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Just do it

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Whoever came up with that slogan for Nike was brilliant, IMHO. I repeat this to myself a lot. Not so much with healthy eating, more so with things like housework -- things I really don't enjoy doing. I did clean one refrigerator shelf yesterday. That's how I clean my fridge -- one shelf at a time. I take out & clean a shelf, and wipe down that section of the refrigerator. If I'm really inspired, I do a couple of shelves. I really didn't want to do it, but I said to myself just do it. And I did.

And you know what? It really didn't take that long. It really wasn't that hard. That's the whole point of breaking tasks down into smaller steps. Each step by itself isn't that hard. I felt so darn proud of that one clean shelf, too. It felt good.

Hopefully by now, you've caught on to the fact that that is the philosophy behind SP, too. Just do it -- one baby step at a time. You don't have to turn your world upside down or overhaul your entire lifestyle in one fell swoop. Pick one baby step, and just do it. Then pick another when the first baby step has become a healthy habit. And so on.

And you know what? It works. And you'll feel so proud of yourself. So what is the one baby step you're going to do today to move yourself closer to a healthy lifestyle?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 9/18/2008 7:03AM

    Sometimes we rely too much on will power and over-analyze everything. You're right that Nike's slogan of "Just Do It!" is brilliant and dead-on. You mentioned in a recent blog comment that you and I are alike in many ways. I guess not enjoying housework is another one. emoticon

For a week now I have been off track with my eating. First I blamed TOM. Then it was getting together with my family over the weekend. Enough already! You're right... Just do it and take one baby step at a time. Last night I didn't touch the homemade chocolate banana cake and ice cream after dinner. That was my baby step that will hopefully lead me back to the right direction.

I always gain so much inspiration from your insightful blog posts. Thank you, my friend!

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SQUIRTZIE 9/17/2008 4:21PM

    It really does work to take baby steps.
I hate cleaning so I am really taking baby steps. I have been working on shampooing my carpets now for 3 days so far and I am about 1/2 done--and I only have 3 rooms to do.
emoticon emoticon

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MOONGIRLMOON 9/17/2008 8:11AM

    Yes, cleaning is horrible. I prefer to do it around midnight if I have problems falling asleep. Pretty weird, but well...
Right now I need more like a giant step to get my work done. There's a deadline close by.

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The one that got away

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."
-- Lao-Tzu

"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!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 9/18/2008 7:09AM

    Here's another thing we have in common: We both love Zumba. Since I'm an exercise class enthusiast, I do it at my health club. I love my instructor's positive energy, but I can do without the occasional drama from class participants. The frequency was ridiculous about a week ago. Thankfully, things have calmed down.

I love the two quotes you shared, especially the one by Lao-Tzu. Even when you say you are just venting, I still get inspiration from your blog posts. emoticon

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Changing motivation

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.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 9/18/2008 7:15AM

    Since I'm catching up on your most recent blog posts, I read the Tuesday one before this one. I like how your Lao-Tzu quote is perfect for this post. Your blog is always thought-provoking and inspirational to me. Thank you once again!

Congratulations on losing your cruise weight so quickly. My progress also comes in waves, but the overall trend so far is also downward. I've been going up a bit lately, so now I need to make sure it starts going down!

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MTER67 9/15/2008 6:41PM

    I agree with VAL, your blogs make me think and it is always interesting to read your process of "figuring stuff out." When I first started running steadily in 2005, it was to get ready for my 20th HS reunion. At the reunion, I saw so many people trying really hard to impress (fake boobs, over-done makeup, balding man comb overs.) It was kind of sad. AFTER the reunion, I decided it was stupid to be so focused on one event. I began focusing on overall fitness and health and how I felt, rather than what I looked like in a cocktail dress. It was an ephiphany, really, and I haven't ever (yet) lost sight of that.

Congratulations on losing your "cruise weight" and then some. I am so happy for your success!

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VAL503 9/15/2008 12:19PM

    Sounds like you are right on track, way to go! I love your attitude, and you have a way of figuring out what works for you. When you hit a wall, you change direction instead of bumping into it over and over. Thanks for posting such honest and practical blogs.. They are so helpful to read.
Val

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Say when

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.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 9/15/2008 6:50PM

    Ahhh, balance again. It always comes down to balance, doesn't it? Most days all I manage to get done is the absolute "must do's" on my list. You raise an interesting point. I think scheduling is very important in establishing an exercise habit. I usually run 20-30 miles per week, spread out over 4-6 days. Now that I am training for a marathon, I am running the same number of miles, but they are condensed into 3 days of the week. That means 4 days of twiddling my thumbs. Yes, I can do other stuff--strength training, walking, etc., but still, NOT running on so many days of the week makes it harder to actually get out the door on the days when I do. Running (b/c of the miles I have to put in at one time) has become an event you have to plan the rest of the day around and not a simple "habit." Does that make sense? I don't really like it so much this way, because like you, I worry that one day off will lead to 2 or 3--but I am telling myself that it's only a temporary thing until the race is over.

Comment edited on: 9/15/2008 6:49:49 PM

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SQUIRTZIE 9/14/2008 7:01PM

    I agree! I think there are some people who exercise way too much. I may be wrong but the purpose of SP is a lifestyle change which to me means what you do today you should be able to do 5 years from now.
I walk the dogs every day weather permitting usually 3 times a day. I do some isometric exercises with the towel and resistance bands.
I think it is wonderful that you are able to exercise to DVD's but you need to rest sometimes.
Good luck reaching all your goals. emoticon

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Multiple plans

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 --


www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=the
_agony_of_defeat_or_the_courage_to_car
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.

  


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