We are currently entered in our gym’s “fit in five” program- a challenge to lose 5 lbs in 5 weeks. Especially after the holidays, it’s a nice kick into the world of health and wellness, which is a world we’re becoming increasingly familiar with, where finding the sweet spot is of particular importance to continuing success.
As I mentioned in our previous post, our successful weight loss journey started back in 2014, when we decided to fix ourselves since we were both overweight and unhappy. And then we discovered the powers of one magical fruit that you won’t believe… just kidding, we started counting calories and exercising, the true (although boring) recipe for weight loss. At the start we worked out about 30 minutes 3 times a week, and counted and weighed every calorie (me at 1500, Mr. S at 1800). For our work-outs we typically biked (on these amazing bikes- link https://expresso.com/Home) plus I did Zumba and Mr. S started running again, at first about 1.5 miles every other day. Amazingly enough, the system worked, and we fairly easily dropped around 20 lbs a piece. We also noticed that our exercise begin to increase, coming up to between 4-5 hours a week, since it became fun to beat previous records (beating your ghost on the expresso bike is a thing of legends!)
Around month six, we became very used to our new way of eating- so much so that we could stop counting calories- we now had a fairly reasonable idea of what a single serving of food should look like, and kicked our sugar cravings and maintained our “diet” aka new way of eating (because diets don’t work). The sugar thing requires more explaining- I WAS A SUGAR FIEND! I loved chocolate, ice-cream, cookies- you name it, I wanted lots of it. I am not new to “dieting”, so I’ve read the statement before “when you stop feeding your body sugar, your body will stop craving it” and always thought- What a load of bull! Those lucky thin people were just born with a chocolate-hating gene and that’s all there is to it. It will never work for me! Sorry past-self- you were wrong! I crave sweets almost never, and my junk preferences changed. Now when I want something “bad for you” it lands in the savory category (potato chips!) and I’m satisfied with a small portion. I swear this is something that just happened over a year of eating right! That’s not to say that I no longer enjoy sweets- but I no longer need them or crave them.
The other amazing surprise was how much we now love to exercise. I went from couch potato to gym rat- I am there 5 days a week, and the hubby and I throw in at least an additional weekly hike into the mix, averaging between 6-7 hours of exercise per week. PER WEEK! This might seem excessive and not like a sweet spot, but it works for us. In addition to being healthy, exercise happens to be a cheap or free (when you consider hiking, running or following a free youtube video) form of entertainment. Yes, working out is sooo much fun. And I fully admit, sometimes it’s not. But once it becomes a habit you will do it, just because it’s the thing you do.
For me the motivation comes from the gym and working out surrounded by other people. It’s a cost, for sure. Together, for two semester long memberships we pay $310, which is a hefty chunk of change. After doing the math, we average right around $.97 per work out, which is very do-able, and keeps us at it. After all, start slacking and the cost per work out rises… and once it stops being reasonable it’s hard to justify the membership. For that reason, we did not sign up for the summer- during that time I travel for work, so I’m hardly here and Mr. S travels as well, plus his schedule becomes hectic with weddings and special events. Additionally, the weather is so nice that free work outs become more fun and very achievable. That said, the gym offers $3 day passes, so if I really want to take a Zumba class I can.
There’s many roads leading to a destination, but very few you can stay on for very long. We have found the one that works for us. We have now maintained this lifetime for over two years and it’s become natural- it’s how we are, what we do and we don’t question it. Have you found something that works for you and changed your wellness?
Mr. S. would like to direct you’re attention to another Netflix documentary about food. Because no matter how much you put into your workout, 80% of the sweetspot in fitness is what you put in your mouth. Check out Fed-Up for more information that might make you mad (and that’s a good thing).