But What Exactly Am I Doing?

It might have occurred to you to wonder (or maybe it didn’t, I dunno) what exactly is this “Meagan” character doing in terms of health/fitness right now? I mean, we know the backstory now, but what about the right now? What exercise is she doing specifically? Is she dieting?

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve completed one round of PBR (click the link for more info) and started a second, slightly modified round. More specifically, on Mondays I am doing runs from Couch to 5k (C25K, as I often call it). C25K is structured to have 3 runs a week over eight weeks, and I’m only running once a week, so it’ll take a darn long time at that rate. Especially since I just finished “week one”, and decided to repeat it, so this coming Monday I will be restarting “week one”.

Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday are yoga days. I’ve been doing the regularly scheduled yoga classes from PBR, and if I have time/feel like it, maybe an additional online class or just making up my own moves as I go, letting my body do whatever it feels like doing. Wednesday and Friday are my strength/circuit training days, also from the regular PBR schedule. If you’re not sure what that entails, it’s a lot of body-weight strengthening moves, plus the use of some actual weights. I started out with only a 5lb (2.3 kg) set of dumbbells to my name so I used those for everything. I now have a set of dumbbells that have plates like a barbell so you can adjust the weight to be between 2.5 (1.1 kg) and 20 lbs (9 kg) each. I’m up to 15 lbs now (6.8 kg) on a lot of things, but for some of the more shoulder-intensive moves I drop back down to 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg).

Sundays we rest. Not for any religious reasons or anything, but just because that’s usually when it’s most convenient to do so and most likely to actually happen. Usually we have activities going on that keep us hopping on Saturday. It still happens sometimes, though, that we end up going for a hike or a bike ride (either pedal-bike or motorcycle have been known to happen). Whatever we do, I try to kind of keep it more chill and let my body recover as much as possible.

So the schedule looks like this at a glance:
Monday – Running (C25K)
Tuesday – Yoga
Wednesday – Circuit training
Thursday – Yoga
Friday – Circuit training
Saturday – Yoga
Sunday – Go away, I’m resting!

Markers and stickers are must-haves. Because reasons.

My current round of PBR is scheduled to finish on 5/12/19, barring any extenuating circumstances. I am tentatively planning on doing the PBR Yoga Only course after that, because I live in southern Arizona and around mid-May is when it starts being 100 degrees F (38-ish, C) all the time. Basically we stay indoors where it’s air-conditioned until sometime in monsoon season (usually mid-July through mid-August). An 8 week session of PBR Yoga Only will keep me in indoor workouts until mid-July, at which point I can re-evaluate based on Arizona’s current moods and how my body feels at that point.

“But what about food”, you may ask? What am I doing in that regard? I think you’ll find my answer quite unsatisfying, especially if you’re looking for a magical “diet” that will instantly help you shed pounds.

You’ll find me kicking around on MyFitnessPal under the username “blamethekitty” (there’s a backstory on that too, naturally). I do log everything I eat and I try to keep the totals within the “target” range the app gives me based on my current weight, height, and activity level. I’m not super legalistic about it, though, and if I go over by 100 or 200 calories it isn’t a big deal. And usually there’s one day a week (often a Saturday) where I’ll go over by 400-600, and so far that doesn’t seem to be a big deal either. Thanks to my crazy work schedule, I usually have 2 or 3 days a week where I have a hard time finding the time to eat as many calories as I’m “supposed” to, and I think over the course of a week it balances out. I do not have any “forbidden” foods at this point, though I do shy away from drinking my calories… I won’t drink sodas with calories, fruit juices, or alcohol. I mostly avoid alcohol because I don’t like the way it makes me feel… if I were fond of drinking, I’d budget that in somehow.

The only other at all entertaining fact about my diet is that I’m on my third or fourth week (I forget) of playing with intermittent fasting. I’m doing the most common method, from what I can tell, which is a 16 hour daily fast with an 8 hour “eating window”. Generally, I only eat between noon and 8 PM. And yes, I was previously a habitual breakfast-eater, and I mean the “I need to have some protein in the morning or I feel faint before noon” sort of breakfast-eater. It only took me a few days to adjust, though. My work schedule is such that when I work an opening shift, I usually don’t get to eat lunch until 12:30 or 1 at the earliest anyway, and when I work a closing shift I usually get my “dinner” break at 5 or 5:30. Occasionally, I have days where I don’t actually work long enough to get a meal break at work, and those are the days I generally have a hard time eating “enough”, simply because I don’t have time to eat. Particularly if it’s a 2:30 PM to 8 PM shift, meaning I essentially have to eat ALL of my calories for the day between noon and 1:30, since I’ll be driving between 1:30 and 2:30. Yes, my commute is terrible, if you were wondering, and if I’m on my motorcycle eating while driving isn’t an option either. I think, though, that these occasional “low calorie” days help balance out those days where I go a bit over.

I don’t feel hungry or deprived (unless it’s one of those days where I just didn’t have time to eat much). I usually have a small bowl of ice cream after dinner, and “dinner” is usually either whatever I brought to work with me or whatever my husband cooked that night, which is often from a box. I’m not exactly “eating clean” or anything over here… I do try to make healthier choices for snacks during the week and I always have some fresh fruit with my lunch, but then I go have a gyro and curly fries at Arby’s on Saturday.

It’s about balance, I guess is what I’m trying to say, and finding what works for you that you can stick with. You’ve probably heard this before, but diets don’t work because they’re temporary, and usually not even sustainable in the long run. You have to find whatever works for you that you can sustain over a long period of time. Long, like, for example, the rest of your life. (Which might be even longer if you get all fit and healthy and stuff… who knows!?)

Sorry if you were hoping for a play-by-play of exactly what I eat in a day. Like most things in my life, there’s no rhyme or reason to it. You’re a unique and special snowflake… figure out through trial and error what works for you and what doesn’t. I do, however, heartily recommend MyFitnessPal (I’ve been using it off and on for years, and consistently now for 116 days as of the time of this writing), if nothing else, just to figure out roughly how many calories you should be eating in a day. Too many is bad, but too few is also bad, and I know a lot of “dieters” who err on the side of too few and don’t understand why they aren’t losing weight. Spoiler alert: if your body thinks you’re starving, it’s going to hold on to anything it gets. You have to eat enough that your body doesn’t panic, but not so much that your body has to find places to store what it can’t immediately use. Again balance.

It’s all about finding your balance, really. 🙂 In yoga, in fitness, in eating, in life… all of it is about balance.

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