Summer without a scale

I’ve been saying since the beginning of the summer that I’m very curious to see what number pops up when I step on a scale come mid-August. There are a number of conflicting factors this summer that could push me in either direction. I’m working out less than I’d like, but I’m walking all the time, sweating all the time (causing loss of appetite and possibly water weight) and wearing my butt-sculpt shoes when I walk. I eat really light, low-carb and mostly raw meals at home, but I eat out multiple times a week, and there are so many different cupcake and frozen yogurt places to try. So I don’t know what this summer will mean for my weight, and as much as I hope to lose a few pounds, I’m not going to let diet and exercise to get in the way of having the fullest New York experience possible.

Overall, it seems I work out less but also eat less in New York. But it’s hard to assess my diet because it’s one of extremes. I definitely consume more sugar than I typically allow myself, but the rest of my food is pretty healthy. When I eat out, I seek out ethnic food or chopped salads, both of which are healthy and chock-full of vegetables. And here I’m much better about only eating when I’m hungry. Having little in the way of groceries means if I’m not hungry, I want to save what I have, and if we’re out, I want to save my money.

In my workout routine, I’m getting a decent amount of cardio from my weekday morning runs and lots of walking on weekends, but my strength training has significantly diminished. I aim to do pilates on my own twice a week and try to go to pilates or yoga classes, but that’s still much less than with TigerX at Mizzou, which is actually a good thing, I think. With all the classes I taught, I was probably overtraining. And even though my body type isn’t one to bulk up, I’ve noticed changes. My arms and legs feel slimmer and my muscles longer, probably due to the elimination of weights from my routine and the addition of yoga. I also have never been very good about stretching, but I think yoga is helping with that. I keep reading about how great it is for loosening muscles and calming the mind — both of which I need — so I’m setting a goal for myself to continue yoga into the fall.

I think I’m being a bit easier on my body in general. I’ll take a day off or count walking as my exercise for the day. I’ve let myself skip runs when I’m too tired or feeling it in my muscles. I’m not so intent on working out that I let it get in the way of other weekend plans. And I get more sleep than I typically do during the school year, even though I’m not getting a lot.

And so far I think this is all working. I still have three weeks here, but at this point I think I’ve lost a bit of weight. My pants are looser, and my abs seem more defined. And this is without a scale and without pushing myself too hard, which is teaching me an important lesson about listening to my body and keeping things in moderation. I’m eating less but enjoying it more; I’m strength training less but walking more. I’ve gotten myself out of the “I ate that so I have to workout” mindset. Instead, I’m trying to keep everything in balance and keep myself feeling good, focusing on feeling fit and fitting into my clothes rather than a number.

I’m still curious to see what the scale will say, but I’m proud of how I’ve kept my health and fitness in mind without letting them inhibit my experiences this summer. I’ve taken advantage of all the food to try here as well as the running paths and outdoor classes. I’ve been a bit gentler and kinder to my body, and for that — it seems — my body is paying me back.

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