Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Last year as I was doing my fast start in Spark, one of the early goals I set was to give myself pep talks each morning. And I did so mostly in my blogs. I'm doing this again this month because it is a particularly difficult time of year for me, as well as for many others:
1. It's dark and cold this time of year in my hemisphere. Dark and cold lead to thoughts of self-preservation by hibernating and building fat! It's genetic, and not always easy to combat.
2. I've just been exposed to some dangerous triggering substances over the holidays, and need to "detox" from them. We are talking fat, salt, sugar, folks. Those of us who are compulsive eaters often have sensitivities to certain foods and after indulging have trouble stopping. It takes an extra measure of motivation to not just cave to the crave!
3. As a recovering perfectionist, it's easy to fall into the trap of beating up on myself for even starting down the road of #2. On the other hand, experience has taught me that if I don't plan at least a little "special" eating over the holidays, the rebel in me will be stronger in the aftermath!
It's a delicate path, recovery. And having been over-excited by those substances, the brain tends to bounce a bit. So forgive my blogs if they skip topics for a few days and don't have a consistent theme... that will return at some point!
For those of you who thought I was going to stop tracking foods when I started my "simple scale" for my majority rules experiment? Nope, the idea is to give myself a correlation between my behavior with food and exercise and my personal assessment of how my days, week, and month are going. I started a thread over on Team Jenny to track the "Majority Rules" measure, and it is my intent to go there to put in my assessments. I know there are some tracking things on the Spark Start, but they don't quite fit what I'm looking for. I'm not even sure I can articulate what I'm looking for!
And... I'm going to start looking for a training plan for the half marathon that I can adapt to the speed walking thing. Suggestions welcome!
One day at a time, people. Yesterday was a good day (and I tracked my food, drank my water, and exercised)... here's to making today a good one, too.
Monday, January 03, 2011
I've been preaching for a long time to myself that the majority of my behavior will rule my results. I firmly believe this. I'm toying with the idea of using a very simple measure... simpler than the tracking and the weighing and all of that: a self-assessment measure: Was today a good day, a so-so day, a bad day, a GREAT day, or a TERRIBLE day?
Total up the days at the end of the month... and compare my feelings about the month... was it a good month, so-so, bad, GREAT, or TERRIBLE? Does my end of the month feeling match the majority of my days, or were the emotions about the days "off" somehow?
What's the point of this exercise (beyond Barb's off in her little world again)? Well, as an emotion driven eater, I have noticed other things drive those emotions. Eating better makes me feel better. Feeling better ups my assessment of a day. Exercise makes me feel good, too. You get the idea. I will be doing things to make me feel good... and the better I feel about me, the better the day gets... and in the end, the better the month, the better the year.
I felt that for me, 2010 was a GREAT year. Yes, there were some external greats... like my son coming home safe after his adventures... but those are things over which I have no control. Most of my feeling about it being a great year is based on daily behaviors over which I do have control: eating well, exercising, and keeping promises to myself.
This unscientific study should be interesting! Does Majority Rule?
Sunday, January 02, 2011
One of the things I find most challenging to remember is to give myself those rewards. It is every bit as important during maintenance as during weight loss. Maybe more so. Because without a non-food reward, there's a huge temptation to go back to the easy answer of overeating!
Today I got my hair colored. This is one of my favorite rewards. It just makes me feel good! I gave the stylist a nice tip and walked out of there on air... and thus gave my flagging motivation a boost.
What's your favorite reward "just for sticking with it"?
Saturday, January 01, 2011
This one is all Hot4Fitness (Deanna)'s fault. She suggested to me that she's being prodded to do the Lincoln Half-Marathon on May 1st, and asked if I would be interested in speed-walking it with her.
Well... how was she to know that a half marathon used to be on my bucket list? That I had given up on it, as I don't figure my old knees can take that distance? But here she was suggesting another option, less stressful on the knees: speed-walking.
Well, I walk fairly fast when I go out to walk. So, I cautiously asked her about her anticipated speed walking pace, and she came up with a target time that I figure I can train to. The trick will be training up to keep up that pace for three continuous hours!
So, day by day, I tested this possibility. I talked to some co-workers who have run this half-marathon in the past. I learned there's a participation limit this year. I saw the sparks in one woman's eyes when I mentioned speed-walking, rather than jogging, the half (she's jogged it in the past, but is coming back from an injury).
Finally, after a couple of days of this, I went to the website and put my money where my mouth is... where my big dream is. I registered for the half-marathon, May 1st. Mark it on the calendar: this woman is resolved to check "complete a half marathon" off her bucket list!
And, yes, just to make sure these are on the January 1st entry:
Use the ice skates at least once this winter.
Ride a horse (the plot is to do a trail ride with the work team, as a reward some weekend after the half marathon!)
Ride my bicycle and explore at least one new bike trail.
2011 is going to be a great year! I kind of like this maintenance thing. It does require diligence. I am not immune from slips or panics. But as long as I keep on sparking... I think we've got it!
Happy New Year, everybody!
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.
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