Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Himself and I are watching one of those Great Courses on video, picked up at a used library book sale; The History of the English Language. It's fascinating to see how language changes and moves and becomes something different depending on where its speakers go and with whom they come into contact. All sorts of quirks and oddities pop up in English - more than in almost any other language, in large part because the language lends itself to borrowing. The contranym in the title of this post is a great example of eccentric English.
We have an idiom "You can't lose with ______" that means you will win with whatever it is you have. You are unable to lose, with lose meaning 'fail'. But when the verb 'lose' is used in a particular context, it can have an unspoken but implied object which, in the case of Spark People, is the word "weight". Thus it means "you are unable to lose (weight) without also having __________." And in my case and on my journey to optimum health, the blank must be filled with exercise.
For the past 3 weeks my exercise routine has been sorely interrupted. Out of town trips, afternoons in the city, new baby puppy, sudden work details (you know the sort - the kind that Must Be Attended To) cropping up just at 5 o'clock. Throughout most of September my visits to the gym have been hit or miss - and mostly miss.
I like my routine which is 4 days in a row at the gym, (M-Th) a day off (F) a day of heavy duty housework (S) and long walks on Sunday. I do different things at the gym on different days. I may swim or use the elliptical or do strength training - but those 4 days are the core of my fitness routine. When I'm regular about them my body grows stronger and fitter and more stable. But when I miss a day here or a day there - YIKES! - not only do I feel 'off" but I also gain weight. Not good.
The past 3 weeks my weight has crept up by ounces and the past 3 weeks I've only made it to the gym one or two days a week. So on Sunday I pulled out my ancient thick foam step-aerobics step and popped one of my old favorite CDs into the player and worked up a great sweat.
Ahhh. It was like meeting up with an old friend. I remembered all the reasons I loved step-aerobics - the speed, the snappy music, the quick elevated heart rate. It's not the hip cool exercise these days so there aren't any classes in my rural, sparsely populated area. Zumba is the big thing here, but I am less attracted to it - though it's fun enough. It's just that there's something about the regularity of step routines that satisfies my little orderly Virgo soul.
(see? even Spark People doesn't have a step emoticon.)
And so - It's obvious to me that with all the Other Interruptions that will naturally intrude on my autumn routine - and believe me, there are many! - I had best incorporate Step-Aerobics back into my week: on Sundays for sure - and perhaps on some of those days when I know I won't be able to make it to the gym after work.
Oh .. and the scale this week? It was down again - I am still flirting with goal - but this time it's the 'come hither' flirt, not the 'stay back' one. Let us hope that this week, in spite of TWO weddings on the weekend - I shall stay within my calories and post another loss on Tuesday.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Well. As our dear Robert Burns reminds us, the best laid schemes gang aft agley, and if there was ever an agley September, this was it. Whew. Everything just seemed to interrupt everything else. It was a "lower my head and plow on through" month.
Mind now - it was not a bad month. It held a Birthday - complete with 3 deserts, 2 happy birthday songs and presents. It had a New Puppy in it. It included buying a completely Bess-like dress at way more than I usually spend. There were a number of parties and there were may loving birthday wishes too. But ... it was also a doughy month - a 'swimming-in-pudding' month - a long hard tough chew of a month and for the first time I can ever remember - it was a September I was pleased to bid goodbye.
All the astrologers are giving me uplifting October horoscopes though, and I am ready to welcome them into my life. Ready for life to be a little bit easier, a little bit more predictable. Adding a New Habit to your life is difficult when things turn all upside down from day to day. Let us hope this more settled period will help me score higher on my Habit-0-Meter.
First off - the habit for October is:
10. Ditto at work - Select something from the 5-year Plan and step one step closer to achieving it - or to realizing it's not the goal we wanted to achieve and getting it out of the plan.
This is the mate to "reading the 5-year Plan every day - September's habit. I won't be able to tell if I'm actually forming this habit (which I have always heard as "Good For You") unless I stick to September's habit - a good thing since I did not do all that well at reading the plan every day last month. I started off with enthusiasm but crowded days and a little internal anxiety about Other Things made it easy to drift away from my focus. Now that I acutally have to do something each day besides look at it - maybe I'll look at it more often. But ... Daily is a bit of over-kill. Weekly will be often enough.
As for the score card on the rest of my habits, let's just have a quick review.
September: Read 5-year plan daily - uh. hmm. how about 10 times or 33% which is a failing grade except that .... even that 30% was a Big Help. I will pass me - but, just barely. D+
August (and September) Draw every day ... well. I drew about 20 days out of the month - whic is about 66% of the time so - see above, right? Another D+
July: Charles Schwab List at work - yes. even when I didn't obey it at least I knew if I was slipping off the point. Not perfect - but I would say a B+
June: One Step Towards Big Life Goal .... I'm still blaming the kinds of things that were happening last month so I'll give myself a C
May: Compliment someone every day hmmm. my bad. another C
April: Exercise even here, with my beloved exercise I was a slacker. C- for me
March: Water - nope. Pretty bad with this one too. Not a failing grade but maybe a D+
Feb: Prayer - here I did much better. I made a conscious effort to pray every day. Not always at the same time - which I think would make it easier to do - but every single day I took some time out to pray. This was an A fer sure.
Jan: Track what I eat. Well. I did. I tracked all those coconut cakes and did you know an Applebee's shooter desert - yeah - I'm talking about the small desert - is 13 Weight Watcher's points which translates out to 650 calories or 1/3 the daily total for an adult female. Yikes! Not good. So. I tracked. But I gained weight - and I don't track for the fun of it. I track to some purpose and the purpose is weight loss or weight maintenance. Not weight gain. So that is a C as well.
Hmmm. C habit maker. Average. Not, alas, what I hoped these Good Habits would lead me to. I can be aveage without trying. Let us hope I will do better this month. At Tara.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
It's hard to believe it - safe here in the waning days of September - but it's true nonetheless. In fact, I always think of Labor Day as the beginning of the holiday season because between then and Thanksgiving there are a lot of other festive dining opportunities. In September there is always the Library Director's meeting in Richmond (just over - only had to deal with 2 large pieces of cake!!) and my birthday, which tends to include several celebratory lunches out with BFFs.
October is a special anniversary for Himself and me. (yes that is the correct form ... "me" is the objective case and receives the action of the preposition ... You wouldn't say, "an anniversary for I" now, would you? from the grammar police) October also means another state-wide library meeting at the end of the month and a sister's birthday.
November nearly always has an autumn vacation in it - frequently a trip to NYC to visit beloved friends, one of whom has taken the Culinary Institute of America course and always showers us with glamour food. Then of course - there is Thanksgiving Day itself. And we all know what December has packed in its 4 and a half short weeks. Yeah. I'm thinking of White Chocolate Peppermint Bark ...
So what can I do about it? Nothing as far as the scroll of holiday events, of course. Besides, the real question is " how can I prepare for the triumph of being in OneFortyVille on January 1, 2013?" Because that is what I really want.
I actually want it to be before then, but I don't just want to get there - I want to move in and stay. And so, back to the question ... What can I do? In 8 weeks what can I do?
The first thing that popped into my head was EXERCISE!
Perhaps that is because lately I've been giving exercise, and my beloved gym, the short end of my day - or none of it at all. Mind now, I exercise. I just feel like I have so many other demands on my time that sometimes something has to give ... and it's easy to let it be exercise. I had serious work that kept me overtime yesterday. It was so late when I was done I just did not want to go to the gym - even though my body ached to go. That old school marm left brain of mine sure does love to cling to a schedule. Ugh.
But even she knows that I'll never make it through the holidays, much less reach my goal weight in October, without it. So the most important thing I can think to do is to make a commitment to 30 minutes of exercise, 7 days a week.
Hmmm. I really like that. Right now, on a good week, I hit the gym 4 days a week and am active on the weekends. I think it's time for a little more structure. I believe that for the next 8 weeks I will commit to 30 min./7 days. And I'll track it. And it will be non-negotiable. And there will be a reward.
The other thing I need to do is recommit to my whole healthy choice program - as if I were a brand new beginner at this weight loss effort. Watching what I eat - drinking enough water - getting enough sleep. Yup. Time to start fresh and reach my goal. So I'll be back with more thoughts on this as the week rolls by.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
I can always tell when my Left Brain and Right Brain are at odds over a particular issue. Most of the time they get along pretty well, each contributing her gifts and each making room for the other. I get my house clean almost every week (LB) but if I miss a week or two or even three (RB) there's no scolding about it. I don't fail to clean house because I'm defective. I fail to get it done because Better Things - Important Things - Things Outside of Routine have come up.
But when those two strong personalities - or better said - two strong aspects of my personality - are at odds, recognizable symptoms appear:
I buzz off
I'm a victim of temptation
I feel anxious
I feel (a little) like a looser - and not a weight looser either - but a failure
For a month now I've been dancing around 4 stupid pounds - pounds that should have melted away in time for my big 60th birthday. They haven't. It's time I check in with those girls and find out what's going on.
LB So - how are you today?
RB Good. I'm good.
LB Can you tell me why we're not loosing those last 4 pounds?
LB Yes. I like candy too. Are you afraid you can never have candy again?
LB I think we can have some fun at parties. I'll have to get off my duff and plan for them, but I think we can do it
LB What are you scared of?
RB What if we gain it all back?
LB LOL ... we might. We've done it several times. Do you think I won't love you if we gain weight again?
RB Yes. I guess I do. And I don't want to be a failure.
LB No. neither do I. And I will always love you. Always. Besides, we're never really failures. Honest. We're a great team. We've done lots of fabulous things in the past 60 years. Being fat is just one part of who we are. I think - being fit is just one part of who we are, too.
RB It's true. We have done a lot of really great things together.
LB Yes - look at the library! and look at what a wonderful person William is. And how happy Himself is. How much he loves us! And remember - Priss the Dog decided that in the whole world, the one safe good place was at our house - and she lived here for 11 years of joy filled goodness.
RB Yeah. and we've played the violin and taught people how to knit and swooped a thousand toddlers at story hour over the last 32 years!
LB so you see? Fat - that's just one small part of who we are - and just like learning how to draw or learning how to knit or learning how to play the violin - we can learn how to be ... Not Fat.
RB oh. I see.
LB so. What else is keeping us from losing those silly 4 pounds?
LB What makes you bored
RB Housework. I hate how much housework there is on Saturday and there is that refrigerator full of good stuff.
LB oh. Yeah. I know that feeling. Lordy - it takes SO long to clean that house and you're right - food is such a temptation when it's that close. but I have an idea... think about it and see if you like it. What if I pack a lunch on Saturday morning just as if it were a work day - a good lunch with enough food but within the calorie range we need to stay. And we could pretend it's not really saturday, but oh, say, Thursday at work?
RB Hmmm. I like that idea. And we'd take the lunch bag outside and eat on the porch.
LB Sure There's something else coming up - Business conference in the city
RB I know. I've been worried about that.
LB what would help you keep away from the bagels and cream cheese and cookies?
LB Hmmm. The best time for shopping would be before we go to the meeting. If I buy stuff ahead of time can you keep your hands out of the cookie plate?
RB You'll have to remind me.
LB I can do that. If I see our hand reaching for the cookies I will say "Shopping Spree" and we'll pull it back.
RB Ok. I like that idea.
LB Feel calmer now?
RB Yeah. Yeah I feel great!
RB you betcha!
150 lbs - here we come.
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