EFTB

battling the bulge with a vegan diet and exercise

To Exercise or Not To Exercise

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I have to be honest — these last few lazy months, I haven’t moved around a whole lot.

Yes, that’s Max sleeping on my neck.

Most of my days consist of the following:

I leisurely wake up at whatever hour I choose (well, now more like whatever hour Max chooses to bombard us with his purrs and nose rubs), usually by 11.  Jamie leaves for work.  I sit on the couch for a couple of hours browsing the gems of information the internet has newly updated since I last checked.

Around 1, I remember to eat.  I lazily and quickly throw something together — maybe a bean salad or some massive amount of chili or soup that I’ll eat over the next few days.  More internet and more couch, while concurrently draining the “Law and Order: SVU” folder on our DVR of any old episodes that somehow I’ve managed not to have seen. Sometimes I remember to shower, but the kitties don’t seem to mind when I don’t.  Sometimes I fall asleep on the couch.  (Yes, it’s a sad little life I lead.)

Jamie gets back from work around 6, at which point I realize it would be a good idea to plan, make, and eat dinner.  Maybe some Gardein “chicken” and mushrooms in a marinara sauce?  Or perhaps vegetables and cous cous?  Japanese curry?  The rest of the night is spent watching TV while eating dinner and then a thousand little post-dinner snacks.  Hard to resist the fridge twenty feet to my left when I’m only otherwise glued to the couch watching TV.

Yeah, that’s it.

We lead some lazy lives.

It’s funny: the less I have to do, the less motivated I am to do anything.  When I was in law school, I blogged more, I exercised a hell of a lot more, and I felt great, albeit busy.  Now that I’m graduated and post-Bar, with all the time in the world to do anything I want — I find myself sitting on my ass all day.

I know, all of you busy people are probably annoyed that I’m basically complaining about my lack of responsibility, and for this I apologize.  But seriously, I was so much happier when I was busy doing things, and a ton happier when I was exercising regularly.  I felt better about myself — the way I looked, the way I felt, the energy I had, and the strength.  When I had things to do and when I made time to exercise, I exuded confidence.  I sat up straight.

Now, having started a regimen of sitting around all day, which began in May with studying for the Bar and has continued into present day, I feel like bla.  Not too much has actually changed, physically.  Objectively comparing photos of myself between April and now, the biggest difference I notice is my hair.  And thanks in part to my love of healthy foods and in part to my veganism, I’ve maintained my healthy and happy high 120s without calorie counting involved.  But there’s such a huge difference in the way I feel.  I feel like I’ve lost muscle everywhere and gained a nice layer of abdominal fat.  I miss looking in the mirror and smiling as I nerdily flex my biceps.

Bam! Circa April 2010.

So today I finally stopped complaining in my head.  I sucked it up and went to the gym.

It felt and still feels damn good!  I started off cycling for 40 minutes.  It went by so quickly because I distracted myself with a good book and some music.  Then I moved on to weights and had a fun time working on my arms.  It feels good to give my arms some attention again, and I was pleasantly surprised to see some muscles still in there.  I finished off my workout with some Lady Gaga and some crunches — ouch!  I remembered that I’d done some crunches yesterday and was happy to feel the pain of two-days-in-a-row abs because it means that my workout yesterday was effective.

Now, as I sit here on the couch watching The Biggest Loser, I feel too tuckered out to make multiple trips to the fridge.  Plus, after exercising I don’t have my regular ol’ cravings for sugar and carbs.  It puts me in healthy mode.

So note to self — it’s okay to take an hour or two out of my super un-busy schedule and take a walk to the apartment gym.  In fact, I really enjoy it.  And hey, if my clothes start to fit a bit better, and if my confidence and happiness and energy all take a turn for the better as a result, that’s fantastic.  I’ve made the choice, and it is to exercise (:

That’s all for now, world!  Oh, one more thing — anyone want to come to the gym with me tomorrow?

Author: tofubelly

I’m an attorney living in Southern California. I’m vegan, recently married, and am a proud mother of two misbehaving orange kitties. I love to cook and eat good food. I also love to exercise and to look and feel great. At times, it feels like these two passions are at odds, but I’ve made it my lifelong project to combine my loves into one super-healthy awesome lifestyle. I’m a huge advocate of calorie counting. My husband and I successfully lost 40 and 20 pounds just by restricting our caloric intake and burning extra calories with exercise when we could find time. I am constantly experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with fresh, healthy, and *countable* recipes. In effort to become more active, I’ve trained for and completed two races — Nike’s 10K Human Race (Sept. 2008) and the Disneyland Half Marathon (Sept. 2011 – photo on the right). Running is my project (read: I suck at it, but I will not let it defeat me). Yoga is like having a religious experience. Whatever the workout, if I’m at the gym, I’m always in a fabulous mood. As I leave, I always make a note to myself: self, you love going to the gym. That’s not to say that I don’t fall off the wagon all the time. Like in the photo above, with some *delicious* vegan mac and cheese at the 2011 Vegan Beer Fest. Or like every other day, when I convince myself that it is acceptable to park my butt on the couch and watch three hours of television before bed instead of changing into my gym clothes and fitting in a workout. Without all of my falling off, I wouldn’t be able to boast my tofu belly. But more important than the falling off is the getting back on. With this blog, I’ll share with you my constant struggles with myself to get to the gym, to drink more water, and to make healthy and low-cal food choices. By sharing, I hope to keep myself more accountable while also showing others that it is entirely possible to live a healthy, albeit busy, life one day at a time. Here’s to firming up my tofu belly — with a little help from you!

2 thoughts on “To Exercise or Not To Exercise

  1. Today was my cheat day but I thought of you. Did you have a good workout? Let’s “go together” tomorrow!

  2. Pingback: Goals Are So Easy… to Set. | EFTB

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