Wednesday, February 03, 2010
I am delighted to say that my wonderful husband has decided to join me more fully on this journey. After seeing how much I'm getting out of SparkPeople and with a little gentle encouragement from me, he joined for himself today and is just starting the process of exploring all that SP has to offer. He is also starting to read The Spark with me, too.
Will he spend as much time on the site and be as encouraged by it as me? Maybe, maybe not, but at least he will understand what I'm doing more and be able to make his own choices. He is already enjoying the benefits of what I've learned on SP to some degree: we are eating at home almost every night, and eating really good, healthy food, so we are undoubtedly saving money as well as impacting our health for the better. He has also seen how much more energy I have and how much more positive I am about pretty much everything, so that has to be making life a little better for him. When I'm not happy with myself and things have gotten out of control in one area or another, I don't feel like I am a very nice person to be around. I like who I am a whole lot more when I start getting more balance in my life, and that translates into better attitudes in other areas of life. Hmm, seems like I have heard that somewhere before--the whole idea of crisscrossing effects comes to mind . . .
I am delighted beyond words that he's joining me on this adventure; he has to make his own choices about what he eats and how much exercise he fits into his life, but at least now he will have tools at his disposal to do what he feels is best for him. We celebrate 30 years of marriage in a couple of months and our grandson's first birthday a couple of months after that. I'd like for us to be around together to celebrate many, many more of those kinds of occasions, and we are taking steps together now to hopefully make that possible. I'm glad we are doing it together.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Well, here it is, the start of a new month already! Time for new challenges on the different Spark Teams, and I am (gulp) jumping into the pool to join at least one or two. I have joined a few teams that interested me, and where there are challenges that I thought I could participate in, I've signed up and started tracking.
Of course, there were, naturally, life challenges to start off the month, too. One person was out with a sick child today (nothing she could do about that) but that set up a little extra stress in the office, and I found myself having to run around like crazy to meet the demands that were placed on me. In the process apparently I was 'short' with someone and got a talking to about that. Sigh; can't win for losing some days, I was just trying to get her attention to not hang up on a call for me because I wasn't AT my phone upstairs, I was downstairs about 30 feet away from her and she wasn't responding. I apologized, but that did not help the stress level of the day at all.
Surprisingly enough, though, my first thought was NOT 'what can I eat?' I did not have any desire to stuff my feelings with food; instead I called my husband (when it was safe and I wouldn't likely be overheard) to vent and try to get perspective. I truly did not think I was being rude or short in that situation, but obviously that's how it was taken, so I'll have to reflect on that one awhile.
In spite of the somewhat rough day, I was able to come home and get it in gear to exercise. I'm finding that really does help calm me and bring my stress level down; a good mile plus of brisk walking and brief bursts of jogging (about all I can manage at this point!) in the rain, and I was ready to have a nice, healthy meal for dinner. It would have been so easy to just settle in and spend the rest of the evening on the computer since I am, by nature, a geeky nonathletic type, but I knew I needed a bit more exercise before bedtime and managed to pull myself away from the lure of the computer screen to do another 20 minutes or so of time on the exercise bike. So I met my goals for the day:
- Calorie deficit of 700 or more
- Walk 1 mile or more
- Eat 5 fruits/vegetables
- 30 minutes or more of cardio at least 5 days a week
Day one down . . . many more to go!
Monday, February 01, 2010
Today was a rest day for me (more or less). After church and a nice (light) lunch out (mmm, Applebee's WW steak and portobello plate, good stuff!), I finally had a chance to put one of my Christmas gifts to use: an introductory massage at a new place in town. It's been awhile since I had a massage, and this one was wonderful. I've been having some trouble with a shoulder that I injured several years ago, so she worked on that quite a while and it really helped. When she got to my calves, she said they were really tight and could use more work than she had time for after working on my shoulder so long. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that my calves are tight; I've been doing so much more walking the last couple of weeks than I have in years, they have a right to be a little tight and thus needed a rest day. I'm still getting the hang of this whole exercise thing, finding the balance between pushing myself to do more and giving my body the rest it needs to recover.
I think my dog was glad to have a rest day. We'll see if she is up to going for a walk tomorrow; if not, I may be going solo or sticking to the exercise bike, depending on the weather. It's a bit harder to get motivated to walk outside if it's raining, I'm afraid. We joined a new gym that's going in close to us, so I'm looking forward to having access to the treadmills, ellipticals, and other equipment once they open in a couple of weeks. That should help on rainy days when walking isn't quite as pleasant.
Now it's time to truly get some rest and go to bed. Night night!
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Today was the Mariners annual Fanfest, when fans get to see parts of Safeco field that are normally not available to the general public. My husband and I went today as I am an avid (okay, almost fanatic) Mariners fan. We have been to a number of these through the years, but without a doubt I enjoyed this one the most of any in recent memory.
Much to my dismay, we got a late start heading out this morning. One of the highlights for me is the opportunity to get autographs of some of the players, and the way they keep things reasonably under control is to hand out vouchers for different times and different players. From experience we know that the vouchers disappear QUICKLY after the gates open, so when we arrived after many had already entered the ballpark, I was sure we had missed out. After a very long line to get in (and a ton of walking--basically about three-quarters of the way around the ballpark), we saw that there were still vouchers available for two players, so we quickly split up and headed off to try and get one of each. Score! Hubby got a voucher to get an autograph from Mark Lowe, one of the Ms relievers, and I got one for Rob Johnson, who is likely going to be the primary catcher this year.
After a stop to listen to Don Wakamatsu, Mariners manager, we wandered throughout Safeco Field, enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells(!) of the season to come. I wondered how I'd do smelling all the hot dogs, fries, and so on, but nothing really grabbed me and said 'Eat me NOW!' like it usually does. We walked and walked and walked and walked, visiting the team store to pick up a couple of baseballs for the autographs to come, seeing the displays and what radio and TV personalities had come out to represent their stations, then it was time to get positioned for going up to get autographs.
All the exercise I've been doing over the past couple of weeks is apparently paying off. When faced with a choice of waiting for an elevator or taking the stairs up three flights, I headed for the stairs. After another long wait, I finally got Rob's autograph (such a nice kid!) and went off to wait for my hubby to get back with his autograph, then after a few pictures of the stadium from the suite level, we headed back downstairs. Now it was time to 'run around the bases,' our chance to go out on the field and touch all the bases. We chose to take more of a leisurely stroll than make a race out of it, stopping to take pictures and just enjoy being there, then a visit to the visiting team's dugout and back up the stairs to find out where to go on the clubhouse tour. This year they had tours of both the Mariners' clubhouse and the visiting team's clubhouse; since we hadn't seen the visiting team clubhouse and the line was much shorter, we opted for that one and found, to our delight, that they had set up displays there of things from Edgar Martinez (only THE best designated hitter to ever play the game, surely headed to the Hall of Fame if there is any justice in the world!), the grounds crew, Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus, Ichiro Suzuki, and others. Even got a closeup of one of Ichiro's many gold gloves.
The day was getting on, but we stopped in to see a Taste of Safeco and was that ever a treat! The team's executive chef and the visiting clubhouse chef talked and answered questions while the sous chef prepared a pasta dish (yes, I had a small sample--incredible!). Listening to the stories the chefs could tell about current and past Mariners as well as guys from visiting teams was definitely a highlight, maybe even more than getting autographs. Many baseball players are highly superstitious, and it can go so far as them being told, that sandwich you made me yesterday, I hit a home run after eating it, make it for me again! The Mariners chef told about one game where Ken Griffey, Jr., was in the kitchen with him, talking about Kobe beef, when he suddenly looked up and said, oh no, I'm on deck! and ran out, hit a home run in his at bat, then came back to the kitchen and continued talking about Kobe beef.
It was quite a full day of getting excited about the baseball season coming up (pitchers and catchers report to spring training in just over two weeks!) and a whole lot of walking. In spite of not having a 'formal' exercise time during the day, I was pleased at both the calories burned and the number of steps I got in today. I had so much more energy and endurance for all the walking today; in the past, I would have been begging to stop and rest frequently, but today, I didn't feel a need to much at all, nor did I crave a ton of junk food while there. I'm sure I'll eat my fair share when the season starts and we're going to games regularly, but I think maybe it will be easier this year to make better choices with food.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Fridays are early work days for me, which means it's harder to get up and get any kind of a workout in before heading out the door (I'm definitely NOT a morning person!). Today was no exception; other than a few minutes of yoga for warmup and stretching, I didn't get a workout done in the morning.
No worries, I'll walk at lunch; WRONG, too many other interesting things going on at that time to make it out to do a quick mile. I did a little running in place when no one was around on a break, but that was the extent of my exercise during the work day--basically nothing.
Okay, when I first get home, it's early enough then. Wrong again--I realized I needed to get the state B&O taxes at least started for our tiny website design business because those are due by February 1st. By the time I got done, it was time for dinner, and, well, it's Friday and we like to eat out on Fridays, so it was off to Applebee's. Whoops, never mind, the line is a mile long and I'm hungry NOW. Okay, we need to go to Costco to pick up a few necessities, so maybe we can get a chicken bake to share--not exactly gourmet dining, but tasty enough.
We got to Costco and lo and behold, they were OUT of chicken bakes right then, another 10 minutes or so for them. Fine, just fine; let's do our shopping quickly and decide what to do about eating then. We got in and out and only bought a few extras beyond what we had gone in for, and hurray, they have chicken bakes ready now! I whip out my handy smart phone with Internet access, log on to the SparkPeople mobile site, and voila! there's the Costco chicken bake in the food list, my food diary is up to date and I know where I'm at so I'm not tempted by the frozen yogurt or anything else.
Being able to log food and exercise on my phone while I'm out and about is enormously helpful, thank you, SparkPeople, for developing that mobile app for my Google Android phone; now please add everything you have for the iPhone, okay? pretty please?
Now it's dark, and oh, look, it's starting to sprinkle. What about that walk I promised myself that I'd get in? After just a little self-talk to encourage myself, I DID IT--I took the dog and did just under a mile in the rain. Maybe for all the old-timers who RUN several miles a day, rain or shine, that doesn't seem like such a big deal, but it's huge for me. I am the queen of excuses for why I can't get exercise in; rain, even a light sprinkle like we had tonight, would definitely be an excuse to bag it for the day, much less walking in the DARK and in the rain. My husband again joined us (hurray!), ostensibly because he didn't like the idea of me going walking after dark, but I think he also knows he needs to be moving, too. Even though he's not registered with SparkPeople yet, I sort of think he's starting to catch the spark himself; he did get on the site and look around some, and he's talking about getting a bodybugg, too.
Speaking of bodybuggs, when I loaded my data tonight after walking, I saw that I hadn't burned enough calories for the day, at least not what I'd like to burn over what I've eaten, so I hopped on the exercise bike for an additional half hour and 'danced' to some music on the bike. That sure helped me enjoy my time on the bike more, and it was good for another couple hundred calories, making my calorie deficit for the day and overall activity a bit more respectable. I have to say, without the bodybugg to keep me honest, I might not be so diligent about getting in a good block of exercise each day.
More small steps in the right direction, even if some of them were in the rain tonight. The dog is baffled by all this sudden exercise for her, but she's loving it and so am I.
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