Friday, October 28, 2011
It's been kind of a crazy month, but overall I have been doing much better with my eating and exercise. I know that one thing I definitely enjoy about the Army is the culture of fitness that has to be maintained. Going to the gym is part of your day, and expected to be so. There are plenty of soldiers that fall through the cracks or who don't take responsibility for their fitness, but if you even give it a pinch of effort, it is so EASY to stay in shape and there is a lot less of “what are you doing that for?” or the sidewise looks you sometimes get in the civilian world.
I have adapted quite well to my full month in uniform... actually, it's been somewhat of a rest for me since I had a focus of learning all that I could while I was down in Texas the first two weeks of the month and the focus of getting stuff done during the home portion of the month at my unit. It's been okay, really.
I have mixed feelings about spending a year down in Texas... I am excited about the challenge, but don't want to be away from my family all that time. I have never set up an apartment by myself and lived completely by myself ever in my life, so that part is huge for me. I am also looking forward to just having time to learn about myself away from everyone that I know. It's almost part of my continuing journey that began in 2008 with losing the weight... the onion's layers just keep peeling back. So it's a mixed blessing, and a challenge that I plan to embrace rather than run from.
Another thing I will miss is my new grandbaby. She is just 10 days old and the cutest baby ever... but I am one of her grandparents and I have a right to be a little biased. She was already above birthweight by nearly 4 oz on her one week weight check.
Yesterday was our twice-yearly Physical Fitness test. I passed without any problems, though my sit ups and push ups dropped a bit. I blew away the run... I scored 98% on that, running the 2 miles in 17:42! I am completely pumped about that... an 8:51 mile! I was happy when I was running a mile in 10 minutes, now I'm down over a minute from that. I am going to try to run a 5K, not for any reason, just to see if I can run the distance without stopping. I am not really surprised by that run time since I have been logging close to that in my neighborhood that has hills repeatedly in recent weeks... and this was run pretty much on the flat. But I am still pumped! I was passing people much younger than I am... so I figure if I am 46 and can do this, anybody can.
A couple of weight loss related news stories have hit the air in the past couple of days and they kind of troubled me... the first one was about a study on how dieting messes up your weight loss related hormones and once you lose the weight, make it harder to keep from eating. I read a bit more in depth today and found that the study was done on people who were held to a 550 calorie diet to lose weight. We Sparkers know exactly how damaging that can be and how you want to keep your calorie minimums to 1200 for females and 1500 for males, unless there is a medical reason you need to restrict them that much. I think the first news story that only glossed over the findings and not the methodology really does a disservice to people. It seems to me the take away message from it is, if I lose the weight I will just put it all back on again anyway and it won't be my fault... so why bother to lose it in the first place. The gospel that good weight loss websites and dietitians is that you lose slowly and steadily... and it makes sense because it allows your body to adjust to the changes that you are making. A 550 calorie per day restriction would only screw up your hormones and throw your entire system out of whack, it seems to me.
The other story was about women gaining weight so they could qualify for insurance coverage for weight loss surgeries. Wow. How counterproductive. I really don't care for weight loss surgery unless someone really needs it. People seem to want to take the easy way out... and that surgery comes with it's own set of risks and hassles... and if you don't follow through on the required diet, you will gain the weight back or worse.
It all comes down to the mantra, “There is no magic bullet.” It takes time, commitment and a real sense of your own self worth to make this stuff happen. You just don't wake up one morning to find yourself skinny. It took me 8 solid months of working out and counting calories... and you know what, I still count most days... and working out is a part of my lifestyle. I just have to do it because I don't want to go back to that sad person I was. I love the fact that I'm a 46 year old grandmother who can run circles around people younger than me... and not even out of shape ones. I have worked hard to get to where I am, but it only rarely felt like work since I so loved the process. And that process has allowed me to fulfill my dream of serving in the military.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I have had a rough few weeks staying on track with both exercise and eating... feeling like a failure while making steady progress to longer running intervals... so yeah, some failure!
I have been kind of down due to tight money, the impending deployment, and just feeling pressed and stressed by life, the universe and everything... but I'm still here and my weight is still at the comfortable 147-148, right in the middle of my range... so I am really doing fine. I think I do better actually setting my calorie range for weight loss, that way if I go over a bit, I'm really okay.
Anyway, back to the reason for the title to today's blog, It Starts Everyday. I felt like I'd been such a slacker for not getting in enough exercise and eating kind of recklessly, I had myself back in the mindset of starting again Sunday. I guess markers like that are useful, to a point, but I think we all need to change that mindset that we can begin any day and better tomorrow than the x number of days until next week starts. I kind of boiled it down to 3 main concepts:
1) What I already said, it starts everyday... you have a new chance each day that you wake up... and as my mom always said, "Everyday is a new adventure & everyday you learn
something new is a good day."
2) The sooner you start, the better! Being healthier today is one more healthy happy day for you on the planet!
3) Mind, Body and Spirit are connected. When I'm feeling down, it's harder to find the motivation to exercise, but when I'm working out and moving my body, I feel so much better in all aspects of my life. I have a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness, which makes me feel like I'm more in control of my life.
It is really simple, waiting to restart hurts me in many ways. I have a need to eat well and stay active for optimal overall health.
Fighting the urge to sit in my chair and munch on a bag of chips can be tough some days, especially when I'm having a sever case of the "Idontwannas" or if I'm tired, which is a lot of the time these days-working both my civilian and military jobs without many days off or much down time. (The next day that I will be able to wake up comfortably in my own bed without an alarm will be November 5th.) I just feel I have so much on my plate to care about that I need a place and time in my life where I can let loose a little and not care... so it really comes out in the evening snacking.
We are all a work in progress... and the work really never ends.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
End of last week, with the sudden heat, I kind of laid off exercise for a couple of days. I felt indolent and lazy.
Saturday, my best friend Renee and I went to the World Sheep Festival in Bethel, Missouri for the first half of the day and then drove the 2 hours back to the mall here and went shopping. I allowed myself regular lemonade and half a funnel cake at the Festival and bought myself a new drop spindle, some beautiful roving (for spinning) and a couple of ounces of dyed wool locks for carding and spinning... yay! I really wanted a Fancy Kitty handspinner but they don't make them anymore (boo)... Still had a good time...
The wool roving that I bought was not a colorway I would usually choose, but I'm very pleased with the way it's spinning. She called it "Koi Pond" and it's white/goldfish orange/emerald green/sapphire blue with some grey & brown in the transition areas. It's a joy to spin, drafting very nicely and watching the brilliant colors just play out in the single... I can't wait to get it spun up. I just have to figure out what I'm going to ply it with. I am thinking a neutral white or ecru would offset the colors. To use the koi pond for both sides would just make a muddy mess, I think. (Sorry, waxing wooly here). Really, I need about 8 arms for all my fiber pursuits... nah, make that 16!
I restarted the week great! I got out and ran my little rear off on Sunday, the rebuilding continues apace towards the APFT and 5K in October and November. Yesterday I got out for a couple of hours and walked nearly 5 miles with my buddy Jas. The weather has turned perfect (for me)... 70s, sunny, breezy, big poofy clouds in a rich azure sky... it just doesn't get any better than this and we have it for at least the next week! Sigh.
So, bring it on baby, bring it on!
Friday, September 02, 2011
Today marks 3 years since I stepped on the scale and found myself over a pound under my goal of 150. I remember that moment, I nearly collapsed! 8 solid months of hard work had paid off with steady weight loss. I cried and was amazingly happy, but little did I know that the real journey had just begun.
Losing weight is the easy part. Your goals are concrete... visible. Milestones are easy to mark off. Then you get to that place you thought would be magickal, Maintenanceville... and you find out that the journey just keeps going. That is kind of letdown after the high of being able to shout "GGGGOOOOAAAALLLL!!!!" like that soccer announcer. The road stretches out ahead of you and you see clearly where that path goes... on and on towards the horizon, but you also have the comfort that the habits you learned for tracking, eating right and exercising are there to help you along the way... and if you're lucky, so are the friends you have made on SP!
I've had my ups and downs since that amazing day 3 years ago. 2009 was such a bad year personally that I might have not made it without SP. It was my sane center, I focused on exercise and eating the best that I could... and I was glad to have it since it gave me a focus apart from the rest of my life feeling like it was reeling out of control.
My work here also allowed me to pursue my dream of re-entering the military. I am physically fit and able to perform my duties as an Army nurse. I am currently facing my first deployment in December, a reality that bears its own baggage and is fast approaching. I anticipate my year away from my family having a huge fitness focus since I know very well how that helps me stay sane in insane situations. I plan to come out stronger and healthier on the other side of my Texas Adventure!
So here we stand, 3 years past initially reaching goal and looking forward to the rest of my life as a Maintenanceville resident. The streets aren't always calm here, nor are the skies always sunny, but living here is worth the occasional hassles. For the most part, I feel I have been more present, alive and vital in the last 3 years than I was in the previous 41.
As my mother said frequently... every day is a new adventure and every day you learn something new is a good day. She was a wonderful woman. I miss her and yet she is with me every day.
Onwards and upwards!
Thursday, September 01, 2011
I have been working hard to get my exercise mojo back since that week in Florida in July, where I had little time to exercise and had to sit in hardplastichairs(TM) and ended up feeling I'd been beaten *with* the chairs.
So the rebuilding started slow and continued to creep along while it was freakishly hot, high 90s and low 100s with even higher heat indices. I almost shut down during that time since it just never cooled down for nearly 2 weeks... it was AWFUL.
The temps started moderating and my level of physical activity increased accordingly, since I was finally able to get out and walk and run with reasonable comfort. My mojo really started getting revved up again and I love that.
Then I got hit with the Brainsucker Virus (TM) a couple of weeks ago... I called in sick two days because of it... and I generally DON'T do that since I so rarely get sick. But I woke up feeling cruddy and completely in the "idontwanna" column... and I'm glad I did, or I think my recovery would have taken even longer.
But anyway, that obstacle was leapt with reasonable ease... I just started getting my running built up again and now we have 4 days of upper 90s heat with killer heat indices again and every time I look at the forecast, it just looks hotter and longer.
I really can't run on our treadmill well because of it's instability anymore... speeding up and slowing down without warning, etc. I also tend to psych myself out on treadmill, which I just don't do outside. I just have my running program telling me when to switch intervals and I know about how many steps an interval takes.
I may just have to hie myself to the local public gym to run on the indoor track. I want to run, but it's too hot and the heat and I don't get along. Also I have had a heat injury and that makes me more susceptible to another one... so risking that is bad.
Oh well, they are saying mid 70s to low 80s next week (crossing fingers).
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