Thursday, January 3, 2013

Celebrating a Side Effect

I know I'm supposed to have made a New Year's Resolution two days ago, but I didn't.  I mostly stopped making them because like most of this country I don't actually keep them.  Nevertheless.  I'm celebrating, because I've made progress on something I'd almost stopped thinking that I could.

I've lost 20 pounds since I moved to NYC.  I've never been able to get to this weight, in all the time I've been trying - I haven't weighed this since middle school.  Early middle school. 

I'm celebrating this because it mostly happened by accident.  I haven't been to the gym since I graduated.  I didn't pick a fancy diet.  I haven't counted calories or anything. It happened because I changed my lifestyle. 

I started focusing on where my food was coming from.  Less packaged food means less snacking and less nasty things going into my body.  More Greenmarket food means more fruits and veggies and things that taste good all on their own.  Conscience-easing meat means less meat.  Seeking different proteins means more variety in my diet.

Plus, I moved to the city.  I walk everywhere (or take the subway, but still I walk a lot).  I walk at least a mile as part of my round-trip commute every day.  I try to walk beyond that whenever I can, although since it got cold and life got crazy that hasn't happened (and most of this weight loss was early in the semester, when I was making an effort to take extra walks).

Also, city food is expensive, so I don't eat out very often.  That means I haven't been eating restaurant portions every day, and I haven't eaten the meaty, often-fatty foods I have trouble resisting when I eat out.  Plus - no access to all-you-can-eat at the dining hall, and no late-night restaurant that accepts dining dollars.  Bonus. 

I've stayed steady at this weight for about a month now (I think).  Probably a combination of plateauing, eating poorly in December, and it being Winter (our bodies naturally try to store up food for the winter), so the fact that it didn't go up was a pleasant surprise.  I'm going to start going back to the gym this semester because I need some aerobics in my life again, and I'll probably start to lose again.

And my favorite part is still that this was effectively a side effect.  This happened because I wanted to go to this graduate school, because I wanted to live a more sustainable life, and because I wanted to be more careful with my finances.  When I focused on those goals, weight loss happened on its own.  Now a healthy BMI is in sight.  I'm celebrating :)

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