Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Now, once you've gotten your mind out of the gutter . . . c'mon, I know you went there.
Still thinking about goals. A goal should be exciting:
A first race, of whatever length
A great vacation
A shopping spree
Well, you now know what gets me excited. Not the racing one, though. I like testing myself, but I can't say as I really get excited (and correspondingly I don't get nervous) about races. Maybe if it were in a great location? I'm pretty sure I could get excited about that.
I was thinking about how excited I was to go to Hawaii. It was almost all I could think about -- and obviously talk about! It didn't disappoint, either, and the best thing was I took away some of that calm and happiness with me. At least for a little while.
At the moment winter is really trying to beat me down. We're going thru our 3rd snowstorm of significance in as many weeks. It's hard to get out and exercise, and I've been flirting with (but thankfully so far not succumbing to) the same cold for the entire month, too.
While I am still motivated, at the moment I'm not finding much to get excited about. And so far I haven't been able to come up with much to get excited about, either.
And that's the rub -- you need to be as excited as if you're going to Hawaii. I suppose you don't, really, but it gives you that extra edge. That laser-like focus. I'll keep thinking about it, anyway.
In line with yesterday's blog, I am also trying to listen to my body. ST is on the menu today. Except I was sneezing all over the place yesterday and my throat is a tiny bit sore. So I think I will take today as a pseudo-rest day -- minus the shoveling, and maybe some gentle yoga. But I'm going to take my pedometer off and not do any Leslie or treadmill or the planned ST.
Instead I'm sucking on zinc lozenges and downing herbal teas. And because DH decided the dogs needed to go out a bit early & did it, I'm still in my jammies. I'll be getting dressed at some point -- there will be paths to shovel in the backyard. I think DH is getting his 3rd snow day of the month. We're not expecting as much as the last time, but it might include some sleet later on, it's really coming down at the moment, and they haven't even attempted to clear our street yet.
I had planned some of my tofu pasta for lunch today, but I'm going to try to make cauliflower soup instead if I can muster the energy. Much more nutrition (not to mention fewer calories since I mostly plan to be a couch potato).
I know this blog probably sounds down, but I probably don't feel as down as it sounds. Just a bit eh. Again. And working out my thoughts via blogging.
Monday, January 17, 2011
First, just let me say, it's not everyone that gets to meditate in the morning with a purring cat in their lap. Or try doing up dog with one on your back!
Not quite sure what got into Giz this morning. The animals tend to stay far away from me when I'm exercising -- they don't want to get stepped on, no doubt -- but something about yoga attracts them.
Gizmo doesn't usually lay on my back, so what possessed him to crawl up onto it while I was doing some cobras in preparation for up dog I'll never know. He must've been channeling one of my previous cats who used to love to lay on my back.
After my blog yesterday & some of the comments, I got to musing on the blog title. Specifically, worrying a bit about eating too much or too much of the wrong things. Thinking that if I gave myself free reign to eat what I really want, I'd be downing chocolate bars and suzy-qs all day long.
But when I thought some more about it, I knew that wasn't really true. There was a day, long ago, that it would have been true -- but no more. Because now I know indulging in those things to excess does not make me feel good.
Too much fat and sugar gives me headaches and makes me tired & sluggish.
The real trick, I suppose, is listening to what your BODY really wants, not what your mind says YOU want.
It takes a lot of practice, and like anything that must be learned, you must fail sometimes so that you can learn from your failures. In fact, chances are you're going to fail a lot of times. But you WILL learn. Someday you will learn that the things your mind want aren't really what your body wants. You will begin to crave the things that make your body feel good.
And what makes my body feel good might not be what makes YOUR body feel good. Which is why you have to keep an open mind and experiment. Listen to your body. Figure out what makes it feel good, and what doesn't.
Someday, perhaps, I will intuitively know what my body needs and give it to myself. For now, though, I still have to play referee. Because my mind might still say I need more than my body really wants, or it might decide it wants something my body really doesn't want.
It was still a revelation to me to realize that my body really does know what it wants; it's just my mind that sometimes gets in the way of giving it the right things.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I was thinking, today, that maybe we are truly meant to slow down during the winter. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean we shouldn't move or that we should hibernate, but that it really ought to be a time of rest & renewal. Not just at new year's, but during all of the dark, short winter days. A time to reflect -- before our "rebirth" during the spring.
I try to eat seasonally, in general, with some exceptions (bananas & avocados don't grow here at all, and I do eat them year round -- not to mention you wouldn't be finding a whole lot of lettuce outside just now either). My cravings definitely change during the winter, too.
This week has been particularly weird in the eating department. I'd plan out healthy foods, and then just change my mind at the last minute. Oh, what I chose was also healthy, but heavy on the carbs and lighter on the veggies. I've gotten in my 5 servings of freggies, but usually I get in way more.
Friday, for instance, I was going to make some soup. But by the time I was done with my run it was getting later and I was hungry and I didn't really feel like making soup. Instead I made one of my favorite pasta dishes, which is *almost* healthy: whole wheat shells with tofu & vegenaise (vegetarian mayo). Not a veggie in the sight. Would definitely be healthy if it weren't for the mayo -- it's meant to resemble pasta with cottage cheese. I could live off that stuff like I could live off my oatmeal + cashini + chocolate chips.
Unfortunately when dinner rolled around, I really just didn't feel like cooking. We haven't eaten dinner out in over a month. We've had takeout a few times, but haven't gone out to eat (the last time we even went out to eat was on New Year's Day after my race).
I didn't want pizza -- I'd already carb-loaded for the day! It wasn't that long since we'd had Chinese and I'm getting a bit bored with that. In the end, I made some Indian frozen dinners I'd picked up recently. Which is kind of weird in and of itself cause I almost never make frozen dinners at all. It was veggie "meat" balls and a steamed chickpea patty & I added some baby carrots on the side. It was good, and they had a short ingredient list that were all real foods!
And then yesterday I made waffles for dinner. Homemade, from scratch, buckwheat waffles. Once again, nary a veggie in sight.
I don't usually eat a lot of pasta or bread, and I think my body just wanted it. It wasn't like these were intense cravings, it was more "this is just what I feel like eating right now".
Right now I feel good about my choices. Hopefully I can hold on to those feelings on my WI day.
Do you find you crave different foods in different seasons?
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Last year my goal was just to run one 5k, something I'd never done before in my life. I ran two, months apart. So I focused on each one -- working hard, trying to do speedwork, tapering, and so on.
This year I plan to race more than last year. I'm not sure how many I plan to run -- not planning on going nutso -- but I've done my first race already and have loose plans for at least 3 more. Reading "The Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running" has helped me to look at racing in a whole new way.
Instead of focusing on each individual race, I'm focusing more on the "important" one -- my first 10k (altho I don't yet know when that will actually be). And here are the 4 steps the author suggests:
1. Base building
Just getting the miles in. Not worrying so much about the types of runs you're doing, just doing it, basically.
Basically, go longer and harder to build up strength.
Focus more on speedwork to get more speed.
Lightening up your workouts so you're fresh for your race
So that's one way you can break it down for your most important races. The other races? You can view them as training for the "big" one.
And for you non-runners, here's a quote that I think applies very well to our healthy lifestyle journeys:
"You'll need to practice your prerace planning, physical preparation, a positive attitude, self-control, wise choices, and yes, a bit of dumb luck."
Boy, if that doesn't describe the process of losing weight succinctly or what?!
And finally, I found this quote that really speaks to me about my own problems with my plateau:
"Of course you're going to feel tired. But quite often, if you can hang on through a rough segment of a run or race, you'll eventually feel fresher -- in fact, chances are that you'll go through such ups and downs in the course of a race. If you're busy destroying your momentum with negative thinking you'll never find your second wind. By becoming used to the sensation of fatigue and responding with assurance you can train yourself to run through it."
Good advice for running. Good advice for losing weight. Good advice for life!
Are you reading anything that's inspiring you?
Friday, January 14, 2011
I spend a lot of time running, and a lot of time explaining why I don't love to run. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I hate it; if I did, I wouldn't still be doing it after a couple of years. It's just that I don't love it like some of my other spark buddies do -- for instance, it would make me very unhappy if I could never swim again.
Can I say the same about running?
Maybe, actually. Because one of the things I love about running is how I feel after I run. Maybe not really a high, but I sure do feel good. Even when it's been a hard workout, I usually feel energized -- more energized than I think any other workout leaves me feeling. I certainly don't get the same feeling from walking, and I do love to walk (probably cause it isn't as difficult).
The other thing I really love about running is the efficiency. I have no trouble getting in all my steps when I run. I may not get them all in during my run, but the rest of my everyday activities usually insures I do get them in.
Let's take yesterday, for instance. I got up & did 2 fast miles with Leslie. Then I shoveled some paths in the backyard and the front walk & steps. Later in the day I did about half an hour of ST plus 20 minutes of walk intervals on the treadmill. Finished off by 30 minutes of swimming -- really easy swimming, easier than normal, cause I was feeling exhausted since the previous night (must be all that shoveling -- we had enough snow that we had to shovel more than once throughout the day).
The final verdict? Less than 10,000 steps. Obviously I don't get steps for swimming, but I really didn't push myself cause I was very tired. Used it more as a way to relax (unlike running, swimming for me is very Zen and leaves me feeling very relaxed).
So there you have it. And a question for all you runners out there: do you have a favorite running sparkteam?
And a question for the foodies to end. I was inspired by my WW meeting yesterday to try to work more power foods into my day. I'd already planned a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. This is something I almost never eat -- it's a real treat -- and I made sure it would fit into a healthy eating day.
After my meeting, tho, I decided I would bump up the sandwich with some tofu to make it more filling, figuring the tofu would bulk it up (full fat cheese, which is what I use, is highly caloric after all and makes for a very thin sandwich). So I fried up tofu slices without any fat, put the cheese slices on top to get them a bit melty, and then assembled & grilled my sandwich.
Not exactly a fail, but not a win, either. What can I do to the tofu to make it more tasty? Didn't take on as much flavor of the cheese as I'd hoped to, which was a bit of a bummer as the sandwich turned out just beautifully grilled -- you know how sometimes it doesn't brown enough or it gets a bit burnt? No, this was just perfectly grilled.
The only thing I've come up with so far is to maybe dredge the tofu in some nutritional yeast.
What do you love about your favorite form of exercise? Share it -- maybe it will inspire someone who hates exercising to try something new & fall in love with it!
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