Thursday, Dec. 13 2012 4:37PM
A slow start revving up
By Russ Pulley
My plan to drop beaucoup pounds started with disaster.
Monday I had lunch at Five Guys here in Lee’s Summit. I’d been wanting to try their burgers and fries. Mighty tasty, but blew up my daily goal for calories eaten. Portions are large. On top of that, because I was busy, I grabbed a chicken sandwich at McDonald’s for supper. I skipped the fries.
This is the first week I’m officially working out in RevUP, offered by Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation, which invited me to participate in the wellness program and write about health awareness.
We’re using MyFitnessPal, a free online journal, to track what we eat and how much we exercise. That’s one advantage of joining an organized program, it connects you with resources.
It’s a neat tool. Type in what you eat, even naming a specific restaurant like Five Guys, and it calculates calories. Plug in your exercise, it’ll tell you how many calories you burn. Even with a long brisk walk on Monday I was way over the target.
I’d be packing on more flab.
Journal publisher John Beaudoin cracked I might be the first person kicked out of RevUP.
I felt a little despair on Tuesday.
I know my version of five servings of vegetables - peanut butter, french fries, baked potato, mashed potatoes and potato chips - isn’t going to cut it. I do eat apple slices, carrots or almonds instead of chips, but not often enough.
Tuesday breakfast I had whole-grain cereal, salad and crackers at lunch, a baked potato for supper. Snacked on a brownie and raisins. I was under the calorie target with hundreds to spare because I also walked 30 minutes and had my first 60 minute session with a personal trainer through RevUP.
It was an investment in time and effort, but I’m worth it.
The trainer, Melissa, started my exercise group on contraption called TRX, which is a long nylon strap with handles on each end. You loop the strap around a horizontal bar attached to the gym wall high over your head. Leaning against the straps, you do push ups, pull ups, lunges and other stunts. We did 15 or 20 repetitions for each.
A few times I thought I was going to be hanging from the thing like Wile E. Coyote in a Roadrunner cartoon. Or plant my chin on the gym floor. I got out of breath; puffing I “felt the burn.”
Damage from Monday was undone.
The next morning I wasn’t too sore. I probably dogged it.
Wednesday evening was our first nutrition meeting. About a dozen of us shared our eating habits. Using a book given to us, “Healthy Eating Every Day,” we were asked to record and score what we’d eat on a typical day, broken into categories like butter and fats, red meat, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, etc. It’s best to eat more vegetables and whole grains, go light on the red meat.
I realized all I’d eaten all day was two slices of toast and a small bag of caramel corn.
My diet is erratic.
Ty Needels, our RevUP instructor, explained an important step toward healthy eating is to be aware of our bad ruts, and then get motivated to change. I took to heart this lesson: I can enjoy the hamburger and fries, if I balance it with a varied diet and exercise. After class I walked and ran. Mostly I walked.
On the way home I stopped at the grocery to buy broccoli, asparagus, grapefruit and bananas.