I'm not doing it because I want to look a certain way for other people. I'm doing it because I was uncomfortably overweight in high school, and I lost that weight when I came to college and I want to keep it off. I lose a LOT every summer because of all the fieldwork (down to 118 after Taylor Ranch), but a little always creeps back over the school year because I eat more (you really appreciate grocery stores and kitchens when you're out of the bush) and exercise less.
Before Christmas break I had really noticed it, but during Christmas break (despite my attempts to stem the gain by eating only enough to fill a small bowl, and no snacks between meals), I'd gained weight. Most people do. I just don't want to be that way...I want to stay physically thin and fit the year 'round.
So before Christmas break, once the weather was poor enough that biking to class was difficult and unpleasant, I'd started working out at the Rec center. I stil go...three days a week. I started out doing 10 minutes on the ellipticals, 10 minutes on the rowing machines, and then 20 or 30 on weights. Now I do about 15 minutes on weights and 30 on the elliptical. Tyler and I also climb every Sunday.
It's been satisfying to see myself improve. I've tripled my time on the elliptical (and am going a much farther distance), and on one of the weight machines (abdominal crunch) I've gone from 30 reps of 35 lbs to 100 reps of 55 lbs.
However, I was getting disappointed that I wasn't seeing any change after several months of working out. The flab on my upper legs and my extra stomach fat (which really bugged me, since it altered the way my pants fit and was uncomfortable to have on my body) was still there.
So, I altered my diet too. I'm cutting back on the carbs.
Please don't say anything. I think the Atkins diet is a horrible thing and I have no intention of following it (I'm a vegetarian besides). The problem was that most of my food staples were things like asian noodles, white pasta, and white rice...all of which are very easily digested into glucose. I DO have a family history of age-onset diabetes. My maternal grandmother has it. I want to be careful.
I'm not eliminating carbs. I'm simply eating less of them, switching to whole-wheat whenever I can, and I'm eating a LOT more vegetables. I went to the food market and stocked up on squash, broccoli, green beans, carrots, parsnips, and spinach. I've been either cooking them alone or adding them to other things, like whole-wheat pasta or brown rice.
And so far, it seems to be working. That in combination with the excercise over a period of a couple weeks has toned up my legs a little and burned off my extra stomach. I think I look a lot better, but I feel a lot better too. Which, after all, was the point.