The last few years I have managed to maintain my weight, or at least my shape while staying conscious about my food intake. I know this because I still fit in the pants I bought two years ago for a friend’s wedding. However, the pants are bit bigger than I’d like to be in right now. It’s difficult to weigh yourself constantly when you use a wheelchair and don’t want to waste money and space on a wheelchair scale, so I’m not exactly sure what I weigh right now.
One of my goals for 2012 was to “lose weight” but I have had to get more specific about this in order to see action. So I decided upon the following three items:
- Keep track of calories in a spreadsheet
- Exercise 30 minutes a day, or more
- Drink at least 64oz of water a day, preferably more
For #1, I created a simple Google spreadsheet that I enter everything I eat into, down to the cream in my coffee. My meals are not complicated and this is easy for me to do. I notice a few things about this process. First, at the end of the day I am much better about snacking. If I have leftover calories, I will pick things that fit within my 1250-1350 calorie daily budget. I know this saves me at least 200 calories a day. It’s important to remember that when you use a wheelchair that you don’t burn as many calories per day as a walking/standing person. But do consult a doctor about what you should be eating.
For #2, I moved my hand cycle right next to my desk. I also set up a great playlist I can access from my phone so I can plug in my headphones and go. I find that within 15 minutes of exercising I am actually enjoying it and the feeling is one of the high points of my day. I also keep track of my exercise progress on dontbreakthechain.com and it’s nice to look at the full calendar.
For #3, I push myself to drink four 16oz bottles of water in addition to any other drinks I intake during the day. I usually line up the empty bottles on a shelf next to me so I can keep tabs on where I am at. If I am falling behind and need some variety, I will drink diet Tonic water, or a diet soda, or add lemon, or mix in an iced tea mix to my water. Flavored waters are also great (but can be expensive).
Overall I am judging my progress based on how I feel and how I fit. I am feeling better overall. I am also fitting a little better too. It’s important to remember that this is a gradual process. With so many “instant” solutions to things, it’s easy to forget that losing a significant amount of weight takes work.