Tuesday, September 16, 2008
That's what today feels like. Here I am blogging at almost 5 pm. I never blog that late. I blog later on Tuesdays, usually, because it's agility day. But it seems like today just got away from me. I'm not sure how. As usual, I don't feel I did that much.
Right after talking about overtraining, I find myself training hard again. Just out of curiousity. Maybe I'm my own worst enemy. WW has something called activity points. You can earn points to spend on food, essentially, by being active. So I'm making sure that at least if I'm exercising a bit harder than usual, I'm using my activity points to support that exercise.
My Zumba DVDs came with a few exercise plans. There's one called drop a pant size in 10 days -- guaranteed. Since I'm not following their food plan -- it actually looks pretty healthy, but I'm not good at following food plans, I llke to do my own thing -- I don't think it's fair to expect to drop a pant size. Even following it, I have to admit to some skepticism.
It's rarely more than an hour of exercise a day. But add on to that the hour I walk the dogs (today, only 40 minutes, because we had an hour of agility per dog after all with lots of running), and it starts adding up quickly.
I do enjoy Zumba. It takes a while to get the hang of it, of course, and I'm very glad to be able to do it in the privacy of my own home -- I am definitely dancing challeneged. If you like to dance, though, I think you'd love Zumba.
So anyway, up at 5:30, have breakfast, feed the cats, relax a bit, then take the dogs out & feed the dogs; short walk for the dogs, then off to agility. Home at 10:30 am. Start computer & read email. Do the Zumba Abs workout (20 minutes), then eat lunch. Relax and watch some taped shows. Do the Zumba Sculpt & Tone workout, then shower. Take the dogs back out & we're up to now. Where did the day go?
I wanted to get started on cleaning my refrigerator today. It's long overdue. I'm still going to try to do it, but I am a bit tired. And hungry. Oh yeah, I forgot the call from the person I board the dogs with who wants help with her Website. The plan was to simply clean one shelf today. Doesn't sounds like much, does it, considering that I haven't done any housework all day long. But to clean that one shelf, I've got to take everything out of there, and then put everything back.
I've still got to eat dinner, feed the dogs, brush their teeth, go get the mail, train the cats (don't ask), feed the cats, and brush their teeth. I used to skip brushing the animal's teeth now and again, but I've found my life tends to be easier if I stick to the routine. If the animals are happy, I'm happy. No 14 lb cat banging on a cabinet door.
If you made it this far, you may be wondering what the point of this blog was. Sorry, there really wasn't a point. Maybe tomorrow. I'm just venting a little, I guess. I didn't even talk about the current car problems or the fact that my husband left for his business trip to Europe today and I probably won't hear from him until tomorrow. Ok, so I just did; sue me.
I'll leave you with a couple of good quotes:
"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-- Thomas Edison
I really like both those quotes. If only I could remember all these great quotes!
Monday, September 15, 2008
The cruise was a big motivator. Maybe too big. I think life has been trying to send me a lesson for a while, but like I said, sometimes I'm a slow learner. When I get too focused on looking good for an occasion, I start to make poor choices.
I worked out harder than normal for the cruise. Not the 3-4 hours that I wrote about yesterday, but harder than normal, still. I was motivated. Every time I wanted to eat junk or slack off, I just thought about the cruise; it worked most of the time.
The problem, I think, is that I didn't eat enough to support that exercise. I certainly didn't starve myself -- I'm not into that -- but I should have had just a little more food. As a result, essentially I stayed the same weight instead of losing weight. And I got sick -- which may or may not have anything to do with what I was eating or how much I was exercising, but too much exercise can lower the immune system. Too much of anything isn't good!
What really firmed all that up in my mind was how quickly I lost the weight I'd gained on the cruise when I got back home, and back to normal eating and a normal amount of exercise. I was afraid it could take me a whole month or longer to lose that pound and a half, but it was gone in just one week. With a little extra gone as well (although I may very well see that extra show up this week; that's often my pattern -- lose big one week, gain a little the next, but the overall trend is down).
So now I need new motivation. No big events looming in my future -- that I know of, anyway. Right now I'm working on my food plan. Trying to really concentrate on healthy eating, rather than the amount of exercise I get (not that I've stopped exercising, mind you).
And I hope that the next time a big event does come my way, I will realize that whatever I weigh at the event is good enough. That as long as I stick to my healthy habits, I will be fine.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
There's a good line from the movie "Regarding Henry", where the secretary reminds Henry (who's had brain damage) that when you've had enough, you say "when".
I have trouble saying "when" to exercise. I don't have exercise bulimia -- I don't believe that if I eat something "bad", I've got to exercise it away. But if you saw one of the recent Daily Spark blogs, I do think that poster definitely has a problem with exercise. Basically, he said he needed 3-4 hours of exercise a day to maintain his weight.
That, IMHO, is too much -- on a regular basis, anyway. Nothing wrong with a long walk or hike or bike ride occasionally, but you shouldn't have to work out hours a day to maintain your weight. That isn't a life style.
Still, I have trouble taking rest days. I walk the dogs every day -- twice a day when my husband isn't here -- but that is more for them than for me (okay, it's for me too, but truly, they really need their walks).
Today that's all I did. It's the rare day that I don't do some exercise DVD in addition to that walk. Maybe because I know that I was walking the dogs all along while I was gaining weight. I was even strength training. Clearly, that wasn't enough. Some days the extra work out is short, 15-20 minutes. Other days, it's 45-60 minutes.
I think I'm afraid, in some part of me, that if I don't exercise in addition to the walk each day, one day of no-exercise will become two days, two will become three, and so on. Which is really silly, because I've been committed to exercising for many, many years now.
I'm constantly struggling to find the right balance between exercise and food input. Much as I struggle to find balance in the rest of my life: balance between me-time and keeping the house clean; balance between keeping the house clean and keeping the house neat, which aren't the same things; balance between giving equal attention, as much as possible, to all the animals; and so on.
Maybe that's why maintenance has always been so hard for me -- because it requires balance. Not that I'm anywhere close to maintenance, but I am still constantly amazed at how much my body has changed with a relatively small amount of weight gone.
I'm trying to listen to my body and say when.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
We are back to agility. In agility, you have a Plan A: the plan you think is most likely to get you around the course in the fastest time with your dog easily following your instructions.
But you need a Plan B, a Plan C, a Plan D and so on. Because dogs, like hurricanes (nope, not a drop of rain here), are notoriously unpredictable. They don't always follow your instructions even when they're clear; sometimes they just wanna do their own thing, much to your chagrin -- and embarrassment.
We need a Plan A, a Plan B, and so on for our eating, too. You might choose the perfect meal at a restaurant before going out, only to find that high-fat special or dessert is calling your name. You may stock your kitchen with only the healthiest foods, only to find your car heading, of its own volition, it seems, straight for the french fries at the drive through. Not that such things ever happen to me, of course (and if you believe that, I've got some swampland in Florida for ya).
This blog was brought to you because a whole lot of things brought it to my attention. From today's Healthy Reflections newsletter:
"It takes twenty years to become an overnight success."-- Eddie Cantor
I really can relate to that one. It seems it's taken me 20 years to learn to eat healthy . . . at least I think I've learned. Sometimes I'm a slow learner.
This quote landed in my inbox today:
"There isn't any virtue where there has never been any temptation."-- Margaret Deland
And even this blog post from the Daily Spark --
ry_on -- had me thinking about how we have to keep changing our plans, and leanring from our mistakes.
So have a Plan A, but don't forget the rest of the alphabet.
Friday, September 12, 2008
There are many ways to nourish yourself; food is just one way, although even when you're trying to lose weight, it's important. Important to eat good food, that is. Once I had a few meals I'd made myself, I found that I did feel nourished -- I was still tired and trying to catch up with sleep, but I just felt better eating home-cooked meals.
That is what works for me; that is what has always worked for me -- lots of made-from-scratch meals. There are times I wish I was able to lose weight eating frozen entrees, but even when they're good, it just isn't the same as fresh. I also wish I had a magic helper to swing a brush through my kitchen and make all the dirty pots and pans go away -- I will admit, I often don't want to cook because the very thought of cleaning up tires me.
While in Alaska I bought an Ulu knife. It's similar to a Mezzaluna (not that I have one, but I have read about them -- and if you don't know what an Ulu or a Mezzaluna is, there's always Google). I love it. Somehow it just fits my hand right, and that's the secret to a good knife. There were some beautiful Ulus there, but I bought one on the ship (which sadly turns out to have been made in China), because I didn't want to plunk down a lot of money on something I wasn't sure I'd like. The only problem with the Ulu is that it needs to be hand washed.
I've been nourishing myself in another way lately, too. I had a manicure and a 20/20/20 treatment while on the cruise -- that was three 20 minute treatments: I chose a scalp massage, a hot stone massage, and a mini-facial. The best masseuse I've had in a long, long time. I actually felt my face looked better afterward, and I rarely feel that way from facials.
I've really been puzzled why I still break out so much. I know I eat healthy. Sure, I could eat better, but in general, I eat pretty healthy. One of the things the masseuse said to me was about exfoliation. Exfoliate? Moi? Yeah, right. I've been using simple soap -- actually, not simple soap, I usually buy local soap on my trips, and I'm very vigilant about the ingredients.
But I decided it was time to take better care of myself. And it just so happened that the Dr. Hauschka product line was on sale this week. So I bought several products, including a clay mask, and have been using them. And I could swear my face does look better. Like I don't think I'll scare people if I go out without makeup on. Not dewy, youthful skin, but definitely better.
So there you have it. It's just important to nourish ourselves as it is to nourish our loved ones. Find ways to nourish yourself that truly are nourishing -- good food, not fast food; fresh food, not frozen food; ways that don't involve food at all.
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