Sunday, June 02, 2013
This weekend I crammed in ~30h of exercise minutes... I was on my training with contact dance improvisation. From Friday to Sunday, I've spent the time in sleeping, in dining, or on the dance floor.
A DIFFERENT DANCE
It's different from other types of dance I did before, salsa, rock'n'roll, ballroom dance, of folklore (Hungarian). They all have a choreography to learn+follow. The more precise I execute the form, the more liberating the dance can be.
In contact, however, no choreography. Boundaries are much more simple: we are in the room, there are no words, we move, we touch or no. I listen, watch, follow, lead, support, move, pour my weight. It feels in the same time natural and new each time. For me, it takes courage to start, but once I'm in, it just flows. For others, who grew up in "movement", coming from ballet, rhythmic gymnastics, martial arts, or sports it just flows, without the "start bump". Sometimes I catch that "flow" so fast, and it goes so easily and naturally, sometimes it's just "doesn't flow". But like with other forms of exercise, I still keep myself there and move.
LEARNING ABOUT MYSELF
I learn so much about myself through movement. I did explore already about myself through ways of mind (coaching, training, therapy), and spirit (retreats, silence, meditation), but I never really intentionally learned about myself through my body. Feels like a wide road that I have just discovered, and every step I make, brings so much data and information. Other times, I just play and enjoyed the movement, without much awareness about what I'm dancing.
I discovered movements I have never done before, and I noticed movements that I make all the time. And I moved so much, without even noticing that from morning to the evening, I was just moving. I find it to be so much fun, incredible.
Another learning then, is when I find a form of exercise when my focus is not on the "I'm doing exercise", it goes easily, almost without effort. This was a semi-conscious decision to come for this training. This way, beside learning this form of dance, I also contracted myself for 10x 3-day go-full exercise during the year.
If you haven't heard about "contact", just google or look up in youtube "contact dance improvisation".
MY RUNNING DAY
Saturday was a "running day", so I started my day with a short run, just 15 minutes, to keep my habit alive. I could run more, but I consciously had to turn back home, and save the energy for later that day. I found it's good that I make short run even on those days when I wouldn't need, because I do anyway a lot of exercise. It makes it to continue with the running later on. When I skip it, later on it feels again like "restarting", and needs more effort to get out there.
Here's a picture of the forest I was running in. We were in Fraknó (Frochtenstein), which is near the border of Hungary-Austria (now in Austria). Lots of pine trees, and lots of rain. I think this was the only short period during the three days when it didn't rain.
Otherwise, Fraknó has a wonderful castle with strong history in the middle ages, and belongs to the Eszterházy family since 16th hundred. If you are nearby, worth a day trip to visit.
Any of you doing contact dance?
Or other forms of dance?
What's your experience?
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Sitting in front of my laptop, I'm tracking my food in sparkpeople. I feel tired. My posture should look really bad. I look outside the window, and it's raining. I check out the weather forecast, and it's cold. I don't feel like exercise at all.
Good. Zero motivation to get out.
I decide that at least, I take on my running clothes, my t-shirt, my pants, my socks, and my shoes, and at make some stretching inside, and then I decide.
I go outside. Here I can see, the rain is heavier then it looked from the inside. And it feels cold, too. My wife's mother is complaining with a smile, why I go out running when it's raining and it's cold, I should stay inside. We visit here for the long weekend. Huh, why can't people help me at least emotionally? It's hard enough already. I decide I don't care about her nagging, and make a short run anyway.
I make it to the nearby lake. I check out endomondo, how much I did. This trash, again, the GPS didn't connect, it just measured the time, no distance. I decide I don't care about the roaming costs, and turn on the data connection, the GPS connects better when the data is on. And I will get at least some voice feedback on my progress. And as I turn on the data connection, withing 2 seconds, endomondo shows the strong signal.
I make some stretching, and pose exercise drills. These drills are a bit boring, and I'm not sure I do it correctly, but I do it anyway. I wish I could go to a POSE training nearby. When I go to the POSE training, for a few days afterwards, running feels so much easier. Then it wears off, and my technique is poor again.
I decide to continue with the running, slowly.
Two guys are fishing, and discussing about their equipment. They don't look at me. I pass them, and hit a big watery area with my feet, and my socks are soaking. I guess, from now on, at least I don't have to care about avoiding water, I just go my way.
I get nearby a couple, walking their dog. The man is standing and watching me. He nods when I get very close, I nod, too. The woman is watching the dog. She smiles at me, looks at the dog, and back at me. I smile at them. But anyway, I steer a few meters to the other side. The dog looks friendly, but, I'm a runner, and it's a dog. Suddenly, I remember all those years, when I developed petfood. My life was about cats and dogs all the time. Feels both so long ago, and like yesterday. I hit some water again, and remember again, that it doesn't matter anyway.
I pass by the fisher guys again.
They are still talking, and don't notice me really.
A new couple walking their dog.
I'm still the only runner.
I realize, it doesn't feel cold actually.
I check my heart rate.
Up to 175 bpm.
Oh, these used to be lower.
I make another round around the lake, and pass by original the couple, the fisher guys, and dog. The new couple went away already.
The rain stops.
I'm running for 30 minutes now. It feel like I cannot go more, but I remember that after 35 minutes, it feels much better.
Another 5 minutes, and it feels much better.
I listen to the feedback of Endomondo, 5:40 minutes per K, a slow pace, good for this time.
I'm with my thoughts. I think about today, yesterday, and what will come the weekend.
I forget about the people, the environment. I just feel my heart beating, my feet touch the ground, the air in my lungs. I focus on my technique, pull-pull-pull. Andy's word echo in my mind, "Relaxed feet, and think about the pull!"
I finish my last round around the lake, and decide to steer back home. I could go on more, but as it was hard to start, now it's hard to stop. But it's better to go home now.
As I arrive to our street, I decide to speed up a bit, and have an easy sprint for the end.
I stop endomondo, and walk until my heart rate falls below 120 bpm. It only shows 8K, when it was 10K. I realize again that it missed the first part. When will technology finally catch up.
I walk a bit to cool down.
Make some stretching.
I feel energized, free, and happy.
Suddenly I notice, it's raining again.
But it's not cold anymore.
How was your run today?
Monday, May 13, 2013
I've been in Amsterdam, The Netherlands this weekend (11-12 May 2013) on the Quantified Self conference. It was great - I learned and experienced so much. I probably will unfold it in another post.
I had the chance to have a video interview at the conference, it's posted on my own website, I link it to here. I would be interested in your feedback. And it's also a chance to see me sort of "in real life". It's 14 minutes, max resolution is 720p (HD).
What is evoked in you?
How do you like it?
Any advice for me based on your experience?
Thanks a lot!
If the link doesn't work, copy-paste this into a brwoser window:
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
On Sunday night, I was back from a 4 day visit back at family for Easter.
It was a great time, however, for healthy living...
Family + Holiday = Healthy Lifestyle Challenge
"If you love me, you eat!"
"You look so lean, OMG, are you all right?! You should put on some weight!"
"A good cookie is fatty!"
"Why don't you go by car? It's so far away, it's rainy, you shouldn't walk!"
"It's holiday time, why are you doing exercise? You should rest!"
"Are you sure breakfast was enough? There's cookies on the table, ham in fridge, cookies in the box, banana and oranges in the basket!"
"You really want to log your food? For what? Are you crazy? You should feel if you are hungry or not!"
"I prepared some cookies, ham, eggs, [long list] for you for the trip back in case you get hungry!"
"You don't eat more... you don't love me?"
No wonder, I put on ~0.5 kg (1lbs) during the 4 days.
I used to gain more, now I'm happy I could resist, and only have 2-300 kcal/meal, or 6-900 kcal in excess per day.
I like to be in family, but healthy living wise, somehow my message doesn't go through. Especially when it's holiday time, it's green light in families for all kinds of crazy over eating. With some emotional blackmailing of "if you love me, you eat a lot of my food" type.
After the 4 days, I was emotionally recharged with the family love, and being surrounded with close people.
And in parallel my healthy lifestyle batteries went down to zero. It's tiring to constantly say no for the flux of food flowing in front of me, to say in myself that I look good and I shouldn't put on weight (on the contrary), to neglect naysayers when I want to do exercise.
I told them countless times. If they love, they should support me in living healthy, and not promoting with words, actions, messages, and the whole environment on getting overweight and lazy.
Now, I'm back at my home.
I go into my kitchen, and all food is packed away in the fridge, and the closet.
I open the fridge, it's full of healthy food.
Snacks are 100 kcal each.
There's filtered water.
When going for a long walk, there's nobody nagging around me, even if it's rainy.
My running shoes are on display.
My computer is only a click away to log my food.
There's no TV, so no TV during meals.
It's already 3 days that I'm back at home, and finally, I'm getting back on track. Because it's not just like I'm back at home, and I turn a button, and everything goes again well. I wish it would, but it takes time.
Easy to meet company in the countryside in Austria....
How you deal with family gatherings healthy living wise?
Any tips, ideas, suggestions?
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Something fundamental changed in me during the last two years. Or it must have, because I'm doing something I never thought I would do.
I'm registering for the QS conference in the Netherlands in May. QS stands for Quantified Self, and it's about tracking in any way our life. With pen and paper, with gadgets, with sensors, with computer, with blogs, with Google calendar, with wall calendars, with Excel. In any way, collecting data about myself. And then, learning about it.
However, this was a long journey to here.
When I first had the idea that tracking is important, I could hardly imagine how I would fit into my life those 5-10-15-... minutes per day, just to track. I started with a paper booklet to track what I ate during the day, and it was quite a hassle. At the beginning, I forgot simply to write it down, and when I finally wrote it down, it felt such an effort.
However, that was the thing that got me started to live healthier. Looking back on my logs, I was shocked to see how, what, and when I ate. It brought an unprecedented level of awareness into my system that shifted me to action very quickly.
Of course, it was not by accident that I started to track what I eat. I came accross a peer reviewed scientific article, which showed that a group of people lost twice the weight when simply writing down their daily food intake into a food-journal vs. a control group, who were on the same diet, but without the food-journal. That's all it takes to double my success rate? I would be crazy not to try it, and it worked. And since then, I'm experimenting with different types of self tracking.
For example, I weigh in daily, but less to follow my weight then to track my hydration level. When my weight drops 1-2 lbs from one day to the other, there's a high chance I didn't drink enough the day before.
I like to take a note of the dreams I had. It's funny, but since I jot down a short note about my dreams, I remember them easier, and they are more and more interesting, with meaning. I even started to read the book from Verena Kast on dreams.
Firing on endomondo for my walks during the day convinced me that those 5-10-15 minutes of walk do add up to an hour, sometimes to two hours a day, worth of 300-600 kcal burned.
At the moment, I'm looking for "low resistance" tracking methods. Best is to have some device in set-it-and-forget-it mode, which tracks in the background. Or it's in my face, like my scale in the morning, it's almost no effort to step on it on the way out of the bathroom. And there's a moleskine notebook next to my bed, so when I wake up, I have already a 5 min window planned into my day to jot down any interesting dreams from the night.
The highest resistance is still food tracking. I wish for a system that is easy to use, user friendly, and requires zero to minimal time. Unfortunately, to track food here on sparkpeople is only medium good at best. Firing up my PC, navigating to the SP website, waiting for the nutrition tracker to load, fiddling with the search results, entering food into a US-formatted nutrition table all (I live in Europe, with metrics, and a different order of nutrients) gets in the way. However, I still make the effort, although, I'm not surprised that I skip easily, and many give up after a few days. Still, I didn't find a better solution, so I live with it.
I was thinking to try it on a tablet, with the native SP application, but that would be the main reason to invest in a tablet, and I heard mixed feedback on the forums. Many people told me it's still easier to do it on a PC.
An easy was of tracking food would be planning ahead my weekly meal plan, and following it. This way, all the tracking-calculating task would be done in one batch, ahead of time, and I wouldn't loose time each day to capture what I've eaten, and to stay in my calorie budget.
Another thing I slowly learned over the course of the last two years that probably tracking food, and other things in general, is part of the daily routine of a healthy lifestyle. When I started, I thought I just track now, I tolerate the effort, and then later on, when I've reached my goal weight, I focus on other things. However, it seems that to keep my weight, and to balance well my exercise and food intake, I need to track. So, better I make it fun. :-)
The Wednesday market under my window, lots of healthy options (and some totally not healthy), mostly from local production.
Here's the link to the QS conference.
What do you track?
How do you track?
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