Friday, February 12, 2010
Exercise is still a big word to me, so I look for ways to make incremental changes in how I go about my day, small ways to add movement. I walk the long way around while in the office, I don't go to the nearest coffeee bar. When time permits, I try not to add all my errands around the buildings up so that one trip does all. I take several shorter trips.
To my great surprise, I found walking up stairs is easier on my knee than going down. I thought the opposite was true. So, I have walked up 5 flights and down 1 this morning.
When I took my lunch walk, I walked about the same amount of time, but I covered more ground. And, even though my lower back started to hurt towards the end, I pushed through it and ended by walking up two flights of stairs. It occurred to me that the back probably hurts where it does because one leg is slightly shorter than the other, despite surgery and years of therapy. I probably need to do much more stretching than I do.
I no longer look for the shortest route, the closer parking spot or the easiest walk. My payoff is how much better I feel!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I started the day with a short walk from my desk to the cafe at work. The sun was shining, the air was very cool and it was glorious! I was trying to count steps, but a visitor asked for directions and a coworker stopped to chat. I have been walking everywhere and have given up on counting steps!
Before eating lunch, I took a longer walk and was able to walk all the way around the campus which includes some steep hills, so I walked up and down and really felt it. While heating lunch, I did some light stretching and only after that did my lower back complain about the walk. That is an improvement!
I saw a Toastmaster buddy yesterday who walks with a cane, a coworker today who has a bum knee and both remind me that their ailments are part of the reason I need to keep moving. Jennifer, the lady with the cane, is a vibrant almost 80 year old woman, so I feel sure her cane use will be short. The other lady is a smidge older than I am and will probably continue to lose function. No judgment here - I just derive some motivation from seeing their situations.
I saw an SP blog this morning by someone who did 49 reps of various exercises, some of which I may never be able to do, but, as I told her, I really liked her thinking. The 49 was for her birthday and those were her goals! I have not yet set up interim goals for myself in terms of exercise, but she has me thinking about it. It is a paradigm shift for me!
A coworker commented today that I am looking slimmer, especially from the rear. That amazed me! I have dislocated hips, so my rear end is much more prominent than for most people (in addition to being ginormous!), so it takes a lot for that to change.
I have not been doing that much, but, every day, I continue to make changes and/or I become more consistent about water, exercise or...When I was a little girl, my mother wanted to send me to a summer camp for crippled children so that I could see how blessed I am to have such a minor handicap. She thought I would outshine the other children and be "Super Cripple". Yes, that is what she said. I ended up not going because it was not worth it to spend the money on me. If only she could see me now! I am becoming super, but not in the way in which she thought!
I stepped on the scale this morning out of curiosity, even though Sunday is my weigh-in day. I was stunned by the number, but I won't count it until Sunday. I know from sad past experience that numbers fluctuate throughout the week. The body scale, the food scale, the measuring tape and all the resources on SparkPeople are tools that I can use to get me where I want to go. What those tools say no longer governs me. They do not dictate whether or not I have a good day or a good week.
In that freedom, I find even more motivation! And I have not even mentioned how instrumental SparkPeople is/are in changing my attitude! One of my goals in starting this change was to rediscover the zest for life. I thought that would happen at the end when I weigh ______, but I am already being transformed!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Last night, I thought I ate a really healthy salad before class. I was at school and had no time or resource other than instint for my dinner choice. Because it's an evening class, waiting until almost midnight at home was not an option. The salad was great and I felt satisfied, but not stuffed. Imagine my surprise when I logged in the food this morning and saw how bad a choice it actually was!
On top of that, I had not walked as much as I intended to yesterday. I felt a bit stiff and sore on top of that. What a great way to start the day - NOT! I did not beat myself up about the food choice for dinner, but I was stunned about the numbers. So that strengthens my resolve to be UNDER numbers today. I am determined to lose at least 2.4 lbs this week. That salad may have torpedoed the goal! (or at least the short timeline).
I saw a coworker this morning in passing and she stopped me to ask if I had lost weight! I told her I've lost a very small amount, but that I am walking more, drinking more water and watching the calories. I was AMAZED that she noticed!
Not having been on the journey for a long time, I am surprised myself to notice how the clothes fit just noticably differently. I feel as if I stand taller. I walk faster, I trip less often. I still have lower back and knee pain, but the pain seems to be less every day, which is very wonderful!
Of course, I sent her the link and a bit of my experience with SparkPeople. I highlighted what is different about this experience from all of my other attempts. I shared with her the change in attitude that the comradarie of the SparkPeople has initiated. I have no idea whether or not she will actually join, but it would be fabulous if she did, not just because we could encourage each other, but it would be such a positive step for her (I think!).
She absolutely made my day! The disappointment over my supposedly smart salad choice vanished with her comment!
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Yesterday, I walked more than I have since starting this program. At lunch, I walked for 12 minutes and it was down a steep hill and back up - not level at all. In the evening, I walked another 18 minutes, but it was level. To see I burned so few calories, even though my heart rate was elevated for a long while afterwards was disheartening. And today, I got my second reminder email about reaching level 2. Not sure I wanted to go there yet, but, feeling nagged, I clicked the link.
At my stage, weight and physical ability, it almost seems as if walking is both cardio and strength-bearing because it takes effort to move! HA! I know, I know. I need to start doing something with strength training, but, bleh! The standard excuses apply: I have no room, I have no time, I have no equipment. But those are not acceptable. I know I have to get in gear and do it. But I don't want to! But I need to because I know that going through that doorway is necessary in order for me to achieve my ultimate goal.
I've seen a few people put up milestones for their journey - an interim weight goal by a certain date or some nonfood reward that they will earn when they reach X. I marvel at that courage. I am not quite there yet, but I really like the ideas!
My goal for this week is to lose at least 2.4 lbs. Don't know yet what I will do when that is achieved except feel proud. Incentives of some type are probably a good idea.
When I am not so tired, I'll think about it. Midterms next week and review season at work, so not much else on my mind.
Oh, except for my SparkPeople friends! I am moved by their stories, touched by the vignettes of their lives that they have shared. They are in my heart daily and I hope that their days are even better than mine...
Monday, February 08, 2010
Monday morning! I am really tired because I stayed up too late and then did not sleep well. Tonight and tomorrow night are long because I have classes after work. Normally, I would dread the rundown feeling. I love school, but I have reached the burnout stage and am ready to graduate...
However, I have a brighter perspective. It is not the pound plus a smidge that I lost last week, it is not the fact that I can walk just a little farther every day with just a little less pain. Nor is it the fact that my mind is swirling with SparkPeople because I LOVE the site, love the spirit, people and energy. It is also certainly not because my circumstances have changed (they have not).
It is all these things together. I am moving toward something - I want to be the aunt to my nieces and nephews who is involved in their lives and shares in their lives and hope that I can be healthy and long-lived enough to see them grow up! Along the journey, thanks to SparkPeople, I finally am not walking alone! I had not realized what a difference that would make.
I also had not realized that the loose structure coupled with the freedom of SparkPeople would be just the right balance for me. By myself, there's either too much or not enough structure (and no fellowship) and were I to join one of the many weightloss programs out there, it's a one-size-fits all and this-is-the-only-way mentality that makes me balk. I also, quite frankly, cannot afford the money that those programs cost. For some people, these programs (or going solo) are fine, but not for me.
Even the act of blogging is new to me, though I am a lifelong writer. This morning I debated about soy milk or half and half in my coffee while at the cafe. I knew 1% is too light for my taste, but I was not sure which of the other options was the best. Coming back to my computer and adding the half and half to my log was an eye opener. What's different is that I am not berating myself for making a "bad" choice, I am taking this as a coachable moment, a chance to educate myself and to grow from it. A small step, but I find the nutritional information in the world is far too overwhelming so, as with many things, I will learn what I need to as I need to. Then as I use the information, I retain it and build that internal knowledge so that, when I am apart from my tools (computer, label or whatever), I can make intelligent choices.
Knowledge is power and using that knowledge is freeing!
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