Wednesday, March 23, 2011
"I've never regretted working out, but I almost always regret not working out"
That used to be my mantra during marathon training. It got me out the door in the cold, in the rain, when it was windy, when it was hot, in the morning, at night and anytime I didn't feel like running.
I've resurrected it lately as I get on a solid plan of consistent weight training and cardio and have used it on some SP friends' blog posting as well. And today I used it on myself when I was perilously close to canceling my workout.
Oh, I'm so busy, Oh I've got to make these calls, I've got to get these reports out the door, I have to plan for next week, I'm so behind on e-mail....Whaaa, Whaaa, Whaa.
The choice was all mine....should I go or should I stay now? Get sucked into the vortex, make all sorts of seemingly valid excuses as to why all this other STUFF was important, or acknowledge that exercise was just as, or more, important than these other obligations. So, in deference to my future self, I decided that later tonight I did not want to regret having missed another scheduled workout (I have to hard schedule these things, it helps me stick to it) like I did yesterday.
I was not happy with self last night....I bagged out of a cardio session that I probably could have completed and still done everything else that piled up. But I re-prioritized my workout to the bottom of the list, then canceled it and the snarling hounds of regret dogged me all night.
I've been thinking about redesigning my Spark Homepage (I like the overall scheme, just a few tweaks) and read over what I wrote I wrote in my profile when I set it up back in January:
"Overall, make fitness and healthy living as important as anything else I do at work, at home, anywhere, anytime"
It was a good message from my past warning me to scoff at all these lame-ass excuses and to put exercise and nutrition at the top of my to-do list every day. Today it worked.
Thanks Spark Friends!
Monday, March 21, 2011
So I see some progress in attitude, in physique, and in temperament that were not there 2 short months and 9 lbs ago.
1) EATING OUT ANXIETY - still a danger zone for me, I have way too many occasions where I need to eat out, but I'm better able to plan for and around them. I've got a formal dinner to go to again this Thursday. When I joined in January, these were major sources of stress and high anxiety, high calorie days. Now I can plan not just that day, but my week around it.
2) PANTS & BELTS - Overall a nice loose fit of the jeans, even straight out of the wash....belts are in a notch or 2 depending on the belt. I feel "baggier" in clothes
3) MIRRORS - I like what I see (always have, but now it's even better ;>) Some better muscle definition, belly flattening, focusing on posture.
4) SUSTAINABILITY - I feel like my routine is sustainable for the long-term, both in diet and in exercise....I'm not living deprived or wearing myself out. This may be the most important thing for me.
5) HAVING FUN DOING IT - Yeah, I thought this Spark People thing was pretty hokie in the beginning and still don't go around advertising my membership to friends or colleagues, but I'll admit it's a pretty fun place to hang out in
So driving in to work this morning, I asked myself, "Self, if you could start wearing size 34 jeans, had a nice flat belly, could walk by a mirror without a shirt and say 'Oh yeah!', how important would that scale reading be to you?"
I don't really know. Pounds are kind of like money in the bank. It's nice to have a number that makes you feel good, but do I really need to keep tabs on the amount all the time? Sometimes, but maybe not all the time...So I'm not sure if I'd care too much what the scale said if my body shape-shifted into something leaner and stronger. I'm getting in a pretty decent balance of strength training, cardio, and proper nutrition, so the lbs are re-distributing as fat gives way to muscle.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm pressing for sub-180 by June at about .5 lbs/week on my current routine...I will not be deterred! I've learned and accepted that patience and not instant gratification is the right way for me on this. But I'm also expanding my definition of success on a few different fronts too.
And as always, thanks for making this a fun place to hang out!
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Well this has been a fun family weekend!
On St Patty's Day we got #2 son a full up Wii set, to include extra controllers, Wii Fit Balance Board, Wii Resort, Wii Sports package, and, for a little extra fun, Chicken Riot ("Must kill all chickens trying to take over the farm!")
They are very cool!
He's pretty much an X-Box champ and loves to destroy anything that mutates or has tentacles and advanced laser weaponry. This Wii setup is a little more....conventional.
Well SWMBO is a raving bowling addict....it's her favorite pastime, she belongs to a league and all that....and of course she now loves the Wii bowling....and so does #2 son. We've had a lot of fun with that just these past 2 days. And while those 2 were out on errands earlier, I got around to setting up and calibrating the Balance Board and checking out some of the the Wii Fit routines I've heard about from some fellow Sparkers.
They are very cool!
It starts you off in it's annoyingly cute Elven voice telling you to step on the board, weighs you, gonculates your BMI, then has you shift your weight from left to right for a balance test, and spits you out an "assessment" of your "Wii age". Mine got nailed right at 51 ("A Perfect Score!"), but I suppose the idea is to be physically better than your chronologic age.
So while I haven't given it a cardio test drive yet, I'm thinking we may be on to something here. #2 son and I had a sword fighting match then played ping pong for a bit, and we worked up to a "warm glow".....I'm anxious to see what the Wii Fit thing really has under the hood with some of its workout routines.
So is this the future for my cardio workouts? I think not, I've still got a stationary bike routine to hammer out today, love strength training with free weights, and fully intend to get the Road Bike outdoors for some long hauls as soon as the Doc clears me to ride again. But this has the makings of some extra cardio for the family that we might have otherwise wasted spending time watching TV or other inactive activities.
And most importantly, this really helps to justify that 55" Flat Screen for the living room I've been hinting at for so long....MWAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! MWAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! MWAAHAHAHAHA!
Friday, March 18, 2011
I've got to tell you, I'm glad it's Friday!
I don't often feel that way....I'm professional enough to be past TGIF living, but today, I've been looking forward to the weekend.
And it's not because I have any big plans. A few Honey-Do's around the house, a cardio session, some reading to catch up on, yadda-yadda-yadda.
Mostly I think that my body is wanting a pause. Two and a half months into Spark living, I've had many successes and been on Cloud 9, changing patterns, diet, activity levels, dropping weight, re-adjusting belt notches, feeling baggy in my clothes, etc.
And now, my body, mind, & spirit are realizing, "Hey, this might not be temporary, he's still pushing, what's up with that?" I'm still determined and motivated, but there's definitely a little voice that has started to weasel its way in to the conversation, like an annoying puppy trying to hump your leg that you have to keep pushing away.
Of course I could just be a little tired tonight, which I am (nice weight session tonight on the back & shoulders), but I've also learned to be vigilant to these signs....remember, they're sneaky, they use salami tactics to slice away at your determination, to get you to give up a day or 2 here and there, add an extra spoonful every now and then, sneak a treat or two every so often "because you really have been working hard lately". That's led to many a downfall for me in the past where I regained weight and lost fitness fast.
And I've read about it on a good many other blogs too, and so I'm not sure if it's the crowd of us that joined 2-3 months ago that are heaving a collective sigh, or if I'm just noticing it more....but there's something in the air, and so I'm wary.....Mr. Reluctance snuck up on me out of the blue a few weeks ago and surprised the hell out of me with temptations of laziness and plump living. It surprised me by how natural it seemed to backslide to old habits....what a bastard he is!
So I don't see any real difficulties ahead, just a little tingling of the spidey sense that alerts me to signs that my old habits are not really that old and I may never be rid of them....which makes it even more important for me to check in regularly on this SparkPeople site, log those calories, chalk up those cardio points, blog some of this crap out, and make sure to remind all of you that if you see me backtracking, shout it out clearly so that I can hear you above the yelps of that puppy who is humping my leg!
Thursday, March 17, 2011
So today's cardio session was interesting......
I usually insist on unplugging from work while working out....at worst I'll have the Blackberry handy in case I get an emergency phone call.
Well today got busier than usual, and my best laid plan for a lunchtime workout got superseded by the crisis of the moment. That plus I had to get home early for #2 son's birthday (he's our St Paddy Day's surprise) started getting me peeved around 4:30, when I finally said, "knock it off" kicked everyone out of the front office for the day and hightailed it over to the gym for a 30 minute spin session before going home for a 6:00 dinner and B-day cake. You see I HAD TO WORK OUT TODAY....WE WERE HAVING CAKE AND ICE CREAM (Haagen Dazs Dark Chocolate)
Well I just got suited up, sized up the bike, and plugged in my headset, when the Blackberry starts flashing it's annoying light; "You have mail!"
So I read it.....and got pissed off....and replied.....then they replied back with another dumb answer....and I got pissed off.....repeat this 3 or 4 times.
10 minutes later I got on the bike and started my warmup routine....heart rate cruising up through 120, almost at 130......and the red light flashed again...see previous paragraph....
Well I continued biking, kept pace as well as I could with my usual tunes, but it wasn't my most vigorous routine. Usually I'm up about 110 RPM around 23-24 MPH, gusting up to 27-28 MPH during some especially hi-tempo tunes, heart rate settling in around 145-150, peaking to 165-170 during same tunes.
Today was mild in comparison. Pedal, up the cadence, see flashing light, read e-mail, slow down, type & send e-mail, pedal, blah-blah-blah.
In the end it was a workout. I felt better having gone than if I hadn't and I'd have just been more pissed communicating with these people if I had not worked out, so it was probably better for them and for me.
Lesson learned: Be unreachable for those few precious moments of ME TIME to exercise!
Spark on friends!
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