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How to focus the effort and sustain the results?

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  • How to focus the effort and sustain the results?

    Hi all. Been lurking about 2 years.

    Almost-40 female. Have struggled with my weight my whole life, getting up to about 250 lbs. at the birth of my second child. I'm 5'3". Lost over 100 lbs. over 2 years by changing my diet and adding a lot of exercise. The first 40 came off easier, the rest has been a slog that I have been doing over and over for the past 7-8 years. Over those years, I have finished 3 marathons, and spent 5 years running a small farm while working full time and taking care of 2 young children while my husband traveled extensively. Needless to say, I was busy, but I prioritized my wellness, so I got the exercise and I ate a lot of good food. Also a lot of food I didn't need to be eating.

    Life is change, and so I moved off the farm. Now I divide my time between the Middle East and the Upper Midwest. Change was tumultuous. I packed on 30 pounds while leaving farm, family and friends.

    After trying for a year to take it off, I did a Whole 30 and lost about 18 pounds. Was basically walking and doing some of the basic moves Mark describes--pushups, squats, planks. I cooked grilled meat with salad for dinner, and added a starch for the rest of the family. I got my movement in while kids were at school, really enjoyed my food, and got 8-9 hours of sleep every night. After a few months of this, I had dropped the 30 pounds. Still about 10 pounds overweight, but that's not the worst place to be.

    This year, it all changed again. Moved from house to apartment, so no grill. I pulled the kids from school and am homeschooling, so no alone time and nowhere near the quiet I'm used to. So busy with their education that I have not had the time or headspace to write. I solo parent much of the year while dh travels. I get out and walk maybe 4 days a week. I take the kids biking another 2-3. We swim in the ocean and in a pool.

    But I have been completely failing to keep my food in line. I eat way too much fruit, too often after dark, and too much during the day, too. It's weird because I don't have the same food issues in the US (unless around my mother ), but I just struggle there not to pack my blood with sugar.

    All that to say I am back in the States for summer and trying to get things back in line. This next week starts Ramadan; kids and I will be observing 17-hour daily fasts. I've cleaned things up considerably over the past 2-3 weeks and dropped a few pounds from what had yet again crept back (so tired of this!). My guess is I am back around 165.

    So. 39yo female, paleo (faileo?) 2 years, 165 pounds. Starting 30 days of IF this Tues. 24-hour gym access (limited gym, but has weight machines). Daily pool access.

    The past 2 weeks or so, diet has looked like this:
    On waking: coffee + coconut milk (1/4 C)
    <workout: walk/run 45-60 min 3x week>
    2 or 3 eggs + frozen mixed veg (stir fry blends) in ghee with coconut aminos
    Meat-and-veg dish (like chicken no-tortilla soup with avocado, ground beef and veg stir fry, BAS with meat or fish)
    Fruit: berries or melons (admittedly too many, grappling with sudden availability as these things are imported and expensive in ME)
    Sometimes have nuts when I "need" something.

    I am thinking to eliminate nuts, maybe just allow macadamias (which are not my fave), and of course reduce fruits. Might make kale chips once a week to appease the desire to snack. Exercise will be the challenge, as this fast requires abstaining from drinking as well. So I can work out in the gym at night, maybe do sprints at night if I find a track, but I am not living in a place where people should go out for midnight walks.

    I'd like to structure the days, and need help figuring out effective goals that I can meet. Thoughts? Thanks, if you've read this far.

  • #2
    Welcome, OldFarmer. Seems you've been at this a while. Read Mark's blog pages on Paleo/FX. Drop the running and add a sprint or two once a week. Start lifting weights instead of running.

    Do go to the athletic pages of the forum. You'll find lots of help there.
    "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase


    • #3
      Do you do any resistance training? Your diet looks fine to me, although whenever I am having internal doubts about my eaitng, I always just revert back to eating meat and vegetables. Simplicity works for me.
      Healthy is the new wealthy.


      • #4
        Thanks for the advice. It's funny because I am still working on the head game, and I don't consider myself an "athlete," so I feel like such a poseur peeking my head in a room full of real ones. Working on it.

        I started doing very basic weight machine work with my son last week (because that is all that is available to us at the moment). I do yoga, and just this week started squats, planks and (knee) pushups and they felt really hard. I figure to keep working on those 3x weekly or so. I was able to easily do 50 squats, 60 sec plank, but the pushups are always my weak spot. 2x 10 knee pushups. Never mind pull ups--I will work my way to those. My running is much more a jog/walk than it used to be; I am trying to really keep the cardio effort down, and barefoot shoes seem to help the overstriding I tend to do in shoes (I'm short).

        So my cardio will likely be less (twice weekly) and slower, since I will probably be doing an easy walk during my kids TKD classes and any jog I might do will be after dark. Will probably attend Tarawih prayers at least once a week, which has a quality similar to slow get-ups for a couple of hours. Sticking with the squats, pushups and planks for the next 4 weeks might go a long way to fix the hormonal soup.

        I will check out those pages you recommended, Cryptocode. Thanks again.


        • #5
          Congratulation for losing over 100 lbs, that's great. Welcome to the forums and keep it going
          I am not a bodybuilding/fat loss/strength training "guru" BUT I achieved a lean state with ease after learning the correct way to train and eat and I want to HELP YOU achieve the same.

          Getting fit is also about managing your mindset:


          • #6
            Originally posted by OldFarmer View Post
            ...just this week started squats, planks and (knee) pushups and they felt really hard. I figure to keep working on those 3x weekly or so. I was able to easily do 50 squats, 60 sec plank, but the pushups are always my weak spot. 2x 10 knee pushups.
            Knee pushups don't necessarily lead to regular pushups. I found the best path to regular pushups was to put myself in the regular pushup position, slowly lower myself to the floor. From that position try to push up off the floor. When you have to give up, switch to the knee position and push up.


            • #7
              Thanks, eKatherine. I do believe you're right. I have been to the point where I could do many many knee pushups and still not a single proper regular one. Will give your chaturanga strategy a shot.