Neighborhood park

I’m so thankful that I live in a city that values green space.  There are several really nice parks in town and one of them happens to be within walking distance of my house.  I went there to walk around the other day..probably would have spent more time had it not been in the 90s!

Tired? Sit a spell…

Now what kind of scary tale can I concoct in these woods?

Are you sure this is really January?

I’m a little confused…we’re having March like weather in early January.  It was in the 40s and sunny today and is going to be in the 50s tomorrow.  Not that I’m complaining, mind you…it’s just strange.

I walked on the treadmill today, but I really could have walked outside.  That’s how nice it was.  Of course, I couldn’t have watched tv while I was walking if I’d gone outside.

There was a cardinal couple (aren’t they just so cute together?) sitting on the arch outside my kitchen window today.  I like how one of them will keep watch while the other one eats.  Very protective of one another.  I’m sure they’re not complaining about the weather.

Oh I know, I shouldn’t get too excited…we’ll get some snow and cold weather, I’m sure.  But for now, I’m going to enjoy every single day of warm temps and sunshine!!

Here’s Spooky sitting on top of the fridge watching all of the goings-on outside.

A novel idea…I’m using the treadmill for walking

Yes, I know, I originally bought the treadmill to walk/run on.  However, lately it’s been more of a storage area…before Christmas, I put all of the gifts that I was taking to family, friends and co-workers on the treadmill, hoping Spook would leave them alone (she did…I think…).  I also used the handrails as kind of a hanger for light jackets when I knew I’d be going right back out.  Not exactly my intent when I purchased the treadmill and it was a pretty expensive way to store things.

That all ended today.  I dusted it off, tried to get all of the glitter off the belt (I think glitter has a mind of its own…it’s not going anywhere it doesn’t want to go…), plugged it in, turned it on and stepped on it for the first time in several months.  Whew…I am beginning to realize just how much I allowed my level of fitness to decline.  But I did it and that’s the important thing.  And tomorrow I’ll get on the exercise bike again…I’ll just keep on doing the exercise and eventually will regain that fitness.  It won’t happen overnight (wouldn’t that be something?), but it will happen!

I also did lower body strength training today.  I was watching last week’s episodes of Days Of Our Lives online and may have overdone the strength training today, but hey…that’s better than overdoing the candy, right?

I’m dedicating the year 2012 to my health and fitness

It’s hard to believe that 2011 is coming to an end.  I didn’t manage to make the strides I’d hoped to make concerning my health and fitness this year.  Overall I gained weight and lost fitness.  Not quite the way I wanted to go.  I’ve spent the past few weeks planning how to make permanent changes in my life that will allow me to lose weight and regain my fitness.

The first week of the year, I’ll alternate walking on the treadmill and riding the exercise bike for my cardio.  I’ll do strength training, alternating upper body, lower body, and core.  I’m going to have to start with lighter weights than what I was using before, but you start where you are and go from there.

I’ve got a chart listing minutes for cardio and reps, weight and sets for strength training.  I’ll slowly increase the time for cardio and the reps and weight for strength training.  I want to get to a place where I’m regularly doing at least 30 minutes of cardio five days a week.  Once I’m there, I’ll begin increasing intensity.  I’ve got the plan in place.  I’m determined to follow through.

At some point in time, once I’ve got the exercise habit firmly in place again, I’m going to have to examine my reaction to stress and work on a better way to deal with it.  That’s a little ways down the road, but the thought is in my mind.   I’ll let it kind of percolate there while I’m working on my diet and exercise routines.

I stopped at Kroger today and bought some produce, low-fat dairy, fish and whole grain sandwich thins.  I’ve got my meal plan set for the next few days.  I find I’m really looking forward to eating good, home cooked food again.  Planning and preparation will be key.

And you can bet I’ll be visiting SparkPeople.com daily, if only for a few minutes a day.  There’s something about having that accountability that helps me maintain my motivation.  Of course, we’ll also have our four-week livewell 10,000 daily steps competition at work too.  It all helps!!  And anyone out there who wants to share the journey with me, jump on in!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 192

Mercy me, I am one worn out pup tonight.  We had a huge truck today with two call ins (well, one girl I actually sent home, she came in with a fever and had been up all night sick.  I told her I couldn’t make her go home, but if she wanted to it would be okay.  While I appreciate the dedication to the job,  I just don’t want everyone else getting sick too.)  One girl volunteered to stay over an extra hour and a half and another girl came in, so we were in decent shape.  We made pretty good progress on the truck, didn’t finish it in the five and a half hours they want us to, but still…when the truck is that big I’m a proponent of just getting it worked and getting the floor cleaned up so customers can get around.  And we did do that…

Today was not a terrible eating day altho I did have a Nutty Bar.  I stopped at Kroger before work and bought donuts and Nutty Bars for the truck crew.  I didn’t eat a donut, but man do I like those Little Debbie Nutty Bars…something about peanut butter and chocolate…then I looked at the box and saw that one little package of those things has 310 calories…yikes!  But I did have a Lean Cuisine and fruit for lunch so that wasn’t bad.

Exercise?  Umm…yeah…working that truck for all of those hours.  I’m feeling like that was quite a bit of exercise.  I do think it’s a different kind of exercise than sustained cardio though,  looking forward to getting back into that routine.  I’ve got the treadmill and exercise bike so I can get in my cardio over the winter months without being in danger of slipping and falling…well, you haven’t seen me on the treadmill…there could still be an incident there.

I’ve been mulling over my New Year’s resolutions…or goals if you will…and will discuss those over the next few days.  I’m psyched, ready to make some changes and get back to feeling healthy and fit.

I’ve even got the healthy farmers market 2012 calendar to inspire me.

The long and winding road to fitness, day 133

I had a much-needed and well deserved day off work today.  I slept in…until 6 am, if you can believe that!  Then I just stayed in bed reading until closer to 7 am.  Finally got up and fed the cats, made toast and juice, took that upstairs and read Sunday’s newspaper while eating breakfast.  What a pleasure to be able to take my time getting ready for the day.

I did walk for 20 minutes.  I went to a little park in the neighborhood.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived here for ten years and have never stopped  at that park.  I’m definitely going to go back, with camera in hand.  There was a lady playing with two large dogs in a field, nice walking trails, playground equipment, tennis courts, picnic tables, shelter houses.  I had no idea that the park was so nice.  So that was a fun experience.

I also did some lower body strength training and range of motion exercises for my shoulder.  I was surprised that my shoulder wasn’t bothering me more today.  I did a lot of heavy lifting over the past couple of days at work…and the boxes are often too big for me to comfortably wrap my arms around (yes, that’s because I’m short…not much I can do about that).  But my shoulder didn’t feel any worse today than it does any other day.

I eventually went out to the gas station to spend way too much money on gas.  How is it that gas prices can jump over 25 cents in one day?  Oh, I don’t think you want me to get started on my answer to that question.  I also ran into CVS to pick up a couple of things that were on sale…

With coupons added to the sale prices and a $2 ECB, I ended up spending less than $1 for these items.  Don’t you love saving money on things you use anyhow?

I did finally bake the squash I bought a few weeks ago.

I also cleaned and baked the squash seeds…

Makes for a quick, easy, salt-free treat.  Have you ever roasted pumpkin or squash seeds?  What seasonings do you use?  I used a little olive oil and garlic powder for these.  I also like Cajun seasoning.  Okay, now I’m off to eat some squash for my dinner.  Hey, how about that…that’s a vegetable…or is it a fruit?  Well, no matter, at least it’s healthier than fast food, right?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 127

This is Sam's Halloween costume.

Image via Wikipedia

So are you ready for Halloween?  I finally did something about some Halloween costumes for my three-day work weekend…we’re dressing up each day and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on costumes…because, well, really, how often do you wear them? So I found a cute little feathery witch hat on a headband, figured I’d wear that with black pants and a black shirt, some black nail polish, some dark eye make up (I never wear dark eye make up, it doesn’t look good on me) and red lipstick…ooh…scary!!  I figure that costume will be good for Saturday and Monday.  Then I bought a scrub top at Goodwill today that I can wear Sunday with a white lab coat from my college days…hmm…Dr Patti…now that’s really scary!!  At least I finally did something about the whole Halloween costume thing without spending a lot of money.

Wish I could say I did a good job with my eating today, but I didn’t.  Only 1 fruit and 1 veggie for the day.  See, that’s what happens when I don’t plan my menu for the day.  I’ve got tomorrow’s lunch and snacks prepared, so I know tomorrow will be better.

I did walk for 30 minutes and did some range of motion exercises.  That’s about it.  Well, I did take a nap this afternoon for about an hour.  That was nice, really nice.  I have to get up around 3:30 in the morning as we have another early morning truck…unfortunately I think it’ll be raining in the morning…and much colder than this morning.  Oh well, we’ll get through it, might have soggy socks for part of the day, but we’ll make it.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? 

 

The long and winding road to fitness, day 118

chili_blur

Image by cjzurcher via Flickr

Ay yi yi..what an exhausting day.  Well, maybe the day wouldn’t have been so exhausting had it not started with me already tired from lack of sleep.  I ended up with just a little over two hours of sleep last night.  Finally dozed off just a little while before the alarm went off.  Had to be at work at 5 this morning.  Big truck at 6!  We had a good crew working today though and managed to get a lot done.

Eating?  Oh, it was just okay today.  I ate too much of the wrong foods and not enough of the healthy foods.  I did read a suggestion about adding pumpkin puree to chili that I think I’m going to try tomorrow.  I can get another serving or so of veggies that way…and supposedly you can’t really taste it.  I’ll let you know how that turns out.

My only exercise for the day was what I got in at work.  It took us an hour and a half to unload the truck, so that involved a lot of walking and lifting.  And then just a lot of walking for the rest of the day.  I couldn’t force myself to do anything extra when I got home this evening.  All I wanted to do was go to bed…haven’t done that yet…got to get in my Monday night dose of Dancing With The Stars!

I have tomorrow off work…woohoo!!  I have some errands I need to do in the morning then I want to get a little housework done and cook a batch of chili (you know, with the pumpkin puree).  It’ll just be nice to be able to wake up without that alarm blaring in my ear.

So, was this a manic Monday for you?

 

 

The long and winding road to fitness, day 116

“Fruit Basket”, oil on wood

Image via Wikipedia

At least I woke up on time today.  Checked that alarm several times before I went to sleep.  It was another one of those days when I felt like I didn’t really get a lot done, but I guess I did.  Of course, there’s always so much to do at work that I never feel like I’m ahead. (And believe me, I’m not)

I had a nice little visit with a couple of long-time friends (how’s that, Margaret?  I didn’t say old friends.) today.  That’s one of the perks of my job, people can come in and chat with me while I work.  My best friend from grade school, junior high and high school(Cindy) was in the store today.  Oh my, did we ever get up to some mischief when we were kids.  She asked me if I remembered backing into the light pole at her parents’ house when we were in high school.  Well…no, I’d managed to forget that…until you reminded me, thank you very much!!  I didn’t realize that she was now living in the house where she grew up (man, do we have some fun memories associated with that house).  All of our parents are now gone, it just doesn’t seem like we’re that old.  But we are…and life goes on…we make the best of it and try to create new traditions while honoring the old ones.  She wanted to know what I was doing for Christmas…how sweet is that?  I’m truly blessed with good friends in my life.  Now back to the healthy living aspect of the blog (although I tend to think that having strong, loving relationships is also part of living a healthy life).

I did do strength training and stretches before work, walked for 25 minutes and then whatever I did at work.  I need to get back on that exercise bike sometime soon.  Seems like I’m always so tired and can’t manage to get enough sleep.  Bad habits…

I was thinking about what I can do to kind of kick-start my whole fitness, healthy living thing with the understanding that I’m going to be too busy for the rest of the year (working in retail does that to you) to make any commitments that are going to require a lot of time.  So my thought was to simply aim for at least five fruits and veggies every day and some form of exercise every day.  I think that’s do-able and won’t really involve any more time than I’m already putting into it.  Then, after the first of the year, when things calm down a little, I can focus more on other aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

So, obviously I managed to get the exercise in.  The five servings of fruits and veggies?  Hmm…not quite there yet.  I may drink a quick glass of V8 yet this evening to get me to five for the day.  No, not “I may”…uhuh…I’m going to do it.  Don’t want to miss my goal on my first day.  I’ve got a big Honey Crisp apple that I think I’ll take to work tomorrow.  I think an apple that size would count for at least two servings of fruit.  So have that with a little peanut butter for a morning snack and I’ll be well on my way to five!

Do you eat at least five servings of fruit and veggies every day?  Which do you like more, fruit or vegetables?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 115

Sometimes I’m such a dork.  I woke up this morning at 3:35, looked at the clock and thought oh good, I still have another hour to sleep.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I set the alarm last night.  I had to be at work at 5 am.  I don’t know about most of you girls (most guys can just skip this), but I can’t get ready and be out the door in 15 minutes.  By the time all of those thoughts swirled through my mind a few times, I realized I needed to jump out of bed and start getting ready.  I made it to work on time, but imagine what could have happened had I not woke up at 3:35.  Well, you don’t have to imagine much, I just would have been late, that’s all.  And I really hate to be late.  I’m one of those folks who manage to be early for just about everything, not obsessively early, just a few minutes early.

I didn’t eat breakfast before I left for work, but I did do some strength training and stretching.  How about that?  Then I did around 25 minutes of walking later, plus all of the walking and lifting I did all day at work.  I have to admit, I am exhausted tonight.  This is going to be one of those nights when I really do make it to bed early.  I’m struggling to keep my eyes open right now, not especially good when you’re trying to write.

I ate my lunch in my car just to get away from everyone for a few minutes.  I had a couple of slices of that cute little loaf of multigrain bread I bought yesterday with some peanut butter and honey on it.  I also had a few PopChips and a V8.  At least I didn’t go out for a fast food meal (or fat food meal,as I originally wrote…I told you I was sleepy, although that’s a pretty apt description, isn’t it?).

Dinner tonight was a couple of bread sticks and a glass of oj (since I skipped my oj this morning). I know, I know, this is not healthy eating.  I could have, should have heated up a bowl of minestrone, but I just didn’t feel like it.  Tomorrow though, for sure.

So have you ever been late for work (or showed up on a day you weren’t scheduled) because you totally spaced what time you needed to get up to make it on time?

How do you like Jean Ann’s rooster in a pumpkin?  Nothing says fall like roosters sitting inside pumpkins, huh?

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