Hello WordPress, my old friend

In the past two months I have been seriously lax on exercise. I didn’t think much of it – yeah, I put on four pounds, but I felt fine and if my resting heart rate was up in the low 70s instead of the upper 50s it was no big deal because my blood pressure was still normal.

Then came PC last week, with the five minute shimmy warm-up that I had to bail out on, and two rounds of half-remembered Dancing Drums that left me way more winded than I ever dreamed possible.

Okay, maybe taking two months off dance wasn’t such a good idea. But hey, I had just given blood that day, so that explained part of it. Right? Right. So there ya go.

Then I got my cholesterol numbers that had me up 63 points since November, from “just barely normal” to “WTF are you thinking??” Can I blame it on a bad test? I can try – the repeat draw that I’m requesting on Friday when I go to the doctor will answer that. So still, no big deal, deny responsibility and the need to change, and keep doing what you’re doing. Everything’s fine, nothing to see here, move along.

But then there was dance class last night – a full-on “learning a new choreo” dance class. If I needed any concrete evidence of how poor my cardiovascular endurance has become, last night did it. No excuses or rationalizations can explain me not being able to get through a 60-minute dance class and needing to sit down before I passed out.

I can try to blow off “it’s only four pounds” as though the number on the scale were the only thing that mattered, but that’s a lie. Health is more than a number on the scale, and I should know better.

So starting tonight I have a recurring appointment with my treadmill. This could be the re-start of a beautiful friendship.

Advertisements

Part tortoise, part coyote

If the tortoise’s motto is “slow and steady wins the race”, then I am becoming part tortoise. I have been slack in the exercise department, which will make the Firefly 5K interesting in a couple of weeks. But I have been very good in my eating habits, and have almost broken into the 170s. My target weight range is 170-174, so that’s a significant milestone for me.

Dance is picking up significantly, with practices nearly every day this week to prepare for upcoming shows and festivals. And while I am already happier with how my costumes are fitting, I think I’ll be able to hit my goal by the start of festival season. Call me silly, but I find the idea exciting!

If I expand my definition of “fitness” to include “emotional fitness” (which is also important, IMHO), then that is improving, as well. Aside from an emotional breakdown last week that was triggered by several of my friends losing loved ones, that is. But the fact that it didn’t send me into a week-long tailspin – which it would have done this time last year – is significant.

Progress, slow and steady. Thanks, tortoise.

Small changes taking hold

It’s always nice when it feels like the effort of making better choices and passing on the really tasty (but really bad for you) junk food of yore is getting easier. There are still many changes to be made, but the fact that it’s getting harder to find something that sounds good for dinner when rifling through fast food options is encouraging.

I really didn’t feel like cooking tonight, and being a Friday evening, finding room in a restaurant was practically impossible. That left drive-through, but nothing sounded even remotely appealing. Taco Bell, Burger King, Quiznos, McDonald’s… nothing sounded good. Which is weird, because it used to be really easy to pull into a fast food joint and find something.

Is this progress?

I ended up driving through Boston Market as the “lesser of several evils” option and getting half a Tuscan Rotisserie Chicken, then put more than half of it in the fridge for future meals. Maybe I can throw it into the crock pot this weekend and do something with the rest of it. Some potatoes, some carrots… Hmmm.

This is looking to be a busy weekend. Tomorrow morning at 8:30am I am picking up an Anatolian Shepherd Dog from boarding and helping him on his way to a new foster home by driving him to a town about an hour away. There I will meet another driver who will take him on the next leg, and by tomorrow evening, he will be at his foster home in Little Rock, Arkansas. After I get back from that I have dance class, then our dance studio has a Hafla (dance show) at the studio, then to karaoke where a friend is having her birthday.

There are worse things. ::grin::

It’s a month until the Firefly Run, which means I should start digging out the glow sticks and black light shirt again. Ready for spring!!

Title (optional)

Since I don’t have a pithy subject line popping into my head (or a non-pithy one, for that matter), we will go with the default.

It seems like every morning for the past week or so, I’ve gotten on the scale and the number has been lower than the day before. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but since I haven’t consciously been doing anything different, I’m starting to wonder if my scale is screwing with me. Maybe I was just eating so much junk and salt that I was retaining more water than I ever thought possible.

I have noticed that cravings are getting easier to suppress (except for the two boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that arrived last week). Maybe the audio I’ve still been listening to regularly has been leaving little footsteps in my brain. Now to nurture it from the subconscious into the conscious… I’m working on my Mindful Eating approach to the Samoas, but have only had limited success so far. I still have a box left to try it on, though!

Last Saturday I went back to belly dance class, and promptly got my butt kicked by the new choreography that we are learning. I haven’t been to class in nearly a month, so everyone else in the class had already had the basics broken down for them. The teacher did a quick breakdown and refresher, and I managed to keep up with a decent chunk of it by the end of the class. My personal goal is to nail the choreography by the beginning of April – I need to find a video of it somewhere so I can drill it at home. I also got reminded yet again that I’m not quite up to my former endurance level, since I was out of breath halfway through it!

Chalk up yet another reason to get my butt back on the treadmill.

Whirlwinds and roller coasters

I like roller coasters, but not the emotional ones, and the past couple of weeks have had some really intense highs and lows. Ramble follows, not strictly fitness-related.

The conference came off really well, with only a couple of small hiccups. My boss was happy, her boss was happy, and her boss’s peers were happy, so all in all, a good experience. I was able to look at myself in the mirror and admit that I was damned good at what I do, and it’s the first time I can remember that I actually believed it.

On Wednesday, the last day of the conference, I got a call from the place where my dogs were boarding that they were having some digestive problems. I knew rationally that it was probably just stress from boarding, but it still made for a rough last day of the conference worrying about them. I got home Wednesday night and picked them up – they’re fine, it was just stress.

Festival season is just around the corner, so our Performing Company started figuring out which choreographies we are doing at which shows. Rehearsals start next Tuesday, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s also motivation to stay on track with my exercise plan, since there are still some pounds I’d like to lose before the season starts. I am also signed up for some 5K events in the next few months – the night run in March, Foam Fest in April, and the obstacle run in May. Starting March 4 I am joining the three-month TEAM Fitness plan – my left shoulder had been giving me some problems in January, but is feeling much better now so a couple more weeks of rest is probably a good plan.

Wednesday the roller coaster plunged when I learned my mother went to the ER with leg pain. X-rays showed old spinal fractures, and an MRI on Thursday showed some new ones. They aren’t looking at doing surgery yet, so it sounds like the treatment is rest and physical therapy… which she has been doing for the past several months after being hospitalized last summer, so what is this supposed to do that’s different?? I feel horrible and guilty and wondering what I can do to help – even though I know there really isn’t. I wish she didn’t have to go through this. I wish there was some way to just fix it.

Even though it’s almost 10pm, I’m contemplating jumping on the treadmill for a while. Maybe it will help settle my mind. Tomorrow is dance class and the chance to get caught up on the four weeks of class that I’ve missed, tomorrow night is karaoke (and the return of NASCAR), and Sunday there is a dog-related event that I am going to. I have no idea where this roller coaster is going next…

Back in the saddle

The past several days have been crazy busy getting prepared for a big conference next week, as well as doing a multi-team meeting for about 80 employees, and there’s several webinars and conferences coming up that we still need to register people for and promote. While we’re at it, we’re onboarding two new employees, interviewing people for two other positions, and I am up to three managers I support full time, two I support part time, and one that I support on a technical needs basis.

And, by the way, I turned 42 on Friday. Life is not boring.

On Thursday I helped with an 80-person meeting that brought together a bunch of people that I have emailed for years but never met, so it was really cool to be able to put faces with names. I was on the planning calls for the meeting, which meant that I was disqualified from participating in the Teambuilding event before dinner. I was okay with that, because it meant I got to be on the judging team, and the event was a guacamole and margarita making contest. I got to taste-test the fruits of labor for all 10 teams, including the margaritas… and I don’t even drink. It was a lot of fun, and a chance to mingle with a lot of folks, and a chance to actually interact with most of my managers in person – they’re scattered across the country, so I don’t get a lot of face time with them.

Friday was a late day at work, so between that and Thursday I was dog-tired by the time I got home, and made the mistake of dozing off on the couch. That meant I was awake until about 2 in the morning, and then couldn’t motivate Saturday at all. At least not until the evening when I went to karaoke with my friends. That meant another late night (or really, really early morning!) and a hard time with motivation on Sunday.

Long and short of it is that I have not had any real exercise since Wednesday (although cat herding on Thursday counts for something, considering how much walking I was doing at the event), so tonight I got guilted-slash-motivated into spending time on the treadmill while watching “The Biggest Loser”.

It’s frustrating because I am again having all the mental “I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna” demotivators running through my brain, and if I just get off my ass and DO it, it’s not that bad and I actually feel better afterwards. Is there a magic button or pill or something to shut off that negative voice and make it easier to motivate?

Some good things that came out of this week – I do actually have a swimsuit that fits decently enough that I can bring it to the conference and not feel embarrassed in it. It’s a two-piece, but the pieces are modest enough that I could wear them. I’ll pack it on the off chance I have time to use it. Also, the weather for the conference is looking good – highs in the lower 60s and less than a 20% chance of rain. Since many of our activities on Tuesday afternoon are outdoors, fingers crossed that it stays that way. We have hiking, biking, kayaking, golf… all sorts of “get out and get active” things that hopefully will go over well.

Goals for the week – stay within my calorie allotment and do something physical, like another half hour on the treadmill, or maybe some weight lifting at home. Wednesday I have a massage scheduled (90 minutes – woot), and Thursday I can make the Yin/Restorative Yoga class at 7:30 if work isn’t too crazy that day. Friday will be laundry, Saturday is dance class and packing, because Sunday is a travel day.

I’m really looking forward to the conference and seeing all this insanity come together, but I’ll be really really glad when it’s over!!

Ya gotta start somewhere

Tonight at TEAM we did a class evaluation for push ups, sit ups, and planks. I wish I had written down somewhere what my push up numbers were from my initial eval on January 5 – I thought I had them, but I can’t find them, so I can’t tell if I did better or worse.

So, even though it’s embarrassing, I’m posting these so I can refer back to them as I improve.

  • 30 seconds – push ups (knee): 17 (translate to 8.5 toe push ups)
  • 30 seconds – sit ups: 17
  • Plank hold (toe): 56 seconds

Wednesday is measurements and a 30-minute distance test on the treadmill. Looks like I get to pack the smartphone so I can put another audiobook on for the test. I just need to be sure it’s not one of my Relaxation recordings!

I also got an email from a friend asking if I was interested in doing the Foam Fest 5K in Dallas in April. The wall obstacles look a little intimidating, but overall it looks like fun, so we’re going to sign up. That gives me the Firefly Run in March, Foam Fest in April, and Diva Dash in May.

I’m also re-thinking my plan for TEAM. Saturday is the last day of my two-week “free sample”, and I was originally going to wait until March to sign up for a three-month commitment, which would bring me right up to Diva Dash in May. But now I realize I don’t want to lose the momentum that I’ve started, so even though I’m going to be out of town for a few days in February, I’m thinking of starting my three-month commitment in February anyway (or even next week, if they’ll let me).

Now that I think about it, this was a day for numbers all over the place – I had my 30,000 mile checkup this morning, so by Wednesday I should know my blood panel numbers… and what I have to do to get my cholesterol down to something resembling decent numbers. I know they’re going to be bad, I just don’t know how bad.