Monday, March 19, 2012
I'm so excited! My new job began today. I get free access to a fitness center! I will be working out all the time! Plus, I'm parking kind of far away, so I get a good amount of walking every day as well. And with all the structured time (and food being prohibited at my desk), I won't be mindlessly snacking. I think this will be a great change for my health, not to mention how great it is to have an income!
Best to all the Sparkers out there. Hope you're having an awesome day!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I feel like blogging, although I don't really have anything in particular to say. I suppose I can start by making some observations and posting my latest health/fitness endeavors.
Today was unseasonably warm. I'm worried this summer will be ridiculously hot. I love winter and I missed it this year (it was too warm to be considered winter!). My fiance and I are looking for a place to move into and I think I have a new appreciation for air conditioning as a requirement.
I joined the "official tame your sweet tooth" challenge on SparkPeople. I'm kind of doubting I'll ever OFFICIALLY TAME my sweet tooth, but it is a problem I want to address. If sweets are available, I eat them. And I can't stop at just a small portion either. I am out of control. I need simply NOT to have them around at ALL. Unfortunately, I'm living in my fiance's parents' house, and sometimes his mom bakes cookies, pies, or brings home ice cream and loads of chocolate. It's in the house, therefore I eat it! And some kind of sweet is ALWAYS in the house.
I'm figuring out my commute to and from my new job. It looks like it'll involve a morning and evening 15-minute walk, which is good in some respects (built-in exercise!) and bad in others (like it takes 15 minutes to walk to work from my car, and if I'm late I can't cut out the walk, I'm just late!).
Other than that, I am trying to keep up a regular work-out routine involving sit-ups, push-ups, and the plank. It's not that regular yet, but I've done it here and there.
Mmm, something smells good downstairs! If only I could resist...
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
As part of the "Back Into That Bikini Challenge" for team "Living Healthy in Our 20s," I'm adding a blog post summing up my accomplishments this February. I've accomplished a lot, though not everything I set out to accomplish. And that's how it should be, really. Aim for the stars and hit the moon, right? Better to try and fail and try again than never try at all.
My yoga/Pilates membership was for January only. So in February, I learned how to work out on my own without going to a structured class. I didn't work out as much as I used to when I was in Champaign and had Tae Kwon Do practice, but I kept up some regular activity, which is better than nothing and totally self-motivated. I have set out walking on my own many times, whereas before I felt too unfamiliar with the area to do so. I've done some ab routines on my own, though not as much as I would have liked.
As for my eating, well, I haven't really accomplished anything. I have my hopes hung on changing once I move out of my fiance's parents' house. We found a place we're interested in moving, but it might be out of our price range, so we'll see.
Of course my biggest accomplishment this month is that I got a "real" job for the first time in my life. It's full-time, salaried, with benefits. The pay isn't what would be considered a lot, but for me, it seems great. It'll be more than twice what I've ever made in any previous year. Then again, as soon as we move out, our expenses will be much higher as well. With the job come other expenses I haven't had: lots more gas for the commute, high-priced city parking, at-work lunches, "business casual" clothes that I don't have. * Sigh! * My first few paychecks are going to simply disappear with the cost of having a job! Will anyone notice if I wear the same pants to work everyday?
At any rate, I feel good about managing to keep somewhat active and really very good about finally getting a "real" job in life. I wonder what March will bring...
Monday, February 20, 2012
Well, I'm here to provide an update on the goals I set out in my previous goals blog on January 31st. So I haven't been doing too well! I haven't been purposefully performing each and every goal like I originally wanted to. Nevertheless, I think I may have - less purposefully - achieved some of them to some degree.
Goal 1: Cook completely nutritarian meal once per week.
I haven't been cooking at all. That isn't to say I haven't been EATING at least one completely nutritarian meal. I often have salad, and on evenings when my fiance's mom makes things like beef, I'll eat only salad with beans or (like last night) only steamed broccoli, collard greens, and a potato. So I guess I do all right with eating a nutritarian meal every so often, but it's not enough of a habit yet to stop the weight gain I've had since moving here.
Goal 2: Cut out sweets for the challenge
This is the worst! I can't stay away from sweets; they're all around me all the time. Some days during that week's challenge I was really good about avoiding sweets, but not every day. And then as soon as that week ended, I was all about sweets again. It's not hard for me to give up meat, but sweets? This feels nearly impossible!
Goal 3: Cardio twice a week
I think I've mostly managed this one, though not at the times I laid out. Also, I thought I would be doing more running, but it's mostly been walking. Well, you gotta start somewhere, right? There was probably a week I didn't manage even twice, though. I like walking the neighborhood, especially when it's beautiful weather like it has been lately. Somehow I haven't been able to make myself do it ALONE yet. It's like I'll only go if someone's willing to go with me or someone else suggests it.
Goal 4: Strength/flexibility once a week
Well it hasn't been yoga, Pilates, or martial arts, but I've been managing a little bit of this. Generally I do some sit ups and push ups and hold a plank position. Sometimes I'll also lie on my stomach and raise up my torso to work my back and balance things out. I suppose it's better than nothing, but my former strength and flexibility has really dwindled. I pulled my right hamstring a while back, so it sometimes gets in the way when I'm walking and I try not to stretch it.
Goal 5: Track weight/BMI
So I've been getting on the scale plenty, but I haven't always been entering my weight on SparkPeople and I haven't been calculating my BMI. I'm about 138 pounds currently, just shy of 140. I used to weigh 150 last summer, so I've managed to hold onto SOME of the weight loss. But I know if I continue in the way I've been living here, that 10 pounds will easily return, and perhaps then some.
Goal 6: Track progress
Okay, well I haven't really been doing this at all until now. But this counts! I just haven't been tracking and monitoring as regularly as I had planned.
The whole point of this is to alter my goals now that I see how I'm doing with them. I think the main thing for me right now is to focus on just one or two goals and not try to be doing so much all at once. The hardest, seemingly most impossible thing is my eating. I feel like once I move out of my fiance's parents' house I can take better control of my eating, but while I live here, it's really kind of a superhuman effort that would be required and I know I'm not up to it deep down. So I'm going to shelve that one for now. That doesn't mean give up, that doesn't mean don't try, it just means it won't be my focus right now. I feel like I can't do it, and until I work on that attitude, I won't be able to do it.
So, my focus instead will be my fitness and physical activity. I will focus on my cardio twice a week goal and my strength/flexibility once a week goal. I will keep my cardio goal where it is and I will track each time I do cardio. For my strength/flexibility goal, I'm going to ask myself to do a little more. I'm going to do it twice a week, and I have to break a sweat in each session. Otherwise I'm not challenging myself and I'm letting my fitness slide.
Goal 1: Cardio twice a week
Goal 2: Strength/flexibility twice a week breaking a sweat
Track both each time I do them.
All right. Now I'm ready!
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Hi Sparkers! I've been thinking lately, about myself, my goals, my journey trying to live healthfully. I am so obsessed by the question of how to make myself do what is good for me that I've gone and gotten a master's degree searching for some behavioral/sociological/scientific basis for health behavior change. I'm still obsessed and hoping to get a PhD in public health.
Beyond my education and future career, my obsession with health is selfish. I mean, sure, I'd like to make a difference in this world and help others. But I haven't been able to help myself yet. I haven't cracked the code for what will have me eating well and exercising regularly and all that other good stuff.
So I was thinking that what might help is to be accountable somewhere, publicly. What better place than my SparkPeople blog, surrounded by a supportive community of people with similar struggles? This is the beginning of my confessional. If I'm doing it right, it will be ugly at times. If I'm honest to myself, it will be difficult to admit to my own behavior sometimes. But hopefully by holding myself to a standard of accountability, my successes will begin to outweigh my setbacks, and I can forgive myself for my own unhealthy "misdeeds." Because we all have setbacks, or moments where it's ok to indulge, and then the important thing is to get back on track afterwards.
This, then, is the beginning of my wellness confessional.
Just before I sat down to write this, I ate a whole box of Junior Caramels and half a box of Rainbow Nerds. I knew it wasn't healthy, but I did it anyway, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. And I still had the rest of the Nerds and another box of caramels waiting to be eaten.
Then I thought, "Well I can't go on like this, eating junk food to unwind or ease boredom or comfort myself or what have you. It's ruining my health!" And I know it is. But I do it anyway!
Why does knowing what's healthy not make a difference in my behavior? I know what to do to be healthy, and I want to be healthy, but all too often I don't engage in the healthy behavior.
This has always been the case in my life. I'm no longer surprised by it, but I am still disappointed in myself. And I can't explain what makes the difference when I successfully engage in healthy behaviors versus when I don't.
Last summer, I began the Eat To Live nutritarian style of eating. I want this to be my default way of eating on a regular basis. I write out elaborate schedules and make goals and plans and when it comes time actually to DO something about it, I don't act. The big, heavy, leaden laziness in me rears up and says, "I hate cooking," and "I'm not really that unhealthy," and "It'll offend so-and-so if I don't eat this," and "My hip kind of hurts today so I probably shouldn't work out," and so on.
Why do we waste so much time, effort, and energy fighting ourselves over what we want?
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