Monday, February 02, 2009
I know, I know, I just posted montly retrospective last night, but that had a slightly broader focus, and I think these weekly retrospectives have really been helping me take stock of my recent progress and setbacks and incorporating that awareness into the my thinking to inform the coming week, so you get a two-for-one (of sorts)...I'll try not to be too repetetive, though!
Food. Nutrition is still giving me a bit of trouble (or rather, I'm giving myself a bit of trouble when it comes to making healthy choices regarding food). It’s not even subconscious—I know darn good and well that opting for pepperoni pizza dipped in ranch and washed down with orange soda is in *no way* better than having a bowl of bean soup (which is already made, no less, and simply needs to be reheated). In fact, making choices like that undermine not just my physical fitness goals, but also my financial fitness goals—it’s not terribly cost effective to buy pizza when you’ve already got good food that needs to be used up, you know (even if it was frozen pizza, it may be cheaper than delivery, but it’s still more $$ than bean soup, right!)…
One thing that was happening a lot in the past few months is that we’d get home from work and after work activities (i.e. workout or errands) and what we had on the menu would suddenly be not at all appealing (either we were too tired for such an ambitious recipe, or we’d not be in the mood for that type of food, or we were missing key ingredients that would require a trip to the store, or we were plain starving and wanted food post haste) and for whatever reason (I didn’t say they were good reasons!) we decided that it would be easier to order pizza, so we went that route. Lately we have been better about ordering pizza, but we’ve started hitting up the freezer section at the grocery store (since it’s a scant half block walk and substantially cheaper than Pizza Luce, our default delivery option)…while this is good from a financial standpoint, it still isn’t helping on the nutrition end…but something else we’ve been doing is whenever we run across the street for a frozen pizza, I’ve been picking up some of the bulk pre-washed spinach and making a small salad to eat while the pizza cooks. Last night, by the time I’d finished the salad, I was getting full, but the pizza was done, so I had 2 slices anyway (which is half what I normally scarf down, so that right there was an improvement) and ended up feeling stuffed—the moral of the story is that I think if I’d waited 20 minutes or so after the salad, I’d have been totally full and not needed the pizza anyhow…so my thinking is that next time I’m tempted to run for pizza and greens, I’ll skip the pizza and just get salad fixings. If I’m honestly still hungry after the salad, then I’ll go back for the pizza…but I’m betting I won’t be making many second trips.
So that’s food—now on to exercise: I am totally thrilled by my exercise regimen last week…
Sunday – bike ride
Monday – rest
Tuesday – strength training (upper body)
Wednesday – running
Thursday – yoga class & elliptical
Friday – elliptical
Saturday – bike ride
I still have some trouble some days maintaining my resolve to work out once I leave work but between blogging on SP (and all the support on the site in general) and my natural stubborn resolve to do what I say I’m going to do even if I don’t terribly want to, I’ve managed to stay on track pretty well.
So…the challenge this week is (once again) mostly on the nutrition end of the equation…let’s see if I can manage to conquer my lazy default setting for pizza and actually eat healthy food this week! And of course, keep up the exercise routine!
Sunday, February 01, 2009
My basic monthly goals were simple and straight forward (and since they worked so well for January, I think I'll carry them forward to be February's goals, as well):
1) run for 20+ minutes at least 10 times
2) attend yoga class at least 4 times
3) bike at least 40 miles
4) run a 5K race
And I'm happy to report that I achieved all four in January. I ran a 5K on New Year's Day, I had 10 runs of at least 20 minutes, attended 6 yoga classes, and biked 41 miles for the month (and we're not talking stationary biking here...only the real deal!) I rewarded myself a touch early with a new pair of workout pants (I sorely needed another pair to add to the rotation, though, since that allowed me to make it a whole week of workouts without having to wash laundry!) And since I went and rewarded myself mid-month, I wanted to make sure I'd actually earned the reward by the end of the month! (No fair, to cheat, you know!)
I also tried a new motivational strategy--I told John that for every star I got on my fitness calendar for January, he'd get $1 to put toward a mystery reward for me...and since I got 24 stars on the calendar, my mystery reward is going to be an under-seat tool wedge and a multi-tool for my bike! Yay! Now I will be able to fix my own mechanical mutinies on bike rides! This strategy worked really well, so I think it too will be carried into February!
And I lost 3 pounds in January (slightly less than I was hoping for, but I'll take it!) So January was a rather successful month, esp. in terms of setting up a good activity routine and sticking to it! And now what to do with February?
I want to carry a few goals forward:
1) run 3 times a week for at least 20 minutes each time (a stint on the cardio equipment in inclement weather is an acceptable substitute for up to 2 runs per week)
2) attend at least 4 yoga classes
3) ride at least 60 miles (February should be a titch warmer, so I expect to do a bit more biking than I did in January)
4) run a 5K race (with perhaps a better time than the last one?!?! just have to beat 42 minutes!)
And I want to add a couple:
5) strength train both upper and lower body twice weekly (I often wish I had more muscle tone, and I know there's only one way to get it...so back I go to the iron weights!)
6) stay within my calorie range at least 6 days a week (I've been having trouble keeping my nutrition under...not control exactly--I don't like the connotations of that word...but yeah...it's been kind of all over the place lately)
So my focus in February is on maintaining the exercise routine I got into during January, and adding some strength training and better nutrition into the mix. And for rewards, I think I'll get myself a new yoga mat as a reward for my regular goals (since the back window of the car got smashed in this weekend, I had to throw my current mat away b/c it was covered in tiny glass shards, and I wasn't sure I'd be able to shake all the glass out--wouldn't that be a nasty surprise mid-class...yeeah...no) So a new (not pink!) yoga mat is the new reward, and I'll have John do another mystery reward based on how many stars I get on the calendar!
Friday, January 30, 2009
Warning: the sole purpose of this blog is to talk myself back into working out this evening...and I need it...
I got home from work a few moments ago, and the plan up until I walked into my kitchen was to quick like change into gym clothes and head straight back out for the Y, do ~40 minutes on the cardio machines, go to a bodyflow class, and then come home and relax...as I said, that *was* the plan...but then I walked into my kitchen and let me tell you, it's not pretty. We have been super busy this week, and thus we (OK, *I*...it is my week to wash dishes) have neglected doing the dishes...since Monday (wtf, I know).
This wouldn't probably be such an issue, but we don't have a dishwasher, so I can' t just load a machine up and go away...sigh (this is a design flaw that will probably be corrected with our next abode, but I'm not about to move until I have a good reason). All of which means there's a really daunting stack of dirty dishes that have materialized in my kitchen. And i really want to do them instead of go work out (scratch that...I really want to lay about on the couch with the cat, but if I had to pick an activity, the elliptical would lose the battle). Such is my quandary. And I think the girl who lives above us got dumped again, b/c she's playing Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again on a loop at a deafening roar again...I know I'm not being terribly sympathetic, but frankly it's not exactly motivating me to exercise with all the slow sad music...
BUT...back to the talking myself INTO working out...seeing as I went to a bodyflow class just yesterday (and I'm still definitely feeling it!), I think I will be OK if I skip the bodyflow class, but seeing as we had pizza for dinner last night, I think I better hit up the cardio today...sigh. I think the worst of it is that it's my week to do the dishes (we trade on a weekly basis) so I have only myself to thank for the mountain o' grimy plates and cooking pots. That I still get to wash when I get home from ye olde gym.
But on the bright side, I always have more energy after I work out, so even though I'm feeling tired and shlumpy now, I'm sure when I get back I'll feel more energetic/ambitious and will at least have the steam (if not the desire) to do those pesky dishes...and perhaps go and do something fun tonight as well (after all it is Friday...but I'd like to at least get a start on the manual labor...)
OK...off I go to the gym (and I'm posting this on the internets, so I have to hold myself to it, right!? ;-)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
When I started at my job over 3 years ago, I sat through the usual “your benefits package and you” meeting and I wasn’t too concerned about any of it (benefits were nice, but basically I was just thrilled to have a steady paycheck again, since after graduating, my main occupation had been a couple months of unpaid internships in publishing—great for getting experience in the industry, but not so helpful with paying rent!)…and after that introductory meeting to my benefits, I never really gave them much thought.
But there are a few strange benefits that my company provides that, although I shrugged them off at the beginning, I have grown to appreciate more and more in the last few months…for example, every Tuesday and Thursday, the cafeteria hands out free fruit to all employees (they say limit 2 pieces per employee, but if you go just before the café closes, they don’t care how many you take, since then they don’t have to deal with the leftovers!)…so lately I’ve been snagging free apples, oranges, and bananas (banana days are particularly exciting for me, since John is so allergic to them I can’t even keep any in the apartment)…they also have free skim milk on tap during lunch hours (which would be stellar if I drank milk), and there’s 4.2 miles of walking trail (which they plow in winter!) on campus (which I use whenever I get a chance). Not your average benefits, but I think they’re really cool…
Anyhow, I’m not bragging here, I do have a point…I was talking to one of my coworkers who’s worked here for 30+ years (egads, I know), and she was here the year they started the free fruit/milk program (back in the 80s), and it was really inspiring to hear why it got started up…the company was a lot smaller then, and one of the high-level execs went in for his annual physical and ended up discovering he had some health problems cropping up…he was notorious for living off the junk in the snack machines, so he was told by the doc that he needed to eat healthier (i.e. cut out sugary drinks, eat more fruits and veggies), esp. for snacks, and that he should exercise more. The exec apparently made an about face and turned into a health nut over the next year or so. Over the course of that year, he decided that if it was good for him to live a healthier lifestyle, it would be good for his employees, too (and healthy employees cost less than unhealthy ones in the long term!). So the free fruit and milk programs were started to encourage people to eat healthier and snack on good food instead of junk—a very novel idea, I think!
After learning this, I was sitting here today munching on my free apple and contemplating what I want to do for my exercise tonight, and it occurred to me that it’s really cool that someone took the time and went to a little expense (after all, somebody pays for the hundreds of pounds of fruit they give away each year) to give their employees the opportunity to have healthy snack options when they really didn’t have to… it’s really inspiring that someone used their clout to help all the little people, too…and very cool that the company has continued that practice long after the exec retired (and through a couple mergers, even)…And when I get snacky at work, I pretty much always have a piece of fruit handy at my desk (not that it always works, but…it certainly helps!)…it sort of makes me wonder what I could be doing for other folks, too…
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
First of all, thanks for all the input yesterday--it really helps!
Which might explain why I had a surprisingly good day today...I spent most of today in meetings, oddly looking forward to running after work (I made an appointment with my running buddy for an outdoor run--just what I needed!) And I ran after work as planned! And it was a great run (finally--it's been a while since I've had a truly enjoyable run!)...we ran 30 minutes despite it being a tad on the chilly side!
In addition, I was REALLY good about food today! Healthy breakfast, healthy snacks, healthy lunch, and (gaspy gasp gasp!) I made a tasty salad (spinach, candied walnuts, apples, blue cheese, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette) to have as a first course with dinner (which was sloppy joes...a dinner that usually happens sans vegetables for us!) So I'm happy on two fronts...first that I had veggies with dinner (not much, but better than nothing!) and second that I filled up on salad, didn't have seconds on sloppy joes, and skipped ice cream for dessert (despite John whipping up a bowl for himself). All in all, a good day!
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