Why am I losing weight now?

My work environment has changed.  We moved buildings.  Now, when I step off the shuttle, instead of being 20 steps from my desk, I’m about 100 steps, plus a flight of stairs.  I climb this flight of stairs probably six times a day.  My lab is about 50 steps away, instead of 10.  Instead of everything I need being in the lab, it’s not scattered all over, and I spend a significant amount of time finding reagents and glassware, walking back and forth from the fridge (no food!) in a different lab, instruments in yet another lab, etc.  Also, the job no longer does Costco runs, someone else is in charge of the food.  No more goldfish crackers, cookies, chips, bread, string cheese.    And while, yes, there is such a thing as willpower, it’s not a surefire thing, especially when things get stressful, or I’m overly hungry.  Now, snacks are hard-boiled eggs, wild rice salad, chickpea salads, fruit, nasty granola bars (really have to be hungry for to gag down one of these),  overly sweet low-fat yogurt, which I would never be hungry enough to eat.   There’s a soup and salad and sandwich bar, and “healthy” entrees, though I almost always bring my own lunch.*

My New Year’s Resolution this year was to prepare most of my own food.  I’ve been quite successful at it.  I still eat out 3-4 times a week, usually due to social occasions, and an almost weekly burrito, but it is much better than the almost every meal that it used to be.  I’ve got a new half year resolution, to get serious about strength training.  Yes, I use the small weights, but even they’re not getting much easier, and I can barely do all the reps.  So I’m pushing a little harder, not just half-assedly going through the motions.  I even do hard yoga on occasion, not just the stretchy stuff.    It makes me feel really good, though I don’t always enjoy it at the time.

There was a few weeks where I had no car.  Even my bike was out of commission for almost a week, and I was certainly feeling the lack of gym in my life, though I still had plenty of exercise, being that I had to walk everywhere (2.2 miles each way to the shuttle to work), grocery store, farmers market, etc.  So, yes, I admit, I am an addict, I crave the endorphins/dopamine/serotonin/whatever it might be that strenuous exercise gives me.   Not like I crave cigarettes, but certainly more than anything else I’ve encountered to this day.

I’m feeling okay about things.  I’d still like to lose another 10 pounds, which is what I weighed about a year ago, and I’m getting there slowly.   There’s nothing ecstatic about losing a pound, maybe two, per month, but that seems to be my current pace.   I hate to say, but I think I lost weight faster when I wasn’t doing so much gym, though I hate the whole idea of that.  Am I overcompensating with my eating?  I know sometimes I eat just so I don’t bonk at the gym, even if I’m not hungry.  I’m going to look at this over the next few weeks, though I don’t want to cut my gym too much.  Endorphins rule!

I am procrastinating packing for a camping trip, cleaning my apartment.  Feeling disgruntled.  It took me three tries to get the password right for this blog.  I will have to think on that, too.

*My pizza consumption has dropped considerably, as it’s just not around at work too often.  I still like it, still eat it, but levels are way down.


6 Responses to “Why am I losing weight now?”

  1. 1 MB
    June 20, 2011 at 4:33 am

    I never believed the whole endorphin rush theory until I felt my first endorphin high. Wow!

    Losing slowly may not be very exciting but it still gets the job done. Keep up the good slow and steady work. Rock on!

  2. June 21, 2011 at 5:00 am

    I hear you on the endorphin/whatever rush thing. I’ve been told that I might find it easier to lose weight by being less active and eating a much larger deficit, but I can’t think of anything more miserable than not being able to exercise. So even if it does ratchet up my hunger, it’s completely worth it to me.

  3. June 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    MB – Thanks, I continue, though there’s no longer any rush to it.

    Attrice – Glad you’re back! How ironic to want to exercise, even if it’s not helping that much with the weight loss. I know it helps my mental state, think it helps my weight.

    Hooray for endorphins (or dopamine or CCK1 or whatever)!

  4. July 2, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Just checking in! Sounds like you are doing alright. Yes, people tend to over eat a little when they work out more. The real key is to be aware of how much you want to eat and stay within reasonable limits. I guess with the ferry people on strike, you can swim the bay for even more exercise 🙂

  5. July 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Dr. J – Have you ever dipped a toe in this bay? We’re talking hypothermia! Now that I realize I’m overcompensating (justifying?) with the eating/exercise, I’ll fix it. Thanks!

  6. September 11, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    The theory of calorie compensation is correct. This occurs especially a few hours after a high calorie expenditure is done such as running/ jogging and swimming in a cold water temperature. NEAT activities are underrated in terms of it’s power to generate calorie deficit.

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