Sunday, September 23, 2012
We had a great ride today, my longest ever. I enjoyed all 23.5 miles of it. The most special part was riding on the dirt and gravel paths through the Circle Bar B Nature Preserve. Although I have walked back in there, this was my first time to go by bike and cover far more area than I ever had before in a day. We were so close to sand hill cranes and great blue herons I think I could have touched them if I were willing to lean enough to fall off the bike! There were anhingas, roseate spoonbills, egrets, turkey vultures,small herons, and quite a few birds that I can't name. I caught a glimpse of a large gator moving away that they tell me I rode right by without seeing!
I really need to get a camera that I know how to work. I would love to post pictures of what we saw today. However, I can post the two pictures that Janet took:
The guys actually got in the picture this week!
We did get a picture with just the women.
After the group ride, I cycled over to my daughter's house to take care of my granddaughters and this evening I rode home before it got too dark. I really enjoyed my activity today and feel so blessed that I am healthy enough to do it!!!
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Some people say it is harder to maintain than it is to lose weight. I think that depends -- depends on what your expectations of maintenance are.
If you think you'll go back to eating just about the way you did before you started losing weight, perhaps with a little less food, maintenance will be hard.
If you think you'll continue to eat the way you did while losing, with just a little more food, you probably won't find maintenance so hard.
If you think you can quit exercising because you are now at goal weight, maintenance will be hard.
If you continue to exercise after making it to goal, or better yet take on new exercise challenges (I'm going for a half marathon!), you may find that maintenance is not so hard after all.
Monday, September 17, 2012
With my usual Sunday morning group, I rode right at 20 miles yesterday in about 2 hours. We took this picture after the ride:
There were actually 7 of us. One rider left before the picture and the two guys just don't like photos, I guess.
There have been years that all my exercise has been a solitary enterprise. I don't have to have a group or buddy in order to enjoy it. But if you ever have a chance to exercise with a group, I'd highly recommend you try it. I have found it to be more fun than I anticipated. Really!!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Thanks, everyone, who read and liked my "How I Found My Inner Jock" blog. This eve there are 84 comments on it. And can you guess who made the 83rd comment? SparkGuy, Chris Downie, no less!
Isn't that awesome? Here he gives us this incredible free site, and even takes the time to check out member blogs!! I went to his SparkPage and gave him a goodie, because that's what we do here on SparkPeople. Right?
PS I'm up to 105 comments and I received a Popular Blog Award. Thanks, SparkFriends and other readers!! Isn't SP just so positive and reinforcing??
PPS I now have 148 comments and 99 "like" votes. This is so cool!?? ! One comment mentioned that the Inner Jock blog was featured in an e-mail, but I didn't see it. If it is true, I would love for someone to cut and paste it into a SparkMail to me!!
Last postscript??? (no guarantee - LOL): Thanks, TerriJ. As of 9-20-12 I have 164 comments and 128 "likes" on the blog. It has been a hoot watching the number go up. I've tried to thank each person commenting, but may not get to all. Will try!! I love SparkPeople!!!! I think because I've been writing blogs for almost 3 years, I have really enjoyed my first two Popular Blog Awards.
9-21-12 PS Now 172 comments and 138 "likes"! Now what am I going to write?? I feel a little pressure to write more than my usual stream of life dribble. Ahhh, I'll be back to usual blogging soon, but I can get the three points just by editing!!
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Eleven mile run – done! Or more precisely an eleven mile run-walk-run. I loved it. I ended up feeling great and knowing that I could run more and run faster. And I soon will. Looking forward to it. How did I go from living a sedentary existence to where I am today?
As a kid I remember being chosen last every time. I was embarrassed to run for fear kids would see my fat jiggle. My 5th grade teacher recommended dancing lessons to help awkwardness, not knowing I’d already had three years. I remember my 7th grade coach calling me a “motor moron.” How did I ever find my inner jock?
In 1998 when I hit my top weight of 212 pounds, I had not exercised for more than a decade. Before that a couple times I had started an exercise program at a gym or on my own, but that was just it. I started. Inevitably I overdid it, was so sore I could hardly walk, and would give up. I thought it was just way too hard.
In 1998 I joined Curves. That was the first time I ever exercised fairly regularly. It wasn't too hard and I didn't get sore. I lost 60 pounds, but really did not see any muscle definition nor notice any improvement in my cardio. I did not enjoy the workouts, but endured them in order to lose weight. After I hit my weight goal, I quit. I tried Curves again in 2004-2006, and was really dedicated to getting my workouts in for the first time. It became easier and easier. I used a weighted hula hoop on the “recovery stations” and started really having fun during my workouts.
I changed jobs and Curves wasn’t convenient any more. I walked regularly three days a week for 30 minutes. Pretty soon it was four days a week and then five. Usually I was a little more consistent in the summer than in the winter when it was dark when I got home from work. Then I got a treadmill and consistently walked year round.
For Christmas I got a great present, a Walk Away the Pounds DVD. I loved the indoor walking program and mixing it up with my outdoor walks and my treadmill walks. I stuck to my 5 times a week cardio schedule for several years, but my weight was creeping back up. In 2008 I rejoined Weight Watchers, having regained 25 pounds. I lost the 25 with my 5 days a week exercise routine. I was at the top of the healthy BMI range, but I wanted to make sure I kept it off this time.
That was when I found SparkPeople. I read that exercise was crucial to maintenance. I increased my cardio to 6 days a week, one hour per day. I consistently did a SparkPeople-generated strength training program, too. I added the minimum maintenance food, and was surprised when I continued to lose weight slowly for more than a year.
After four months of SP strength training I was confident enough to join a gym. At our local YMCA I found people at all fitness levels and wish I’d joined earlier. I tried a lot of different exercises – weight machines, pilates, step aerobics, stationary bike, swimming, etc. Zumba became one of my favorites and I found I really enjoyed 70 minutes on the elliptical trainer. My new MP3 player also helped jazz up my workouts.
In January 2011 at the age of 61, a poster caught my eye, “5K Road Race for People Over 50.” I wondered if I could run 3.1 miles. I jumped on the treadmill and did it without much problem. I entered the race and placed third in my age group. It was only the 12th time I had ever run and the third time I had ever run that far. I thought maybe I should start training for real! In the following year I ran six 5Ks and one 10K. Now I’m training for my first half marathon on November 18th.
If you just read the previous paragraph you might think it was foolishly impetuous of me to start running so late in life, but taken in context, the opposite is true. I found my inner jock by taking slow consistent steps over years and gradually increasing the intensity and length of my workouts.
I’ve learned if I dread a workout, I need to slow down. It doesn’t need to hurt to be beneficial; in fact, you should end up feeling great. I do!!
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