Weight loss, eating and getting back to being healthy

Due to student life for the last 8 months, I have unfortunately lost quite a bit of weight. There are four distinct factors involved here that led me to losing close to 20lbs.  This time last year, I weighed an average of a healthy 165lbs. I say average, because some days the scale would say 163, 167, 164… etc., – You get the idea.  These days, I’m around 143-144. 😦

So, what are the four distinct factors?

  1. 1.Limited budget for food
  2. Inconsistent meal schedule
  3. Meds for Attention Deficit… PIGEON! [Yeah, I know… that joke is a) tired and b) not funny]
  4. Reduced amount of exercise

As a student, a limited budget for food kind of goes without saying. It should be expected, especially when one has no job and is living off of savings and such. While my budget has been limited, I still have made sure I eat reasonably well – that is, buying good stuff when on sale and staying away as much as possible from garbage food.

But, as I listed in no. 2 – I have not stuck to a consistent schedule of feeding myself. Breakfast was the only consistent thing for me in the last eight months, as much as it has been for the last 30-odd years. To sum up how my mid-day eating habits have been like, I have to quote the Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide character Ford Prefect: “Time is an illusion, Lunchtime doubly so.” I at random times, would bring a prepared meal with me to school to heat up in one of the microwaves there, but some mornings I’d be in such a hurry to get out the door that I’d forget to grab something from my freezer. And then there was the baked-fish debacle, which could’ve been worse had it not been for my friend and classmate, Pam.

The treatment (I use that term very loosely) of Attention Deficit Disorder and it’s “brother” Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, generally rely on some sort of concoction of “medicine,” which acts upon parts of the brain that produce the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. The stuff I’m prescribed is a mixture of two different chemicals, which on their own are cheap generics, but combined make for an expensive branded med. One of the chems is an amphetamine. Remember point no. 2? A side effect of my med is appetite suppression. I would also go as far as saying that it also makes one focus on their task at hand so much that they forget to eat in the first place.

No. 4 – Reduced fitness. My campus has the distinct disadvantage of being without a gym or fitness facility – so, the school has an arrangement with a small fitness gym just off campus. For a time, I was going using that gym, but when second semester started, confusion regarding the status of membership was thrown up in the air and I stopped going. Instead, I turned to running outdoors. As a former sports-induced asthmatic, I’m proud to say that I have built up from barely surviving 2k, to being able to do 7-8km somewhat regularly. I try to at least muster 5km a week, but I’ve been able to squeak in more. On March 20, I set a goal for myself to do 10km by June 20 and I did. However, after June 20, it would be a month before I got back out for a run again due to the heavy amount of work from school that I would have to deal with.

As of Wednesday night, I have returned to Goodlife and hope to get back into shape. I have downloaded and modified a fitness plan to deal with my weight-loss… It’s a relatively simple plan of three days a week of heavy compound-exercise lifting. On off days, I either rest or do cardio (i.e. Running).

Meal planning is another area that I have to fix. The other day, I looked in my pantry and realized it was full of random stuff that I have no idea what to do with or is not overly healthy in the grand scheme. I found a convenient meal plan, which I modified within Word and aim to start using. It places a lot of emphasis on nutrition-dense foods, healthy alternatives and modifications of simple recipes. It provides a lot of protein and relies a lot less on protein shakes to get the protein intake up. This is good, because protein shakes, which I have no problem with drinking, can have a tendency to slow down my digestion.

LINKS TO FOLLOW:
www.bodybuilding.com – an amazing resource of information for all kinds of fitness needs
www.mapmyrun.com – App/Social Media website for keeping track of your running and goals
www.vitaminworld.com – for US-based readers – If I go to Buffalo, I make sure I go to this place – good prices and great staff
www.popeyescanada.com – for Canadian readers – Good prices, knowledgeable staff. Think of it as the Anti-GNC [which I don’t recommend shopping from]

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