Thursday, November 10, 2011

self.

In the midst of all this school and work, I feel like I've started to lose a lot of the things about myself that I love. The extra weight I've taken on in the past year doesn't help too much with that.

I've noticed that I have stopped identifying as an "athlete" or something who values exercise. I think the idea is still there, I definitely do VALUE exercise, I just might not do it.... at least not consistently.

At the core of all of this turn-around, this life improvement state, I've managed to move somewhat latterally. Sure, I've finally enrolled in school and sure, I'm actually doing well. I've somehow managed not to lose my job in the process and I've also taken the time to shake things up enough at work that some genuine change might happen with the things that have been stressing me out about it.

What's 10 pounds when the rest of that is going on?

Well, it's weight. And it's more than physical weight, it's mental weight.

As I move up the scale, I seem to be creeping down emotionally. I feel less confident, which allows my anxiety to take over more often than it does not. It creates barriers between me and my manpanion. It creates comparisons between me and other women, things I had an easier time ignoring when I felt really great about my body and my health.

I've been trying to recenter. I've been trying to revisit the times I was happiest and try to mentally arrange them to see the factors that must be missing now.

I know everyone says you have to live "in the moment." I'm awful at this, admittedly. I'd love to learn how, but I am such a planner, and ambitious to a fault, that it's dififcult for me not to have my eye on some prize.

The good part is, one thing that I recognize, is that I was happy when I was taking care of myself and being active. Most of my best memories from the past 2 years all involve moving. Cartwheels, square dancing, two-person-bike-races... momentum.

I am experimenting this week, with block-walking. Each time I feel stressed, regardless of the weather, I will suit up and walk around the block. I think the fresh air will help to clear my head and get a new perspective, plus I'm moving instead of reaching for the gelato.

I'm hopeful this will assist in breaking some [bad] habits and building a new one.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

chug chug chug.

My posture is still awful, but I have achieved a new milemarker in my return to a healthy lifestyle: the gym.

The gym.

I hadn't set foot inside my gym since August 4th. Between getting ready for school and then being IN school, I didn't feel that I had the time to make for a "real" workout.

But I changed my expectations.

What is a "real" workout?

Why shouldn't I just get there, 12 times at least, to earn my discount. My health insurance isn't tracking whether I spend an hour lifting weights, or put in serious effort on the StepMill. They, like SCIENCE, simply want me to move my body at least 12 times a month.

Well!

I can do that.

This month, November, I pledged to earn my discount again. Today is the 8th and I have been to the gym 3 times. That is ALMOST every other day, which is a good track record considering I was out of town this last weekend, and will be out of town next weekend... and the weekend after. Because I've been out of the "intentional exercise" game for some time, I'm easing back into it. I've started couch to 5k again, a program I've never actually completed despite having run several 5ks. I began at week 1, which I am going to be on day 3 of when I head to the gym later this evening. I'm not as physically out of shape as I had thought, proven by the ease of week 1. This is assuring and encouraging.

I have been putting in little more than 30 minutes at a time in the gym, which - to me - doesn't feel like a "real workout" but my opinion is slowly changing. I am moving more than I was before, even if it's only by 30 minutes, and this is a vast improvement.

On the excusing side, I've started to forgive my insatiable appetite after I learned that your brain uses a LOT of your daily calories. It makes sense, then, that because I am intentionally using my brain - all the damn time, and way more than I used to - I'm hungrier. I suppose this makes sense in the way that if I suddenly started training for a marathon, I'd be hungrier. My brain is the one running this time.

My solution to this, though, is that I need to keep healthier volume snacks on hand. I need to find a good back up for cheese and crackers, ice cream and other not-so-healthy snacks.

I'm thinking popcorn, the best seasonal fruits, and low-cal hot cocoa. We'll see if I can trick myself into snacking well while I study.

What are your favorite healthy snacks?