I don’t like to spend much time and effort thinking about my physical appearance. I don’t report to an office daily where such things matter. Also, I find the whole process boring. I’m a minimalist on this at least; I recently read a breathless article about an “8-minute face” — implying how much time women could save with these make-up tips, and I thought huh. I have never spent 8 minutes on make-up unless I was going on TV or speaking at a conference where they’d enlisted a make-up pro (often because of filming).
Make-up is straightforward (hiring a pro is a good solution!) but I’ve been cognizant lately, while looking at photos and videos, of another more complicated matter. I’m at around my highest weight in a long time. I keep reading that metabolism declines as we get older, and no doubt that’s part of it. I won’t blame having kids. After every pregnancy I got myself back down to where I was before. After my fourth baby, I actually got down to my early high school weight by eating a low-carb diet, but I found it unsustainable. I love food and I don’t like spending a lot of time thinking about what I “can’t” eat.
So I’ve been asking myself whether I care. On some level: no. In general, I think it’s more healthy to focus on inputs (habits) than results (weight — which varies by time of day, day of week, time of month, etc.) In my case, my inputs aren’t bad. I exercise daily, limit alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages, and eat most of my meals at home; vegetables feature prominently. I could do more, but more exercise takes more time. Eating less takes time, too, in the form of mental energy devoted to setting limits and eating the “right” foods, whatever those happen to be.
I know I could lose weight. I also know that “I don’t have time” means “it’s not a priority.” And I don’t think being at my high school weight is a huge priority right now.
Of course, there are reasons beyond sheer vanity to make a few changes.
One is that it’s easier to run when I’m lighter. I like to run long. Having run 8.5 miles last weekend, and realizing I’d like to do more of that, I know that carrying an extra 5-10 lbs matters as the miles stack up. What I’ve decided I am willing do is focus on little tweaks that don’t take much time or mental energy. I can look for ways to walk more and snack on healthier foods (and make sure that’s what’s in the house). I have built strength-training into my life. Maybe over time these tweaks will move things. Or not, in which case I will probably just make my peace with it.
Have you lost weight through small tweaks? Or have any weight changes required a lot of effort and time?