Losing Weight Takes Attention

November 21, 2011

I’ve wished and wished that I could be someone who could manage my weight without paying much attention to it, but I’ve come to realize that’s just a wish.

My genie lamp

If I don’t pay attention, I’m actively gaining.  If I pay a little attention but not too much I can maintain without much effort, which is a great thing, and bodes really well for a low-stress future.

Of course, the rest of the story is that in order to actually LOSE weight I need to actually pay attention.  And frankly, now that I’m in my forties, it seems like it’s quite a bit of attention I need to pay in order to lose weight.

I’ve just been through a really frustrating month where my weight has been stable for over 30 days.  I’d say that I’m in a plateau, but that’s maybe not totally fair, since for most of that month I wasn’t putting in full effort, so I don’t see how I can reasonably expect to see a full reward.

The frustration got the better of me and I had two planned indulgences, about ten days apart.  No big deal either time – both times were controlled, both times I got right back on track afterwards.  I’ve had many days where I’ve eaten well, and I’ve had some days with exercise, but I frankly haven’t had a solid week where I’ve been consistently eating really correctly and exercising too.  My eating is generally good, generally good foods, generally lots of  veggies, plenty of water, etc.  But it’s not been precisely measured most of the time, and I’ve not accounted for everything I’m eating for days in a row.  I know there is tightening up that can, and should, be done.

With the new baby I have a hard time getting to the gym more than once a week, but if that sounds like a weak excuse on the exercise front, it is.  I have tons of DVDs in my house, and even have an elliptical machine at home.  I have lots of nice parks to walk in with the baby nearby. My baby is a great sleeper, and with some effort I could get up before him and exercise, or use some of his dependable nap time to work out at home too.

I’ve been giving the whole thing a lot of thought, since I really, truly am looking for “low stress” weight loss.  Actually, this whole topic of “paying attention” is something I’ve blogged about before.  Somehow I thought that might mean “effortless” but I’d say the last month has been pretty “effortless” (or at least low effort) and I’ve done fine in maintaining my weight, but haven’t managed to lose anything.  Over the past several days I’ve been thinking a lot about why, and what I need to do to make the numbers go down, since I’m not happy with the results I’m getting right now, and I realized that this is just going to take more attention.

I guess I’ve been worried about what that ‘more attention’ might mean long term.  Will I have to do this forever?  Then I realized I’m overthinking.  I need to pay more attention right now to lose some weight right now.  The future will take care of itself.

I have tons of ideas of things I’d like to blog about, and keeping my head in the game by blogging will help keep my eating under tighter control, and should also help get the exercise a little better.  Again, neither eating nor exercise are particularly bad right now, they’re just not good enough to lose.

How much attention do you think you need to pay to actually lose weight?

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