler.

So, where to from here? I have decided that I need to do something. There are many reasons why diet and exercise won't work for me, but I need to just work towards 'better'. I have taken the approach that anything is better than nothing. In the last fortnight I have started to think about and implement changes in my diet, and I have done two exercise sessions so far.

I've been quite open in this post, since I want to share my journey. By following the example of others, I have realised that I need to think outside the box and look for possible solutions rather than just seeing roadblocks.

Coming soon:
Exercise changes
Diet changes

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