You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘baby steps’ tag.

(As an aside, I’ve noticed a tendency for me to use very similar titles now and again on posts here.  Food -HA!- for thought.)

Anyway, it has long been clear in our household that exercise and mood have a strong correlation.  However, I’ve never consistently exercised for more than a few months, so it’s been less noticeable with me.

Now that I’m trying to work out in the morning, though, I notice a huge difference when I go for days without doing anything other than Friday evening yoga.  Friday evening yoga – while sometimes annoying timing, in that it interferes with things like Friday evening TKD for the Kid or certain activities at his school – is a huge boon in that it gives me something a) to look forward to all week and b) gives me a huge stress relief outlet at the end of what is usually one of the most stressful days at work. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love my job – but it is still work and problem solving for people that have often created their own problems.

So, Friday Night Yoga = GOOD.

Morning cardio = also good. 

Who’d have thunk it?  Getting up an hour earlier and doing 40 minutes on the bike a couple mornings a week is proving harder than I’d like in terms of the actually getting to bed earlier and thus getting up, but when I do, it is awesome.  Seriously.

Today, for example, I feel like hell.  I’ve been fighting something off for a while now and either coincidentally, or due in part to getting some travel vax last week, I’m really fighting this week.  Laryngitis, sore throat, chest heaviness. It’s ebbing and flowing, but really, no fun, and today is the worst so far.  Work has also been super stressful for a variety of reasons this week.

But even though I feel the worst physically today that I have all week, mood wise, I feel better.  I feel more relaxed.  Part of that is probably pride that I did something, anything, to try to help my body.  But part of that is a symptom of what I did.  I got to sleep before 10.  I got up at 5:30.  And I rode the damn bike.

Now, frankly, I’d like a hot bath and a long nap.  Instead I’m getting lavender earl gray and contemplating mashed potatoes and meatloaf for lunch.  Little things.

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I keep trying to convince myself that this is not about the numbers on the scale.  Today is a good example of this.

I used the elliptical trainer for 30 minutes Tuesday night and I used the wii for 40 minutes last night – if I can keep focused on it, the bike is a better pure cardio workout – I’ll ride at a moderate to hard pace for approximately 43 minutes – the time it takes to watch a DVD of an “hour” long tv show.  Only allowing myself to watch these shows – starting with current shows like Lost and Grey’s Anatomy that I’d missed out on when they started and now things like Buffy and HBO series that we don’t get like Deadwood and Carnavale – while I exercise was a great motivator when I was just getting started and still is sometimes.

The thing about the Wii, though, is that it gives me more variety and I tend to be highly focused on whatever I’m doing while I’m doing it.  So, I work in fits and starts but that 6 minutes I spend hula hooping is an intense 6 minutes.  The 6 minutes I’m boxing is an intense 6 minutes.  The 5 minutes I’m stepping is an intense 5 minutes. 

I’m not loving the Wii yoga so much – part of that is the limitations of the space in our family room – there’s a drop ceiling, so upward stretching involves popping a tile and working around the support beams and there’s not as much floor space as I’d like.  But I think most of it is just how much I love doing “real yoga”.  I absolutely loved the class I took last Friday and am estatic that I have 10 more.  I’ve registered for that particular class, so now I get to end the work week with almost an hour and a half of yoga that is for all levels, so I can make it as intense or as relaxing as I want/need on that particular day.  The class was super small last week, between the weather and the long weekend, and we all got lots of individual attention, pose correction and adjustment, etc.  Afterwards the instructor mentioned that my body seemed very open and it was clear that I had a lot of experience doing yoga.  My immediate response was to say not really -which is true on one level.  Then again, I’ve been doing yoga off and on for 10 years.  10 years?!?!  How does that happen?

Anyway, I am really looking forward to class again tomorrow.  And I find myself fitting modified stretches and poses into my everyday life more.  I feel more relaxed and less tense and more powerful.  This is something that I notice whenever I start exercizing with any regularity – I start to feel straighter and stronger and healthier.   Also, while the scale is actually up a few pounds from last week’s weigh-in, my pants are looser and my body feels smoother and firmer.

So, maybe it doesn’t matter so much what it says on the scale.  My pants are loose and my back is straight and I look damn good.

So I was pretty much dead on about last night’s dinner, to the point where there’s no point in re-mentioning it.

The evil toffee of evil is gone – thanks much to me – so that is at least good on the temptation front.  Damn that stuff is good.

I’m going to a yoga class tonight, which is a Good Thing.  I love yoga.  I’m looking forward to this.

Also, twice today I’ve looked in the mirror and thought “Damn, I look good.”

So, that food thing?  Clearly going marvelously well, eh?

One thing I noticed when I was doing really well at tracking at The Daily Platethis time last year is that once I get in the mindset of putting my words where my mouth’s been, I tend to make somewhat “better” choices simply by virtue of knowing that I have to admit that I had McDonald’s again for dinner last night.  I’m sort of seeing that again now.

Interestingly, I’m also noticing that I’ve been in a piss poor mood ever since I’ve tried to hold myself semi-publicly accountable for my food choices.  As I used to say in middle school – coincidence or special sauce?  It may well be coincidence, actually, but the timing just occurred to me.

Anyway, food for the week (insofar as I can recall):

Monday – breakfast is lost to me, but definitely included coffee and may just not have otherwise existed, which I tend to be really bad about.  Lunch was Chinese takeout, playing the “I’m having vegetables, so that justifies the garlic chicken” card.  Dinner was…pizza.  Almost an entire frozen one.  And three peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I also recall that I was feeling miserable and went to bed at around 7:30, waking only to read to the kidlet in bed.

Tuesday – I’m pretty sure I had a packet of plain oatmeal with a mini-moo and some honey, plus the ubiquitous coffee and milk.  I know I should be eating more fruits and veggies.  We need to go to the grocery store.  Lunch was catered by a wonderful Lebanese place, so I had chicken and pita and rice and grape leaves and hummus and a spinach samosa like thing and Lebanese salad.  And a piece of baklava for dessert.  And a coke.  I ate a lot of food, but it filled me up totally and I was truly not even that hungry when it came time for leftovers for dinner.  I also exercised Tuesday night.

Wednesday – coffee (surprise!) and mini-blueberry muffins for breakfast.  Way too much toffee that a coworker brought in throughout the day.  A salad and flat-bread with ham, tomatoes, leeks and cheese for lunch.  A McDonald’s Big & Tasty with cheese, a wee cheeseburger that was mistakenly in the kidlet’s happy meal, a small handful of fries and half a hard cider for dinner.  No urge for dessert.  Not feeling particularly well.  I wonder why?

Today, Thursday – A packet of raisin walnut oatmeal for breakfast with the ever present morning coffee.  Two cookies that a different coworker brought in as a snack.  Sweet and Sour Chicken Lean Cuisine for lunch.  That’s it so far.  Dinner will be supplied by my father and will likely include homemade mac and cheese and some sort of meat and broccoli.  And wine.  And maybe Scotch.

Oh, and I’ve been keeping up with drinking at least one Sigg of water over the course of the day, usually two or more.

As I type this all out, I am trying hard not to fall into the “I was good/I was bad” trap.  I was feeding myself.  I need at least 1200 calories a day to survive without feeling that I’m deeply depriving myself.  I’m sure that I could, in fact, function just fine for a while on 1000 a day, but the extra 200 fends off headaches and resentment.  Guilting myself about enjoying a frozen pizza is not going to help me feel better in any sense.  Being a good person is not defined by whether I decide to finish up this entry, make myself a cup of tea and help myself to another cookie.  It’s just not.  Even if I never lose another pound, even if I never wear a size 10 again, let alone an 8, the measure of my hips is not the measure of my self worth.

You know what does help me feel better though – the exercise, the water and the fruits and veggies.  That is a measure, not of my worth or my value, but of my health.

I tend not to be online much during the weekends, which throws my food tracking for a loop.  Which is interesting, since weekends tend to be both an opportunity for horrid overeating as well as an exercize in actually eating when I’m hungry, as opposed to when I have opportunities at my desk at work.

Friday I don’t really remember what I ate – probably toast and cheese and coffee for breakfast.  I’m pretty sure I had a lean cuisine for lunch with some chocolate in there.  Dinner was…hell, I have no clue at this point.  Oh yeah – we went out to a nearby Taqueria and I had two tamales, beans, rice, chips, salsa and sangria.  And a few bites of my son’s chocolate cake.  Not the world’s best for you meal, but good and with relatively controlled portion sizes.

Saturday I had coffee and cranberry-almond cereal for breakfast and an early lunch of leftover pork and potatoes from Thursday in between taking the kid to TKD and cleaning the house.  I had a handful of chocolate chips while making a snack for my son and his playdate buddy.  Then we went to my dad’s for dinner – chicken with a spinach/lemon sauce, homemade oven fries, broccoli, wine and homemade banana pudding (as in the pudding itself was not from a box).  I ate way too much of the latter from a guilt-about-dessert standpoint, but no so much that I felt bloated, per se.  My stomach was actually hurting quite a bit and I feared that I might be getting ill, so I ate a little less of everything than I might have otherwise.

Sunday, the husband and I walked several blocks – uphill- to get brunch, which was a very reasonable portion of tomato-goat cheese quiche with salad and wee pieces of coffee cake on the side.  And coffee of course.  It was a true brunch in that I didn’t eat again until an early dinner of a Long John Silver’s clam dinner.  Health on a platter, that one.  And ice cream for dessert.

Even with all that, I am down to 165.5 per today’s scale.  Which is down from 176.4 the Monday after Christmas.  To be fair, a big part of that is just having scaled down a lot of eating, especially at the office.  I’m sure there was some water weight in there.  Upping my activity even marginally helps tremendously.  I am also trying, with limited success, to achieve more balance in those food choices – I was craving eggs bene when we decided to go to brunch yesterday, but I chose the quiche instead – which was just as good – probably better – and “lighter”.  I put that in quotes because honestly, I have no idea how they compare in fat and calories.  But the quiche didn’t feel heavy in the same way that the bene would have and I ate every bite of the baby lettuce salad that came with it, which is sort of the point.  It was good and it was satisfying and I asked for a dessert menu and decided not to indulge – not because indulging is bad, but because nothing seemed worth the wait and extra food.

So, suceess of a sort.

I don’t like tracking food.  Have I mentioned this?

Morning/Breakfast –
Coffee with eggnog, one cup with creamer 😛
One and one half packets apple cinnamon oatmeal

Lunch/afternoon –
turkey and crackers
two clementines
two squares Lindt chili bar
water/tea

Dinner/Evening –
Pork chop with baked apples
prosciutto-shallot mashed potatoes (way too much of this)
broccoli (I skipped the butter!)
1 glass wine
1 scotch & soda
1 bite ice cream

My dad came over and made dinner.  I swapped ice cream for scotch, pretty much.  I did, however, exercise with the Wii Fit for almost 40 minutes, so that’s something, right?