Struggling to Lose Weight: Summer

summer hill

I have great memories of recent summers, but in high school, it was hardly my favorite season. Why would I not like a sunny, 3 month break from school? In a word, football. I enjoyed football, but it was very tough, and required a lot of commitment. We began weight-lifting and running in June, practicing in July, and we began full practices (including “two-a-days” from 7:30 AM -3:30 PM) by August. Hence, I basically had no summer “break.” Football got me in shape that is for sure, but because it was stressful on my body and mind, I tended to compensate by eating. After a 7 hour practice, nothing satisfied like a huge, greasy, meal of 2 ham-and-cheese subs, french fries, and loads of pop. For this reason, I rarely began diets or health programs in the summer during high school. The only exception is the summer before my junior year, when I continued an exercise program I began with spring bike riding. I exercised diligently with my brother Jonathan, and friend, Mike. We lifted every other day, and ran outside at the school track afterward. By the end of July, I worked my way up to running 6 miles. I continued running on Sundays (my football off-day) once school had started. I still look back fondly on those Sunday runs, as times of relaxation in the midst of busy, 12 hour, days.

In recent years, my summers have been very healthy. If I keep myself busy running, golfing, walking, swimming, and so forth, I do well in the summers. I could run every day of the week outside at local parks, whereas running inside at the Y in the winter is a huge struggle, in part because running in a circle indoors isn’t exactly my favorite situation. Summer provides so many opportunities for exercise, and the social motivation is huge because everybody wants to do stuff in the summer, including going to the beach! Summer presents its own challenges to weight loss, so to lose weight in the summer I need to:

– Get out and enjoy the weather; since I am on break as a teacher, some days I get lazy in the morning. While I love running outside, some days I need a mental kick in the pants to get out

– Get in a routine related to eating. Since I am on break, I often travel a lot during the summer, which means the eating routine I am naturally on (lower calorie, high fiber, etc) is out-of-whack. Because of this, I am tempted to eat poorly.

– Not let social times distract me from staying on a plan. I always need to remind myself that things like going to the beach, etc, are more enjoyable when I am in shape!