Sunday, August 31, 2014

Missed the Rain

This week in exercise, I’m a little disappointed, but not kicking myself too hard. My goal was to exercise five days. I did four. I’ll not make excuses, but I will re-evaluate. For starters I’ll be going back to work next week. It’s pretty active all day. I’m thinking the goal will be to get in one day other than work (Monday). I’ll think about it more tonight. I may go for Wednesday as well.

Today I got in a good walk, but had to cut it a little short to avoid being drenched in rain. It was this close…

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Went the Distance & Other Thoughts

I went for that walk. I went the full distance. The muscles and joints are a bit rusty. I guess I’ll have to oil up the gears and use them more. The aches here and there feel like a badge of pride. It’s only been three days in a row, but that’s three days more than I’ve had in a long time and it feels good. I forgot how good exercise can feel. I should do this more often, like tomorrow. [Week's Goal: 3 of 5]

Other Thoughts:
Life was crazy this spring.  I had to resign from my job to help family and keep my sanity through all of it. I know that resigning didn’t mean I failed. It meant I had to shift priorities for a short while. Life has settled down some. It’s time to get back out there.

My former employers have asked me to come back to work. We still have things to discuss & agree upon. Even if this job doesn’t happen, they’ve sure made me feel appreciated.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Success Day Two

I got myself out of bed again this morning and went out to work on the yard. Day one (yesterday) felt like a fluke. Day two (today) felt like letting in a little hope. Maybe I can do this. Let me rephrase that: I can and will do this.

I was out there for an hour & a half. It was early enough to miss the worst of the heat, but wow it’s humid. Drank lots of water, then some Gatorade when I came in. This pile of clothes was so wet with sweat they’re still hanging to dry. I wonder if everyone occasionally gets this proud of sweat. [Week's Goal: 2 of 5]

Afterwards the shower was as cold as I could get it. That was a lovely reward.

I’m running out of space to put all my yard clippings, so tomorrow I’m changing things up. A vigorous long walk is on the agenda. Part of me is afraid. I know I’m not as fit as I was when I used to walk regularly. What if I get halfway and it’s too much? I don’t want to wimp out either. I want to push myself. I need to fight the negative thinking. I will do the full walk. If I’m struggling I will slow down. Worst case scenario, I’ll take a short break. I will go the full distance.

I may be going back to work. I’m meeting with the supervisor on Thursday. The job challenges me mentally & physically. If this works out, I’ll need to think about how to maintain my goals without it being overwhelming. Really though, work is good for me when I’m being mindful to take care of myself. It gives me accountability. I don’t have the option of slugging around—I am required to get things done and be active. I don’t have the option to hide away from civilization—I am scheduled to be there and interact with other humans. Working makes maintaining balance and taking care of myself essential. Otherwise there are consequences I can’t ignore.

Monday, August 25, 2014

No Excuses

Yesterday we learned a family friend passed away and her funeral services are today. Everybody hates funerals; nobody looks forward to them, but thinking about being around so many people has brought a familiar panic. Last night I was planning how to rearrange today’s schedule & thought seriously about changing my plans to get out, be active, and get some yard work done. My day suddenly get rearranged with important obligations—that’s a good excuse, right? The part of me that wants to be healthy fought back. Excuses are not okay.

So when the alarm went off I talked myself out of bed, dressed in the old clothes I set out last night and mowed the grass. It was crazy tall and wet from recent rain, so it was twice as hard as usual. When I came in I was literally dripping sweat, covered in dirty grass and headed for a cold shower. Now that I’m clean and the job is done I feel pretty great. The exercise helped with the anxiety and I’m proud of myself. [Week's Goal: 1 of 5]

Of course I’m still not looking forward to the funeral. Our friend was 93 years old, she lived a long full life, she was beginning to struggle with dementia… it’s hard to know what to say.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Starting an Active Life

I’ve been putting off starting exercise. A few weeks ago I started a new medication & there’ve been some side effects. Mainly it’s been making me feel faint/ dizzy since the latest increase. Now the side effects are much better & I need to get out that door. Ugh! Beginning is harder than it sounds. Recently I had a long, vigorous walk & it felt good. I need to remember that.

So, here’s the plan. It’s supposed to be hot and humid tomorrow, but if I set the alarm & get going early maybe I’ll beat the heat. If I’m struggling with the heat, I don’t have to go at full speed, I will take breaks, I will have cold water handy (and my wonderful Chill-Its cooling towel). The important thing is to do something instead of wishing I had done something.

The yard is crazy out of control with weeds and the grass needs to be mowed. I’m hoping I can mow the grass. If the grass is wet with rain I will trim the shrubs and pull weeds.

In the big plan the beginning goal is to get active. Exercise will be great, but planning a workout and tackling the yard in the same day isn’t realistic. I say that to convince myself.

Goals for Living an Active Life
The Plan: Five days a week, some form of sustained activity for at least 30 minutes (it’s a start)

1.  At the beginning of the week I will look at my calendar and schedule either structured exercise (walking, videos, ?) or tasks that fit the goal (yard work, gardening for my grandmother, ?)

§  When I schedule activities, I will plan a time of day (generally mornings). If my schedule changes the priority is doing it, rather than what time it gets done

§  In the evenings I will look at my plans for the next day, make changes if I need to (weather) and get out what I will need for tomorrow (clothes, freeze the water bottle, get the bathroom ready for a shower afterwards, etc.)

2.  I will take care of myself when I exercise
§  Stay hydrated
§  Monitor heart rate & breathing
§  Dress appropriately

3.  I will research ways to exercise when the weather doesn’t cooperate [things I’m likely to actually do]
§  YouTube
§  DVDs
§  At-home exercises from magazine articles
§  Different at-home tools/ equipment
4.  Journal my activity?

Planning for Opportunity

In November I will be 40 years old. I don’t care much about age, but I feel like this is a great opportunity to make some changes.
I want a healthier life: mentally, physically, spiritually. I’ve already begun developing some healthy habits. It seems right to acknowledge those and build on them.

So what’s the plan? A vague plan to exercise more and eat better has never worked. I’ve spent time specifically thinking about goals that would bring me toward the big picture. I’ve been looking at using the principles of S.M.A.R.T. goals.

There are a few issues I need to sort through:

1.  I have a history of getting stuck in my head and planning rather than doing. There needs to be a specific date to start. Tomorrow? Give myself time to sort this out and formally start the beginning of September? I do know that I’m not waiting until November.

2.  S.M.A.R.T. goals really break things down, but I’ll have to build in a plan for the times I’m human and miss the mark. Again, there is a history of giving up when the goal doesn’t get met. Do I use punishment? Rewards? What would that be?

3.  As I’m looking at developing new habits through these goals, I’m already overwhelmed by too many new changes at once. How do I prioritize?

S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Relevant – Tangible   

An Example:
Since May 2014 I’ve had a goal to write down (specific/ tangible) three things I’m grateful for (measurable) each night when I go to unwind for the evening (specific). This is not hard, I’m not pressed for time in the evening, and there are always endless things to be grateful for if I make myself aware (attainable). Being grateful for things around me helps me to refocus away from stress, worries and negativity. It helps me to be less self-centered. These are things that bring me closer to what I feel is a healthier spirit (relevant).

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I’ve deleted all but the first post from when I started this blog. There was nothing wrong with the rest of the entries, but I feel like I’m ready to begin fresh. Deleting the old posts actually felt exciting.

I have tried to make changes before (especially with weight), but the changes depended heavily on hope and willpower. Hope and willpower are great, but for me they’re not a miracle diet. They’re no foundation for lasting change. I’m gathering tools that will help and make the goals more realistic and attainable. Years from my first post I'm beginning again, now at 250 lbs.

I’m also looking beyond weight loss. Losing weight means nothing if my head isn’t in the right place or I feel spiritually detached from life.

More soon to come…