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Boot Camp Fitness: Old habits die hard

When starting a new diet and fitness routine, one must always allow room for slips off the wagon and cheat days. In my journey so far, I hate to admit that I have slipped off more than I have held on.

I am glad that I have lost 16 pounds since I began. Upon a recent trip to buy a dress I discovered I went down two sizes, but it doesnt feel like enough.

My guilt has taken over and memories of nights spent giving into temptation and enjoying Chinese food, tacos, potato skins and burgers have sent me down a shame spiral of epic proportions.

There is no excuse for my behavior. I know the food choices I am supposed to make.

But when I spend more than 12 hours on campus per day, the urge to grab an apple over a taco is not very appealing.

I am constantly on the go. Currently my daily schedule revolves around classes, The Oracle, my side business and most importantly my family. I do not have time to craft a healthy, home-cooked meal every day. My meals need to be convenient.

I have exhausted all excuses.

I am grateful for the weight loss I have accomplished, but I know I can do more.

Currently, I am only focused on my workouts, to which I have also been giving the bare minimum effort. Its time to step up my fitness and my intake.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a person needs to burn 3,500 more calories per week, or about 500 per day, than he or she takes in to lose one pound of fat in a week.

I have known this rule for years, since I took a nutrition and drugs course at Hillsborough Community College, but I have never followed through.

But I have a complex relationship with calories.

In high school I suffered not one, but two eating disorders. I was a lot more active back then, playing soccer and running about three miles a day just for fun.

One day, someone close to me pinched my side and told me I was getting fat. I was 120 pounds at the time.

I began taking diet pills, which made my appetite decrease significantly. I barely consumed 500 calories per day and if I ever went over the 500-calorie mark, I would purge anything consumed. I was diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia.

Because of the sensitive nature of the history that I have had with counting calories, I try to avoid doing so.

When I began this adventure, I told myself as long as I ate the appropriate foods, I could do this without counting anything. But I gave myself too much freedom, and by doing so I am not living up to the weight loss potential I should be.

I have decided to create more boundaries.

I thought a great resource to use to make sure I do not fall back into bad habits is the campus dietician. A nutritionist is on hand at the Student Health Services building for $10 per visit. I have recently requested a visit and am currently waiting for a response.

Until I hear back from the nutritionist, I have come up with a meal plan of my own to help jump-start the Im serious! phase of my weight loss venture.

Ive looked up the different rules I have set for myself to make sure they are healthy choices. I plan to cut my calorie intake down to 1,200 calories per day, divided between three meals and two snacks.

Ive also decided to cut carbohydrates after lunch. I didnt want to cut carbs all together, and after a little research, I found that there may be something to my theory Bob Harper of the Biggest Loser suggests nixing carbs after lunch in Skinny Rule No. 7 in his book, The Skinny Rules.

But this plan is mine, and not one that is

Finally, I plan to step up my fitness routine. I will not just rely on my boot camp class. On top of cheating on my meal plan, I have also been slacking with visits to my personal trainer. No more.

I will continue to see my trainer once a week and visit the gym once a day.

If I consume 1,200 calories a day, I must then burn 1,700 calories a day in order to lose a pound of fat a week. Because of my weight, I can burn more calories faster, so this goal should be achievable with just a half hour on the treadmill, elliptical and stationary bike. I could burn even more if I chose to do the stair climber, but that machine is evil so, baby steps.

Track my daily progress on my blog