Friday, July 06, 2012
Yesterday, I was not feeling motivated to do anything. I just wanted to be lazy and eat whatever I wanted.
Considering how unmotivated I felt, I did okay. Just okay, though. I had oatmeal for breakfast, a salad and fruit for lunch. Then I went to happy hour, had one drink and another salad. I tripped up on the dessert a bit, but the good part is that I split it with a slender girlfriend of mine, so the portion was reasonable. For the day, I give myself a C-, because I didn't exercise.
I went about 300 calories over my daily limit, which is okay because when I reviewed my tracker, I had banked a few hundred calories earlier in the week. My 7-day average intake is still around 1,500 calories which isn't bad.
This evening will be equally tough. I'm going to another happy hour. The major league baseball all-star game will be played in Kansas City on Tuesday (7pm CDT), so I'm sure our venue is going to be rockin'. Still, happy hours are hard to do. To stay on track, I planned in advance what I am having and entered it into my tracker. By doing so, I found a way to include some of my favorite, not so healthy choices without long term damage to my program. Its important to me to find a way to balance my need to stay on program with my desire to avoid feeling deprived.
This weekend, I'll venture out and check out some of the free activities going on in town. Kansas City has dressed itself up and rolled out the red carpet for its all-star game guests. I'm looking forward to it!
Thursday, July 05, 2012
This morning, I woke up in a completely defiant, whiny mood. I didn't want to blog, make a smoothie, write down anything I ate, exercise. Nothing. I just wanted for all of it to go away and for me to be able to just be lazy and do nothing but sit around eating my favorite foods.
So I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted today and to not exercise. First order of business; a trip to McDonald's for my favorite morning sandwich. But something funny happened at the drive thru. When it was time to order, I got oatmeal.
All of the rebellious bravado I had just an hour earlier--gone. I gave myself permission to eat the sandwich and I turned it down. What happened?
The only explanation I have is that while I was in line I asked myself a simple question. How will you feel after eating the sandwich?
I reminded myself how hard I've been working and that I've come too far to start backsliding. That mediocrity is not enough when it comes to lowering my blood sugar; I have to excel. I thought about the list of artificial ingredients I'd be consuming and was that something I really wanted to do. In a three-second nutshell my answer to this lightning fast series of questions was "It's not worth it." The sandwich was not worth the angst I would feel, the calories I would consume, or the tricks it would play on my blood sugar.
I wanted something that was part of my plan. Something that would not make me feel bad about my food choices. My old friend, oatmeal, fit the bill.
I don't know how the rest of the day will go, but my inner rebel is calm for now.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
In the last 24 hours I've done two things to rekindle my sagging motivation. I watched the movie Forks over Knives, which is now playing free on Hulu.com. I also printed a "Couch to 5K" workout plan.
The Forks over Knives movie intrigued me. It features the work of two renowned researchers, one a doctor and the other a scientist who wanted to learn more about how to prevent heart disease and cancer. Both researchers concluded that a meat-based diet created an environment in our bodies that's ideal for the growth of cancer cells, while a plant-based diet discouraged their growth. America wasn't ready for what they had to say. One researcher was marginalized by his peers, many of whom advocate a low-fat diet that includes meat, dairy and cheese as well as plant-based foods.
Like many Americans, I find their conclusions compelling, but I know that I won't ever become a total vegan. Eliminating meat, dairy, oils and all processed foods is a radical dietary change. Still, I'm open-minded enough to agree that part of the problem is that we're not ingesting enough of the foods that discourage the growth of cancer cells or plaque in our arteries. Instead of discouraging the intake of less healthy foods, I think we need to be encouraging healthier food choices.
The conclusion I drew from this movie? Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Minimize intake of fatty meats, salty and sugary snacks and processed foods containing partially hydrogenated corn syrup or whatever that stuff is. Exercise.
The movie did succeed in helping me regain my focus on WHY I'm doing this program. To reduce my BMI to 24.9 (I started at 34) and to get my blood sugar under control.
The second thing I did was go outside and walk/jog nearly 3 miles. I printed a couch to 5K workout schedule. I'm not crazy about running, but this plan seemed doable because today, most of my movement was walking dispersed with jogging for 60 seconds at a time. I realize that I can't just walk out my front door and jog 5K. I need to work up to it. I don't know if this is something I'll stick with or not, but it's perfect on a day like today where I'm off work, the community center I workout at is closed, and I have the time to do it.
One other thing I realized is that I haven't been cooking enough. I need to get in the kitchen and start bangin' my pots and pans around. So today, I'm going to get some menus together and go shopping for those ingredients this weekend.
In the meantime, I need to get dressed and get out of the house. I want to visit some really cool museums today before I go to the fireworks show this evening.
Enjoy your 4th of July!
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
About a week ago, I noticed a troubling trend. My motivation to continue my healthy choices feels like it's almost gone. I've tried all the usual ways to retain it: reading blogs, trying on outfits, trying new recipes, changing up my workouts. All of that stuff. That magical feeling I had about doing this program has left me.
But I'm still here. Tracking my food. Recording my workouts. Blogging.
What's so different this time?
After six months, some of this behavior is turning into habit. It's hard to get excited about habits. No one blogs about "Yay, I brushed my teeth today. And FLOSSED too!" No, because it's part of your day.
For me, I get up in the morning. Shower and get dressed. Fix a smoothie. walk the dog. Blog a little. Pack a lunch. Go to work. Go to the gym. Come home. Fix dinner. Watch tv. Go to bed. Occasionally, to break up the routine, I go out with friends. But my life as an empty nester is simple.
What I've discovered is that I found a way to inject my healthier habits into my daily routine. Now, there's nothing exceptional about doing this day in and day out. Hence, my boredom.
Do I feel like quitting? No, that's not it at all. I think I'd feel "funny" if I didn't keep up with my routine.
The question I have for myself is that it's easy to stay on program when things are going smoothly, but what happens when things are stressful? So far, I've faltered, sometimes fallen, but I keep getting up and just slip back into my routine.
My plan is to figure out a hobby or something to distract me during this journey. If I've got something else on my mind, then I won't get too preoccupied with feeling bored.
Onward and downward.
Sunday, July 01, 2012
Today, to shake up my exercise routine I went swimming at the local community center.
I loved the water as a child, so my mother enrolled me in swimming lessons. I made it all the way through the Red Cross' "Swimmers" class which was the last class you took before junior lifesaving.
As the final test I had to jump in the deep end of the pool fully clothed, remove my jeans, fashion them into a flotation device and tread water. During the test, I clearly remember thinking "This is for the birds." I quit swimming lessons afterwards and over the next 30 years, there were several summers where I never got in a pool.
But today, I didn't care about any of that. I didn't care what other people thought about how I looked in a swimsuit. I didn't care that I was out of shape. I just wanted to do a few laps in the pool. It was a tough workout! I could only swim the length of the pool once without having to stop at the edge to catch my breath. It was pitiful, but I was in the water and making it happen. I ended up doing laps for only about 20 minutes before I went on to other pool activities.
I am totally exhausted, but feel really good.
So if you are bored with your workout, think back to something you enjoyed as a kid and go do that. I've reclaimed my love of water. I won't be going every day or even every week, but I will go swimming again sometime soon, I know.
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