Tag Archives: exercise

Buckling Down

With the absolutely miserable weather we had in January & February, I really let my gym attendance slide.  It was all I could do to slip and slide to and from work; the last thing I wanted to do was risk extra miles in the ice and snow.  Despite the fact that we have late-season snow forecast again for Wednesday, I have to get back into my habit of hitting the gym 4-5 times a week.

Unfortunately, that’s the easy part. Once I’m in the habit of heading to the gym, continuing to hit the elliptical for 45 minutes a day isn’t that difficult. My downfall is food.  Oh, how I love food.  Sweet food, salty food, crunchy food, smooth food.  Mostly carb-y food.  Mmmm, carbs.  Unfortunately, I think my pre-Diabetes is rearing its ugly, ickyness-inducing head so I need to lock down.

I need to get back to seriously monitoring my portion size, easing off on sweets and increasing veggie intake.  I’ll never be able to go full paleo, but I need to try to make smarter decisions.  This will require getting HRG (Her Royal Grandma) on board, since she’s the one who is preparing more of the meals now that I’m working.  As she’s nearing 90, making sure that she eats and keeps weight on is more important than me taking pounds off, but I have to find a happy medium.

I was thinking of trying to persuade her to do a Meatless Monday sort of thing or something similar. Does anyone have any vegetarian or veggie-dominant meals they’d recommend?

ImageAin’t nothin’ gonna break my stride…

With Karen’s wedding in less than three weeks, I’m not even pretending that there will be any sort of notable weight loss between now and then. However, there’s a camping trip three months from now that I can use as a marker.  So, putting it in print here and now – 15 lbs by the second Friday in June – Friday the 13th.  Aaaaaaaaaand, go!

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Not All C25Ks Are Created Equal

About once a year, I get a burr in my butt about running.  A lot of my friends run, anything from short-ish trail runs to ridiculous ultra-marathons.  I, on the other hand, have never been a runner.  One hundred or so extra pounds, bad knees, bad back, big boobs – none of these are factors which make pounding the pavement particularly easy.

I’m mostly an elliptical gal at the gym – easier on the joints and the boobages – but thought adding in the occasional hyperventilating on the treadmill to change things up.  With my friends Christina & Allyson both training for/running their first 5Ks this year and me needing to do SOMETHING, I decided it was time to dig out the ol’ Couch to 5K running program and get going.

My problem is, the “official” Cool Running’s C25K training program seems to believe that I’m either launching from a far more fit starting point or else thinks I lead a FAR more active sofa lifestyle than I actually do.  Week 1, Day 1 calls for a “brisk five-minute warm-up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.”  My crawling off the couch then running for a minute straight after a 5 minute warm-up walk is SO not going to happen, not when I’m sucking wind after that initial five-minute mosey.

Holly – BFF and hostess of the Sheepish podcast – discovered an alternate training program: Zombies, Run!  She personally needed more of a narrative than a voice in her ear saying “Walk….run….walk again” and I needed a more gradual approach.  The first week of the Zombie 5K training program is:

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I know for those of you that actually run real distances, this is comical.  When you tip the scales at 250+ and the most running you do is that mini-sprint to duck under the garage door before it closes or to get to the phone before it goes to voice mail, this is a much more appropriate starting pace.  By no stretch of the imagination is this meant to be a condemnation of the official program; I’m simply stating that – for me personally – it’s too fast out of the gate.

The rec center is closed tomorrow, so the zombies will have to wait until Monday.

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If At First You Don’t Succeed…

kicks…get back on the horse.  Or something like that.

Thanks to the good folks – Rachel & Wes – at Up & Running Dayton for getting me fitted for my new shoes.  I find you pay a little more at stores like this, but for me, it’s worth the additional expense for the wonderful service they provide.  Now I just need to get off my butt and head to the rec center.  I finally picked up my shoes and my fitness pass this afternoon, so tomorrow is E-Day.

For me, exercise – almost more than food consumption – is all about accountability.  Sure, I’ll check into the center on FourSquare, but does anyone have any apps that they like to use to track their workouts?  I’m so bad, I used to literally put gold stars onto a wall calendar to note the days I made it to the gym.  Those blank squares during the week would shame me into heading back out, more likely than not.  Of course, I could go low-tech but what’s the point of owning all these damn iProducts if I’m not going to get any use out of them.

To that end, does anyone out there use any apps for iPod or iPhone that they love as a fitness/nutrition tracker?  I’ve heard of SparkPeople, RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, Fitocracy & Nexercise – are there any others I’ve missed?  Do you love or hate any one of these?  Any advice would be muchly appreciated!

Now it’s time to go to sleep.  Early morning alarm, banana smoothie then off to the gym!

Theoretically.

rec

 

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Turning the Corner

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Today I took a walk in the country.

In and of itself, this isn’t a monumental occurrence. It was not a particularly long walk – logged just over a mile and a half. Nor was it at blazing speed – clocked a blistering 16 minute/mile pace. What it was was me putting on my hideous exercise capris, tying on my beloved Sauconys and plodding one foot in front of the other with deliberation and intention.

I took a walk.

Usually, when I exercise, I listen to music. Walkman, Discman, iPod, plugging directly into the snazzy gym equipment – all distraction devices used through the ages. The driving bass beats kept me moving forward steadily; anticipation of the next song helps me to ignore my burning lungs. Smiling to myself and lip syncing when a song I haven’t heard in a while comes on, distracting me from the day’s torture. In the country, it’s different. There are no sidewalks along the sides of the road, so I opted to leave the ear buds at home, leaving me open to hearing the sounds of cars coming toward me from around blind corners.

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My ears were open to other sounds as well – the cock crowing on the farm around the next bend; birds chirping and calling to one another from the trees; the rubber on the soles of my two-year-old sneakers squishing as I pounded the asphalt; my breath as it rasped heavily in and out of lungs too unused to cardio.

That final sound was the worst, IS the worst. I’m out of shape. Heinously, “morbidly obese”-ly out of shape, according to the lovely chart at the doctor’s office. Nothing new to this tale – I was a big kid who grew into an overweight teen who blossomed into a fat adult. I eat my emotions (have you seen the amount of cooking I’ve done in the last 6 months? Unprecedented!), and I bake for others to show how I feel. [Note: don’t judge how things taste to be a reflection of how I feel about you – if I’ve made the effort to put something together for you to eat, it’s a good thing]

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So, as spring has sprung, it’s time for the beginning of this year’s attempt at doing better, at being better. I checked a Yoga for Beginners DVD out of the library, choosing not to spend the money unless I’m sure I’ll actually do it. The pose guide on Saturday and the morning workout yesterday were baby steps in the right direction and I’ll probably do the evening workout tonight to stretch out any kinks from my walk. With my bad knees and back, I’m hoping that a combination of yoga and cardio will be beneficial.

I am comically easily derailed in my attempts at healthfulness. I’ll use any excuse to skip a workout or sidestep an eating plan (note I didn’t say ‘diet’ – waste of my time). What absolutely kills me is that I KNOW – know with every fiber of my being – that I feel better once I’ve worked out, so why is it so difficult to motivate? Something else I’ve learned about myself over the years is that exercise is my lynchpin. I can try to eat more healthfully but it falls apart much more quickly if I’m not exercising as well.

But today, I took a walk.  And today, I feel good.

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