Friday, September 16, 2011
Treats: they are special because they don't happen all the time. At work this week they had the monthly birthday spread, where everyone with a September birthday brought in treats. Cupcakes, cake, ice cream, donuts... huge spread. And yes, about once a month, such a spread magically appears, brought in by the celebrants.
As I looked at particularly the ice cream, I thought about the last time I had ice cream: it was for my niece's birthday in July. Before that? I think it was the Memorial Day family gather. Before that? Got to be the prior year! I thought about how that ice cream tasted this July... rich, creamy, like *drugs* to my compulsive eater's brain. It took some force of will to not keep on eating it, but I was able to stop. I know from my personal history that I get in serious trouble when I start making food treats a daily thing. I've known that for a long, long time... but often knowing is not enough to stop one from making less than optimal choices.
This week, I chose not to partake in the spread. I will save my treat-eating for another time. I know there will be plenty of opportunities in the upcoming season to choose to have a treat. The blessing in this particular week: I did not feel deprived or forced in making this choice, one way or the other. I'm happy with it after the fact.
Today I am satisfied and facing a new day. It too will be full of choices. I pray for the continuation of this grace period... for the willingness and ability to see it for what it is: treating my body with kindness.
Life's good: Spark on!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Changing weather is harking the beginning of Fall. We will still have the occasional warm, even hot days, but now they will be a rarity. With cooler weather out comes the frisky in animals and people! Along with it comes the instinctive urge for warm foods and aromas to fill the house in the evenings.
For me, that means stocking up on good veggies to make soups. I love a cabbage / tomato based soup... add beans or lentils, quinoa, or brown rice... and you're getting a pretty complete meal for not a lot of calorie buck!
Cooler weather also means I might want to warm up the house with my oven: now's the time to be baking that potato or yam, using the regular oven to heat up that fish filet or roast a chicken breast. So many healthy options to choose among and still feed the soul as it prepares for Winter ahead.
What's your favorite Fall food, and how are YOU planning to make it healthy?
Life's good... Spark on!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Not being able to take the withdrawal from e-mail and Spark, I dusted off the old computer and brought it out of the basement to feed my addiction. The internet is really, really slow on the old machine, but I'm typing in Notepad and will copy and paste it.
On the way home from work tonight, I placed my order for a new laptop. Been wanting one for a while, as in ever since my kid swiped my last for for college in 2003, was it?
This machine hasn't been used since 2007, according to one piece of software that I updated. Woo-hoo! Here's to backup plans.
In about a week, I hope to be back up to speed! In the meantime, given the speed of this one, don't expect a lot of pictures or even text from this end. This old thing feels like the computer in hotel lobbies!
Life's still good... and I can deal with whatever it brings!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
OK, I've been having computer issues, so much so that I could not get online this morning when I usually Spark and blog! So... if I disappear for a while, it is because it completely fried and I haven't got the backup plan in place yet!
As has become a pattern here in the "retirement red zone", every time something breaks, I carefully consider whether I will replace it. Remember my fantasy blog last year about possibly giving up having a car? Anybody who does gets extra brownie points for longevity as a reader of my blogs!
So, this morning's fantasy was how I would live if I gave up the computer! It did not take long for me to realize that this is not truly an option for me. While I can fantasize about going to the library for internet and e-mail... let's face it, for many of us, e-mail, FaceBook, SparkPeople... have kind of become the telephone of our generation!
So, with that realization in mind, I'm starting to look at replacement options. I downgraded my cell phone last year... perhaps this is the year I downgrade the computer! And in the meantime, hope I'll still be Sparking along.
Speaking of Spark... I've found this amazing book that is named "Spark" but *isn't* Chris Downey's book... it's a book on the mind-body connection... from the point of view of exercise helping your brain stay healthy! As if feeling good and being more fit were not reward enough in itself, Dr. John J. Ratey, M.D., the author, cites all kinds of scientific research that shows it fights mental illness and helps us learn better!
Who knew? I've always thought of mind-body being things like Yoga and meditation... it's aerobic exercise, too!
Life's good. Spark on!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Cool, a little chilly before the 8 a.m. start of the Buffalo Run. This is in a hilly park, locally, and the distance is 5 miles. I am not particularly confident of my ability to run at this distance, have been waffling over whether / how much to walk in the midst of jogging, and had even given myself permission to walk the whole way.
But... this is one of those races where the "real runners" show up, and the competitor in me gets awakened... kind of want to test myself against them. I found Deanna (HOT4FITNESS) before the race, and her husband was running, as well. I started out with her, walked the first four minutes by my watch, to get a good warm up, but then felt impelled to start using the gravity of the downhill slope to increase my pace, especially since there were slow joggers in front of us that I probably could have walked past (Deanna did).
At mile one, I was blown away by the time of 11 minutes (they had folks with stop watches at each mile, telling off the times as runners passed). I found my natural inclination had me running 7 minutes before I dropped to a recovery walk for one... the amount of time jogging reduced over the course of the race, but the walking recoveries remained about a minute each. I mostly ran the downhills, slow jogged the uphills, and did my recovery walks on flat (OK, on one uphill, too, let's be honest).
In the end (which was uphill to a short flat), I crossed with the gun clock reading 51 minutes and change. Woo-hoo... I *did* blow away my anticipated time of 11 minute miles. (Official time for 5 miles was 50:21, or a 10:05 pace per mile.) Remember I said the "real runners" show up for this one? The winner in my age/gender group had an 8:35 pace... and that was not even a record for the race. Good for her! I was 8th in my age/gender group. Felt great!
Next outing: Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, on October 2nd.
After the race - Me and Deanna:
After the race - Deanna and her hubby:
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