So, it’s time again for my monthly digression from technical and management issues, in which I report on my attempt to lose weight, get back into shape, and generally be healthier in a long-term, sustainable way. Every month since the beginning of the year I’ve either added a new exercise requirement, or a new limitation on unhealthy behavior. Each time I’ve failed, I’ve paid $100 to charity. And while normally dieting or exercise is something I’d keep to myself, this year I decided to harness the weight of peer pressure by putting it all out in the open. And it’s worked.
For the most part.
This month, in particular, was a bit frustrating. On the one hand, I worked out a lot. Way more than actually required – 22 times, including 80 miles on the treadmill – but didn’t lose any weight. And it’s not like I’ve been sneaking off in the middle of the day and gorging at Dunkin’ Donuts – I’ve been good. Plateaus are frustrating, because it isn’t clear whether you’re about to break through, or need to fundamentally change your approach.
So, I’ve started on two new things. The first is that I’m focusing more on strength training. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so building up some more muscle mass should help. Second, I’ve decided on a new rule – no more beer at home. It’s not like I’m a lush, but I’d gotten into the habit of having a bottle with dinner, and now I’ve gotten out of it. Too bad – there’s a great craft beer store nearby – but overall, it’s a small price to pay.
Variation is certainly key to breaking out of plateaus!