Tuesday, February 16, 2010
"I'm too tired."
"It's too late."
"I'm too busy."
"I have to run errands."
"I didn't eat yet."
"It's cold out."
"There's a TV show on tonight that I *really* want to see."
"I DON'T WANNA!!"
And that, my dears, is my version of Mardi Gras this year. No pączki , no Hurricanes, no King Cake, no fastnacht, no pancakes. Just trying to get all of my fitness excuses out, because starting tomorrow, I can't use them any more. For Lent this year, I'm giving up making excuses to skip exercise.
I would celebrate most Shrove Tuesdays with a prune-filled pączki. Instead, I am taking my last opportunity to make an excuse to skip my workout. I'm partial to that last one. Today, I just don't wanna!!
Monday, February 15, 2010
I had kind of a "lazy, but not lazy" weekend. That is to say, I started out the weekend working late to get part of my project done, then went immediately from dropping off my laptop at home to changed and at the gym in about twenty minutes or so. I think I got there at about 8:30 and left at 10:00. I seem to recall seeing Lebanon entering the BC Center during the Opening Ceremonies during my final cool down. I had an extremely satisfying C25K session- I'm still on week 1, but advancing to slowly get through week 2 tonight. I tacked on about ten extra seconds on my last interval just to see if I could. No side stitches, no shinsplints and very little knee pain (it probably helps that I slowed down and put on a knee support). Afterward, I did upper body and core strength training, stretched and walked on the treadmill for ten minutes to really cool down.
I got home pretty late and proceeded to watch the entire Opening Ceremonies program, which meant I was awake until 3:00 AM. Uh-oh! That threw off my entire day on Saturday! I woke up late, lazed around, made myself a Selfish Day treat for breakfast (a homemade version of Kona Cafe's Tonga Toast, which I really, really shouldn't have eaten), and then went back to the gym for lower body strength training. It's the first time in ages that I have worked on my lower body and I needed it. I have to admit that C25K is giving me a good workout and my leg muscles are getting stronger without strength training, but to protect my joints and improve my form, I need to get a more balanced training program for my legs and back. Here's the problem: I may have pushed a little too much simply because I felt like I could. Did I really need to do 20 reps each of the adductor/abductor? Or quite so many one legged calf raises on a step? Probably not. In fact, I suspect I shouldn't be doing the latter at all, just yet. Not only are calf raises on a step classified as an advanced exercise, one legged is identified in the "make it harder" paragraph. Gotta walk before you run, right? So I'm kind of paying for my ambition now. Two days later and my calves are still sore. My inner thigh, too, but I can deal with that. I'm really hoping that sore calves won't affect my run too much, because I'm determined to move on to week two tonight.
After my workout, I had further Selfish Day treats of filet mignon with red wine and mushroom sauce, asparagus, and brown and wild rice, accompanied by not one but two glasses of wine, two chocolate covered strawberries and a tiny chocolate tart. It was probably a very good "fancy" dinner, nutritionally. Although to be really good, I should have omitted some of the butter in the sauce, one glass of red wine, and left dessert at one chocolate covered strawberry. I don't know, because I didn't enter it in my nutrition tracker. Shocking, I know! However, it was meant to be a special, indulgent day and I made a conscious decision to set aside, but not forget, my healthy goals that day. At least when it came to food. Obviously, exercise was not skipped. It's funny- I usually buy myself chocolate, books and pretty things like shoes, jewelry or makeup for Selfish Day. I once bought myself a PS2 for my version of Valentine's Day. Another year, I just happened to need to buy a new car on February 13th. This year, I had lean beef and strength training! (And banana stuffed, deep fried french toast, but who's counting?!)
I spent the actual Valentine's Day taking care of my sister's kids so she and her partner could have a day to themselves. My exercise for the day consisted of chasing around a three year old and losing to my 13 year old niece at nearly every level 1 game on Rayman Ravin' Rabbids TV Party for Wii. Lots of fun, and I'm pretty sure 2.5 hours of waving Wiimotes and nunchuks around like a crazy person counts as cardio. I had a very light breakfast, a heavyish lunch (pizza and salad) and a healthy dinner (baked fish, rice and broccoli). And when my sister offered me a packi to take for Tuesday, I virtuously said, "No, thank you." Prune-filled might have tempted me, but I wasn't breaking my diet for lemon or raspberry.
So this morning I am facing the week with new resolve to get back on track with the nutrition tracker, mindful eating and being the best me I can be. This weekend was fun, but it's time to get serious! And now that I'm writing this blog entry, it seems kind of silly because I can only see two real slip-ups in my usual plan: I didn't track everything and I ate the freakin' Tonga Toast. (Seriously- two slices with syrup was over 1200 calories. That's a big slip-up.)
Friday, February 12, 2010
So, as part of my commitment to better health, I had a check-up with the doctor on Monday. It had been a while since I'd been to the doctor or had blood work done and I wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to keel over on the track at some point. I also wanted to make sure I was back in the medical center's system, because last summer I tried to make an appointment for a troubling "rash" on my arms and discovered that because I hadn't been in so long, I'd be a new patient and they couldn't schhedule an appointment soon enough. One trip to urgent care later and I had probably the most expensive case of poison ivy in recent history. I didn't want to go through that again if I had tendinitis or something.
I've also had infrequent dizzy spells over the last year. I could be sitting at my desk and suddenly feel like the room was spinning. It happens seldom enough that I didn't take it too seriously, but it's weird enough that I still worried. Up until recently, I would describe my diet at high fat (while also managing to be high fiber), so I was secretly worried that I had high cholesterol and partial blockage that was going to blow some day, leading to an early stroke. It didn't help that I know many, many people, both old and young, who've had a stroke.
Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from my doctor's office on my cell phone. Which is worrying enough, because if there's nothing wrong, they don't call you. You just get your test results in the mail. And the fact that they called me on both my home phone and my cell phone was even more worrying. The nurse told me, "We've got your test results. Your cholesterol is excellent [thank you fiber and fish oil!] and everything else is fine, but your TSH is low. It could indicate a problem with your thyroid. The doctor would like you to get some more tests done before deciding what course of action to take." Since I didn't have to fast for that test and I wanted answers sooner rather than later, I stopped off on my way home last night.
I'm trying to avoid worrying about it, but I can't help it. I know thyroid problems are treatable. I just don't want to have to deal with this. Especially right now. I did a little research about treatment and found that some side effects of the medication include weight gain and lack of energy. Just what someone who has worked hard to lose ten pounds and get into a fitness pattern wants to hear, right? I suppose it really just means I'll have to step up training and work twice as hard. Ha! "Just," like it's that easy to go from being a dedicated couch resident to being Miss Super Gym Addict.
I know I'm jumping the gun on all this worry. It could be that the new tests will show it's not that bad. I haven't even talked to the doctor yet. And if nothing else, it would explain the dizzy spells (and high heart rate). But I really just hate that I'm finally taking charge of my own health and now I have to deal with something I have absolutely no control over. I'm glad that I have a place like SP where I can just let all these worries out. I still haven't decided whether or not to tell my mother anything before knowing what's going on. She worries. A lot. (I come by this trait honestly.)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
So, this is what was running through my head when I was woggling (I love that word- so descriptive!) around the track last night, while surrounded by other runners:
"I wish I'd taken up running when I was *her* age."
"I wish I'd stayed active 40, uh, 30, uh, 20 pounds ago." (I always have to remind myself that I now weigh 20 pounds less than I did at my highest weight, and 10 pounds less than I did last month.)
"I wish I hadn't fallen off the exercise wagon back in 2005 (when I was doing cardio minimum 5 days a week and full-body strength training 3-4 days a week and lost 25 pounds without cutting back on calories at all)."
"I wish I could go back in time and tell my young self to not get fat."
"I wish I hadn't let my knees get this bad."
"I wish I'd been on a team in high school and could have had a coach to tell me how to breathe properly."
"I wish I hadn't gotten into the fast food habit."
You get the picture.
I used to allow regret to swallow me whole up until a few years ago. Then I gave up regret for Lent (!) and developed some coping skills to deal with regret and move on from some pretty big things. I had to let go of years of not so much *bad* decisions as *lack of* decisions that led to missed opportunities. One of my coping skills is facing regret head on and coming up with a way to address it. Once I realized I was dwelling on stuff at the gym, I decided to just let it happen. It was like stream of consciousness, regret style.
And here is the reaction to the regret:
- I didn't take up running when I was younger. So what? I'm taking it up now.
- I didn't stay active when I was lighter and my knees started to really bother me. That's true. But I'm becoming more active again, and the proof is in those ten lost pounds, the stronger muscles and the easier breathing.
- I may have fallen off the wagon in 2005 and regained the lost pounds (and they apparently brought some new friends to the Jenna-party). But let's see... exercising regularly? Check! Feeling more fit? Check! Getting back to where I was, weight-wise? Check! Fully committed to even more success? Oh, yeah! I'm the girl with the plan, baby. I'm not getting side-tracked again.
- If I could tell my young self to not get fat, my whole life would probably be different. The life experiences that I would have had would have shaped me into a very different person. I happen to like the person I am, so screw that!
- Coaching for breathing? Psh! I love this quote from Arthur Lydiard, "Breathe through your mouth. Breathe through your nose. Suck the air in through your ears, if you can." Three weeks ago, I was gasping for air while running for 30 seconds. Now I can tell teenaged girls to stop walking in the jog lane without sounding like I'm about to die. I don't feel embarrassed by sucking wind at the top of stairs at work. I still get very out of breath while running, but I know I've made progress.
- I went from fast food breakfast nearly every morning, followed by convenience food or fast food for lunch, and often fast food for dinner to fast food about once a week. Maybe twice if I'm feeling especially scattered. And the fast food I eat is not like what I used to eat. I don't eat anything without knowing how it fits into my nutrition goals for the day. This is new, but it's sustainable. And it's really helping my budget.
- As for my knee, it hurts. Sometimes it hurts a lot. But by sticking with my weight loss and fitness goals, eventually it won't hurt as much. And that is definitely something to look forward to.
This is what I'm giving up for Lent this year: making excuses about exercise and nutrition.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
I have a bit of a quandary this week. I finally feel like I'm really making progress on C25K. Last week, I did three week one sessions and finally made it to doing all eight without stopping early or starting late. This is a very big deal to me. In fact 2/3 of my last three workouts were exactly what they're supposed to be (the one in the middle involved me running faster than usual in a long-sleeved shirt, which I will not be doing any more). This week, I trained on Sunday and Tuesday and had a great experience with those. Now I have to find time to fit in the third session this week.
In the normal scheme of things, the third run would be today after work, probably a little later in the evening because it takes me quite a while to get home. However, I have tickets to see the live HD cinecast of "A Prairie Home Companion" tonight. I have been looking forward to this for the past month. I think a couple of hours of PHC is exactly what I need right now. The show starts at 7:30 and I have no idea how crowded it will be, so I want to get there a little early to get a good seat. For all I know, Canton could be a hotbed of NPR afficianados (but I suspect most of those live slightly west of me, which could be why it's playing in two Ann Arbor theaters).
It takes me about 45 minutes from arrival at the gym to departure to get in a week 1 C25K session. So, if I want to work out, take a quick shower and get to the theater at 7:15, I have to be home by 6:00. I suspect I could manage it, if Detroit traffic behaves nicely. But the chances of that are... ehhh.
If I was going to be home this weekend, I could have done my third session tomorrow night. It was a bit crowded last Friday because of Canton's 100 Days of Health Free Fridays, but there was some interesting eye candy on the track to make up for it. However, I am driving to my parents' house for the weekend and will spend my Friday night driving and driving and driving, seemingly forever, but really just for four hours. And my parents live in the hilly and icy wilds of Northern Michigan, so running is kind of out. Skiing is a possibility on Saturday, but it wouldn't be C25K.
Of course, there's also this thing where I'm not feeling so great physically (today, my theme song would be "I Don't Enjoy Being a Girl"), so maybe I shouldn't be trying to run today, anyway. I think I will take an Aleve and see what happens.
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