Archives for posts with tag: exercise

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During my last doctor’s visit, while my numbers still needed improving, he was impressed with the amount of walking I did. Most months I walk around 65 miles, and while I was hoping to keep that up, August happened.

I’m not a fan of August now that I’m older. When I was young it was prime summer vacation time…hot, trips to the pool, weeks spent on Martha’s Vineyard. But now? It’s just hot…too hot to walk other than in the early morning. And add to that equation the fact that my daughter starts school the 2nd week of August, and my morning walks go out the window.

But I really didn’t even walk on the weekends. I’m not sure why. I was being lazy, I guess.

But today dawned cool and rainy…what is left of Harvey is paying us a visit. And while I can forgive myself for letting August slip away, I won’t let that same mistake happen in September. So I grabbed my umbrella and did my morning walk – just a little over a mile and a half.

It felt good.

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This week I decided to kick my nonexistent diet and work out regime into high gear. Vacation in July will be here before I know it, and I had trouble buttoning my favorite summer shorts this past weekend.

So I am doing an experiment this week. I am sticking to a 1400 calorie a day diet, and working out 3 times per day. Not per week….per day.

A few weeks back I hooked up our old VCR to an equally old TV in our garage and made a little gym area. I have a zillion VCR tapes filled with movies, MTV videos and TV shows, and I thought it would make a session on the treadmill easier to bear. We threw a few old carpets so we could do some of my old aerobic tapes as well.

So, my routine this week has been a half hour on the treadmill (1.25 miles) while watching a movie, a long 2+ mile walk during my lunch, and a short, 20 minute aerobic/weights workout after dinner.

Last night I decided to pop my old Jane Fonda’s Step Workout video into the VCR. I have the whole kit shown in the photo above. I bought it in the 90s, and subsequently have done it hundreds of times.  I have it pretty much memorized. But I got a rude awakening last night.

I could barely make it through the starter song…the easy one that you pretty much get warmed up to. I did my 20 minutes worth, but I couldn’t do all the moves…there were times I had to either march in place or do moves that were less “intense” than the already lame/easy moves in the video.

Holy crap. I used to do this video with one hand tied.

So what’s a 52 year old gal to do when she can’t keep up with a Jane Fonda tape? I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not switching to Sweatin’ to the Oldies. I’m determined to master that tape once again.

And I’m curious to see what kind of results I get by week’s end. I’ll keep you posted.

 

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Yesterday I booked my passage on the Island Home ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. We are going as a family over the July 4th weekend to spread my father’s ashes. While the reason for the trip may be somber, we are going to celebrate the place that, thanks to my father, was our summer vacation spot.

July.

6 1/2 months away and yet I feel like it’s right around the corner. I’ve got just that long to shed some of the lbs. I packed on last year. I’ll admit, compared to 2015, I was really inactive over much of 2016. The time to turn that around is now.

I made a goal of walking at least 30 miles in January, and shy of contracting the flu, I plan on shattering that number by the 31st. It feels good to have set a goal and even better to be sticking to it. I sort of gave up on my walking regime towards the end of last year. It was super hot during the summer, and then I just got lazy once the cooler temps came.

Sticking to a plan, even if it is just walking more, is quite motivational. I’m making other small changes each week that passes, and with any luck, it will raise the gung-ho spirit I need to really put my rear into overdrive.

Cause July really is just around the corner.

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As many of my readers know, I tried to walk 1,000 miles last year, but my final tally was only a hair over 900. Even though it was twice as far as I walked the year before, there was little real improvement in the shape of my body.

I mean, I’m not a dope; I know all that walking did my body good in other ways…blood pressure, blood sugar, etc. But it did little to nothing in changing the shape of my body. My legs were still flabby, and the scale only showed a loss of maybe 30 pounds. I realized that just walking wasn’t the real answer.

So I kind of lost my passion for it. Here we are more than halfway into 2016 and I’ve only walked 200 miles.

Monday morning I realized I hadn’t been out to walk for almost the whole month of June. I’d been so busy with jobs and freelance that every single morning was devoted to meeting deadlines and getting work done. But with one of my magazines going to press, I finally had some time.

The walk was glorious, and I scolded myself for letting work get in the way of those cool, green morning walks to my favorite podcasts.

Then on Monday night, I got the call that my father had died. I’ll blog about that later. Now just isn’t the time.

I went out Tuesday morning, but my walk was anything but enjoyable. My legs felt heavy and my head and heart just plain hurt. I took out my earbuds and turned off my ipod and just walked, heading back home.

I thought of my dad, and how this was the first morning in my entire life that he wasn’t waking up to. How he’d never have another morning with the paper, and his slew of vitamin pills, and his breakfast with his wife Gabi.

But I also thought of how when I was a child, my dad would always go out very early and run. He’d drive down to a park in our town that had a long track, and he’d run. When I started walking a lot he reminded me of that, and said something to the affect of being a chip off the old block.

So Wednesday morning I went out again. And again today. I walked not so much for exercise, but more as a tribute of sorts to my dad. He’d want me out there, enjoying the morning, breathing deep and living life.

Both walks were phenomenal…I felt like I could fly. It felt less like a workout and more like a spiritual and physical release. It felt really fucking good.

Yes, there will be times when my walks are going to feel labored and annoying. But for now, with my dad looking over me, they are out of this world.

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I used to love springing forward. It meant longer days and warmer weather. But this year? It plain pissed me off.

You see, I realized about two weeks ago that it was starting to get light out at right around 6 am. So, I set my alarm earlier and head out the door to do my 2+ mile walk right at daybreak. But I wrote about that last week, and am boring you, dear reader, with repetitive nonsense.

So when I woke up on Monday morning, after the obligatory spring forward, it dawned on me that now the sun will be coming up at 7:00 am rather than 6:00 am. Curses! Just when I was so happy to get back into the swing of things, we have to go and spring forward.

I am not a happy camper. Now I’m largely stuck walking at lunch, which usually is no problem. But, it’s getting warmer here in good old Virginny – even though it’s only March, walking at lunch is getting to be uncomfortable.

It’s supposed to be 80° tomorrow….like I want to walk in that!

I guess there’s nothing much for me to do except wait for mother nature to catch up to the government mandated time change.

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Yesterday I noticed that the sun is beginning to rise at around 6:00 am, and this was very good news to me.  I really dig walking first thing in the morning, but until now, it was just too dark for me to do it safely, and if I waited until the sun came up, there wasn’t enough time to walk before I had to get the house ready for school/work.

So I’ve been stuck walking in the afternoons, which I don’t like as much. But today, I woke up at a little after 4 am – I got my freelance work done, at promptly at 6:00, with the sun cresting over the treetops, I went out for a nice 2 mile walk. With a few episodes of “The Lapse,” one of my new favorite podcasts as company, the walk went by quickly, and just like that, I got my daily exercise done.

Tada! Mornings are great.

Now, any extra exercise I do later today is gravy…the proverbial icing on the cake. I adore my morning walks, and have missed them over the winter. Hello spring. I welcome you.

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Today while taking my lunchtime walk, I was amazed by the number of people who got in my way. I mean, on an average walk in downtown Charlottesville, I may cross paths with a few people, but today? It was like Grand Central.

And it wasn’t just passing people on the street. It was intersecting at a corner where one of us had to stop or we’d simply collide. Or on several occasions I would meet up with a group of people walking together, none of whom would make room for my passage.

I have to tell you, all that stopping and starting? It got a little annoying.

And it made me think, why now? I mean, if I had left my office 38 seconds later or earlier, I may not have met up with any of these people – the sidewalks may have been all mine, or doubly as crowded. You just never know.

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My doctor at the free clinic suggested to me that I visit their nutritionist. I was hesitant, only because the last nutritionist I visited years ago was a real bitch.

She was the type who no matter how much weight you lost or no matter how improved your numbers were, it just wasn’t good enough. She never rewarded you with a “job well done!” It was always, “you need to do better” or “You’re not out of the woods.”

Not very motivating, to say the least.

Yesterday’s appointment was very different, but not in a good/improved way. It was just weird.

First off, she was fat, which I wasn’t expecting. I’m not saying that fat people can’t know the basics of healthy eating, but if they can’t practice what they preach, it makes you wonder.

She assumed a lot. I mean a lot. At one point she said, “well I know you don’t like fruit” to which I replied, “I actually like a lot of fruits.” I mean what was her thought process? Was it along the lines of, “gee, this broad’s a fat-ass so I’m guessing she doesn’t like fruit.”

She also assumed that when I made chicken soup from scratch that I used rotissere chicken and canned vegetables. WTF? Do I have “hillbilly” stenciled on my forehead?

She also seemed singularly unimpressed with the fact that I’ve walked over 750 miles so far this year. Usually the doctors are like, “wow, that’s impressive!” Maybe she just assumed I logged all the miles at the Chinese Buffet lines.

She also got annoyed with me. She asked what I weighed when I was 25. I told her I couldn’t remember…maybe 130? Not satisfied, she asked me what size my wedding dress was. Who the hell remembers that? Then she mentioned to her assistant that I might be in denial because EVERYONE knows what size their wedding dress was. Sorry honey, that was over 20 years ago…I just know I don’t fit in it now.

I also got lectured for not having been administered a gestational diabetes test when I was pregnant – exsqueezeme? That was 13 years ago!

What a nut!

And her eating advice? I found it to be suspect, to say the least. She wanted me to eat “diet” versions of everything….yogurt, bread…isn’t that stuff supposed to be worse for you? She actually suggested that eating Mrs. Paul’s breaded fish filets was a good choice for dinner. She also mentioned little to nothing about exercise.

The only advice I’m going to heed from her is to cut down my salt intake. The rest of it, I know how to do with one hand tied. I just have a hard time doing it for longer than a few months, especially when you stop seeing results.

I’m still trying to reach my goal of 1,000 miles walked by December 31st, 2015 – but now I’m adding dropping some more lbs into the mix.

Risk

Since the beginning of the month, I decided I would try to walk at least 3 miles each day. I came up with this plan when I realized that in order for me to hit a total of 1,000 miles walked by end of the year, I’d have to really commit to going out every day, AND walk a sizeable distance.

I know it’s a long shot, because it gives me little wiggle room for sickness or just plain being too busy. And let’s face it…walking can be boring. But I have found the solution to making walking up and down the same streets every single day less monotonous.

RISK!

Not Risk the game. No, I’m talking about the podcast. I discovered it at the beginning of the summer while searching for a new story-telling podcast. I got hooked on this wonderous form of entertainment when librivox ran out of interesting (and dated) audiobooks for me to listen to. After years of Eleanor H. Porter, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Horatio Alger Jr and various books by the Brontë sisters, I needed some fresh material.

I had discovered a few really good podcasts, which I wrote about here, but eventually I had run through all the episodes. My favorite of the bunch was the Porchlight Storytelling series, which was comprised of fairly average folks standing up in front of an audience to tell a true-life story, not lasting longer than 10 minutes.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 1.16.44 PMAfter exhausting every episode, I had to find a new place to hang my podcast hat. After a quick Google search and the following BuzzFeed recommendation, I quickly plugged in my iPod and subscribed to several of the suggested podcasts. I don’t know why I started with Risk! Maybe because it was adverstised as “Bold Stories from Bold People.” Perhaps it’s because I am decidedly “unbold.” (see yesterday’s post)

Anyhoo – after the first episode, I was hooked. Now I am officially binge listening. I loaded my little iPod with as many episodes as it could possibly hold.

Many of the stories can be quite kinky – there’s a lot of very frank stories about sex and body parts. But it’s not all cock, balls, tits and ass. There are stories about personal growth, and abuse; stories about shitting your pants, having a child, or making a friend.

I never know if I’m going to bust out laughing or shed a tear – both of which can seem odd when you are just walking around the neighborhood. All I know is that for the hour it takes me to walk the 3 miles every morning, I’m am usually so engaged in the stories these wonderful people are sharing with me, that before I know it, I’m back home. And thanks to this podcast, it all seemed so effortless.

Eventaully I will run out of RISK! episodes and be stuck waiting for a new episode like every other shmoe out there. Sigh. Thank goodness there’s still at least 10 more seemingly good podcasts to go.

I’ve got a lot of miles to cover.

At the end of last year I remember logging onto MapMyWalk.com and looking at my walking totals for 2014. I was amazed that I had walked over 400 miles. 402 to be exact.

I posted it to Facebook, and told all my coworkers of my acheivement, saying how I could have walked to New York City as that’s only 383 miles away. I was all puffed and proud, and determined to keep it up.

Enter 2015. So far this year? I’ve walked 524 miles. And it’s only the end of July. I am also on my second pair of sneakers. The pair I bought at the end of December 2014 had holes in them.

This amazes me. I was so proud of that 400 mile mark last year, and here I’ve blown that total out of the water by May. Could I make it to 1,000 miles by the year’s end?

Could I???

Some quick calculating tells me I’d have to walk no less than 95 miles per month for the rest of the year. I only walk in the mornings during the summer – It’s just too hot for me to go out during lunch. But once the fall comes, I should be able to log at least 5 miles a day.

And I would walk 500 more…

It’s worth a try, right?