Wednesday, October 27, 2010
When I walked in the living room with her breakfast this morning Joan looked up at me and said. ďI just realized something.Ē The World Series starts tonight and I donít believe you have written one blog referencing baseball--- ever!!Ē
She has her lap top perched on her thighs and felt well enough to catch up on my blogs. She was right. I havenít referenced baseball and thatís been intentional. See, I am a fanatic, an addict, call it whatever you want. I have my favorite teams but in all honesty Iíll watch any game, anywhere, any time. I enjoy other sports but, nothing is baseball, at least to me. So if I started writing about it you would quickly grow bored.
I had to run to Walgreens a few minutes later and I was listening to Sports Talk Radio. They were interviewing a baseball manager and they were talking about his team this year and how these two hosts had given them up for dead and buried them three or four times this season. His response is what got me to thinking. He said that when his team would lose five games in a row he would remind them they had won six or seven games in a row at some point during the season and if they did what they needed to do to win, they would win again. He told them not to panic. Follow your plan.
That resonated with me, loud and clear. How many times do we feel lost? Our diet isnít working out the way we want it to, we arenít motivated to exercise or if we do itís halfhearted. We read other peoples blogs and listen to them (and rightfully so!!!) talk about their successes. We hang our heads. We speak of giving up. I know I have.
Itís really easy to be positive and focused when the weights flying off or we have reached a fitness goal. The world is our oyster. But what about when life gets in the way? There will always be illness, disappointment and failure. If you figure out a way to remove them from our lives write me please!!! We will go into business together and retire extremely wealthy people.
It took a lot for me to open up my food and fitness log for the world to see. I donít always eat right. I know that never happens to you, but to me it was becoming more and more frequent. You can call it sloppiness, laziness or maybe, just maybe something else is at work here. Maybe I lost a bit of confidence in myself. Like the baseball manager said maybe I had lost five or six games in a row and I was grasping for something to set me straight again. Maybe I just needed to work my plan, listen to my guruís, and stay the course.
I looked at my own food log. I went back to the ďgood old days.Ē I saw what I ate, how I ate it and where I started to deviate. It was when I started to run. I developed the mindset that if I ran enough I could eat the world!! My losses slowly ended and I couldnít figure out what was wrong. I gained but a pound here and there. Nothing to be worried about, right? For the past three days I have gone to nutrition boot camp. Went old school on myself. Itís why I asked for your help and TYVM to those who gave it. I love and appreciate your honesty.
During my personal training session Jen looked at me and said. ďI want you to do a minute on the Versa Climber and then hold a perfect plank for a minute. I want you to do that three times. I did. I almost died but I did. When I finished my final plank, I collapsed on the mat. She let me catch my breath. I picked my head up and looked at her.
ďSomething on your mind?Ē She asked.
My raspy voice spit out ďI HATE you.Ē
She smiled and said ďWell that took long enough. What has it been, two months now? Now that you donít think I know everything we can really get to work!!Ē
Doing what got you here is what will get you to the finish line and sustain you well into the future. Many of you are on a high right now. Life is going your way and you have won your six games in a row. I am glad you have been there for ME. Because right now Iím trying to get my swing back and you are my life line. Oh, I know the day will come when I will get it all together once again. Iím not going anywhere.
I am worth it
I deserve it
I hang around with really cool people.
I went back and read some of my own blogs and drew some inspiration from that. Itís a journey, a process, a continuum, call it what you like. There are peaks and valleys but at the end of the season, all that counts is that you won.
You are there for me and Iíll be there for you. Thatís reassuring.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
This blog has nothing to do with diet or exercise. Itís an observation from the male point of view.
I am a good husband. I didnít say perfect, I said good. Iíve been married for over thirty six years and other than the normal tiffs we have never had a serious issue in our marriage. Given the people I know and the people I read about, I consider myself very lucky. We are not all lovey dovey and while we pray for each other the only place we pray together is at Mass on Sundayís. Suffice to say that we are not the magazine cover couple. I have always done my own laundry, because why should Joan have to fool with my stuff? I had offered to do her laundry; as a matter of fact I did it one time and was politely told to leave it alone. (I follow orders really well.)
I bring all this up because despite all my best efforts I never realized how little I really did until Joan had surgery yesterday. Yes, I am one of those people who believed the dogs and cat fed themselves. I had to decide what we were having for dinner, take care of washing towels, and all this stuff Joan does on a day to day basis. I donít mind admitting I was a bit overwhelmed and BTW this was only for a day or so, not long term. I am not complaining. It just sort of opened my eyes up a lot. If I had to do this every day Iíd probably lose twenty pounds in a week. When the kids were born I was insulated from all of this. There were family and friends available to cook and clean, etc.
I could buy her flowers and candy and a cute card and tell her how much I appreciate her and then go back to being unenlightened me. OrÖÖÖ. I could realize that maybe I need to do a bit more on a day to day basis. I have a quote on my SPARK page that says:
ďYou have not lived a perfect day...unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.Ē
Itís my house, my cat and dogs and my meals, also. Joan works as hard, if not harder than I do and comes home tired and worn out and has never once complained about what she does once she gets home.
If you are a guy and you are reading this and you are in a relationship with someone, take a look at what they do and what you do. Itís been quite an education for me.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Itís going to be at least three weeks before I can see my doctor. I ran into her at Kroger, early this morning and she is going to a medical conference in New York later today. That means itís going to be at least three weeks until I can get the prescription to work with the dietician. The cost of doing this without a prescription is more than I can handle right now. So what to do?
Many of you have been very successful in developing really good eating habits and strategies and all that other cool stuff. Some days I donít have a clue. So I am opening up my food and exercise logs, journals, whatever you want to call them. This is a big step for me. It means I am opening myself up to let you look at my life.
If you are of a mind to, and enjoy telling other people what to do, please take a look at them, starting with today and give me any advice that you might think to be helpful. Do not worry about hurting my feelings or offending me. I have fallen a bit short recently in tracking my food. I need some help and as I said, if you are of a mind to, take a peak and let me know your opinion.
I had oatmeal for breakfast this morning, along with some Greek yogurt. Should I have used soy milk instead of the 2% milk I used? This is where your opinion would be greatly appreciated.
BTW: If there is ever anything I can do to help you, please let me know. We are all in this together.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
My grandma (and yours too probably) said the road to hell was paved with good intentions. She was right then and she was right now. One of my kids always used to tell us, especially when they were angry that ďYouíre not the boss of me.Ē They were right then and they are right now. Did you ever notice there is never a shortage of books, DVDís, and CDís telling us how to beÖÖÖ.. You fill in the blank. Did you ever notice how almost none of them ask you what you think might be best for you? Have you noticed that none of them (At least none I can find) are not for profit?
Donít mistake this for a rant against ďthe man.Ē I think we have some very valuable guides available to us, but they are only guides. There is this internal metronome we tend to ignore because it flies in the face of conventional wisdom and ďwhat everyone else is doing.Ē We often lose sight of making it our own.
When I wanted to train to run a 5K I had no idea what to do. We have a local runners club here but they are dedicated to the young and the buff, not the middle aged, portly and creaky. That option flew out the window in a hurry. I learned about the podcasts Robert Ullery offered and I downloaded them. After five weeks I got tired of running to techno music. So I looked at the lesson plans made my own playlist and asked the kids to get me a good cardio watch for Fatherís Day. I timed my own runs and was much more successful. The only issue is that Joan says every time I hear one of those songs I am like Pavlovís dog. I look like I might start running where ever we are!! I made it my own. I owned it and itís mine.
I am so predictable itís not funny. I could Xerox my menu for a month or so. Big problem is I got burnt out eating healthy. So Iíve done two things. I went to my doctor and asked her to write me a prescription to see a dietician. Hopefully my health insurance will pay a portion of this cost. Beth, who is going to work with me, is in roughly the same age group I am in and is a runner. (She ran her first 10K this weekend.) She is a good cook in both senses of the word and she publishes a weekly column in our local paper. (She will be the newest member of Team John!!!)
The second thing Iíve done is look at some of the food you guys eat, those of you who have been successful. This caused my daughter Maggie to observe that I had now created a whole new category called ďDiet Stalker.Ē When we went grocery shopping this weekend I bought some food that wasnít on my radar. I made it mine.
If we donít own this it wonít ever work. It wonít be like a partner it will always be like a third cousin that visits periodically. There is never any commitment to the relationship.
All this came to me as I was cleaning under the hood of our stove this morning. I love to clean. I am in my best mood and happiest to be around when I can grab a big old bottle of Windex and go to town. Itís my time to focus, to think, and low and behold, underneath that grease I located john. Heís a domestic, always has been always will be. You may meditate, walk in the woods or paint brilliant sunsets. I am over joyed that you do. Donít be disappointed when all I do is smile. Iím happy for ya.
I have had a less that desirable past month. My body is bruised and I felt as if I were in a tail spin. I needed to be able to reach out and grab the walls as I was falling. I decided not to exercise Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I needed a time out. Instead I cleaned my garage, my storage shed, my office, my kitchen and helped Joan hang some pictures. The only value there was my own and this morning as I write to you I feel more focused and centered than I have in a long while. Iíll start running again tomorrow. I already made out my schedule for next week. Itís one of the things that keep me on task.
Hereís my point. There are a lot of great resources you and I have to draw from but the most valuable resource lies between your ears and six inches below your throat. Iím not sure where I read it but recently I read someone who said:
ďWhen you do something, donít do it for family or friends, donít do it expecting praise. Simply do it for yourself and you will find a lot of gratification.Ē
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