Tuesday, July 01, 2014
I just had the most wonderful vacation I've had in years. I go with some friends every year to Mexico and then typically other friends or family join us. The people make the difference in how good an experience it is, and this year was great.
I didn't work myself into a frenzy trying to get in shape before hand, but I did work on it. When I left, my tummy was still too big and while clothes can help hide that (or so I like to believe), a wet swimsuit clinging to your body leaves no prisoners. All is revealed. But I decided I didn't care. I stood straight, walked tall, and didn't think about it. (Of course it didn't even cross my mind that keeping good posture makes you "look" slimmer).
And I ate whatever I wanted, and lots of it! Breakfasts were big and full of fat, but also lots of fruit. Lunches always included guacamole or avocado. And of course there were the afternoon snacks of a chocolate milkshake, ice cream, or strawberry margarita. I ate all I wanted at dinner, and of course the nightly nightcap in the pool of a double shot of Bailey's while watching the lighting show off in the distance. (It was awesome!!)
I'm cringing just thinking about it. This would equate to a huge weight gain in my everyday, sedentary life. But a funny thing happened - my clothes got looser and that tummy didn't bother me as much by the end of the week. Of course it was all the activity, and probably helped along by the heat and high humidity. Our days were full and tiring. I haven't weighed myself because I don't know what I weighed before I left and I don't care what I weigh now. I care about how I look and how my clothes fit, which I'm liking more right now.
What I took away from this is that I need to be more active. Not necessarily exercise more, but be more active. Now I understand the 10,000 steps a day goals that people set. It works to keep moving! I like this gift I've been given of having a fun week and having a positive physical outcome from it, but haven't done much to keep from sliding back this past week. It's time to think about what I need to do going forward.
Friday, May 09, 2014
After a few good days of eating healthy and within range, and having good workouts, I declare that this is "easy" and I can do this forever! Then the week wears on - not enough sleep, a workout that leaves me way more sore and tired than I expected, feeling hungrier each day.... Blah!
I'm not sure what happened. I had a great workout on the treadmill Wednesday night, no too hard, not too easy. And I decided to wait and do strength training the next night because I didn't want to overdo it. Great decisions - but then I started to feel like a truck had run over me anyway! And that feeling continued and got worse through the next day. Then, after feeling pretty darn awful all day, I proceeded to eat barbecue potato chips and Hershey's Dark Nugget and Almonds for dinner, along with my only healthy item, a glass of milk. Sigh...
I still don't feel recovered enough to workout today. So I find my thoughts telling me I'll never reduce this belly! I don't do well starving (or even eating fewer calories than I am now), and my body is obviously going to limit what I can do physically. A couple days ago I was happy with slow and steady, and today I want to know how to fix this quick!
But after a good night's sleep and feeling good again, I'm sure I'll be back to slow and steady. It's a cycle.
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
This is the time of year when I usually start really pushing myself too hard trying to get in shape for my vacation. I've actually only reached my goal once, 3 year ago, but it kiiiiiilled me! Even the years I don't make it, I end up feeling burned out and after my vacation my whole wellness plan falls apart. Which is why I usually need to begin again the next year!
But this year? I'm really happy with where I'm at, even though I'm nowhere near my goal at this time. I'm sure I won't be there by the time I board the plane either. But I'll fit well enough in my summer clothes to get through my vacation, and I believe I'll be able to continue my journey when I get back.
I think the difference this time is that my goals above all else this year are to feel good, healthy and strong. I don't even care about losing weight - I'm not looking at the scale. I do care about strengthening muscles and losing fat. I care about getting enough sleep and feeling alert every day. I see my shape changing and my clothes are fitting better. I've made some changes to the way I eat that leave me less hungry and with fewer cravings. But I'm not even close to perfect. I skip workout days, eat too many calories too often, and I certainly still eat potato chips - often! But I'm happy and look forward to each workout.
Of course, part of my happiness is because my job will be less stressful now until next December, when life will get totally crazy again for 4 months. But I think I can keep this up after my vacation - at least until then.
Friday, April 18, 2014
I was thinking about writing this blog yesterday. Today I'm wishing I would actually pay attention to the things I already know!
I can't tell you how many times I've derailed myself by pushing too far too fast in my exercise sessions. After I lapse for a few weeks, or more likely, few months, I need to start slow again and build up my activity level and intensity over time. I'm not young any more and my punishment for charging ahead isn't just a few days of soreness. Sometimes various pains sideline me for a week or more. But there are days when everything comes together and feels so good. I feel like I can do anything! And I go ahead and do it. Not just a little bit, but way too much.
It's so hard to hold back when you feel good. I have to keep reminding myself that it isn't just how I feel right now, it's how I'll feel tomorrow. I have to ask myself if doing everything that feels good today would actually hinder my overall progress.
And of course that applies to so many other things. Eating half a carton of ice cream for dinner feels so good while doing it. Staying up until 1:30 in the morning to finish a book feels so good until the alarm goes off at 6:30 the next morning (like I did Tuesday night). And as for today, I'm feeling the effects of having that 3rd and then 4th glass of wine with my girlfriends last night, even knowing that 3 is my absolute limit to still feel great the next day. Because after all - it felt so good at the time!
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I'm in the middle of my annual push to get in shape for the summer. That should be a bit depressing, since I shouldn't need an annual push! This past year was a particularly bad slide in the wrong direction. I have a lot of really good reasons for some of it, but certainly not all of it. Every year as I'm in full swing of my healthy routine, I marvel at how easy it can be. Sure there are days when I slip, don't do all that I can, or just plain throw it out the window for the day. But then I get back in there and really enjoy it.
So today as I was thinking, once again, how easy this is (at this time), I did acknowledge to myself that eating something sugary can easily derail me. Eat a donut and I want 10 (or at least 2). Eat some candy and it ruins my desire for healthy food. That brought my thoughts to all the recent articles about the evils of sugar. This has become the new buzz in nutrition, overriding gluten free, paleo and even high fructose corn syrup. I saw an article the other day that listed everything bad sugar did to our bodies, and list went on and on and on and on and on - until I lost interest and moved on to a different article.
So all this thinking lead to the funny thought popping into my head - (sarcastically of course) 'however has the human race survived?'. I don't at all disagree that an excess of anything is harmful - even water! And I certainly have found that once I eat something sugary I crave more. But this blog isn't about sugar (which could cause a rousing debate I don't need!), but about my thoughts about what derails me from my desire to eat healthy and be active, and highly sugary (is that a word?) foods is one of them. And it only took me 57 years to figure that out!
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