Monday, November 24, 2014

Year 2: Day 361: Winding down & gearing up

This week will mark the end of year two.

I am pretty sure most people would count this year as a bust.

I know that I certainly have from time to time.

I am also striving to see this past year as a learning opportunity and to recognize that I can not succeed in personal health if I do not have a few failures and set backs.

Failures and set backs are a part of life....I just don't like them.

Today is what I did right...because honestly, I think it is the harder of the two posts.

What I did right:
1 - I took time off to heal. When I got hurt (pinched sciatic nerve, lower back pain and my left foot bothering me) I took a few days off (or more) to recover. Sometimes, I even saw a doctor to ensure nothing worse was going on. I have learned it is important to listen to my body and adjust accordingly.
2 - Focused on what I could control. When I wasn't able to work out, I focused on other areas - like eating healthy or doing more stretches.
3 - Learned to go slow. I am, by nature, a person who takes an extremely long time to decide to do something (like work out), but when I make that decision, I jump in with both feet and go full force. While the enthusiasm is good, the full force is not. Sometimes going slow and ensuring you have the right technique down is better. And in terms of changing food habits, slow is better for me.
4 - Discovered I don't need dessert, but I do need my starch/carbs. One of the areas I focused on this last year was food. I challenged myself to only eat one dessert a month. I gave up donuts, cake, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, candy bars, etc. I thought it would be hard, but it wasn't. It was a piece of cake....however, when I attempted to do the something with breads, breadsticks, crackers, etc...yeah, I fell down really quickly (but that is a story for a different day).
5 - Stopped beating myself up. I did feel like a failure. I had a lot of people remind me that I was not failing. I have learned that health is a fragile thing. I have also learned that health is an every day lifestyle - not a once in awhile thing to try. I'm really looking forward to next years challenge.

Happy Walking!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Year 2: Day 316: 5 Gratitudes for Friday, 55

1. Children working hard at school so we can take off a couple of days next week to visit some friends. My children are pretty amazing that way.

2. A very rainy year. Rain is always needed, but more so in the desert. We have had a ton of rain this year - thanks to a great monsoon season and a couple of hurricanes. I just love it.

3. My husband getting the green light to continue to work remote - meaning he will continue to work from him and not have to travel. Yeah!

4. My family and I coming to a compromise on house cleaning. I am choosing to do a little less and they have agreed to do a little more. I think it is a good system. I hope it is a good system.

5. For the peace and patience I have had all week. I pray for a little more patience every day and truly feel that I am being helped.

Happy Walking!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Year 2: Day 315: Fed Up

Have you ever noticed how you sometimes have to get so fully fed up or disgusted before making an actual change?

Have you ever noticed how sometimes the quickest way to get to that feeling is to totally immerse yourself (in whatever activity you will eventually get disgusted by)?

Yeah, I wish I was different and didn't operate that way....but I am not, so I don't.

Today, I hit that saturation level.

I hit it with eating crappy.

I wouldn't call myself a foodie. I like food. I'm just a little lazy about it.

I know I need to cut back on the processed food. I know I need to cut back on junk food. I know I need to cut back on fast food. I know I need to cut back on sugar.

Actually, I was able to cut back on sugar in May of this year. Since May, I only have dessert one time a month. I don't drink soft drinks or other sugary drinks. I don't eat candy, cupcakes, cakes, ice cream, etc... I'm not reading labels and I am not cutting sugar out of recipes. Just cut back on the obvious stuff.

Wow! What a difference!

I don't crave it at all. I can no longer eat a normal portion - much to sweet. I prefer, honestly, prefer just a small scoop or slice....just about three or four bites worth.

Once I have had it, I'm good. I'm not tempted by leftovers or anything else.

I have learned to say politely, "no thank you" without an explanation, but happy to provide one if someone asks.

I love the feeling.

So....I've been struggling to do the same thing with junk food and fast food. Junk food as in chips and crackers. I think fast food speaks for itself.

Yeah, I have been failing miserably. I can't tell myself no, let alone anyone else.

For the last couple of weeks, I have become increasingly more frustrated with my inability to keep junk/fast food down to one time a month. I mean, come on, it worked for sugar!

But no, it just isn't working the same this time. I really don't know what the difference is....

But today, as I sat in Wendy's munching on their new BBQ ranch chicken salad I realized one, I don't really like the BBQ ranch dressing. The salad would have been so much better with out it and two, I had no desire to eat my burger.

I made a half hearted attempt to eat my burger, but after one bite...ugh, I just didn't want it.

I am truly tired of the pizza, the bread sticks, the fries, the burgers, the chicken sandwiches. I just don't want to eat it.

I think, sadly, for me I am going to have to be 100% abstinence to the junk/fast food world. Sigh. It is going to be hard, but I need to do it.

I need to get off this addictive roller coaster. And I need to do it cold turkey.

Wish me luck!

Happy Walking!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Year 2: Day 314: The Start of My New Schedule

Yes! I woke up this morning revving to go! Rolled out of bed faster than molasses (but just barely). Walked a little quicker than normal to the bathroom. And without much ado - started my yoga like stretches.

Yes! I managed to stretch those tired, tight and just sad little muscles for 30 minutes. I felt giddy for the rest of the day....anticipating more movement (and one day strength & stamina) to the 147 lb noodle I have become.

But alas....the best laid plains of mice and men...

I forgot, today was the day I promised to take my daughters to visit the horses.

Yep, horses.

Horses derailed my plan.

Since I didn't plan around the horses, I didn't have a good schedule in place....which meant school took longer, recesses didn't happen and as a result no more exercise.

Sigh.

I swear this is the story of my life!

I am equally prepared to change the story of my life.

I have a good plan. I have a good schedule. What I have is a good framework to help me plan day to day.

Time for step 2: day to day planning!

Hmmm.....We shall see!

Happy Walking!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Year 2: Day 313: The Schedule

I thought long and hard last night and most of today. I think I've got a workable schedule for getting in about 90 minutes of movement.

At this point in my journey of walking...well, I have to stop walking.

In fact, walking has been really difficult since my piriformis muscle pinched my sciatic nerve.

I find some days that all the walking I can do is puttering around the house and other days I can walk for about 15 minutes, but not very briskly.

It is so frustrating.

Yet, I don't want to dwell on the negatives and the can nots. I want to dwell on the positives and cans.

I can stretch.

I think I can work on my core muscles - like abs and lower back.

I think I can also work on my upper body - specifically doing arm exercises.

I really want to do some kind of cardio....and I think I can do something like chair dancing. Something that gets the heart pounding, but doesn't put any pressure or weight on my leg (specifically my foot which is bothering me the most right now).

I know swimming is a great work out, but driving to a heated/covered pool is not an option. Everything I do, must be done at home. I just live to far out from town.

My tentative schedule is to do some yoga type stretches for 30 minutes when I first get up (I get up an hour before my children, so this should work perfect). Then, when I give my children a 30 minute "recess" in the middle of our school day, I can spend that time working on my core. Finally, after lunch (or during quiet time) I can get 30 minutes of cardio in.

I fully expect my efforts in the beginning will be rather pathetic - hardly moving, bending, lifting, etc., but I also fully expect that over time (slowly over time) I will find that I have strength, stamina and flexibility - all with a body that is fully aligned and mobile.

I'm kind of excited to see how this schedule works.

Happy Walking!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Year 2: Day 312: Meh, kind of day

Not a good day for exercise or eating healthy...but a great day for feeling good about myself and my efforts!

Gotta take the good where I can...I mean, I usually beat myself up for my shortcomings. I am tired of beating myself up.

Sure, I didn't get in as much exercise as I would have liked, but I had a great school day (you can read about it here).

As for the exercise...I think along with a plan, I need a good schedule. I need to put it on the calendar and not allow anything to get in the way.

Easier said than done.

Guess I got some homework!

Happy Walking!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Year 2: Day 309: 5 Gratitudes for Friday, 54

1. My loving husband's patience, easy going nature, insight and willingness to listen. I am so incredibly thankful for him, our marriage, our family and our life together.

2. Learning more about my children each day! I learned this week that all of my children speak the love language, quality time. Z also has acts of service. S also has touch. K is almost equal across the board, but needs any of the languages to be spoken with sincerity and meaning. Quality times probably one of the biggest areas I struggle in, but my children appreciate my small efforts.

3. School this year! I am absolutely loving school. We are just reviewing and filling in the gaps, but I am really enjoying the whole process. Who knew grammar could be fun?

4. The use of my body. I may be stiff, I may be weak, I may have chronic pain, but...both legs and arms work. I have my eyesight and my hearing. I am basically healthy. All the other stuff will improve - it just takes time and diligence.

5. My children excited about General Conference this year. Well, to be more precise, they are excited we can watch General Conference at home, in the play room, while wearing our pajamas and drinking hot chocolate. I've made up conference packets and we are ready to go. So very cool.

Happy Walking!