Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It Can't Be True

Three weeks. Twenty-one days. Five hundred four hours.

I once heard (or read) that if you want to initiate a new routine, commit to following it everyday for twenty-one days and it will become a habit. I've tried it several times with various everyday tasks (i.e. flossing) without great results.

Motivated by my approaching trip to London, I've toiled and sweated for the past three weeks on a new diet/exercise routine.

I've gained seventy pounds since my last trip to England ten years ago. Medications, stress, menopause, and illnesses which have kept me inactive have taken their toll. The extra weight is wreaking havoc on my arthritic knees and feet and I also have high blood pressure. So my need to lose weight at my advanced age is not for vanity reasons. A family history of stroke and heart problems is the biggest motivation.

Exercise Torture

My new routine includes going to the Lions' Fitness Center everyday (except Sunday) for one hour of cardio-exercise on a stationary bike or treadmill plus upper body strength training every other day. The routine also includes eating oatmeal for breakfast, yogurt and fruit for lunch and veggies, salad and a BocaBurger (soyburgers that taste surprisingly like hamburgers).

Giving up my life long Diet Coke habit was also part of the plan.

Green Tea Supplement Drink in Fruit Flavored Pixy-Stix

I was also sucked into a fad weight reducer. While slogging through the Fashion Place Mall, looking hot, exhausted and fat, a skinny young salesgirl asked if I'd ever tried a GreenTea supplement. She showed me how easy it was to pour one of the fruity pixy-stix into a bottle of water. Shake. Drink and lose weight. Gain energy. Very easy. I tasted the most popular Mocha flavor and gagged. Then I tried the Orange flavor and compared to the Mocha, it was okay. Too tired to say no, 77 dollars later I walked away with a box of pixy-stix, enough to last a month, drinking two a day. The perky salesgirl promised I would lose 10 pounds a month without diet or exercise!

But wait. If I added both diet and exercise plus drinking the green tea, I should be able to lose 20 pounds in one month. Right? Well, you'd think.

Here are my results:

  • 21 days: Times at gym = 16; Hours of cardio-exercise = 16; Miles on bike = 90; Miles on treadmill = 24

  • 21 days: Number of bottles of green tea gagged down = 42

  • 21 days: Number of diet Cokes = 0 (that's ZERO) (the greentea took away the craving)

  • 21 days: Calories a day = 1,500; Total calories consumed = 31500

  • 21 days: Total weight lost = 0 (that's right, ZERO, Nada, Nothing); Total inches lost = 0

Three weeks. Twenty-one days. Five hundred four hours.

Has daily exercise become a habit? No. Do I enjoy it? No. Has exercise helped my gimpy knee. No. Has a good diet become a habit? No. Have I given up Diet Coke? Yes, and unbelievably most days I don't miss it. Has my blood pressure gone down. A bit. Will I continue even without weight loss? Yes. Although it hasn't become habit and I don't enjoy it, I believe the exercise and good diet will eventually be beneficial to my health. And, hopefully, I'll be fit enough to walk the miles and miles of halls in the museums of London.

1 comment:

Keri(th) said...

I'm laughing out loud at the green tea stuff - sounds horrible! So does the skinny sales person. I too have recently let my diet coke addiction go, though there are days I want to fall of the wagon and head down to the local mini mart to grab a "64 Ouncer" with three straws.

Your body is gaining muscle and restructuring, so it could take another month to see the numbers you're hoping for. If nothing changes by then, you should consider getting your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) level checked. If it's above 5.0, that would be the culprit.

Keep going and you'll eventually see results (I'm saying this while sitting at the computer eating chettos at 8:30 in the morning).