Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I spent the weekend with my parents in the wilds of Northern Michigan. No high speed internet means my "login and spin" streak came to an end. I expected that, though. I had originally planned to ski for a few hours each day, but I decided that it was more important to keep my knees feeling good and strong so I can keep going on C25K. (Then, of course, I messed up my left knee doing the runner's lunges recommended as a strength exercise by SP.)
Instead of skiing, I had a nice visit with my mom and told her all about the SP site and how motivated it's made me. I didn't have an ulterior motive when I started talking, but by the end of the conversation, I had a plan to inspire Mom to set some small goals and track them. Mom got two things for Christmas that she's really wanted for a while- a particular book and art supplies. But when I talked to her, "I haven't started it yet," was the status on both. It just so happened that I had given her a "gimme" spiral notebook and pen set from my company, so I asked if I could make it her goals journal. We had came up with three goals: read every day; draw every day; and one very personal goal. Then I put two weeks worth of check boxes under each goal. I also grabbed the book and some paper, a pencil and a clipboard to make it easier to start. Afterward, Mom asked me if she had to limit herself to three goals. Turns out she'd been slacking off on exercising her arm as required by her physical therapist. My mom had reverse shoulder surgery in September 2008 and is still doing PT.
I'm so happy that the positive changes I'm making have inspired my mom. Now I really understand what "The Spark" means.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
So, after all of the drive and optimism of Tuesday-going-into-Wednesday, the rest of Wednesday ended up being just... bad. Fast food and no exercise. Bah! I didn't do any of the advanced planning (lunch and coffee prep) that I need to do to stay on track and I ate way too much fast food. It was all just fat, fat, fat. I have to be more strict with myself and stick to a schedule and a plan. I know work keeps me busy and I sometimes get home very late, but I need to make more of an effort.
At the same time, I have to remember that a minor setback is not an excuse to quit. In the "You on a Diet" book, they refer to "You-turns." And I think that's what is called for here. Don't beat myself up, just move forward!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
So, last night I started Couch to 5K. I had put it on my calendar as an appointment, because otherwise it would be the same thing it has been for the past four months. I say "I'm going to start this week" and then it doesn't happen. That's one of my biggest reasons for joining Spark People. When a procrastinator bares her soul to people she knows, it's like they expect her to put it off. Bare your soul to strangers who don't know your pattern of behavior- and who are all in the same boat- and there's somehow more accountability.
I got home kind of late and was tired from work and traffic and I wanted nothing more than to collapse on the couch, but I had an appointment. So I fed my cat, changed my clothes, grabbed my iPod and went to the community center to attack the track. I'm very lucky because the community center has an excellent fitness center and good rates, and is about a mile and a half from my house. There really should be no excuse.
Well, I did it. Not well, by any stretch of the imagination, but I ran. I am about 80 pounds over my ideal weight and I haven't considered myself a runner since I was in 7th grade. I knew that my C25K experience wouldn't be as advertised, but the important thing was to try. I ran for at least a portion of each 60 second running interval. At some points it might not have been a full 60 seconds, but I ran. I started running six times. When I didn't want to run, I ran anyway, because some part of me wanted to and needed to.
I felt really good (but tired) afterward. Gotta love the endorphins! I did have a problem with a leg cramp going upstairs at the end of the night, but that all worked out. I've never been very good at stretching. The most important thing is that it's only my muscles that hurt right now. I've spent 34 winters skiing and my knees are prone to... issues. So I'll be taking it very slowly. I intend to stick with the intervals of each week until I feel comfortable with them instead of pushing on. If that means I'm stuck on week one for a month, so be it. The goal is to finish, not to rush. This is why I've given myself 14 months.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I summed up some of my goals and planned means of achieving them on my profile, but here's a little more detail. A few months ago, I was planning a trip to Walt Disney World. It seems to be a pretty common thing with me and my friends. In fact, I contributed to a book on WDW travel that was published last year ("Mousejunkies," by Bill Burke, Traveler's Tales Press). Planning this past trip just happened to coincide with a lot of thinking and talking about what I'd do for my 40th birthday. It's not happening until March of 2011, but I like to plan.
Three of my friends have spent their 40th birthday at WDW and I often kicked around the idea, myself. It's my favorite place, even if March wouldn't be my favorite time to go.
Another thing I was giving a lot of thought to at that time was my health and my weight. I went from being a teen apparently made of nothing but bones and muscle, to a curvy and healthy young woman, to a fat woman rapidly approaching forty seemingly overnight. The year I left the nest and started taking care of myself seems like simultaneously yesterday and a lifetime ago. And though I have great memories and I've accomplished a lot, if someone was to ask me to sum up the last fifteen years in two words, I would say "eighty pounds."
My mother has struggled with her weight for most of her adult life. Other than a few years in the early 80s, she's been obese as long as I can remember. And as I went from bony to curvy to fat, I've had the constant (paraphrased) refrain, "Don't be like me, or you will be ugly, unloved and unhappy." I can control how much the u-words effect me for the most part, because I may feel fat, but I don't feel ugly, and my family makes sure I feel loved. As for unhappy, I've experienced depression a few times in my life. When I see the warning signs, I do whatever I can to prevent them from getting a toe-hold before things get too dark. I'm not doing that again. The u-word that I'm most concerned with is "unhealthy." I'm seeing the cumulative effect of years of obesity have had on my mother's health and her mobility, and the bottom line is that I don't want to be a fat old person. I don't want to give up my independence.
So, back to my WDW trip. I don't know how the thoughts all converged to form my plan. I do know that I googled an old crush and saw pictures of him and his wife running and thought, "I could do that. Why don't I do that?" At the same time, a bunch of my internet friends were talking about Couch to 5K. And finally, I discovered that WDW hosts a half marathon aimed at women and it's held a week or two before my birthday. A half marathon?! Could I do that, even with over a year to train? I did some more googling, this time on "80 pounds overweight half marathon." Which led me to an inspiring woman who happened to have a Spark People account.
And thus, I am here.
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