I went to see my doctor a couple of weeks ago, to talk to her about a battery of general-health blood tests I'd had done back in August. (My follow-up was originally scheduled for October, but I ended up out of town that day and January was the earliest I could reschedule.
I am pretty healthy -- my doctor littered my results with notes, many of which are smiley faces, because she is awesome -- so she did not have a whole lot of recommendations for me. She suggested fish oil pills and vitamin D (because those things were in the "you need more of these" on my results). And we talked about exercise.
I don't talk about exercise much any more, but that it because it is boring, not because I have ever stopped doing it. I have been exercising 4-5 times a week for seven and a half years now. Exercise is a Thing the I Do. The form varies, from dance to weight lifting to jogging to exercise biking to outdoor biking to probably something else I forget.
Unfortunately, as a weight loss program all this effort has been an undeniable flop. I am up 25 pounds from my 2005 weight. *sigh* I don't think that exercise is a waste of time -- I feel healthier and I can do more as a result of regular exercise -- but I am still getting progressively heavier as time goes by, which is mildly irritating.
I didn't particularly want to talk to my doctor about Losing Weight, but I did want to talk about how to focus my workout time. I've been doing some weight lifting and some aerobic exercise and feeling like I'm not Doing Enough of either, which is problematic because I am not willing to devote much more total time to exercise than I am already.
My doctor told me a few things that I already knew, like that weight-lifting (as long as you keep it up) is the best way to lose weight, and aerobic exercise is the best way to promote heart-health and the most important for prolonging overall lifespan. She personally recommended that I continue to do some of each.
She also said that resting muscle groups for as much as a week between exercises was OK, which was a big relief on the Not Doing Enough front, since my weight-lifting had settled in at doing lower body about once a week and upper body/core about once a week.
Beyond that, she recommended 8 Minutes in the Morning, an exercise book by Jorge Cruise. The heart of his program is "Do 2 different exercises, 4 sets of 12 reps each, 6 mornings a week, with each day's exercises focused on a different muscle group."
He is Very Keen on doing it In The Morning, so I will give that a shot even though (a) I have zero problem with committing to an evening exercise routine and have done so for many years and (b) man I hate exercising in the morning. But the thing is, it's eight minutes. And it really is only eight minutes -- I did my first day tonight (because that's when the book showed up, I'll try the morning thing tomorrow) and timed it: 8 minutes 45 seconds, and that included a stop in the middle to check the instructions on the exercises. And eight minutes is nothing. It's like over almost before I finish motivating myself to do it. My big problem with my current weight-lifting regimen is that it takes forever and I'm constantly checking what my next exercise is and what weights to use and recording the last one and thinking how long this is taking and how boring it is. By contrast, this does not take forever, and with only two exercises I can slam through the whole thing -- I don't need to stop in the middle to write down weights or reps or see what to do next, because it's short enough (and uniform enough) that I can just remember. Oh, and he has you alternate exercises instead of resting between sets, so there's none of the dead time between sets where I am just breathing and thinking how much I hate doing this.
So I like that aspect.
I have no idea if this will get results or not. For one thing, Cruise has this whole section on diet that I am most likely going to ignore because ... yeah. "For three times as much work you too can eat foods that you enjoy one-tenth as much!" OTOH, he's all keen on omega-3 fats which are the same thing my doctor already has me taking fish oil pills for, so hey. And I will at least read the whole section and see if there's changes that I do not mind too much.
Anyway, he has a bunch of motivational stuff, one of which is this extremely corny "My Success Contract" which I am supposed to fill out and give three copies to Trusted Friends. It is much too corny for me to photocopy. But I will do this on my blog, and y'all can support and motivate me.
Today's Date: 1/15/2013
I am going to lose this many pounds: You know I didn't get this book to lose weight, right? I got it because I wanted a weightlifting program that would not sap my will to live and, more to the point, to lift weights. But, fair enough, I am borderline obese and I do have a closetful of clothes I want to wear again. So here's the number of pounds: Thirty-two.
By this date: This book seems to think two pounds a week is feasible, and if I were willing to transform my diet* maybe it would be. I am not that ambitious. Let's say by 11/1/2013. That seems plenty ambitious enough.
Signature Love, Me
* I actually am planning to eat fewer calories, but I am not doing the "this is a completely different and healthier diet full of foods I don't particularly like that will spoil in three days so I am constantly preparing food and going to the store" thing.