The long and winding road to fitness, day 147

Oh my goodness…could work get any more stressful?  Why, yes…yes, it could.  The auditor was in our district today, at the store closest to us.  So, of course, my thought was she’s headed our way.  Fortunately she headed north after leaving the other store.  But that’s not to say she couldn’t swing down our way tomorrow.  I’m feeling a little bit better about it now after spending most of the day checking things, fixing what could be fixed, talking with the manager at the other store to see exactly what the auditor was looking at (thanks, Kelly) and getting everyone involved.  Honestly, in my opinion (which doesn’t count for much), it’s kind of counter productive to have the auditor out in the stores at this time of the year…we all are super stressed and have so much work to get done in the next few days, and then to have to put it all on the back burner and focus on the audit…well…of course, we should always be following all of the policies and procedures, but man, do we have a lot of work to get done.  Anyhow, I think we’re in good enough shape to pass it now, so that’s at least something…

My eating was decent today.  Ended up with four veggies and two fruits…not bad, not bad.  I had a Healthy Choice lobster ravioli for lunch.  Could someone please remind me to never buy that again?  Please!!  I always think things like that look good, then, when I eat it, I remember that I don’t like food with tomato saucy ingredients…same way with jello…I think it smells good and sounds like it would be good mixed with fruit, then I take a bite and remember why I don’t like it.  I mean, really, as an adult, could I not finally remember those things?  You’d think, right”?

I did some core exercises and walked for 15 minutes before work today.  Then who knows how much walking I did at work, quite a bit for sure. I was telling Nikkianne today that I’m just trying to maintain my fitness level through the holidays, then I can get back to spending more time at it.  I really want to get back into running next year.  I think back to when I was running and how great it made me feel, then wonder why I ever stopped…well, I stopped because of an injury, but then didn’t get back into it.  But I want those wonderful feelings back…and I’m going to do it.

How about you?  Have you given any thought to what you intend to accomplish in the next year?

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It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity…really?


Image by steven and darusha via Flickr

I’m thinking it’s both the heat and the humidity.  When I walked out the front door at work this evening, the heat slammed into my body, knocking the breath right out of my lungs.  I knew we were under a heat advisory, but I still wasn’t prepared for it.  Now that I’m a little older (and I guess just how much older is relative to where you fall on that whole age scale…if you’re 70, I’m still a young whippersnapper…but if you’re in your twenties, then I’m old enough to be your mother…now there’s a scary thought), I find the terribly high heat combined with a high level of humidity really affects me.  None of this running outside for me on days like today.  When I saw the thermometer on the bank down town had a reading of 102, all I wanted to do was go home to my nice air-conditioned house.   And for the inventor of air conditioning, all I can say is “thank you so much.”

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.

LiveWell challenge update


Image via Wikipedia

We’re now in our third week of the LiveWell challenge at work…aiming to take at least 10,000 steps a day.  I’ve hit that goal every day of the challenge once you factor in things like biking.  That feels pretty good, at least I’m back in the exercise habit.

As a team, we’re holding steady at around 350th place (out of 1607 teams), so everyone is making the effort and tracking their steps online…I’m pretty proud of all the members of the team!!

I was at work the other day when I got a page that I had a phone call.  When I answered the phone, it was someone from Human Resources.  I thought, “Great, now what do I have to take the time to look up for them?”  However, she was calling me to inform me that my name had been drawn as one of the weekly prize winners of the challenge.  I was quite surprised and pleased.

Last night, I was going through my emails and came across the email detailing what prizes I could choose.  There were several very tempting gift cards, an exercise kit, a nice roomy soft sided cooler, OR a healthy lunch at work for the members of my team.  Okay…should I be selfish and go with a gift card?  Should I be generous and choose the healthy lunch for the team?  Should I go with the exercise kit or the cooler?  Decisions, decisions.

The exercise kit didn’t really contain much that I don’t already have, so mark that off the list.  The cooler would be really handy, but I do already have several insulated lunch totes, so cross that one off.  Now it comes down to…selfish…generous…selfish…generous…

So…since I didn’t really do anything to win that everyone else wasn’t also doing, I decided to go with the healthy lunch for my team…go team!!!

I just received a reminder postcard to sign up for the next Hoosiers Outrun Cancer 5K in September…I’ll be there…need to do some major training for it though.  At least this challenge at work has got me moving again…that’s the first step…and I’ve taken it!

I’m still standing

Ahh…finally the renovations/repairs are finished (at least for now…who knows what next week will bring?).  I’ve been getting back into my workout schedule…gradually increasing my time/distance…for a while there, I wondered if I had lost my desire.  Now I realize it was simply napping…the desire is back and I’ll be training for another 5K.  Going to get back to the long walks I was taking last summer, getting outside and enjoying the spring weather.  When the sun is shining and the birds are singing, how can I not enjoy walking around town?  And the farmers’ market will be opening next month…one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday morning!

We also start our LiveWell challenge at work tomorrow…so just a little added incentive to get up and move.  Really though, the biggest incentive is just how much better I feel when I work out daily.  I feel better physically, of course…but I also feel better emotionally.  And I’m definitely ready to get back to feeling good emotionally.  I’m ready to get that smile back!

I know it’ll take me a while to regain the fitness I’ve lost over the past few months, but I also know I can do it.  I’ve taken the first steps, it gets easier from here (you know, that whole “a body at rest remains at rest”  thing?  And I truly believe that increased movement leads to even more movement…that’s what I’m aiming for…move, move, move!!

The gift of being 50

Couch to 5K

Image by Lucius Kwok via Flickr

Wow…I remember when I was a kid, thinking that 50 was like really, REALLY old.  Now that I’m there, well…it’s not really that old after all.  Yes, there are a few more aches and pains, sleep isn’t quite as restful at 50 as it was at 15, the weight comes back much more quickly now…but, there are also so many pluses to being 50  Not the least of which is being more content with who I am.  At 15, I was not sure just who I was.  Now, at 50, while I’m not always absolutely certain who I am or where I’m going, there’s a measure of security in knowing that there’s  joy in the journey.

I had to go to Indy today for a district meeting.  I had to do something that, at 15, I would have found next to impossible to do…speak before the group, giving several presentations concerning the audit process.  A few weeks ago I was dreading this meeting.  However, the closer the time came, the less I found myself worrying about it.  I’ve come to the realization that these are people just like me, no smarter, no more knowledgeable about the audit process (we did get audited a couple months ago and ended up with the highest audit score in the district for the year…so I must be doing something right).  Anyhow, the meeting went fine…I learned a couple of things that I’ll be able to put to good use preparing for the next round of audits (you always have to be ready, no one knows when the auditor will show up), so the meeting wasn’t a total waste of time.

My birthday is coming up later this month.  A couple years ago I decided to set a birthday challenge for myself each year.  That year I walked 3 miles, which, for someone who had been so terribly overweight, was a huge accomplishment.  Last year, I decided to start running, which eventually allowed me to run (well…run and walk) my first 5K.  Again, something I was so proud to achieve.  Then I kind of did some backsliding, gained quite a bit of weight back and got away from my healthy eating habits.  So…birthday present to myself this year…get back on the treadmill, go back to the Couch to 5K program and start training for my next 5K!  I mean really, what better birthday present can you give yourself than the gift of health and fitness?  And the thing about that is…no one else can give it to you, no one else can do it for you…it’s you doing something for yourself…what a gift!

Happy Birthday by Petr Kratochvil

The flight of the bumblebee


Alright, I’m not exactly a bumblebee.  Yes, I have a funny, kind of round shaped body.  But I can’t fly like a bumblebee can.  However, as improbable as it may seem to others, I do run…in kind of a shuffling, bumbling manner.  I’ll never win any races (well, perhaps if I ran a race at a senior citizens center…nah, not even then), but I sure do enjoy getting out there and just moving.  I ran/walked my first 5K  last fall then promptly stopped running.

I did this 5K in honor of my mother.  She died from breast cancer 20 years ago.  I know she would have been so proud of me for doing this.  And honestly, I was pretty proud of myself for doing it.  So why did I stop running after such an exhilarating event?  At the time, I attributed it to the fact that my work schedule gets crazy from September through the end of the year.  Now I wonder if there was something more involved…I love going out by myself in the early morning and just running at whatever pace I feel like running.  Not competing with anyone except myself.  Pushing myself to go a little further or a little faster. Using the time to contemplate various aspects of my life.  Or simply using the time to enjoy being outside, doing something physical.  While I loved the sense of accomplishment I felt when I crossed the finish line, I didn’t particularly enjoy the race itself.  Possibly, had I not gone there by myself, I might have enjoyed it more.

Regardless of why I stopped, I’m now getting back into running.  Slowly, painfully getting back into running.  But I am doing it…to look at me, people might assume I can’t run  just as that bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly.  But we’re both out there every day doing the improbable…watch me fly!