Monday, January 10, 2011
It's a brand new year; I'm coming up for my second anniversary on the site in February. Time for a little reflection and re-dedication.
First, the positive. Through the Spark's system of points, streaks, and awards I have really ramped up my fitness efforts and I can feel the difference. I exercised before, and was a water aerobics teacher when I came here, but my workouts consisted almost entirely of teaching classes. The water is still my main exercise location (one has to follow one's bliss, after all!) but I now do other class and solo workouts in addition and find that I no longer have to accept as natural a lot of soreness the day after a workout. I have better endurance than I had before, better agility, more strength. And I think that this improvement has rebounded to improve my teaching. Pre-spark, I would have treated a coming 2 week family visit as a vacation and rest from exercise. Instead, I am furiously planning what I can do there if I can't get to a pool!
Next, the challenge. My BMI is way too high. Has been for a long time, still is, and it bugs me. I lost a few pounds and since then it has seemed like the scale was glued in place. I can eat a lot; I can eat a little, and the numbers budge up or down only a pound or so. In a way, I guess such stability is better than yo-yoing, but is not in my long term best interest. It takes a toll on my joints and my cardiovascular system, a toll that surely will eventually curtail my doing what I love--teaching water exercise. Currently I may demonstrate to my classes that you don't have to be skinny to be strong, but I would love to show them that you can achieve a healthy weight at any age.
To that end, I have been working on my diet since Christmas. Making some small and some large changes: measuring portions, trying to get in my 5-a-day, getting a healthy lunch on the days I teach a noon class, choosing healthy measured snacks. No change on the scale yet after two weeks, but I continue to be stubborn about it, convinced that a long enough streak will pay off. Like the Little Engine That Could that my grandson adores, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Around this time of year, people's commitment to exercise often wanes to near non-existence. At one of the classes I teach we've developed a scheme to try to counteract this and to give a little extra incentive to folks to keep exercising, keep coming to class, maintain the level of fitness they've worked so long and hard to attain.
It's based on the principle that after 48 hours, the muscle tissue you have built through exercise starts to deteriorate and diminish. Keep exercising and you maintain or build muscle; lay off and muscle starts to go away. Hence the idea of a chain of fitness: each workout builds on the one before and is the basis for the next one.
We manifest this in tangible form by handing out a little plastic link to each participant at each class. As time passes, they hook their links together and have a physical reminder of their commitment to consistency. By Christmas time, many people have a chain long enough to decorate their bathing suits or wear as an (admittedly cheesy) necklace.
You don't have to come to my class to do this for yourself. You may have access to those colorful plastic toddler toy links. Or beads to put on a string. Or shells to line up on the window sill. Or marbles to put in a glass jar. Anything you can add to day by day, workout by workout to demonstrate to yourself how you are building your fitness no matter what holiday meals, cookies, or egg nog come your way.
And think how proud you'll feel in January when those other lazybones are kicking themselves and making resolutions and dragging themselves to the gym/pool/running trail. You're already there!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I'm back from the South Pacific vacation and to my utter astonishment I have not gained (or lost) an ounce! This was a vacation that included a week on a fancy-schmancy cruise ship, stays in beautiful resorts, fantastic French food & wine, dessert most evenings, minimal exercise (snorkel here, swim there, but little else 'cause it was HOT). What the flippin' heck was going on?? I know people who brag about "only" gaining 4 lbs on a cruise by going vegetarian and teetotal for the duration. I ate and drank and did whatever I wanted! For sure I'm going to revisit that book about why French women don't get fat.
It may help to review how I ate on the trip: Breakfast was a bowl of muesli with yoghurt and extra dried fruit piled on--prunes an dates and raisins. Plus lovely fresh tropical fruit--papayas, pineapple, and watermelon. That held me very well till lunch--a plate of build-it-yourself salad plus a couple of small sandwich pieces, maybe a sample of whatever special goodies were on offer for the day, iced tea and sometimes dessert. Dinner was the equivalent of 4 courses in a French restaurant plus wine and dessert.
Themes to try to replicate: it was easy to eat lots of fruits & vegetables. I'm sure the morning fruit and lunch salad made up 5-a-day. Portion control! Dinner, the richest meal of the day was served in stages of very small exquisitely presented portions. It was nonetheless quite satisfying--I never pushed away from the table thinking, "Gee, I've got plenty of room for a piece of pie." There were a couple of times when we skipped meals. Excursions sometimes messed with lunchtime so that we either skipped lunch or had a substantial snack and skipped dinner.
Resolutions: Get those 5-a-day fruit and veg in before thinking about treats or goodies. Don't eat just because it's mealtime (except breakfast--that way lies madness). Ramp up the exercise and see if I can get rid of some of this body baggage!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Found this survey on FAIR*ISLE's blog and liked it:
1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? open.
2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? no
3. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? out
4. Have you ever stolen a street sign before? no
5. Do you like to use post-it notes? Yes! Perfect for marking your place on a knitting pattern. I have an embarrassingly large stash of them.
6. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? Rarely use them.
7. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees? Bees. Painful, but you'd be more likely to survive. From what I've seen of bear attacks, you'd be much more likely to be deprived of important body parts or even your life.
8. Do you have freckles? yes
9. Do you always smile for pictures? I try.
10. What is your biggest pet peeve? People who think intuition and hunches trump reason and data.
11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk? no
12. Have you ever peed in the woods? Yes.
13. What about pooped in the woods? Yes.
14. Do you ever dance even if there’s no music playing? Yes, but better still is to put on some good music and move to the groove.
15. Do you chew your pens and pencils? Not any more.
16. How many people have you slept with this week? MYOB
17. What size is your bed? MYOB
18. What is your Song of the week? The music playing in my head is usually from the playlists I use for my classes. Lately it's been a reggae workout.
19. Is it okay for guys to wear pink? yes
20. Do you still watch cartoons? Animations (South Park, Pixar) yes, Tom & Jerry no.
21. What’s your least favorite movie? Anything that's all about the shooting and explosions.
22. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some? At the bottom of my yarn stash. Treasure underneath the treasure and nobody goes there but me.
23. What do you drink with dinner? water
24. What do you dip a chicken nugget in? Ick.
25. What is your favorite food? Indian
26. What movies could you watch over and over and still love? British TV series like Prime Suspect, Jeeves & Wooster, AbFab...
27. Last person you kissed/kissed you? MYOB
28. Were you ever a boy/girl scout? yes. And a leader and a camp counselor.
29. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine? You've got to be kidding!
30. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? Last week.
31. Can you change the oil on a car? No
32. Ever gotten a speeding ticket? no
33. Ran out of gas? No
34. Favorite kind of sandwich? A really good veggie with fresh whole wheat bread, avocado, sprouts, tomatoes, hummus, spinach...
35 Best thing to eat for breakfast? bowl of whole mixed grains
36. What is your usual bedtime? 10pm
37. Are you lazy? Is procrastination laziness or is laziness just procrastination?
38. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween? I only remember the year Mom made clown suits out of old sheets that we then decorated with felt pens.
39. What is your Chinese astrological sign? Rat, I think.
40. How many languages can you speak? Spanish, un peut de Francais, kum kum Farsi
41. Do you have any magazine subscriptions? yup.
42..Which are better legos or lincoln logs? Legos. You can make a wider range of things out of them.
43. Are you stubborn? About some things.
44. Who is better...Leno or Letterman? Never watch either.
45. Ever watch soap operas? Nope.
46. Afraid of heights? yes
47. Sing in the car? Yes. All the good old kid songs with my grandson.
48. Dance in the shower? No
49. Dance in the car? Whaaat??
50. Ever used a gun? Not since I was a kid. Tried it once and it put me off forever.
51. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer? A few years ago when my mom insisted.
52. Do you think musicals are cheesy? Yes. And I love them. Bring on the no-calorie cheese!
53. Is Christmas stressful? Only as stressful as you let it be.
54. Ever eat a pierogi? yes. Used to get great ones in San Francisco at a Russian bakery.
55. Favorite type of fruit pie? blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, blackberry. I don't think they make a berry I don't like.
56. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid? Veterinarian
57. Do you believe in ghosts? no
58. Ever have a Deja-vu feeling? Yes.
59. Take a vitamin daily? yes
60. Wear slippers? no
61. Wear a bath robe? No
62. What do you wear to bed? MYOB
63. First concert? Local groups at a home town outdoor rock concert. Back in the days when R&R was shocking, not big business.
64. Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart? I try to avoid plastic tat when I can and buy locally made and/or biodegradable options. Sometimes there is no option, though.
65. Nike or Adidas? Neither. Avias, because I get an instructor discount.
66.Cheetos Or Fritos? Ick. Ick.
67. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds? Both, please. And both sunflower and peanut butter, too!
68. Ever hear of the group Tres Bien? no
69. Ever take dance lessons? yes
70. Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing? My spouse just finished with his profession (retired). What he does is up to him.
71. Can you curl your tongue? Yes
72. Ever won a spelling bee? Yes
73. Have you ever cried because you were so happy? No
74. Own any record albums? Yes
75. Own a record player? Yes
76. Regularly burn incense? Ick.
77. Ever been in love? Yes
78. Who would you like to see in concert? Medieval Baebes
79. What was the last concert you saw? Hard to say. I go to lots of them
80.Hot tea or cold tea? Both
81.Tea or coffee? coffee
82. Sugar or snickerdoodles? I just made some incredible vegan cinnamon chocolate snickerdoodles for my egg/milk allergic grandson. Pix on my blog ptarmiganptracks.blogspot.com/
83.Can you swim well? yes
84.Can you hold your breath without holding your nose? yes
85. Are you patient? yes
86. DJ or band, at a wedding? Depends more on the music than the source.
87. Ever won a contest? Yup.
88. Ever have plastic surgery? no
89. Which are better black or green olives? Black
90. Can you knit or crochet? yes, see above-mentioned blog.
91. Best room for a fireplace? Ours is open on both sides--to the living room and the tv room on the other side.
92. Do you want to get married? Been there, done that, got the gold ring.
93. If married, how long have you been married? 29 years
94. Who was your HS crush? There were a couple. Now I wonder "WHAT was I thinking??"
95. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way? I have a 3-year-old grandson that does that. Seems to me that kind of behavior is not compatible with the abovementioned 29 years of marriage.
96. Do you have kids? yes
97. Do you want kids? Grandkids are awesome. It's great to watch your kids experiencing parenthood, too.
98. Whats your favorite color? Jewel tones: purple, deep red, aqua, blue
99. Do you miss anyone right now? yes
100. Did you watch, Next Great American Band on FOX? What??? Rarely watch tv; never watch Fox.
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