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Archive for July, 2013

So far everything but the mindfulness has gone well. For some reason, I keep either forgetting to sit and meditate, or if I do remember, I talk myself out of it.

The Nerd Fitness Beginner Body Weight Workout has been quite challenging. While he makes it look easy to just run through the 5 exercises that are listed, on day 1, I just made it through one set, not the recommended three, and the following two days (which happened to be workdays), I walked like I was 94. I made sure to keep going, though, and I’m happy to report that I’ve exercised, alternating walking with strength training, every day except the workdays. I managed two consecutive sets today, but the last few reps were very challenging. Progress, though! Overall feeling stronger. One thing I have come up against has been the squats and lunges of the NF workout being quite hard on my knees and IT band, and after asking my FB friends for advice, have come away with the answer of weak glutes. Yep, my butt, despite it’s ample size, is on vacation! I am going to substitute the exercises from http://drpeggymalone.com/exercises-strengthen-stabilize-gluteal-musculature for the squats and lunges until I build up strength in said butt-tocks.

Dietwise, doing fine, though the initial carbohydrate adjustment was a bit tricky. I have on the whole felt great until this morning, when I woke up feeling sluggish, and couldn’t figure out why. then it dawned on me it could be a Famine Reaction (http://bodymatters.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Physiological-responses-to-dieting-3.pdf) from my change in exercise and diet habits. I exercised, but it didn’t feel fun or energetic at all like it has been doing. I ate a good sized, healthy lunch, and felt much better. Chocolate cravings have pretty much disappeared. While I am still OK with eating a little bit each day if I want to, the urge to seems to have left!

 

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“I believe in strong women. I believe in the woman who is able to stand up for herself. I believe in the woman who doesn’t need to hide behind her husband’s back. I believe that if you have problems, as a woman you deal with them, you don’t play victim, you don’t make yourself look pitiful, you don’t point fingers. You stand and you deal. You face the world with a head held high and you carry the universe in your heart.”
― C. JoyBell C.

I have issued myself a 6 week challenge, and I’m one week in to it.

This is nothing new. I’ve said this before, and lasted one, perhaps two,  days at whatever it was that I was hoping to achieve. I seemed to be all too good at dreaming up the plans, but running out of oomph when it all got real. Or, more likely, perhaps I lacked a good enough motivator to keep the momentum going. In the past, it tended to be about superficial stuff, such as appearance, or idealism in disguise, such as “I want to do this because I should” rather than actually deep down wanting to.

This time is different. The decision to do this was motivated in part by my education (I am studying public/population health, and I know what I should be doing to be at my healthiest) and work (I look after people who are having surgery and see the outcome of not looking after myself). However, at its very core, this time I want to do this because I decided after turning 40 that there is no point in pretending to be less than what I am, living inside the Identity Box of my own doing, and living life in fear of looking foolish.

At the risk of sounding like a cliche, inspired somewhat by http://momitforward.com/tap-into-super-hero  and http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2011/07/21/meet-staci-your-new-powerlifting-super-hero/, I decided to channel my inner superhero, and focus on becoming both physically and mentally strong because it feels fabulous, rather than berating myself into exercising and eating right because I Should. And that has been liberating. I added some music I found empowering to listen to to my iPod. I printed out pictures of smart, strong women who I admire and stuck them above my desk as a reminder. And off I went.

A few friends are joining me on this six week challenge, and they’ve asked me to blog about what we’re doing. All of us have different activities we’ve committed to, with the common group goal of picking some things that we wanted to do and sticking with them, 100%, for 6 weeks.

So…here are my commitments to myself for the six weeks:

  • I will complete some kind of physical activity every day that I am not working. Since I work 2 days per week, this is a realistic goal for increasing my physical fitness and strength. I may add some exercise on work days, but it’s a challenge since I work 12.5 hour shifts.
  • Strength training in the form of http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2009/12/09/beginner-body-weight-workout-burn-fat-build-muscle/ at least 3 times per week, alternating with a 30 minute brisk walk on other days.
  • I will go cold turkey with sugar. No added sugar at all, and the only sweet things I will eat are fresh fruit or frozen unsweetened fruit, with one tiny exception: 1 Dove dark chocolate square per day. I’ve tried to kick the chocolate habit before, and wasn’t successful. I think leaving it in is more beneficial in the long run.
  • Primal diet. Primal rather than paleo because I think dairy is OK in moderation. I’m on board with the no grains thing, but reserve the right to *very* small (as in 1/4 cup cooked) amounts of rice occasionally.
  • Mindfulness meditation at least 10 minutes per day.

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