Thursday, February 25, 2010
The regular followers have the baseline of Barb's life right now: super busy at work with interesting stuff that will swallow her alive by leading her active mind after shiny objects. (Can you do this?)
You've seen me express my resolve to not let this ruin my hard work and health this time! (I can do that!)
So now we're down to the "how am I going to do that?" part of the old FedEx commercial (yes, my age is showing again).
And here's today's thought about the how: "Embrace the ten minutes!"
That's how. That shiny document at work? That question coming in from a colleague? It can wait ten minutes while I go take my walk break. Embrace that ten minute walk! If it's late because of a meeting letting out late, so be it, but embrace it, and take that ten-minute walk.
At home? That e-mail, that on-line game, the bills, whatever... can wait ten minutes while I do a few squats and lifts! Seriously, ten minutes. Is anything in life that is not a medical emergency (of course) so urgent that it cannot wait ten minutes?
Funny thing, when I do this? The question sometimes got answered without me! The shiny document I get back to? I might find a couple of fresh ideas popped up while I walked! OK, doesn't work with housework, but housework will ever be with us!
If I don't let my busy-ness steal my ten minutes here and there, then the half hour I give back at the end of the day won't kill my program!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This is not everybody, but it is certainly my own history: I'm a project person. I'm fascinated by shiny new ones. Work has me working on one yet again.
Most times in the past when I'm in my element at work, I am obsessed. Yes, I steal time from myself to spend polishing the documentation, helping other folks with their problems and throwing my own time into making up for it.
This has generally been at the expense of my health. The first thing that usually drops is whatever exercise plan I'm on. The second thing that goes is whatever nutrition I'd been getting. The third thing, as a direct result, is my health.
I've managed to be in denial about this for most of 50 years. I would lose weight and "get healthy", then take on a big challenge. Remember the old college "freshman 15"? I got to a healthy weight right before college (although in an unhealthy way)... then wham.
I did it again for pregnancy. I ate healthy while growing a baby, then after he was born, almost immediately started doing both work and school, and the healthy living plan unraveled.
Four years later, during a slow time at work, I joined WW and dropped a whopping 80 pounds, started running, and kept the bulk of it off for nearly 5 years. Then took on a demanding job that involved flying away from home each and every week... and it became hard to keep up the good habits. You get the idea.
Most recently, I'd got to a healthy weight about five years ago, kept it off for one and a half, when an injury combined with taking on a second huge work responsibility tripped me up yet again.
NO MORE! This time it's going to be different. This time it's for the rest of my life.
How is it going to be different: I'm already starting. I'm delegating. I'm refusing to give up my walking breaks. I'm allowing myself to be imperfect in my performance of both work and my habits. I'm jealously guarding my soda-free streak (58 days now). I'm sparking and enlisting support of others with similar goals.
Yes, this time it really is going to be different. This time I have it in my gut that my life really does depend on taking care of me, body and spirit, not just mind.
You, my spark friends, are keeping me honest!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Workaholic coming out of the closet here: What is it that makes it "unfashionable" to like Mondays? What makes our work life so much less "life" than time at home?
For me, and other folks who really love what we do for a living this will ever be a puzzle. Yes, the next six months at work are going to be full of stress (excitement, pressure, striving toward goals), and temptation (to work more hours than is good for me, to turn to food for extra energy, to rob minutes from my exercise to do more at work). But my work is in large part what makes me, me!
I recognize that work is not that way for everyone, but I have to admit that when I get up on Monday morning it's a relief to have got through the weekend and be going back, refreshed, mind you, by the break, to something that makes me feel useful and productive and helpful to others. Something that challenges my mind and lets me exercise strength of mind, character, thought, and imagination.
OK, 'nuff about that... from a Spark / health perspective, one of my challenges in life is to not be absorbed by my work persona. Because that work persona ceases to exist if I don't take good care of the body that houses it.
Cheers to everyone, and have a Sparking good and balanced Monday! And as a side note: Day 57 soda free begins now!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
This morning's pamper myself breakfast was half a grapefruit, an egg-beaters veggie omelet, and warm milk flavored with amaretto coffee. It was very filling, as well as healthy.
Topped that off with a satisfying exchange of instant messages with my son. I'm counting days... a week from today he'll be staging to come home on a two-week leave. It's been three weeks since we've had an exchange of this length, and it makes my mom's heart soar to hear him talking positively about his future beyond deployment. He left to go have his supper, but the glow stays on after every such conversation.
Yesterday I finally went out on Spark and read the help on how to reset my goals / program, so I may have lost some history, but I'm following the steps, even though I am very close to "home" weight. You see, I think of maintenance as a kind of fresh start. I'm trying to infuse it with a sense of purpose I have not always given this phase of healthy living. I have always been reluctant to do this (reset my goals) before, but it feels good.
Here's to the journey ahead, as well as the journey up to this point!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I love breakfast. On weekends, when I have more time, I like to make it a special self-pampering time. When my son was working 3rd shift, he would often call on his way home from work on a Sunday morning, knowing Mom would be up, and we would go out to breakfast together. With him half way 'round the planet, I'm holding to the tradition of making weekend breakfasts special.
This morning I'm having steel cut oats, simmered a quarter cup of oats for half an hour or a little more in skim milk. Once cooked, I add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, a quarter of a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a bit of artificial sweetener. I'm starting to call it "egg nog flavored oats". Add a half cup of grape juice served in a wine flute, and light candles: there is an elegant weekend breakfast!
And now, I'm all set to shovel yesterday's snow, and gear up to shovel tomorrow's as well!
Edited to add the photo. On the left, 1/4 cup of steel cut oats. On the right, 1/2 cup of rolled oats, i.e. "old fashioned" oatmeal. Nutritionally, these are relative equivalents.
I didn't even know these were two different things until about a year or two ago, when I asked someone, because I kept reading such praise of the steel-cut oats. Yes, they are different: steel cut oats take longer to cook, have a grainier texture. I like them both!
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