Friday, December 31, 2010
I told myself that I would take the Army Physical Fitness Test and measure myself against the standards for 57 - 61 year old females on New Year's 2011. Well, my body has been "resting" for several days and I really NEEDED to move more this morning, so... I bumped the test up and did it this morning. It's not like I was going to an Army base and taking it under supervision or anything (SGT son opted out of coming and hollering at me through it).
How'd I do? Well, I anticipated failing the sit-ups, and I did... BUT, I came close! Here's the order of the test:
Push-ups, as many as you can within 2 minutes, without breaking form. There is an allowance for resting in the plank position during this, but I didn't opt for that. I did 30, which gave me 100% of that portion of the test.
Then there is a 10 minute rest before the sit-up portion of the test. Again, as many as you can within two minutes without breaking form. I did 24 before my form broke... badly. That's two fewer than I needed to pass! I came "this close", folks! By the next time I'm committed to the test (Valentine's Day)... if I train core strength diligently... I have hopes!
Another ten minute rest break, and then "run two miles, as fast as you can". I did this on the treadmill, with an incline of 1, which my treadmill manual tells me most mimics "level" outdoor running. It's kind of icy out this morning, so there was NO WAY I was going to do it outside. Ready? Result: 19:16... which is a 100% on THAT portion of the test.
I'm incredibly happy with this... for three reasons:
1) The most motivating thing I know to do in life is to keep a promise to myself. Just taking the test fulfilled that!
2) When I started this effort, I could only do 3, count 'em, 3 sit-ups. 24 is a huge improvement for me. So I'm pleased.
3) That run time. What can I say? And of course... I'm bubbling all over the place with endorphins.
And, being the end of the month... y'all know that means progress photos! I tried to recreate the same pose as my beginning of the year snapshot, with the same old web camera.
2010 has been a great year! I'm hoping to keep the (motivational) fires stoked and burning bright for the next year.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
New Year's is a time when many of us set resolutions and goals. Me, too. But it's not the only time to start healthy habits. I tend to start on "odd" days. December 27th. February 27th. May 31st. Hmm, do I see a pattern? Getting a head start on a new month? I never thought about that until I typed this!
In any case, the point I was starting to make is that can come on ANY date in the calendar year! And it doesn't even have to start at the beginning of the day. The seeds of your own Day 1 are in the back of your mind even as you read this blog entry. The activity that kicks it into gear is the first decision of "enough"!
And each of us can succeed if we do only one thing: Never give up. Keep on keepin' on, as one of the Spark teams I belong to is titled. Be a "Turtle Over 50 Reaching Our Goals".
A slip doesn't have to become a disaster. But to avoid going down that slippery slope may take a little extra effort. I really felt that this week, as a lot of folks brought leftover goodies to work. And some of them were quite tempting: Godiva dark chocolate. Russell Stover's reduced sugar candies. Dipped pretzels. Yep... weaknesses of mine... with the scent of sugar calling my name.
I found myself at the table several times... and said aloud to Toddler Barbie within: "No, you've had enough. You had dark chocolate on Christmas eve and day. You have had ENOUGH!" And I walked away. Each time I walked away, I felt stronger, more victorious. And this is how my three good days were put into the bank of "majority rules".
Here's to making today Day 4. Here's to feeding the Spark flames. Bonfire is growing! Toss on your own sparks... 2011 is going to be a great Spark-year, my friends.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Something my athletic son mentioned to me is that the thing he most wished he would have known sooner was... ta-da: How to come back from an injury!
What a great analogy for recovery from lapses of any sort! Recovery isn't always physically training one's way back from a fall or a twist or a sprain (or even a break or a surgery). What about those slips from a nutrition plan? A week or a month of being a couch potato?
Maintenance recovery is like recovering from a sports injury. You've done great. You were in your stride, at the top of your game. And you took this detour. How do you get back to where you were (on the field, we hope)?
It depends on the nature of the detour. It takes less time to recover from some injuries (or lapses) than others. I begin by assessing just how much damage has been done. Facing the music: hop on the scale, pull out that measuring tape... whatever measure you use (your GPS)... to find out where you are TODAY.
Once that's known, you don't always go right back to the hard-charging athlete you were all at once. The first day back in training, you test out your body... see how it goes. And you push yourself, just a little farther than you're comfy with... not too far too fast!
So it is for me, recovering from this Holiday season. For me, the season is over... I don't do New Year's Eve or New Year's Day parties, so as of last Monday, MOST of the really over the top "detour opportunities" are out of the house. (I'm still debating over the really good egg nog, which I might allow myself as a coffee creamer for New Year's.)
I had a half-good day on Sunday. I had two good days Monday and Tuesday... and here we are mid-week. "Rubbing two good days together"... like a good Girl Scout. Let's re-start this fire!
Monday, December 27, 2010
I didn't start a year ago. I started nearly three years ago. It started with a nutrition coach... I was doing pretty good with diet and exercise at the time, but I was consuming five or six cans of diet soda a day. Well, I set it as goal to reduce that number.
What I found was that when I did... I ate more! Ouch. And in fact, that was kind of the beginning of some back-sliding... combined with an injury to my left foot (sounds like a movie title)... I stopped exercising and started eating more. But I did manage to cut down from five or six to three sodas a day.
Then we went through the whole parathyroid mess... the panic over my weakening bones, not absorbing calcium, and all that rot. It was apparent that for me to continue drinking diet sodas even at three a day was not good for me. I had started eating well and exercising again in 2009, had the surgery that autumn, and decided to cut back to "at most ONE" diet soda a day, post-surgery.
I had that one soda at work, on my morning break. It was my special treat to myself. Then I found I didn't drink soda at home on the weekends. I tried skipping it a few days at work... and then, it was Christmas. I had my one can at Christmas dinner (which was delayed until December 27th by a rather significant amount of snow last year). That was my last. It was a Cherry Coke Zero, in case anyone cares.
And then... I started a streak. I had no clue it would last a whole year. There were temptations along the way: I thought the hot weather of the Summer might be a temptation, and it was. I contemplated letting myself have a can at the 4th of July celebration, but God intervened (my sister didn't acquire any). And the longer I went without, the less I desired it.
One thing I did learn: I most crave soda when I'm mis-behaving with food in other ways! And while I did have many slips in terms of overeating, I did not let myself cross the line into soda drinking... I let myself feel how bloated overeating made me feel. I really think I got some cross-over benefit from this!
So... if you're thinking about reducing your soda intake as one of your small (or large) steps, I stand here a year later saying: "I'm so glad I did this... and I don't think I'm going back."
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