Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: Obstacles to losing 10 pounds

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I've been mulling the ways in which I might be diverted from my 10-pound weight-loss goal. Here are some of my concerns:

1. Following the same exercise routine. I already spend as much time exercising as my schedule can afford, so I'll have to change my routine to get more bang for my exercise buck. Several people have recommended I add weight training. I currently work my arms with weights a little bit, but not my legs or bottom. I also plan to incorporate tiny exercise breaks into my workday. Every hour, I'll get off my chair and do some squats, or walk some stairs, or maybe Hula Hoop for five or 10 minutes. (It helps that I work from home.) I could use the breaks, anyway.

2. Cheating myself of sleep. Many experts say that one key to weight loss is getting adequate sleep. I know this is true for me, too. When I'm tired, I tend to give in to food cravings more readily than when I'm rested. But it's not easy to get the eight hours I clearly need. My mission is to get those eight hours more regularly. I'm going to shoot for four nights a week, for starters.

3. Stress snacking. In the olden days, reporters on deadline smoked while they wrote. I don't smoke; I eat. I can cram a whole box of Cheez-Its in my mouth when I'm under pressure. This may be my greatest challenge of all, especially because the pantry and fridge are usually just steps away. I plan to clear the house of Cheez-Its, replacing them with better choices, including popcorn and sunflower seeds.

* * *

I don't expect a lot of public sympathy or support for my little weight-loss campaign. Losing 10 pounds should be easy, right? Well, we'll see. Also, because I'm already pretty healthy, losing 10 pounds doesn't offer an immediate health benefit the way losing 50 pounds might. Still, I'll feel healthier at a reduced weight; I hope that's incentive enough.

-- J.L.H.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company