Monday, September 8, 2014

Getting on Track

I suppose I'll start this out with a trigger warning for eating disorders. If talk of dieting is a problem for you, don't keep reading. And might want to generally steer clear of this blog for awhile (not that I have been posting that often anyways, so you probably won't even miss me). 
During the 2 and a half weeks of August that I did actually go to work, I had to get my flight controller physical done, not my most favorite part of the job. I understand the point, of course-- they basically want to make sure that we aren't going to have a heart attack at the first sign of trouble while on shift (although I think that's mostly because if we die then who will save the space station).
My physical went ok, in that they have decided I'm far enough from a heart attack to be allowed to control the ISS for another 2 years before they check me again. So, that's good. However, both my cholesterol and blood pressure were a bit higher than they've been in previous years.  I have, among other interesting health data, my weight as it was in mid-August every other year since 2008. And you know what I noticed while looking at my records from previous physicals... I've gotten fat, y'all.
I mean I guess I already knew that. The size 8 pants I wore when I started working out here in 2008 are but a distant memory, probably long since purchased from the Goodwill I left them at when they no longer fit. My weight really took a big hike since 2010, the year I (probably not so) coincidentally got certified for console, met my husband, and moved half an hour from work (previous commute was about 3 mins- I could have walked if it wasn't so damn hot all the time). A potent combination of sedentary workdays, sleep shifting, less free time, and love. Seeing the numbers was a bit horrifying. Between 2010 and 2012, I gained 15 pounds. And between 2012 and 2014... another 15 pounds. So that's 30 pounds in the last 4 years. Ouch.

It's time to reverse that trend. I've decided to try out LoseIt ( and a phone app). I just started using it a week ago, but I like it so far. Basically you track all the foods you eat and exercise you do, and it tracks calories in and burned. It has a barcode scanner to scan and add foods, which is pretty convenient and I love the future. I had a lot of success in college with Weight Watchers (that's how I fit into those glorious size 8's in the first place) and I know that a little portion control, a lot more salad, and some awareness of how many calories are in things will work for me... as long as the dedication is also there. If you're curious about LoseIt, there's a free version that you can try out, but I opted to subscribe ($39 for the year, no monthly option) mostly for the future meal tracking option which is not available on the free version. It's a lot easier for me to enter my breakfast and lunch when I pack it the night before, so I know what I have to play with for dinner and snacks (and, lets be honest, beer).
If you're already on LoseIt... please add me as a friend! It's sad when I log in and it says I have no friends.

I also have committed to working out 3x a week (sorry, that probably means another semester without any blog posts). My goal is to do one swim, one bike, and one run workout per week. A lot of weight loss advice suggests that you consider exercise as another thing you have to do rather than something that can be skipped if necessary. On one hand I get that if you think of exercise as vital, like going to work or doing homework, you're more likely to do it. But are you less likely to enjoy it if you see it as an obligation rather than a bonus? I like to think of working out as time I get for me and try to enjoy it. But then sometimes it feels selfish or irresponsible to take it-- since it means that my husband has to do my share of the housework, or that my homework won't be given the time it needs to be great, or that my puppy is not getting all the snuggles he deserves. And that guilt can lead to skipped workouts. No good. So for now, I'll be considering these 3 workouts per week to be as mandatory as work and homework.

One interesting feature of Lose It is that I put in a goal weight and based on my weight trend, it calculates when I will reach my goal weight. It's currently showing that I'll reach my goal weight on Feb 24, 2015. That feels like a long time away from now. I am not sure if I am more or less happy knowing that.

Mostly Unrelated Side Story:
Remember the string of posts last year about the logistical horror of changing one's name? Turns out that saga wasn't over yet. When I went for my physical, I was informed that I was a new patient. I protested that I was not, before it dawned on me that I sort of was. Turns out, they didn't get the memo that my name changed last year. Oops. So they had started a whole new electronic chart for me. Then due to whatever stupidness with their system (how is it that women changed their names to their husband's long before computers existed and yet no computer system is designed to accommodate that?) they couldn't change it until after my physical was complete. This is a 2 week process, so after that every time I called or visited the clinic for something, I had to use my old name. And then the form they gave me that says I'm medically qualified for 2 more years had my maiden name on it, too. Luckily, the secretary who had to enter that in the computer accepted it, because I have a space station to fly and no time to be two people. I have been assured that when I go back in 2 years they will know who I am. We'll see about that.

Now soliciting... friends on LoseIt or salad dressing recipes that make a big pile of lettuce actually seem appealing in the comments. Go...

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