Saturday, February 20, 2010
"Mindful walking" is my term for what I am trying to do now and, for you SP folks, it has nothing to do with exercise, so feel free to move on if that is a disappointment.
I did not learn to walk until I was nearly 4 and spent the next 12 years wearing a leg brace, nearly daily therapy and surgery when I was 14. After the surgery, I was able to stand with my feet flat on the floor for the first time in my life. Walk around on your toes for a while. Then stand with your feet flat and you'll have an idea what that was like. It felt as if the earth shifted! That was more years ago than I can imagine, but I still remember the sensation.
I learned how to fall without hurting myself (most of the time). As I've gotten older, the falls have sometimes been pretty dramatic. It does not matter what kind of shoes I wear or what the surface is. I can and have tripped on air! Last year, I had the most serious concussion of my life after a fall.
Where I work, they have spent considerable money improving the ramps, filling in the sidewalk joints and generally making it an easier place to walk. Unfortunately, they are not going to do anything about the cheap carpet. It's glued down in squares and the squares start to come up. They do fix the edges, but the other problem is the design. I have one far sighted eye and one near sighted eye with wonderful astigmatism, so I see at different levels and different distances. Level ground looks uneven, certain stairs (depending on material) look level AND I have very little peripheral vision looking straight down. All this time, I thought I could not see my feet because my chest is so big! HA~! The carpet design has swirls, lines and blocks, so, even though I know it's flat, it does not look that way.
But their investment made me look at myself and think about what I needed to do as an investment in ME. Part of that journey is how I found SparkPeople and part of if is this Mindful Walking. It takes concentration right now. I wear a really good pair of shoes and I practice stepping in a heel-to-toe motion instead of just slapping my feet down and not picking them up properly. It also gives a slight calf stretch for each step. I hope the concentration need drops off and this becomes routine because I would much rather enjoy the scenery than look at every step I take!
Losing weight is also part of this. Every time I gain or lose even just a little bit, it changes my center of balance and it's precarious until I drop or gain more. It's worth losing the weight, though! I'm looking forward to the absence of joint and lower back pain as the tonnage goes away.
Reading SparkPeople blogs and SparkPages has inspired me. I am going to wear a swimsuit this summer, even if it is a one piece that hides my weak and sagging abdomen and I am going to start training for a marathon that will be in March 2011. I welcome milestone suggestions and other ideas.
Today, I am going to look for a pedometer and an exercise mat. I have a pilates one, but I read an article that suggests I need a slightly thicker one with more support for some of the exercises I want to try. The fact that I am even seriously considering movement of any kind is a huge, huge, huge step forward - literally and figuratively! THAT alone shows the power of SparkPeople!
This morning, I read a message board thread that was initiated by someone who wanted to lose a lot of weight quickly using some sort of supplement. My heart went out to this person because I fully know that thinking! I encouraged him/her to consider the longterm effects of that choice, mostly for heatlh but also for lifestyle. I am learning that anything that deprives you in a meaningful way, that is hard to continue doing and does a number on your self esteem is not the right path. I encouraged the poster to consider the fact that such a path is not sustainable for a lifetime and that that in itself is the kernel of the recipe for failure. I just hurt thinking of the negative self talk, the weight gain and the further cycling down. Been there, done that and would love to prevent anyone else from having to live through that negativity again!
Time to get off the couch and get moving! Have a Superb Saturday, everyone! Thank you for energizing my lifestyle-changing journey!
Friday, February 19, 2010
What a wonderful day! A good day at work, on track with food and water and exercise! I am slowly starting to see that my energy level is improving. After I walk, I have sustained energy for a longer period of time. However, I still get very sleepy later........
I really enjoyed my walks today!
I've been thinking about establishing some longterm fitness goals, but I am a bit afraid of doing so. I've never been able to achieve a big fitness goal in my life. Thinking about learning to ride a bike and also thinking about learning to run. A couple of friends at work are leading a marathon in a few months, if they get enough people. I wouldn't be ready for that, but the announcement said that if they don't get enough people this year, they'll start a team for next year...
I'm also thinking about setting a short term goal of being able to wear a swimsuit this summer. There's a pool in the complex, but I have not been in it for a few years, despite knowing swimming is so good for me. I am not a strong swimmer and the children playing make me nervous! More than that, I am so self-conscious that I can't stand the looks from people who are so much more slender than I am....Who knows? Living the SparkPeople life between now and then might reveal that my attitude has changed!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The fact that today was a very nice day for me highlights the difference that SparkPeople (website and community) have made in my life. I was so tempted to eat everything in sight and not be accountable yesterday - take the day off as it were. I was over on calories and I did not exercise, but I did not "blow" it.
Today did not start out nor has it been a continuation of yesterday. Some really caring SP people reached out to me yesterday and their contact not only helped me not jump off the cliff of calories, but gave me enough of a Spark that, when today dawned, I was not beaten down.
Today is not at the opposite end of the spectrum, not overly "up", but it has been a balanced day. I am on track for all metrics - food, water and, despite some soreness, walking.
I walked some earlier today, not as fast as I have been, but the hills at work gave just enough of a gentle stretch that it actually eased some of the soreness. I was almost flinching as I started up the hill and was AMAZED to find that that walk was just the antidote!
I will walk this evening when I get home - all level terrain, which I would not otherwise prefer, but at least I am moving instead of using yesterday's bleakness and that soreness as an excuse to be a couch potato. Who would've thought?!
I share this victory with SparkPeople - it is just a small measure of the attitude change that is taking place in my life!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
This morning, I huddled with some teams with "I need support". I have been amazed by the responses! I have not reached out successfully before (preSP). When I posted that, I didn't know what to expect. I am humbled by the generosity of people who don't even know me!
Last week, I exercised more than I have in a long time, which is not to say much because I have been a couch potato for a long time. I was so sore this weekend and discouraged because I wanted to burn those calories!
I took yesterday off from work to study for a midterm that I took last night. The midterm represents 50% of my class grade. This was supposed to be my final class before graduation. Last week, when I saw the study guide, I felt as if I'd been beamed into another class. Nothing looked familiar! I did have most of the info in my notes, I reread those, the entire reading assignments and practiced the formulas. Last night, I had the same feeling - my brain felt sluggish! I left in tears!
Today, a fellow student pointed out that I still have time to drop this class and take another class from the same group next quarter. That would mean wasting the fees for this quarter and delaying my last day of school. Given how tired I am, I don't know........I hope to get the results next week. I really want that 4.0 on my transcript! I was a slightly above average student when younger, but have had a 4.0 my entire time in this AA program and really want to keep that.
Lots of stress at work and at home. So, today, it all came together and I fell back in the diet thinking trap. I wanted to eat whatever I wanted, not be accountable and just take today off. I kind of did that, but not really.
I have to credit SparkPeople friends for helping me through a very bleak day! I look forward to paying it forward for someone else! I am amazed at the power of their kindness and generosity!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Last week, I walked every day at work (5 days straight). Every day I added time or increased difficulty. The campus has steep hills and stairs. Saturday, I intended to do some weight training, even though I am still clueless on that point. I did nothing. Sunday, I was still very sore and did nothing. Yesterday, I walked and went up and down the stairs. My knee felt very good for most of the day, but I was still sore, so I didn't burn enough calories because I didn't spend enough time.
Today, I am still really sore and tired. Mentally, I'm fighting boredom with the whole thing, even though I could not wait to get onto the website this morning. I feel a bit discouraged that I may not be able to meet the threshold fitness goals, not just daily, but........ever.
I am tired in every way imaginable and I have a critical midterm exam tonight!
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