Friday, March 26, 2010
This morning, I sent an email to my friend asking if our rescheduled-from-last-week ;unch date was on. She responded affirmatively and then called me to tell me that a former coworker died yesterday after a very, very, very long battle with breast cancer. Why she chose to tell me over the phone in the middle of the morning instead of waiting until we were together at lunch? Knowing her, the answer is multifaceted. She wanted to give me time to absorb the news in a way in which she would not have to deal with whatever my response would be. She is also someone who always, always wants to be the first to share news, good or bad. And, my dear friend is one of those people for whom the other shoe is always fallen, has just fallen or is about to fall. I cannot fault her. Nonetheless, the news was quite a distraction.
The lunch destination was a surprise to me, so I did not have the chance to look at a menu online and prepare myself. I ended up having a very tasty grilled chicken sandwich and, when I got back to work, guesstimated on the measures.
No real exercise today, but we're going hiking tomorrow at Pinnacles National Monument.
When Val and I had lunch, she told me her brother has cancer. I used to have strong feelings for him, so that was another blow during a week of blows. We hugged as we parted and it was truly wonderful to be back in touch with her, even if it is always a one-sided conversation!
Today, for the first time in several, I ended the day in balance in all the nutrition measures. That felt good!
Tomorrow, even though the hike and dinner out are a delayed birthday celebration, my heart will be heavy. One year ago tomorrow is when my brother saw his roommate killed in Afghanistan. Our familiy is shredded in sympathy for his. At Pinnacles, once you go through the small cave, there is a spectacular view and I hope to do, say or think something appropriate to honor a young man who's buried at Arlington.
I am so thankful for my sparkpeople community. Their kind support has carried me through this week. Words fail to adequately express how much that means to me.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Thanks to you SparkFriends who commented on yesterday's blog. Your support is deeply appreciated! I fell into an old habit last night: I stayed up too late because I was not tired. Perhaps I was not tired because I did not want to go to sleep. I wanted to avoid the inevitable restless night and flood of memories.
This morning, of course, I did not want to get up. I woke up with a very sore left heel. Great! Just what I have been so afraid of, why I had not started running until a few days ago. (The pain passed soon after I started the day). I did not walk at lunch time because I thought I'd rest my legs in the hopes that my next run will be more productive.
I was within range on food but just barely. I wanted to eat a whole lot more than I did and this was one of the first days when I've felt that way since being on SP,
at least that I can remember...
Near the end of the work day, I ran out of energy, mentally and physically. I sat there looking at my work and just could not muster the energy to function. I really hate that!
When I got home, I kicked off my shoes and picked up my free weights. I still have so far to go in this area! Twenty five reps of 3 different arm exercises and I was done. Nothing to get excited about.
Yes, a blah day. But it was not a wasted day. I ate right, I did a smidge of exercise. I did not even walk around the building much and I used the elevator when I needed to. While I was in the elevator, I did hip flexors and other stretches. Our elevators have a bar on the back wall and I grip that to do a modified squat. Those are hard! But every time I do these elevator exercises, I can tell I am getting stronger.
I hope this is the worst performance day of my SP life.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Today was my cousin Kirsti's birthday, her second in heaven. She would have been 45 today. She died in a solo car wreck on her way to work December 30, 2008. The youngest of my generation, she should not have been the 2nd to go. She left 3 children, two of whom are teens and her baby was not quite 3 and, as I later found out, a wonderful young man who loved her very much.
What I did not know until the end of the day was that my sister had to put one of her dogs down. Delilah, a black Lab, had been part of the family for almost 14 years.
In a couple of days, it will mark a year since my brother's roommate in Afghanistan (they were both on loan from the Navy to the Army) was killed on the base in front of my brother and other members of the team. Someday, I will have to bring flowers to Arlington to honor this young man. Frank L. Toner IV.
His family hurts so badly and, as I told them, their hurt is also our family's. It was just so incredibly close! Thankful I have my younger brother, but the loss of Frankie is as if he were also my brother.
The cumulative grief is hard to deal with, but one does what has to be done. It feels rather automatic.
It was almost funny this morning, though. I had posted on my social page that I was going to honor Kirsti today by wearing a hot air balloon pin and eat cheese. I remembered how we ate cheese, but I had no intention of having any today. It was not on my radar or in my menu. I walked in to put my lunch in the fridge and get my Kashi cereal ready and found someone had brought in a tray of cold cuts, cheese, black olives, lettuce and bread with a note for us to enjoy because it was leftover from a party. WITHOUT THINKING (and that's the scary part), I snagged one olive, a slice of roast beef and a slice of cheese that turned out to be two after I'd removed it. I rolled up the roast beef and cheese and STUFFED it in my mouth! As I realized what I was doing, I saw that I had fallen into an old habit. Shoveling food in my mouth so no one would see. I thought I was past that...
I faithfully logged it in. In a past life, I would not have. Later, all that was left was one slice of cheese and all of the lovely lettuce. I left the slice and took the lettuce!
Last Sunday was my first run, such as it was, and all week, I'd been looking forward to tonight's run. I planned to leave work at a certain time and a senior VP needed something at the last minute. No problem. The stress was hard, but I was happy to assist her. Stress - can I get this done as soon as she needs it and can I do it right? On her heals came two other requests. By then, I felt snarly! I realized I had not gotten to eat all of my lunch and inhaled some while I finished working and rushed out the door.
My run was shorter than Sunday's, which was not my goal! 3/10ths of a mile of run/walk today. I was less winded when it was over. My BF ran with me and kept reminding me to breathe properly. My pedometer had cleared out all the steps just before the run, so I can only guess how many steps I'd had...I was disappointed to miss the data.
Yesterday I got an email from SparkPeople saying it was time for me to transit to the 3rd stage. I am not sure I am ready and commented about it on one of the message boards. A Sparker said I should stay where I'm comfortable and SP Coach Denise said I can switch when I am ready. It's not about comfort. If it were comfort, I would not have started this journey! I am still working to find balance nutritionally and consistency in exercise. So I will stay in stage 2 until I feel this is more integrated into the new me.
I posted a comment on another message board today about exercise. The question was something about what is my attitude about exercise. I said:
This is something I have to do. I don't like thinking about exercise, thinking about making time for exercise. Sometimes I don't like the exercise while I am doing it, sometimes it hurts or is uncomfortable. A few exercises I like, enjoy, look forward to and miss when I can't get it in (walking now, running maybe soon) but I always love how I feel when I've done something! That is progress! This from someone who has spent decades being convinced that exercise is a four letter word that got stretched.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I didn't want to get up this morning, which, in my new SP life is new. I went to work and quickly realized that I was tired. I had already had coffee, I had already started water and had breakfast and still could not get the brain in gear. I grew more and more tired, more and more foggy until I took a break by taking a short snooze in my car. When that did not work, I took the rest of the day off as sick time and came home. I slept for over an hour, maybe 2.
Then it was off to school to turn in my final exam and extra credit essays. Between work and school, I got in over 9,3xx steps and covered 3 miles. I've decided I might be having a reaction to the Acyclovir. Every time I take one, my stomach starts to feel terrible and I'm supposed to take 5 a day! Forget that!
I had a great dinner and ended the day within range in most areas (low in calcium and fat). I did some upper body free weight work. I know I need to do more...
Stress can trigger shingles and my having taken more time off as sick time is going to add to that stress. But I was not earning my pay and felt it dishonest to sit there...
Off to bed with the hopes that tomorrow is much better. (Be quiet, brain! The grades won't be posted until next week...)
Sunday, March 21, 2010
This morning started with a cup of Peruvian coffee, a nice light roast. Not one you'd drink when you need a coffee jolt, but great for a Sunday morning. Then I put on my new shorts, new socks, new running shoes and my new sports bra (shirt was not new) and went for a run/walk on the baylands trail.
I envisioned doing the entire path. Before I left the house, I had been on SP and put down a positive affirmation about visualizing a successful run and that I would like it.
Well...I ran/walked for .4 miles. After the first couple of steps, I forgot about the fact that I was wearing shorts (that lady's legs are showing) and I didn't think at all about how I looked except for a fleeting thought as some bicyclists zipped by. I ran/walked long enough that my legs started to burn and I tasted blood in my mouth. (I forgot that when I exercise enough, I bleed. I suspect that has to do with my junior year of college when I had bronchitis for the entire school year - this is not an exaggeration!). Ended with some stretching and all I feel this evening is a slight tightness in the back of my left thigh.
The distance was disappointing, but I felt great! My heart rate stayed up for a while afterwards. I was amazed to realize how much more calm I was and how I felt better able to deal with life's little irritations.
We took a walk on part of the San Francisquito Creek Trail. I wanted to do the entire thing without even knowing how long it is, but turned back when my lower back started to complain. Turns out that we walked 1.2 miles roundtrip
in roughly 40 minutes. Did I say I'm a turtle?
I still have to do some upper body strength training, drink some water and have dinner.
The writer's block did not really go away, but I did finish the two papers I need to turn in for my final exam tomorrow night.
My tracker says I have to burn about 200 more calories today - I guess it reset after I changed my nutritional goals for my 10% experiment, though the reset did not happen that same day. I noticed the tracker does not include the 69 calories I burned on that .4 walk/run. I am completely mystified and a bit discouraged. For me, I have done a lot of exercise today and don't have evidence of it via the exercise tracker.
Lastly, when we were at Costco, I picked up a jar of Maranatha almond butter. I read somewhere on SP this week that almond butter is better for you than peanut butter. I love peanut butter but don't allow it very often. I'm not that wild about almonds, but for health's sake, I thought I would try it.
My snack was a smashed banana and two T of the almond butter. I could not believe how great it tasted! That led me to think anew about how much better food tastes since I launched this journey! It's amazing! The calorie-adding sauces and the cheese, oh, the cheese, bury the taste of the underlying food. I appreciate the subtle flavors more than before. Some of that may be because I know that what I am eating is good for me...
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