Health and fitness, it’s got to be now

Physical Fitness

Physical Fitness (Photo credit: Justin Liew)

I know, I know…those of you who know me have heard this before…several times.  I have got to do something to regain my health, become fit, and put an end to feeling so bad all the time.  So, since I’m off work today, sick with the flu, I’m going to reflect on this and make a plan…a plan to  eat better, exercise more, deal with the stress in my life in a positive manner, and take charge of my life.

A year or so ago, I started another blog that I intended to use to chronicle my journey to fitness.  But, as my fitness efforts dwindled, I allowed my blogging efforts to fall by the wayside as well.  Since I never intended this blog that you’re reading today to be solely a health and fitness blog, I hesitated to devote so much space to that end.  So, if you want to cheer me on in my fitness efforts, I’d welcome you to come visit my other blog:  http://becomeawinnerbylosing.wordpress.com/

Believe me, I need all of the encouragement I can get.  This is a battle I’ve fought for many, many years with limited success.

The long and winding road to fitness, day 72

Quinua (Quinoa) plants near Cachora, Apurímac,...

Image via Wikipedia

Seventy two days!  Unfortunately, no weight loss this week…darn it!  But I have jumped back on the wagon of healthy eating this weekend.  I cooked quinoa corn cakes to take for my lunch for work.  I baked blueberry muffins and put most of them in the freezer, so I have a healthier snack available.  I avoided buying junk food this weekend.  I exercised consistently.  I ate more fruit and veggies.  So, a few steps in the right direction, I do believe.

One of the things I’ve realized about this journey is that it truly is about taking small positive steps.  It’s not about completely changing everything in my life right now, this instant.  It’s about making small changes, working those changes until they become habits, and then moving on to the next step.  There have been many times in my life when I’ve changed everything all at once…but I could only maintain those changes for a short period of time because I didn’t give myself time to develop good habits.  I was hanging on desperately, but inevitably my grip would slip and I’d find myself in a heap at the bottom of the mountain I’d struggled so hard to climb.   I would hang my head in shame, go back to my old lifestyle, and reverse all of the progress I’d made.  I gave up until the next time I tried to solve my problems utilizing the exact same methods that hadn’t worked the previous fifty times I’d tried to lose weight.  Talk about crazy!

Now I’m working at changing slowly, focusing on health and fitness more than weight, taking the time to change my lifestyle..not through sheer willpower but through changing my beliefs and my habits.  It may take me longer to lose the weight this way, but if I can keep it off, who cares how long it takes?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 25

Sheesh, I got so wrapped up in playing a game that I almost forgot to post this tonight…what is the world coming to?  I had a pretty good day again today.  Slept until about 6:30 (it gets later and later as my vacation continues, then it gets really difficult to get back into my work routine.  I think I’m really a night owl who trained herself to be a morning person.  But I’d be willing to bet that, once I’m able to quit working…haha…I’ll totally revert to my night owl tendencies.), wrote my 750 words and two blog posts, did a little gardening and housework, then had to get ready to get out of the house to run some errands.  I kept my appointment with my new eye doctor (she can’t be much more than 16…) then went to the grocery store.  I just picked up a few things to tide me over.  I’m planning to go to the farmers market Saturday morning to buy my produce for next week.  Someone was in the store the other day and said she’d gone last Saturday and that some of the vendors now have their fresh corn for sale…yummo!!!  And I’ll have to buy more peaches…there’s only a short period of time when you can buy peaches that are perfect, and that time is now.

I got in quite a bit of exercise today…biked this morning for 20 minutes, walked for 30 minutes, did upper body strength training, 8 exercises, 2 sets each and a little stretching.  I’m planning to go out for a long walk early in the morning and take some pictures along the way.  I walk by myself, but I try to stay in fairly populated areas…I don’t really know if that’s safer or not.  I’d like to go hiking through the woods, but am a little hesitant to do that by myself.  When I was a kid, I didn’t think anything about heading out for a day in the woods by myself…well, my big old tom cat always tagged along, not sure how much protection he would have been, but he was good company.  I guess everything was different back then.  You didn’t worry so much about crazy mean people doing crazy  mean things.

My eating wasn’t as good as it could have been. I did have a couple of small pieces of pizza after I finished my errands.  People always ask me if I’m sick of pizza after owning a pizza place for all of those years…if only…I still love pizza, only now I try to make it a little healthier…whole wheat crust, lots of veggies and not quite as much cheese.  It’s good, but it sure doesn’t compare to the full fat, high calorie pizzas of years gone by…ahh…the trade-offs we make when we decide to focus on our health and fitness.  I ended the day with a little over 1700 calories and a bit too much fat and sodium…more veggies for me tomorrow, for sure.

So how did you all do today?  Tell me, when you exercise outside, do you go by yourself or with someone else?  Does anyone know where you’re going, the route you’ll be taking?  Do you take your phone?  Any money?  We’ve got a nice trail not too far from where I live, but people who have been walking or biking by themselves have been attacked on more than one occasion…isn’t that sad?  Here these people are, out trying to get in some exercise or just enjoy the fresh air, and some idiots decide to attack them.  I know for sure a girl who was running by herself was attacked by a guy, but she managed to get away from him.  Then there was the guy who was biking and was attacked by two other guys, he got away too, after punching one of the guys in the face.  I don’t know what I’d do if something like that happened while I was out walking…and so often, no one knows that I’m even out there by myself, much less where I’m going…not sure what to do about that…I definitely don’t go walking on that trail by myself…too bad that people have to destroy the peacefulness of something like that. 

This picture isn’t part of the trail I was talking about earlier, this is an unfinished portion of the B Line which runs through downtown Bloomington…this was a railroad track not too many years ago, now you see walkers, runners, bikers, families, dog walkers and so on taking advantage of this wonderful walkway.  One of these days, I’ll get some pictures of the finished part of the trail…it’s really pretty, so well designed.

The first few steps on the road to fitness

Runners Den / Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon 5K Fin...

Image by Dru Bloomfield - At Home in Scottsdale via Flickr

I’ve finally managed to talk myself into beginning my fitness journey again.  I say “again” because I allowed myself to backslide to the point where I’ve lost all the fitness benefits I’d gained over the past three years.  But I’m back, moving in the right direction, taking small step to get my health and fitness levels back where they were a year ago.

Last week, I worked out everyday.  I walked outside, rode the exercise bike, walked on the treadmill, and did strength training.  At first, I was beating myself up, down on myself because a year ago I was running and loving it.  I was training for my first 5K (which I did complete, even though I did  more walking than running) and feeling better than I’d felt in a long time.  After I ran the 5K, I just kind of let everything slide.  I began working longer hours and six days a week, had the stress of the job (obviously I didn’t deal with that stress in a healthy manner), and experienced the let down I always feel in the winter.

So now that I’m back to exercising and eating healthier (still have some work to do in that area…need to spend my next day off doing some cooking), I want to review what went wrong and come up with a plan to make sure I’m successful in maintaining healthy habits when the stress comes calling again (because we all know it comes back around).  I know I need to figure this out once and for all, deal with it and plan to live a healthy life for the rest of my life.  Getting in shape, losing weight, getting healthy..none of that does me a lot of good if I then allow myself to gain the weight back, stop exercising and eat junk.  I’ve even read articles stating that that’s  more detrimental to your health than maintaining a steady weight.

I’m trying not to focus on the number on the scale, but that number was 5 pounds less this morning than it was a week ago…but I’m not focusing on that.  I know the weight will come off as I continue to exercise and eat healthier.  That’s my first few steps back on that long road to health and fitness, but definitely not my last steps.

The Live Well challenge…day one

Pedometer omron HJ-112 user review

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Had a pretty good start to the Live Well challenge that my company is sponsoring.  Today was the first day…I worked out this morning before I went to work, rode the exercise bike and did core strength training.  Didn’t put my pedometer on until I was leaving for work…managed to get in the 10,000+ steps I needed for the day.  They’re giving away weekly prizes, you get one entry for every day you get in at least 10,000 steps.  There are over 1,600 teams competing in this challenge.  When I entered my steps for the day, our team was in 41st place…I’m hoping the other people I work with remember to record their activities.

Now I’m off to help my health and fitness efforts…I’m actually going to go to bed early tonight.  I’ve had entirely too little sleep the past three nights.  I know I need at least 7 hours of sleep a night to feel good and I’ve only been getting about 5 hours a night.  I’m working hard to regain my fitness and sleep is a big part of that.  I know I can do this!