Tuesday, January 05, 2010
I broke my ankle at the end of September, and didn't go back to work full time until yesterday. I enjoy my job and I'm not ready to retire, but I have to admit that my work poses challenges to healthy living.
First challenge is lunch. I have three choices for lunch. I can bring something from home. That's the best choice, but boring. There is a cafeteria on the first floor of our building. Their food is full of fat and salt, and not even that good. Then there is a Chinese restaurant next door to the office where the food is excellent, the prices are reasonable, and the staff is friendly. My first day back at work I went to the Chinese restaurant where I had my usual order of hot and sour soup and chicken cashew. Great food. Not so great to track it later, even though I brought home half of the chicken cashew.
I packed a lunch today.
Second challenge is finding time for exercise. I work what's called a 5/4/9 schedule. I work 9 hour days (or more) and get every other Friday off. With a half hour commute each way in traffic I don't usually get home until almost 6:30 pm. By the time I change clothes I am starving and my blood sugar is low. My husband is certainly ready to eat. But, if I eat dinner first, it's almost 8 pm. before I can get on my treadmill, and I go to bed at 10. Last night I gave up exercising in favor of sitting with my daughter as it was her last night before flying back to the west coast. Tonight I did the treadmill before dinner, but that made dinner time even later.
I don't want to change my work schedule, because I love having every other Friday off.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fit regular exercise into my day?
While you think about it read the following poem by Langston Hughes, which is a real favorite of mine.
I donít have to work.
I donít have to do nothing
but eat, drink, stay black, and die.
This little old furnished roomís
so small I canít whip a cat
without getting fur in my mouth
and my landladyís so old
her features is all run together
and God knows she sure can overchargeó
Which is why I reckon I does
Have to work after all.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Food facts I wish were true:
There are no calories in food eaten standing up. This includes the truffle you snatched from the box at the back of the pantry, the mashed potatoes you ate out of the pot while you cleaned up after dinner, and the cheese cubes put out as samples at the grocery store to entice you to purchase more.
There are no calories in the broken potato chips at the bottom of the bag. When chips break, all the calories leak out.
There are no calories in any food if you eat only a handful. A handful of walnuts, a handful of M&Mís, or a handful of little marshmallows donít count.
There are no calories in liquids used to wash down your daily pills, even if itís milk or orange juice. Besides, you drink them standing up by the refrigerator, donít you?
These daily nibbles seldom make it into my food tracking for the day. I call them ďoff-track eatingĒ. Tracking every bite I put into my mouth just seems so compulsive. Maybe this is why I usually meet my daily calorie goals, but donít lose weight as fast as Iíd like.
Here is a poem I found on The Writerís Almanac website right after I broke my ankle. It was written by Jeanne Marie Beaumont
Is it starting to rain?
Did the check bounce?
Are we out of coffee?
Is this going to hurt?
Could you lose your job?
Did the glass break?
Was the baggage misrouted?
Will this go on my record?
Are you missing much money?
Was anyone injured?
Is the traffic heavy?
Do I have to remove my clothes?
Will it leave a scar?
Must you go?
Will this be in the papers?
Is my time up already?
Are we seeing the understudy?
Will it affect my eyesight?
Did all the books burn?
Are you still smoking?
Is the bone broken?
Will I have to put him to sleep?
Was the car totaled?
Am I responsible for these charges?
Are you contagious?
Will we have to wait long?
Is the runway icy?
Was the gun loaded?
Could this cause side effects?
Do you know who betrayed you?
Is the wound infected?
Are we lost?
Will it get any worse?
Sunday, December 27, 2009
A lot of people eat when they are stressed out, and I have been known to do some "stress eating" myself. But a lot of times when I'm stressed out I clean house, or when I'm really crazed, I start a home improvement project.
When my daughter moved to California I cleaned every window in the house, inside and out. I think cleaning house makes me feel like I'm in control of something in my life.
Holidays seem to bring out the home improvement strategy of stress control. Although, since home improvement is stressful in and of itself, the strategy has some flaws in it. One 4th of July I got the notion to remove the wallpaper from one of my bathrooms. Removing wallpaper is one of the nastiest jobs in the world, but I was getting along pretty well until I pulled on the sink cabinet to try to get the wallpaper out from behind it and broke the hot water pipe. My screeching woke my husband up from a nap to turn the water off at the basement shutoff valve. (Forget trying to shut it off under the sink when scalding water is spraying out.) We couldn't get a plumber on the holiday. The guy who showed up the next morning just rolled his eyes when I told him what had happened.
So this morning I woke up feeling antsy and decided to paint the room I use for my treadmill. A quick trip to Home Depot and I was ready to go. I patched the nail holes and removed the switch plates. I moved out the few pieces of furniture, and decided no drop cloth was needed since I plan to replace the carpet with bamboo flooring. Things actually went pretty smoothly, but by the time I got the primer up I was exhausted.
I'll get t he paint color up another day. Or, if I have any sense, I'll call my favorite painter and pay him to finish the job. My treadmill room will be a beautiful space, full of everything nice to encourage me to exercise.
Outside a moderate breakfast and lunch, I did no eating at all today. I ignored the gluten free brownies and mint meltaways. I stayed away from the Pumpkin Spice Latte at the Starbucks next to the Home Depot.
I didn't walk on the treadmill today, but I think painting definitely counts as exercise. I can plug in the treadmill and walk on it again tomorrow, even if I don't finish the painting.
The following poem is by Beatrix Potter. My daughter loved it when she was a child.
Appley Dapply, a little
Goes to the cupboard in
In somebodyís cupboard
Thereís everything nice,
Cake, cheese, jam, biscuits,
-- All charming for mice!
Appley Dapply has little
And Appley Dapply is so fond
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Does anyone but me find the holiday season stressful? I'm trying to just enjoy, but we all have so many expectations and don't want to disappoint each other. Added to all that is trying to eat healthy and find time to exercise.
Yesterday was my birthday. I got many lovely gifts and my family took me out to eat at my favorite Chinese restaurant. I planned ahead of time what I was going to eat: Chicken corn soup and Steak with Green Peppers. I shared the steak dish with my husband. He ate most of the meat and I ate most of the peppers & onions, so that went pretty well. Then my husband gave me a box of Fannie May truffles. I love those things. I had one, and some of the Cadbury chocolate also in the house, and was over my calorie count for the day. I've got to hide the chocolate.
My daughter is home for the holidays. I love her dearly and I only see her once or twice a year because she lives on the opposite coast. We have so much to talk about, and so much last minute shopping to do. Well, mall walking is exercise, too, and I've planned our trips to avoid mall food.
This morning I got a spark mail from my sister. She is as stressed as me, with more reason, but she took time to write and tell me about the deer she saw in the field by her home. I'm so glad she shared that peaceful moment with me.
Here is a poem for her and all of you to enjoy. It's written by Sara Teasdale.
Into my heartís treasury
I slipped a coin
That time cannot take
Nor thief purloin---
Oh, better than a minting
Of a gold crowned king
Is the safe kept memory
Of a lovely thing
Saturday, December 19, 2009
We are in the middle of a huge snow storm, expecting 12 to 20 inches before it's over. Since I don't have to be out in it this weekend, I'm happy to sit inside and watch it come down. My kids are both home for the holidays. My Christmas shopping is almost done and wrapped. I just need to relax and enjoy.
In my old life I might have cooked bacon and spoon bread for breakfast and served up hot cocoa. This morning I was satisfied with high fiber cereal and blueberries. I still might make ovaltine later, but only after I shovel snow.
In honor of the first big snow of the year, I'm sharing the following Robert Frost poem. I've loved this poem forever.
Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
We all have promises to keep, but sometimes we just need to stop and look around and enjoy what we've been given.
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