It’s Been Awhile

Hi there.

Looking at the last entry, it’s been even longer than I thought. 2014 was filled with unexpected changes, and one change that could easily have been foreseen– I gained back everything, plus a bit.

I'll blame it on bad influences...

I’ll blame it on bad influences…

I’m not going to feel sorry for myself, and I’m not going to feel guilty. I’m just going to pick myself up and start again. That’s the theme lately, and I’ve managed to start over in all of the other areas where life got a little weird. I can certainly do it with this.

A Walk In The Park

If you’re familiar with the online weight loss community at all, then you know about NSV’s, or Non Scale Victories. These are the things that remind us that we’re making progress, even when the numbers on the scale don’t show it. This is important because, even though some have a goal of losing weight, the overall goal is generally to be healthier, and NSV’s reflect the changes that have occurred in our lives as a result of our work.

I had a lovely little NSV this weekend. I had to take my car to the shop, about half a mile away. The trip there is all downhill, which means coming back is all uphill. A year ago, I would have needed to call a cab or get a friend to pick me up. Six months ago, I could have managed to walk home, but I’d have been struggling to get home in less than half an hour and would have needed to stop and rest a couple of times. Now? I made the walk back in less than ten minutes, sprinted up the steepest part of the route, and then, just so being up early wasn’t wasted, I did another half mile around the neighborhood. And the best part is that the reason I stopped was because I’d only had an hour of sleep and wanted to try to grab a bit more before work, otherwise I could easily have done another mile or two.

This is why I do this. It’s nice to lose weight, look better, fit into smaller sizes, and so on. It’s even better to be able to do the things I couldn’t do before. While a half mile in ten minutes might not be very fast, it’s a lot faster than nowhere at all for years.

Does Coffee Count As Hydration?

I’m not a morning person.

Well, that’s not strictly true. I do just fine with mornings, as long as I’m approaching them from the other side. Mornings are late nights. It’s more accurate to say I’m not a “functional-when-I-first-wake-up person.” As such, I’m in awe of runners (and other athletic types) who get up early and get their workout in at the beginning of the day. I have to cling to the wall just to stop everything spinning as I shuffle from room to room, cursing the daylight. But I figured I’d give it a try today. I set my alarm for an hour earlier than my usual time, and managed to get out of bed after hitting snooze only three times. Stumbled into the living room, sat down at the computer, and seriously contemplated just going back to bed. Then I saw this posted on Facebook:

weakdays

I thought about that for a moment, and contemplated the engraving on my ID bracelet:

I Choose To Be Stronger Than My Excuses

And I realized that if I just sat there when I was physically capable of getting up, getting my shoes on, and heading out the door, then I was weak. I accept a lot of my faults, but weakness isn’t one of them.

I got dressed, laced my shoes up, and stumbled out the door. I faltered and ached and wanted to just lie down in the park’s grass and sleep, but I kept going. My route is through a park, with the midway point at a small, man-made lake with a fountain and ducks.

rainbowfountain

Yep. Totally worth it.

Anticipation

Sunday was the Zombie Run. Monday, I worked out at home. Tuesday and Thursday I was at the gym, and last night I did laps after work.

For someone who’s been slacking a bit, four workouts in a week is a lot. I plan to get more in this week.

 

I also have an appointment with my doctor on Wednesday.

 

doctor-scale-by-enthalpyy

 

I’m sure these two things are totally unrelated. Nothing at all to do with the fact that I weighed in at 219 last time I was there. I mean, what? Trying to drop a couple of extra pounds before my “official” weigh-in? Nah. (Though, if it matches what my scale says at home, I’m totally taking a picture.)

When Reasonable Eating Becomes a Habit

Something that I find kind of interesting… sometimes (especially on my days off), I’m tempted to declare a “free day” because I either just kind of graze all day, or I eat whatever happens to be in the house, rather than going out and getting something healthy. But I go ahead and log the calories, and find that I’m nearly always under goal. Even if I go over, it’s usually by less than 50 calories.

61CN8FC7DFL

Yes, I ate Hershey’s miniatures. Three of them, to be exact, which isn’t bad when you consider that a “serving” is five pieces. They weren’t even dark chocolate (the healthier option). There was a time that I would have eaten the entire bag on my day off. Now, it wouldn’t even occur to me to do so, not because it’s “wrong”, but because it’s just not a thing I do anymore. I also ate a Totino’s Mexican Pizza. And a salad. And another salad, because the first one was so tasty, I wanted another a few hours later.

It makes me feel good to know that my habits are changing. It makes it that much easier to believe that I’ll reach my goals.

Running Out of Excuses

The Asics are starting their final leg (ha ha) of their journey and should be here this week. I think that was my final excuse for skipping workouts, and now that’s eliminated.

Oh, sure. There are a lot of other excuses I could use. But there are responses to all of them that present a stronger argument.

Image

Speaking of excuses, this subject is a great excuse to post a cat picture!

 

I’m too tired!

Of course I’m too tired. My metabolism is tanking because I haven’t worked out in awhile. And the longer I go without working out, the worse it’s going to be.

 

I’m sick!

See “I’m too tired”… exercise helps my body fight off infections and viruses. Even if I’m feeling under the weather, I need to at least do a little bit, or I’m not going to feel better.

 

I don’t have time!

Yeah. Eliminated this one when a 24-hour gym opened half a block from where I live.

 

I can’t afford a gym!

I have weights at home. I have a huge, police-patrolled parking lot at work that’s empty when I leave.I live across the street from a park. And, really, if I can afford fast food 2-3 times per week, I can afford $10/month for a gym membership (or $20 in my case, because tanning and hydromassage).

 

I don’t know how to work out properly!

It’s 2013 now, and the internet is totally a thing. There are websites, videos, how-to guides, all from professional trainers who know their stuff. Not knowing how to do something is no longer a valid excuse.

 

I’m too fat!

Well, duh. I’m fat because I’ve sat around on my ever-growing backside, doing nothing for a couple of decades now. This excuse only works if I want to continue in my present state (I do not). Yes, I probably am too heavy to run. But I can walk. I can cycle. I can lift. And I can keep doing these things until I’m no longer too heavy for running. And then… I can run.

 

Choices (And Why Sometimes the “Bad” Ones are Okay)

This is a picture of 200 calories:

Image

So is this:

Image

I had both of these today. One is healthy and filling, and the other… well, not so much. The key is moderation. The trick is not letting “This is my favorite snack, so I’ll just have a few” turn into “Ohmygod, I ate the whole bag.” Some people can’t do this, and that means the snack foods are banished. I’m not one of those people.

Well, except when when it comes to mini cupcakes. Or chocolate-covered cherries. Or half of a footlong instead of the whole thing.

Okay, I sort of am one of those people. But I learned a couple of ways to keep it in check.

  • Log everything. Calories, activities, emotional states… everything. There’s a very good chance you’re taking in more calories than you think. There’s also a good chance you burned enough calories to make up for that scoop of ice cream. Logging moods helps you see if you might be eating more or making poor food decisions/skipping workouts when you’re especially stressed or tired or bored.
  • Don’t keep tempting foods around. If you’re craving chocolate cake, buy a cupcake, take it home, and eat it. Don’t buy a whole cake, because you’re going to eat it all. Whether it’s in one sitting or over the course of several days, it will get eaten, so don’t even let that be an option.
  • For every “bad” thing you consume, drink an extra glass of water. No additional junk food goes in until the water’s gone.

I guess it comes down to just one thing:

Pay attention to what you’re doing and be aware of the consequences.

It really is as simple as that. And it really is as hard as that. But it’s worth it to feel better and have more energy and not be hungry all the time because the bowl of super sugar-frosted sugarpops you had for breakfast took up half your calorie limit for the day.

The importance of proper footwear

I haven’t been working out much since the 5K last month. I had noticed before that my feet would often cramp up, toes would go numb, knees and back would hurt… I know now that this is from improper shoes. I never thought it could make that huge of a difference, but apparently I did some real damage to my tendons and my toes by walking five miles in cheap shoes.I wore them to the gym once more, and couldn’t get through a fifteen minute walk. It had a drastic effect on the shoes that I eventually chose to buy, as even the high quality, designed-for-running shoes were hitting my injured spots and causing pain. I’m told this will go away with time and proper support. New shoes are on the way, and I’m looking forward to getting back to the gym

Image

In the meantime, I’ve been “spring cleaning”… scrubbing floors, flipping mattresses, scrubbing out the fridge and freezer. I looked into it, and it seems you burn about four calories per minute doing “vigorous” cleaning. That definitely qualifies. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than being sedentary.