Saturday, February 02, 2013
I was thinking about this when I recorded my miles for the ďVirtual Walk/Run Across AmericaĒ which Iíve found to be a very motivational challenge. Sometimes I run. Sometimes I walk. Sometimes, when DH is along, itís more of a stroll. Still I record it all. My feet were moving forward, so for me, it counts.
I know Iím in the minority since I like to exercise (cardio anyway). As Iíve written before, exercise was never my problem, excessive food consumption was.
Lately, I've been thinking about the effect of intensity level.
I know that the SP tracker records about twice as many calories burned when I run for 10 minutes (10 min/mile or 6.0 on the treadmill) vs. my standard walking speed of 15 min/mile or 4.0 on the treadmill. I can still burn the same number of calories. I just have to walk longer.
Some people put down those working at lower levels of intensity. At the end of a race of any distance I donít like to hear the question, ďdid you RUN the whole way?Ē whether directed at me or someone else.
Depending on a person's starting fitness level, what's considered exercise to them may differ. Iíve written about my motherís aversion to exercise. When she came to live with us after my fatherís death, I was appalled that her idea of exercise was that she had to get up so often to go to the bathroom. With the support of her doctor I became a ďgeriatric personal trainer.Ē I had her ďdoing lapsĒ that is laps around the house. Our open floor plan made that easy. Exercises with 1 and 2 pound weights were on the schedule too.
We've got to encourage people to start somewhere. As they become more fit, their intensity will increase naturally. At least I hope so.
I don't particularly like strength training, but I know I have to do it. After a break I always start slowly so I don't hurt myself. It may not look like much to a dedicated weight lifter, but it's my starting point and if I keep it up I will improve, with heavier weights and number of reps until I regain or even surpass my previous level.
Of course, we shouldn't deceive ourselves and complain about not seeing results if the level of exercise is low and stays low. Patience is needed. We can improve slowly, but we will improve if we keep at it. Fitness isnít a race. It doesnít matter who gets there first.
Friday, February 01, 2013
Thatís whatís written on my coffee cup this morning. It was given to me 35 years ago by a friend who followed that philosophy.
I usually donít use this cup anymore. It just sits in the cupboard. Itís just too small. Somehow over the decades the amount of coffee I drink in the morning has increased dramatically. If I used my little old cup, Iíd have to get a lot of refills.
I need a refill this morning. Not caffeine, although it is helping. I need a refill of hope.
The problems seem more difficult than they used to be when the cup was new, not personally for me, but for society in general. I donít feel the problems are larger or more complex than they used to be, but those tasked with solving them are so polarized. Sadly, some seem determined to polarize the rest of us.
On Thanksgiving Day my blog entry was ďThereís room for all of us at this Thanksgiving Table.Ē
I hope thatís true and that we donít solve problems by just taking away some chairs and leaving others to fend for themselves. The caffeine is helping, but I canít think about this anymore today. Like Scarlett OíHara, ďIíll think about that tomorrow.Ē Or maybe next week.
For today Iím going to think about both sides of my cup.
You see, when my friend gave it to me, we had 6 little girls between us, all under age 8. It will help me remember, recharge and refill my cup of hope.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
That was my motherís philosophy, although she did have her subtle, passive ways of attempting to change the tide, at least for Dad and me. Outside the family she was meek and timid.
Dad on the other hand was more proactive. While Mom was satisfied to leave the problem to God, Dad was the type who wanted to get out there and give God a hand.
More than once Mom would tell me ďyouíre just like your father.Ē
More than once I would mutter under my breath ďThank God!Ē
While Iím not as physical as Dad who once beat up a bully at work who had been terrorizing the smaller, weaker guys, I do tend to speak up when warranted.
On the first anniversary of Dadís death in 1998 I found myself at our state capitol addressing a committee about needs in educational technology.
Today Iím on my way to the capitol again. Iíve got something to say and I want my representatives to listen.
However, once again Iíll be doing this with a heavy heart. Ironically, today is the second anniversary of my motherís death.
However, if I donít make my own waves, Iím going to be swamped by someone elseís.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Itís a simple question I was asked while on the treadmill.
Iíve been increasing my time and distance lately so it was a reasonable assumption that I had some race on the horizon. Only I donít, not yet anyway. Come spring Iíll probably register for one or more 5Ks and if Iím able to build more endurance, maybe even a 10K or a half marathon.
However, thereís a more complex answer to the question. If the schedule of races doesnít suit me, I wonít enter, but I will keep on ďtraining.Ē
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 donít, I applaud the excellence of whatever ďold ladyĒ 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 thatís about to leave.
I want to be able to run for shelter in a sudden downpour.
I think Iím 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 Ė ďthe tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behaviorĒ (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 ďcareer criminalsĒ 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, Iím 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 Iím headed before Iíve 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.
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