Sunday, June 08, 2008
The warmer weather is helping me overall--my spirits are much better than they were in the winter, & my exercise has increased lately--but the scales aren't budging & I look a little pudgy in my summer clothes. I want to get serious this week about taking care of myself.
Right now I want to think a little about the "solution-focused approach" advocated in the SP article highlighted today in our right-hand column. Let's see if this gets me anywhere . . .
"1. Look for the exception that proves the rule.
There are always times when you do better than others, and it’s usually not an accident—there’s something about these positive times that makes your work much easier. The trick is to figure out what that something is, and how you can make it happen more often."
* It was easier to get up to exercise on the back porch when (1) I had gotten a reasonable amount of sleep & (2) I set a reward for myself (wearing new gauchos that day).
* Bedtime is crucial! I'm going to try to be in bed between 10:30 & 11 all this week.
* Rewards--hmm. Of course I can't promise myself a new article of clothing for every day that I exercise! But I think I'll try planning out some small reward for each day this week that I do. I'll post my list at the end of this blog entry.
"2. Activate your imagination with the Miracle Question.
Imagine that tonight while you’re sleeping, a miracle is going to happen that will completely solve the problem . . . once and for all. How will you know, when you wake up, that the miracle has happened and the problem is solved? What will be different for you—how will you think, act, or feel differently once the problem has been solved? What will be different about the day ahead of you? Are these questions already helping you think or feel differently now, at least a little bit? How can you make this happen more often?"
Let's see: a miracle solution would mean my weight on the scale would be 142, my belly would be trimmer, & I'd look good in that one little denim skirt & that one size 7 dress. I would feel light & energetic & stride through the city with big steps that day. In exercise, I'd have longer endurance--being able to run 45 mins. or even an hour without slowing to a walk. I might even sign up for a 5K race for the fun of it.
I do think it would be good to think more often about the anticipated RESULTS of losing weight & getting stronger. It's fun & motivating!
"3. Find the good intention behind the 'bad' behavior.
You do the 'wrong' thing . . . because there is some payoff. . . . Your best bet will probably involve finding a way to get the payoff without those undesirable side-effects. Ask yourself what the payoff really is. Is it simple pleasure, emotional comfort, or relief from boredom or other unwanted feelings? Then ask yourself what you can do that would give you that same payoff, without the extra calories."
* eating 3 chocolate squares instead of 1 or 2 -- the pleasure of sweetness & flavor, a bit of stress relief at work
* beer &/or dessert with my husband -- camaraderie, relaxing & enjoying something together, reward for a hard day's work
* extra sleep instead of exercising -- the rest my body needs!
* eat ONE chocolate square as slowly as possible, savoring every nibble
* half a beer instead of a whole one (this is probably necessary anyway to help regulate my sleep)
* just fruit, or fruit & yogurt, for a yummy dessert
* eating out in the garden as often as possible
* exercising together! just today my husband showed me the map of a bike trail through a linked set of forest preserves not far from us--we would toss his bike in the back of our car on a Sun. afternoon, drive to the trail beginning & park, then he would bike while I ran/walked, & we'd meet back at the car at a set time; this sounds SO lovely to me
* continue setting rewards & giving them to myself when I get to bed at a decent time & can get up to exercise
* continue to watch for & cut out behaviors/substances that my body can't handle anymore (lately it's been black tea & high-alcohol beer) so as to diminish the chances of insomnia
"4. Predict your way to success.
Before you get out of bed in the morning, take a minute to predict how you’re going to handle the potential problems you may encounter that day. What specific events, thoughts or feelings might make it more likely that you’ll face (or avoid) the problem? When and where are these events likely to happen? Who else is going to be involved? What can you do to influence this course of events and increase the odds in favor of not having the problem today?"
This is WAY more thinking than I am capable of doing first thing in the morning! But I think being aware of these alternative strategies is going to help me deal with the recurring problems & make good changes.
JUNE 8-14 REWARD PLAN
(for getting to bed 10:30-11 AND getting up to exercise)
SUNDAY (if I go out running this afternoon, now that it's cooler) spend 30 mins. reading my current novel
MONDAY wear other new outfit
TUESDAY call old friend in PA right after supper
WEDNESDAY put on some inspiring instrumental music while I work at my computer in the evening
THURSDAY make a smoothie for breakfast
FRIDAY wear my coral top & the handmade tropical necklace
SATURDAY eat breakfast at the backyard picnic table
Let's see if this works! If it does, I'm going to have an incredibly lovely week!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Last night I got to bed at a decent hour, & this morning I got up in time to warm up & then do 7 strength-training exercises on the back porch. The flowers & herbs in my planters seem none the worse for their recent brush with disaster. It had been raining hard in the wee hours, so the roof workmen were not yet on the premises, fortunately. It was nice to be out there in the peacefully humid morning, listening to news & doing my reps & feeling accompanied by the potted plants.
And today I'm wearing the new gauchos; they are indeed super-comfortable.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
I was looking at my fitness reports, both cardio & strength training, & it struck me that just as the better weather has helped me get back into running recently, I should harness that enjoyment of fresh air for reviving my strength training. Which has languished quite pitifully for a number of months.
This spring I am fixing up my back porch with flowers & herbs in windowboxes & pots. The porch has become very inviting--so I'm going to make use of it! It's reasonably private, & there's a mixture of sun & shade at any time of day there. This week I will aim to get up early at least a couple of mornings & take my dumbbells, mat, & chair out onto the porch, along with a radio so I can listen to the news while I do my workout. Better yet, I think I'll start keeping the dumbbells out there--I think there's shelf space.
Doesn't that just sound lovely? I'm totally inspired.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Well, ONE of the best, anyway. I went running to do errands this morning. Had made muesli last night, so breakfast after running was just wonderful--oats & toasted nuts & cinnamon & a bit of brown sugar & banana & blueberries & milk. Then I made a yummy dessert for the baby shower I'd be helping to host in the afternoon. While it was baking I worked on my back-porch planters, which I had started the other day. All the remaining flowers got ensconced in windowboxes or pots, & the windowboxes are now mounted on porch railings & look lovely. Meanwhile green tea with jasmine was brewing in a big jug in the sun for the shower.
I got some real exercise before & after the shower too, since it was in my neighbor's backyard & (with help from friends) I carried outdoor chairs there & back, as well as the jug of tea & the dessert & paper goods & a number of other things. We had a fabulous time at the shower--which was coed, so even my husband was there. It may have been his first baby shower ever, I'm not sure. (He's a fairly recent immigrant.)
After the shower, while he went on a bike ride I put stuff away & then made a run to the grocery store (got nearly all fresh produce) & CVS (where I got one more potted plant to hang on the porch). Back home, I made salad, grilled chicken, & heated up beans. Supper was another of those "every bite is amazing" meals.
And I'm full of oxygen & SO happy it's finally warm here in Chicago (spring is so late that the lilacs on the north side of our building are just blooming now!) & looking forward to singing on worship team tomorrow at church & then taking a big bowl of bing cherries to the potluck at the lake afterward (a church tradition throughout the summer, since our building is just 6 blocks from a nice Lake Michigan beach).
Oh yes, & two of those extra pounds were off already this morning. And I'm planning to go running just as often as I can in the coming days, to enjoy this gorgeous weather.
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