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.

The long and winding road to fitness, day 197

Another pretty good day today.   Getting my exercise in and eating healthier, still not perfect, but much better than it has been.  I’ve noticed I’m sleeping better.  Of course, not having to go to work may have something to do with that.

I got my cardio in on the exercise bike today.  I’m trying to alternate walking and biking in the hope that I’ll be able to avoid hip and/or knee pain.  Keeping my fingers crossed that it works.  I did core exercises today too.  So far I’m not experiencing a lot of muscle soreness, very mild.  Not sure if that means I’m not working hard enough, not doing enough, or that I didn’t totally lose the fitness I’d worked so hard for.

I pulled the crock pot out today and made a pot of chicken chili with quinoa instead of pasta.  One of my friends (thanks, Chris) mentioned that they had tried that in an effort to make the chili a little healthier, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Not bad, not great…but it was okay.  I may play around with the recipe and see if I can improve on it.  The quinoa did make it thicker and I think you could either reduce the amount of meat in the chili or do away with it altogether.

I’m definitely going to make this again, I just think I want to figure out how to make it better…then you can bet I’ll post a recipe with all kinds of pictures.

I was out running some errands today around lunch time.  I have to admit, I did consider stopping at one of the multitude of fast food joints I drove past…but I didn’t!  Instead I drove home where I had tilapia and half a sweet potato for lunch.  A tiny step in the right direction…making it just a little further down that winding, bumpy road to fitness.

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?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 195

Welcome to the new year!  How exciting to have another opportunity to make our lives better, to live healthier.  Today has been a good day with both nutrition and exercise.  I stayed within my calorie range (under 1650) and got in upper body strength training and some time on the exercise bike.  I also did some stretching.  I’m not sure if I’ll be sore tomorrow or not, but it felt good to get back to my exercise routine.

I even cooked a good lunch today.  I had tilapia, half of a baked sweet potato, and cooked cabbage (hey, you can’t overlook that luck thing that just might result from eating cabbage on New Year’s Day).  I have enough prepared that I can eat the same meal again tomorrow, except I’m going to make cole slaw instead of cooked cabbage.

I spent a little time on SparkPeople.com tracking my nutrition and fitness, visiting a couple of teams, leaving some replies to some posts, and doing a little reading.  I haven’t started the private spark team for our work livewell challenge yet, but I’m going to do that sometime this week.

I have to admit I had a couple of times throughout the day when I thought about getting something to eat that I hadn’t planned on…those pesky old habits are sure difficult to overcome, aren’t they?  One of my ingrained habits is eating snack food while I read.  I think, years ago, that’s how I learned to cope with things I didn’t want to think about and emotions I didn’t want to feel.    And it worked…while I was doing it.  But the funny thing about all of that is that those emotions and thoughts come right back as soon as I stop the combined eating/reading.  I’ve decided I’ll substitute a cup of hot tea with stevia for the snack foods while I’m reading.  At least that’s one way to break that habit.  Of course, there comes a time when I’ll have to deal with the other stuff…feeling the things I’ve spent a lifetime running from and allowing myself to think about and deal with everything else.  I know that works, I’ve done it before.  Unfortunately I allowed myself to slip right back into those long-established bad habits.  Now to become more aware and vigilant with myself.

A pretty successful day 195 on this road, wouldn’t you say? (Sorry no pictures today…for some crazy reason, I couldn’t upload any today…)

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!

Planning to succeed in 2012

Oh I know, we’ve all made resolutions and broken most of them within a couple of weeks.  I think most of us have the best of intentions, but we don’t plan to succeed.  I think you have to really give it some thought.  Not just throw out the same old lose weight, get organized, save money resolutions that you’ve tossed out there practically every year.  It’s not about what you wish you could change, rather it’s about what you’re so tired of in your life that changing it is less painful than staying the same.

Over the past several weeks I’ve been giving this a lot of thought.  For me, I’m just so terribly tired of not feeling good, of having no energy, of being exhausted at the end of every work day, of climbing out of bed in the morning and stumbling around because I’m in so much pain, of not wanting to go anywhere because I’m tired and because I look like I do right now. 

I remember, not so long ago, feeling happy and excited about life.  I was running and enjoying it.  I was dancing with a smile on my face.  I was eating a healthy diet and getting a good amount of exercise and my body showed its appreciation with an excess of energy, strength to get through the day, and adequate sleep.

I want to feel like that again.  In order to do that, I’ll have to make some major changes in my life.  I’ll have to do a better job of planning my diet and my exercise routine.  I’ll have to get involved in a support system that will help me over the rough spots.  I’ll have to get back to eating a healthy diet because that’s what’s best for me.  I’ll have to deal with stress through exercise rather than through food.   And I’ll have to relearn to forgo the instant gratification of fast food in order to experience the return to health in the long-term.

As I said, I’ve been mulling this over for several weeks now.  I’ve come to the realization that I’m so tired of feeling like this.  So tired that it is more difficult to continue living like this than it is to make the necessary changes to return to fitness.

I’m planning to succeed.  I’m planning to regain my healthy lifestyle and become that fit person I was not so long ago.  Can I do it?  Oh yeah!!  Watch me succeed!

 

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.