Monday, September 26, 2011

From dread to delight, but not overnight

Okay, that was weird.  I woke up and actually wanted to walk after taking yesterday off!
I may have officially entered an "I like to exercise" stage in my life.  It is starting to seem like for the first time in a while I am working on developing a good habit.

Not saying that I am doing this alone.  I found a couple of walking buddies and what home schooling Mom does not appreciate adult conversation?  Plus, when I go by myself it makes a pretty good prayer interval.  No phone, no interruptions.  Is this what people mean by having a "quiet time"?

Saw another deer, too.  Just the back of him, because there is heavy machinery "improving" the trail.  Think I have until November when it will be too dark to walk before 8 a.m.  I wonder if I can incorporate a walk at lunch break.  If I take Amanda, it counts as P.E.  Cool beans!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Fat (or Food) in my Head

I have come to the conclusion that most of my issues with food are not about the food in my house.  It is about the food in my head.

When I was carefully tracking what I ate, I noticed that I was consuming more calories in snacks than my actual meals.  And that I ate more in the later part of the day, which I considered to be my time to relax, than in the hours before dinner.  I have known for a long time that I am an emotional eater.  It is my fallback for celebrations, comfort and often, boredom.

Coincidentally, I eat more when my husband is home:  weekends and evenings.  Not that I am blaming him. I am just thinking, here.  I know part of it is that growing up, eating felt like a competition.  Sometimes, even a race!  My Mom would sigh, put her fork down and tell my Dad, "Slow down!  You're making me tired, just watching you eat so fast!"  He learned to eat fast in the Army.  They did not have leisurely meals.  You ate as fast as you could, then on to the next thing.

Well, slowing down while eating.  Another thing to do intentionally, instead of the way I've always done it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Visible improvement

Well, this morning it happened.  I was not just aware of sore muscles; I could actually see a muscle in my leg.

Wearing a pedometer on most days helped me to figure out that even when I wasn't "going for a walk" I actually could accumulate a couple of miles a day just doing what I normally do.

When the weather was snowy last year, going to the gym was not an option even if I had a membership.  But I was surprised how many steps shoveling the driveway and doing laundry (downstairs) added up to in a few days.

Not saying that all my "couch potato" activities are eliminated.  I still like to watch TV sometimes and a few games of Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook is relaxing after a day of teaching, but my goal is not to make sitting around what I am characterized by.  Don't want my legacy to be my knowledge of TV or movie trivia, but passing on a healthy lifestyle to my girl.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Deer me

Another serendipitous moment.  Just as I got to a fork in the trail, I saw a deer.  I stopped.  He stayed still and so did I.

Then I went on around the bend.  Ahhh.  That doesn't happen at the gym.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fiber bars

Note to self:  Eat the fiber bar AFTER the walk...I'm just saying...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Caramel apples, sort of

There is just something about autumn that I love.  The crispness in the air.  The reduced air conditioning costs.  And the one holiday that is just about food--Thanksgiving.  (Not really, I do give THANKS, too.)

I also enjoy mixing candy corn and peanuts as a mix.  Tastes reminds me of a Payday candy bar.  This year I was really craving caramel apples...But that thick caramel is messy, not good for my teeth or waistline.  So, I came up with a compromise alternative.  According to the package of caramels, a serving is 5 pieces.  I eat a giant Granny Smith apple, alternating bites with the caramels.  Less calories than my first choice, but better than not feeding the craving and eating everything else instead.  

What mind games do you play with food?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sore muscles

Well, after my third walk since Saturday I am noticing something odd.  My muscles are starting to hurt.  The advantage of sore muscles is:  I must have some muscles or they could not hurt!

So, my body is no longer the consistency of pudding.  My interim goal is to get rid of that roll of fat around my belly.  I believe it's Indian name is Butt-that-bounces-in-front.

You remember that rap song "I Like Big Butts"?  Well, I can sing that to myself with new lyrics.  "I hate my big butt, and I cannot lie."  But more than singing, I have to stop sitting on it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Darker colors are slimming

Everyone has heard this, right?  Well, that is my reason for using a fake tanner.  Because, if my legs are darker they must look thinner.  Unfortunately, my scale is not succumbing to this logic.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

just colorful

I actually got up early to take a walk.  I figure if I can develop this habit first then I can adjust the type and quantity of food later.  When I worked on the food choices first and then started exercising, I just felt HUNGRY.

But today, there were a couple of bonuses from walking.  As I reached the first bend in the trail, I glanced at the sky and saw a double rainbow.  Beautiful, and a benefit of getting up a bit earlier.  At the same turn on my way rainbow.  But, there was a colorful hot-air balloon above the treetops.

Color is one of the advantages of not going to the gym and walking outside.  Seeing my neighbors lush lantana and all the wild plants along the trail.

Good smells is another advantage of being outside.  The trail smells differently because of what is growing now than it did in May or June.

Anyway, seeing rainbows and hot air balloons is just a more fun way to start the day.  I am grateful God doesn't make us live in a black and white world.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's mostly air

A few weekends ago I polished off a bag of Cheetos cheese puffs...the popcorn kind without hulls.

I read how many calories were in each serving, but I am thinking, "How can these things make you gain weight?  They are mostly AIR!"

"Enabling" clothes

My project for today was to eliminate my "enabling" clothes from my closet.  You know the ones I mean.  Too big, too stretchy, too accommodating of eating between meals and after dinner.  

Ironically, the most comfortable clothes to wear while you gain weight are the ones that were designed to be comfortable while you exercise:  sweat pants and sweatshirts, and stretchy "yoga" wear.  But there were other culprits, too.  All those elastic waist knit pants that paired with baggy or long T-shirts.  As a short person, there were days I could not afford a pair of zip-up jeans and when I still worked at Wal-Mart those were not allowed by the "dress code for associates".

As someone who is a bit sewing-challenged and tired of hemming everything (even the petite pants) I jumped on the capri and crop pants bandwagon with both feet.  Finally, I could get some pajamas that did not have to be hemmed.  Oh happy day!

Of course, all those 3/4 length sleeve and capri-length pants were not particularly flattering, but they sure cut down on the amount of altering I had to do.  And I could always say I was dressing for comfort, not style, anyway.

As I watched a few makeover cable shows I noticed a common denominator of people whose style was in a rut.  They had children or friends or family who knew they could look better than they did, but their personal style mantra was:  But, it is comfortable.  Occasionally their excuse was:  But, I like it.

It is kind of like tuning yourself out when you look in the mirror each morning.  I only had to look at myself a few seconds or minutes while brushing my teeth and making sure my outfit matched before heading out the door.  But, other people has to look at me all day.  Really, I should have been more considerate.

I will never be a mini-skirt and stiletto heels kind of girl, but having a fitted pant or princess-seamed, non-knit shirt in my closet wouldn't actually kill me, would it?  Yes, I know the uniform of my generation is jeans and a T-shirt, but it is time to swim upstream.  Away from the conformity of fashion and toward the personal style of getting dressed "on purpose".