Sunday, December 11, 2011
Gatherings are good. They remind us that we are not alone. They can also be a hazard if we start doing the "compare and compete" game with what we hear of the life experiences of others. Last evening I went to a holiday women's party I was invited to by a woman I hadn't seen in several years. Others on the invite list were also folks I knew, and had not seen in some time.
It said "regrets only" on the RSVP. I dragged my feet, knowing I liked and missed seeing these women, but also knowing I had stopped going to the meetings at which we had become acquainted. I carefully examined my motives in considering going... was I going to "show off" that I was doing well with my weight/fitness? Was I going with a thought of "dumping" the other things in my life on their collective shoulders? Or was I going out of a genuine desire to see them and to see how their lives are going?
In the end, I went, and it was so good to reconnect. We shared the themes of our year past... the patterns, looking at the big picture. Some were changing jobs, retiring, others of us had suffered losses of loved ones, some had growing careers on-going, some were at a time where family was coming first. In short, it was a spectrum of women... what we had in common is knowing our hostess.
We decorated her tree , sharing a soup supper, with lovely music in the background, and yes, at the end of the evening, we went outdoors and howled at the full moon, giggling like the girls we were and still are. Funny, but this may end up being the closest to a Christmas gathering I do this year.
For me, the self-centered introvert, the importance of processing a gathering is as important as the gathering itself. It is in the wake of such social events that I often slip back into "nibbling". I have to re-separate myself as an individual, keep my boundaries, wish my friends well, but not climb into their lives to try to "fix" them. This post-processing is today's job, and why the craving for a "cave" day. Besides needing to get the laundry done!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Some of you may recall my mentioning the acquisition and various adventures with a BodyMedia Fit device. I obtained it last January, discovered its limitations with my body chemistry, and undertook making it a normal part of my routine to the extent it could be. I would take the occasional day off to give my body a rest from skin contact, but for the most part, it told me my calorie output, and tracking food gives me calorie intake, and it was a fine tool for maintenance.
Because I was using it, I started tracking my food on its website rather than here on Spark, because I'm not going to track twice! Then the old computer fried, I got the laptop. The laptop is Windows 7. I continued to use the gadget, and it continued to work. Until right around Thanksgiving. My laptop downloaded Windows 7 SP 1 and upgraded itself. Suddenly, when I plugged in the gadget... boom! The blue screen of death.
I tried this about three times before concluding it was indeed the gadget connection that triggered the problem... rolled back the system to a level of stability, still gave the blue screen. So I stopped using the gadget. Started tracking on Spark again... you know, that works, too. It worked for some time before I got the gadget, it will work again.
After about a week of being without it, my financial hackles started to raise, because the gadget comes with a subscription fee! I wrote them about my problems, thinking I'll get out of my contract. Instead, I got a nice response from their tech support, explaining they had issues with SP 1 of Windows 7. They asked me some questions, including whether I had another computer with older technology I could use! A-hem, that would be a "no"!
Long and little, after a week of silence, they sent me a link to new drivers to download, and as of yesterday afternoon... I'm back in business with the gadget. I did fine without it for those two weeks (well, as fine recovering from my misbehavior with food as I would have with it). In return for my "pain and suffering", they are giving me three months free on my subscription, too.
So, glad to have it back! My arsenal of tools is once again enhanced. Life is good. Spark on!
Friday, December 09, 2011
This morning's special treat is "slim nog"... i.e. skim milk, heated, with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla, and a little artificial sweetner. Yums! Had it with an omelet and grape juice for my healthy breakfast.
Breakfast came after an early morning session with my friend the snow shovel. It's not a whole lot of new snow, and I cleared it all in one approximately 40 minute session. But it's slick underneath, where the ice is leftover from last Saturday's slush. A part of me wants to weather wimp out of work and go back to bed! We'll see how that plays out... because a choice must be made in the next ten minutes.
Last night I skipped ahead to week 2 day 1 of the 5K your way plan, which is 4 minute jogs with 1 minute recovery cycles. This was what I had on my plan for Saturday... but did it early, knowing it was snowing (rhymes!)
Anyway, gonna make it quick as I need to get on the road if I'm going to. Stay safe, Sparklers!
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Thought I was going to talk about yoga and touching my toes? Well, maybe in a bit, but this level of flexibility I want to talk about is the flexibility of my working out plans, and learning to listen to my body and my soul about the right thing to do on a given "today". Oh, and the weather forecast, too.
First, recall that I made a "blended" training plan that pretty much covers the next 8 months. Clear through July. Then I met with my personal trainer last Saturday to get my new strength training routine. At the end, as she was giving me the recommendations for rotating my workouts between the old and the new routine, she offered to make me up a calendar for the workouts.
My immediate response was "No!" I knew this would not work for me. For although I have this training plan all laid out, I have learned over time that being too rigid about the dates merely sets me up for that conversation with Polly Perfectionism, and self-criticism if I don't follow it exactly. And as anyone over 25-ish knows (and a lot of younger smart people, too)... life happens. You don't always do things on the calendar on the date they are written.
So far, I did Day 2's workout on Day 1, Day 1's on Day 2... took a rest day a day early on Day 3, and did the Day 3 workout on Day 4... I envision the rest of the workout week continuing in a similar vein. I will get 6 or 7 workouts in, they will be the ones that "feel" right depending on how my body and the snowfall responsibilities dictate.
Flexibility in training is vital to success and feeling good about myself. For me. Learn what works for you, and you're well on your way to being fit for life.
And about the touching toes? I could almost do this at the end of the Saturday workout with the trainer! I grinned and mentioned it. I have the feeling there will be more stretching in future routines... tell a trainer your weakness, and guess what you get!
Life is good. There are flakes in the forecast, and they don't scare me!
Spark on, my friends!
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
I don't think I've mentioned that the cats have indeed grown to the point where nothing in the house is out of reach. I recall a recipe that my mom used to love, where every other line was "remove Johnny's hands from bowl". She used to quote that one when my younger sisters wanted to "help" in the kitchen.
Well, I could write my lunch-making, washing up, and breakfast cooking regime in a similar manner. "Remove cat from sink", wash hands, put on the milk to heat, remove cat from counter, fill coffee carafe, remove cat from sink, wash hands. Mix salad. Remove cat from counter. Wash hands. Weigh nuts and fruit for snack. Measure oats. Remove cat from counter. Wash hands. Bag snacks and finish packing lunch. Pour coffee. Remove cat from counter... Spark. Ah, yes, what would we do without them?
Last night I opted to make a rest day. I made this choice on the drive home, past the gym. I knew I could either lift last night and rest today, or rest yesterday and lift after work tonight. The decision was based on what my back was telling me. One more rest day before the next lifting session seemed in order. Accountability: tomorrow I'd better be telling y'all I lifted tonight!
The thing about training as a mature person is that there is a careful balance between proper training, under training, and over training. My kid sis told me the other day that to maintain strength, one strength workout a week was required. She learned this in a class she's taking (studying to be physical therapist, I think). To increase strength takes more than one. This was in the context of a conversation about "if the weather is too bad to go to the gym, which exercises can I do at home?" I had concluded that most of my two PT workouts I can do at home, or modify slightly to do at home, if I need to... but there are two or three exercises for which a machine is required. The reasoning is that if I missed those on one workout and only got them in once that week, I would not be losing strength.
Taken to a broader interpretation, my one a week since the beginning of November should have kept me as strong as I was to begin with. As I increase it to two a week, I should start to see some improvements. Makes sense to me. And as my major goal is not to LOSE the fitness that I've attained, sounds like a reasonable plan. Adjust, balance, modify. And never, ever, ever give up.
Life's good: Spark on!
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