Wednesday, January 30, 2013
It’s a simple question I was asked while on the treadmill.
I’ve been increasing my time and distance lately so it was a reasonable assumption that I had some race on the horizon. Only I don’t, not yet anyway. Come spring I’ll probably register for one or more 5Ks and if I’m able to build more endurance, maybe even a 10K or a half marathon.
However, there’s a more complex answer to the question. If the schedule of races doesn’t suit me, I won’t enter, but I will keep on “training.”
I like gathering at the starting line and taking off with the group. I enjoy trying to improve, to be better than I was the last time. I love to win hardware, but if I don’t, I applaud the excellence of whatever “old lady” runs faster than me.
So what am I training for?
I want to be ready and able to run a race if the opportunity arises.
I want to be able to run for a bus that’s about to leave.
I want to be able to run for shelter in a sudden downpour.
I think I’m just training for life, a quality of life that I want to maintain as long as I can.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
For reasons not related to this blog I have been researching crime and prisons.
First let me assure you that neither I nor any member of my family has ever been in prison.
However, dieters have some things in common with those people attempting to leave behind the behavior that landed them in prison.
Recidivism – “the tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior” (Webster)
Approximately 68% of prisoners released were rearrested within 3 years (varies by state and type of crime)
Once at goal weight, 70 to 95% of dieters will be back to their old selves within 3 years. (research data varies here also)
So what characteristics do “career criminals” share with career (yo-yo) dieters other than recidivism - the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or have been treated or trained to extinguish that behavior (Wikipedia)
The process of losing the weight at times may seem equivalent to time in prison, bound by shackels of our own making. As a person in maintenance, I’m currently more interested in what happens once goal weight is reached (sentence served or released on parole).
I was reading about programs to help career criminals change their lives.
Many of the successful tactics mirror the lifestyle changes needed to make healthy weight permanent.
Meaningful work, education and training
We know that higher income levels correlate with lower obesity rates.
Nutrition information and education helps people make better food choices also.
Mental health treatment
Recognition and counseling for any unhealthy relationship with food helps to maintain a healthy weight.
Attitude and Associates
Believe positive change is possible.
Avoid people and places likely to lead you back to old destructive habits.
Associate with people who support your goals (like Sparkpeople)
Report in-person with a parole officer regularly.
I realize that I do this every morning when I step on the scale. Sometimes my parole officer (scale) approves of me and sometimes not, but this is how I get an honest, no-nonsense assessment of the direction I’m headed before I’ve gone too far down the wrong path and end up back in prison.
I want to avoid being a negative statistic and intend to do all I can to avoid it.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Bet you didn’t know that you’re my meal companions.
Does this lead to “mindless eating?” Not for me. I know that this defies the conventional wisdom that to be successful in weight loss/maintenance you should not do anything else while eating. I found that to be true for watching TV or even reading a magazine, but not for my morning SP ritual.
DH & I are always up before 6 am. We don’t even need an alarm clock. Maybe it’s a residual effect from all those years of work, but our internal clocks are permanently programmed this way.
He makes coffee, just as he’s done for 45 years. He eats breakfast #1. I just have the coffee. I’m never hungry first thing in the morning. He will return for breakfast #2 and sometimes #3. I prefer not to see that.
Then it’s on to email and favorite sites. Obviously that’s where I am right now.
SP accompanies my coffee refills. I sip, I read, I sip I blog, comment, post etc etc.
Finally I get my breakfast, the same one I’ve eaten for 15 years.
Back to SP. I take a bite, I read & post, take another bite, and repeat over and over.
It takes a long time to finish peanut butter on WW toast with OJ when you keep stopping to type.
If my hands are occupied, they’re not holding food or a glass. That’s off to the side. I keep my keyboard clean. I was a technology coordinator after all, and I practice what I preach.
Sometimes lunch follows the same pattern with the same result. I find this method actually slows down my eating. Plus, the SP reading is motivation to continue a healthy routine. When I’m entering my daily meal and snack plan in the tracker, it discourages going back for more food.
Perhaps this is just one more example of my “oddball” behavior or a retired person’s version of “eating at your desk.”
Note, this doesn’t work for dinner. DH & I always eat together at the table like normal people.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
You gotta love winter in central Virginia. You get to see some snow and ice and if you are able to wait awhile, you don’t even have to shovel it. It just melts.
On Friday as I left the gym, it began to snow. Temperatures have been in the 20s so it started to stick. I stopped at the supermarket as I had planned. I needed only ground turkey for my meat loaf and English muffins for DH.
The parking lot was jammed and I briefly considered an alternate vegetarian dinner and offering DH my whole wheat bread as an alternative. However, I’m retired and I have time, so I grabbed my 2 items and got on the express line.
Behind me was a woman with a few items in her cart along with 7 loaves of white bread. I wondered if perhaps I had missed a weather report about the impending storm of the century.
We got about 4 inches of snow. The main roads were well salted/cindered in advance, but as expected the little country roads had accumulation.
When we retired to our lake house, this city born and raised woman learned to keep a supply of staples in the house just in case. We’re 3.5 miles off a main road. You don’t want to run out of toilet paper, right?
Yesterday morning my road was ice covered and my blog entry involved my dilemma of dusting off my lifecycle or waiting for the sun to do its usual thing.
I waited and by 11 am it was 44* - off to the gym. So our entire weather emergency was over in less than 24 hours.
This brings me back to the woman with all the bread.
Was it panic buying or did she have a good reason?
Did she have a lot of children at home? Was she entertaining a girl scout troop for the weekend? Was she shopping for a neighborhood of elderly residents? Was she planning to make a lot of stuffing? Maybe she intended to feed a flock of birds?
It’s none of my business, but I am curious. Do you observe this behavior in other parts of the country/world?
Saturday, January 26, 2013
DH saw me typing this title and thought I might be referring to him. His office is in the basement and he does spend a lot of time there. He also shows up in my blog now and then.
No Joe, the beast is not you, but this old behemoth that we bought 20 years ago. Remember how we figured that it would save a lot of money on gym memberships and you would use it too? It didn’t work out as planned, did it?
It was the first of the generic “Lifecycle” models with a computerized display for terrain. It replaced the recumbent cycle that also seemed like a good idea at the time. We gave that one away when we realized that reclining on a cycle was not a natural position for either of us.
At least these 2 experiences kept me from buying my own treadmill. I knew I wouldn’t use it – not enough to justify the cost anyway.
I never gave up my gym membership and regularly workout there. I prefer the outdoors, but as a weather wimp I often seek my fitness in an air-conditioned or heated environment. I have a climate controlled house that I could fill with personal equipment and yet I don’t want to. What’s the difference?
For me it’s the solitary nature of cycling in the basement going nowhere. At home I always saw something else that I’d rather be doing. Even after retirement with more free time, that mindset continued.
Outside I take in the sights and enjoy nature. At the gym I people-watch and carry on a conversation with the regulars. Twice a week classes are important to me too.
SP had an article recently about deciding if a gym membership is right for you, along with tips about choosing the right one for your lifestyle. Purchasing home exercise equipment is in the same category. Great for some, not for everyone and hopefully we know which group we’re in before we lay out the cash.
So why am I writing about this today? We got snow yesterday, not much by northern standards, but enough to cause dangerous road conditions around here. Unless the sun melts the ice I shouldn’t drive to the gym. It’s probably closed anyway.
So beast, it’s just you and me. You’re better than nothing so we’ll see how it goes.
I’m not alone in owning an unused fitness machine. That’s how “Play it Again Sports” makes a profit. Some people use theirs as a place to hang clothes. I admit that mine occasionally has served as a drying rack for blankets and comforters.
Anyone else out there in my situation?
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