Wednesday, September 30, 2009
This week my training schedule will be the following:
Monday: Rest (although I went to a yoga class)
Tuesday: Walk 3 miles (although I didn't walk at all because I was too relaxed from acupuncture-which I still need to blog about)
Wednesday: cross-training for 20 minutes (but I actually walked an hour and a half)
Thursday: Walk 4 miles (but I am also thinking of possibly squeezing in a gentle yoga session as well)
Friday: It's supposed to be a cross-training day, but I am going to the beach and am going to walk for 2 hours-that'll be give or take 5 or 6 miles. If I feel up to it in the evening, maybe I will take the restorative yoga class
Saturday: 6 miles
Sunday: Haven't figured it out yet. Either I'll take a yoga class or I'll take a slow hike in a hilly mountain area.
I am trying to exercise as much as I can this week, because next week I go back to my hectic work schedule. Wish me luck!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Yesterday in the morning I went to see my yoga instructor for a weight loss session. In the past I worked with her over stress issues when she hypnotized me and I think it kind of worked, so I contacted her again to see what she could do to help me with getting ready for the marathon.
Our coaching session yesterday just revolved around what I should eat. I told her that I thought I had some sort of autoimmune disease or something that is making me feel sick. She said, "Let's ask the pendulum" and she swung around a pendulum. "Nope, it's all in your head", she said. Now I had a hard time believing a pendulum when it comes to my health, but hell-whatever is gonna make me feel better.
She worked with me to visualize what I am going to eat for the week and what I was going to buy at the health food store. Afterwards I went over to the health food store and bought tons of organic vegetables, tofu and salmon. I've never had organic fruit or veggies and I have never cooked fish for myself before!
For lunch I only ate a bowl of veggies with humus and some nuts. I was so surprised to see how much it filled me up. For dinner I cooked salmon and veggies and it was really delicious! I was absolutely surprised to find how quick and easy it was to cook salmon. It cooked even faster than chicken. It definitely occurred to me that I had my entire meal cooked in probably the same amount of time that it would have taken me to drive to a restaurant.
At my coaching session we identified that in the past I would go out to dinner with my friends in order to destress. So now I have got to find some new ways that I can destress!
Later in the evening I returned for an actual yoga session. About six years ago I took about eight private yoga classes, and I haven't done any yoga since then. It was amazing to me how easy it was for me to jump back in to the poses. I actually think that in a couple more sessions that I can move past the beginning class.
In the yoga class, I felt one brief moment of ecstasy as I sat there in a still pose. I want to feel like that all the time. It gave me some flashbacks of the ways that my body would feel so sensual and powerful in the past when I took the private lessons. I'm definitely going to go back to another class to see if I can refine my practice. It wasn't very physically vigorous, but it definitely will help me unwind, relax and improve my flexibility.
To top it all off, this morning I went over to the lab and took my blood tests that my doctor ordered a couple of weeks ago. So in the next couple of days I should know my fasting blood sugar levels and my cholesterol levels. I am a little excited about it because I want to test myself now, and test myself again later after I walk the marathon. I want to see if there is an actual decrease in numbers.
And guess what I am doing today? I signed up for an acupuncture session. I am a little nervous because I don't know if it is going to hurt with those needles poking out of me. I've heard that it helps with stress and pain relief. I'm pretty desperate at this point to make myself feel physically better. Wish me luck! I will keep you updated!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Today I saw an article from the LA Times with a similar theme. Apparently there is a non-profit "nutrition" organization that has set parameters for which food will receive a large check mark labeled "Smart Choices". Apparently companies can pay $2, 500 to have their products reviewed and have the "Smart Choices" mark of approval.
This sounds great, doesn't it? Healthy food labeled as a "smart choice". Well, think again.
There has been a tad bit of criticism about this project. Certain cereal has been "Smart Choices" approved, including cereal such as Lucky Charms that contains 12 grams of sugar. Excuse me, but given the epidemic in childhood obesity and diabetes-since when has 12 grams of sugar first thing in the morning been a "Smart Choice"?
I'll tell you who is really making a smart choice, and it's not the consumers. This advertising is a slick move on the part of the corporations to manufacture the myth that this crappy food is actually good for us. They even had the non-profit organization change their criteria as to how much sugar can be included in order to qualify.
This is so disgusting. It reminds me of the same thing that happened with "low-fat" food. They market it as "low-fat" and healthy and then we find out that it has tons of bad stuff in it that isn't even healthy. These companies are just preying on people who are trying to make healthy decisions and don't realize that what the companies are selling them is practically the same old shit that has been making us unhealthy in the first place.
You can read the LA Times article here.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
There I was, minding my own business, trying to relax after my nice, long, relaxing four mile walk. I was chugging down a cold glass of water when a commercial on television came on.
I can't recollect if it was a Sprite or a 7up commercial, but the whole commercial's tagline was "Get your antioxidants". It showed a picture of a clear soft drink with something red in it and was flashing "antioxidants" in red across the screen.
Antioxidants? Um, I don't think so!! Rather, how about...pink corn syrup with a little itty bitty splash of cranberry concentrate. Sugar, sugar and sugar. And whatever else crap they put in those drinks.
It's bad enough that this country has a major problem with obesity and poor health, and now advertisers are repackaging what is bad for us and slapping a healthy label on it?
On a positive note, one thought that went through my head was, "Well people must want to get healthy if the large corporations are using health terms to market their poison to us". Yep, I said it. Poison. You know it's not good for you; I know it's not good for me, but we still have a problem with drinking all that crap, right? But do we really want children being brought up on the idea that these drinks are healthy for you?
Here's another diet coke video that I found online with a similar theme:
Thursday, September 24, 2009
- It's hard as hell to exercise for a decent amount of time when it is hot as hell outside and the air quality is horrible due to fires. Southern California is having a HOT HOT HOT spell this week. Today I went out walking at 8:30 a.m. and I couldn't even last an hour because it started getting hot. I tried to walk again in the evening around 7:45 and also didn't last very long because it seemed like it was still over 90 degrees. I suppose that it is due to these types of situations that I should renew my gym membership, or have some sort of indoor video exercise.
- It's also hard as hell to try on walking and running shoes. Lately I have been having a hard time walking because my right foot has been killing me and I know that it has to do with the way that my feet slant. I went to numerous shoe stores looking for information on each of the shoes: which shoes have extra cushioning, which shoes are better for flat feet, which shoes are better for people who are inclined to slant their feet, etc. Nothing-no info. During my research online, many experts stated that it would be better to go to an actual running store because people have more of an expertise. Next time I will drive the extra 45 minutes to an actual running shoe store, because the mainstream sporting good stores just aren't cutting it with me. Nonetheless, I still bought some cute Nike shoes!
- Japanese food can fill you up and it's very nutritional. Not to mention so much fun sitting at a sushi bar and watching them make the rolls. Tonight I popped into a sushi bar and had a cup of miso soup, edamame, a california roll and an avocado roll. I feel so full, but not too overly stuffed! I came home tonight and was pleasantly surprised that the soup, sushi and edamame is relatively low in fat and high in fiber and protein. Yum. I'm going to have to study the Japanese diet a little more.
- Stress can seriously wreck havoc on your body and make you feel as if you are sick. I've been complaining for a while that I have no energy, despite the fact that I have been exercising and trying to eat better. Well, I've been on vacation for almost an entire week and just today I actually started feeling physically better. I'm suspecting that the stress from work might be what is actually making me feel like crap. I am going to have to learn to manage this better.
- I need serious help if I am going to walk that Honolulu marathon in December. I need help getting me both physically and mentally prepared for the walk. On Monday I was walking for over and hour and I was mentally having a really hard time with it--every street that I came upon I thought to myself, "Is this my last street?" I literally thought I couldn't make it. It wasn't so much that I was physically tired, but I was just mentally having a hard time getting into it. I have heard this about people who are in marathons-that there are certain points on the trail that it becomes so much more about the mental aspect of finishing than the physical aspect of it.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
For over an hour I searched online for health and well-being books, hoping to find something that will help this feeling that I carry around that my life has gotten completely out of control. Yet all I could really find was some lame self-help books, or books about dieting and weight-loss. Yes, I need to lose weight and I need to diet. But I feel that there is something so much more problematic in my life than that. I think being overweight and unhealthy are just symptoms of a larger problem.
I can't quite put a finger on when it seems that my life started falling apart. When I look back on my twenties, it just seems like it was one big decade of self-neglect and self-destruction. And work, work, work. I've achieved a lot in my life, in both the financial realm and in my career.
Now I have everything that I want-a nice house, tons of money saved, a new car, a great boyfriend, great friends... I have everything that I want. But now I am looking back at the past ten years, looking back at that huge gap of time that is missing where I let my whole life fall apart because I was too busy working my ass off for what I have now. And now I want something more out of my life.
I'm thinking back of all of the doctor's appointments that I canceled because of work. Not to mention all of the vacations that I stopped taking also because of work. All the missed dental appointments, exercise appointments. All the time that I was too overworked and burned out to go shopping for some nice clothes, shoes, or makeup. The many times that my car or something in my house just completely fell apart because I didn't take the time to do the small maintenance on it that would have immediately solved the problem. I even bought a beach house in Mexico that I have owned for a couple of years and have only visited a few times.
Once again I am walking down the same damn road that has gotten me into such a screwed up mental and physical state of being. I took two weeks off of vacation and effectively canceled my out of town vacation. I've been off since Friday and I have done NOTHING productive, and I actually feel more tired that I did last week when I was working.
You should see my house. You would be horrified at the mess that I actually live in. Luckily, my boyfriend has taken it upon himself to try to help me clean it up and get out of the funk that I am in. I'll have to take a picture of how very messy the house is, but I am a little embarrassed.
How am I supposed to take control of my health and weight when I can't even fix my damn car when it is breaking down? How am I supposed to lose weight when my life has spun so far out of control that I am too scattered to even go shopping for groceries? The funny thing is-if you were to see me at work, you would think that I am one of those people who has it all together. You would NEVER suspect.
I know that I must have depression issues, but I just want to get over it the natural way and not by having the doctors give me medicine. I want to heal myself through the food that I eat as well as exercise and getting my physical surroundings clean and in order. The only problem is that I am so overwhelmed I don't even know where to begin.
But I'm gonna beat this. And believe it or not, I feel much better just by having written this.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sweeps4bloggers is giving away the book "Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms". This book looks really handy. You can enter to win by clicking here. Chance to enter ends September 27, 2009.
Yesterday I went for a walk by myself and I enjoyed it. It's interesting to walk alone because I see and hear things that I typically wouldn't see or hear if I were walking with someone else. I walked past a pine tree and was overcome with an overwhelming scent of "mountain", even though I wasn't in the mountains. I heard people talking to their babies. I listened to mothers calling out to the family to come out and have breakfast. It was really interesting.
But I also have learned over the past couple of months that I tend to participate more in healthy lifestyle patterns if I have people around me who do the same. Last year I had a roommate who was a vegan and I started picking up some healthy eating patterns from her. I also had another friend who was a vegan and who was really into meditation and fitness-her good habits rubbed off on me as well.
Sadly, both of my role models have moved to San Francisco and I don't really have many other friends who are into a healthy lifestyle. I do have one of my clerks at work who walks and exercises, and also eats well. Yet I don't want to get too close to her outside of work because I am her boss.
Well, I do have my boyfriend who has been graciously walking with me. However, he also takes his mom on a walk every morning and I don't want to burn him out with taking me walking. At some point I also need to find other exercise buddies or learn to do it on my own because I can't depend on him forever.
So, what am I supposed to do? There is a local walking and running club about fifteen minutes away that is designed to prepare people for the Los Angeles marathon. However, I don't think that they are accepting any more new participants at this moment because the deadline has passed. Maybe I should check into that again.
This morning I went onto meetup.com and I did a search for both "walking" and "hiking" near my address and up popped a walking club and two hiking clubs. But I am shy and I am scared to join them-go figure! Although I am very outgoing, I am also somewhat socially shy and don't mingle well with new people. I am afraid that I am going to join the group and it will be a tight nit clique and I will feel excluded. Well, I won't know until I try it-right? Stay tuned.
P.S. If you are in Southern California and are near the Inland Empire area, let me know if you want to go out walking. I will even drive an hour from my house to your house if we go on a walk of a decent amount of time.
Alzheimer's Disease International has designated September 21, 2009 as a day to raise awareness about the causes, early symptoms and treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. You can read about some of the early symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease by clicking here. Some health practitioners believe that many of the symptoms can be delayed upon early identification and treatment.
If you are someone who has been affected by Alzheimer's disease in your family, the Alzheimer's Disease International also has a publication on their website about how to start a support group for family members who have been affected by the illness.
The National Alzheimer's Association is also organizing "memory walks" throughout 2009 to raise money for Alzheimer care, support and research. You can find a memory walk near you by clicking here.
I've recently figured out that I am a social exerciser who needs to break up the monotony and walk with different people as well as walk in different places. These types of health walks are excellent ways to get in a little exercise while funding a great cause. Even if you can't raise donations, the little money that you can donate is better than nothing. Plus, remember that your donations are tax deductible!
Monday, September 21, 2009
I flaked because I am a workaholic. I mean it. For a long time I have thought that I just have a strong work ethic and am a hard-working individual. But, no, I have a serious problem with being a workaholic. So much of a workaholic in fact that I canceled my plane ticket because I wasn't finished with a few minor things for work. Minor things.
Today was my first day off and it was so difficult for me to relax because in the back of my mind I kept thinking that there were things that I need to get done. Specifically: 1) a letter of recommendation; 2) a revision of something that I need to send out to teachers (that is already a few weeks late; and, 3) a letter to principals.
I woke up this morning in a panic and immediately called my secretary to remind her of some things that need to be completed. Then I tried to relax and take a walk. That uneasy feeling of not completing everything that I needed to have completed kept eating away at my mind all day, so I forced myself to go to sleep.
Most normal people would say "oh well, I'm on vacation", but I just can't do it. Not yet, at least. I hope that I can work on getting to that point some day, but I just can't do it now.
So I've decided that I am going to put in one hour or so tomorrow and Wednesday to tie up those loose ends and then I won't do anything else until Oct 6 when I am supposed to go back to work.
I KNOW that I am supposed to have "me" time to rejuvenate my battery. My boss told me that he read a study that women who don't take vacations have a higher chance of having heartattacks. I've got a serious problem and I want to have my life back, but I have to take baby steps.
Is this not totally ridiculous, or what?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I just got home from work and sat down to have a nice cup of green tea because I am literally dragging so much that I am going to need to a boost to push me to go on my walk. I've been dragging so much that I promised a friend that I would drive 40 miles over to her house so that I will go walking with her in order to hold me accountable. It's quite ridiculous, I know, because I could have been over and done with my walk by the time that I arrive at her house. Trust me though when I say that it is something that I need to do in order to hold me accountable.
In fact, I have taken to lying to my boyfriend and a close friend over my eating and exercise habits over the past week. Did I really tell my boyfriend, "Oh, yes, I exercised for an hour this morning" last week? I was so relieved when he looked at me with his suspicious eyes and said, "Well, we'll walk again this evening. It won't hurt you!" I whined and complained and threw a fit, laying down the bed. He just stood there until my fit was over and we went on the walk. When I later admitted to him that I had lied, he told me that he already knew that I was lying.
Has it really come to this, that I lie to my loved ones about whether or not I have eaten well or exercised? I mean, really?! What the hell is wrong with me?! It's not as if they will not notice that I am not losing weight. It's obvious to me that I've got a major problem if I've got to lie about it to my loved ones.
My boyfriend and a friend of mine conspired to keep their eye on me, or so I've been told. My friend told me that she will take me with her to the Pink concert on Friday for free AND she will take me on vacation with her for two weeks next week if I walk everyday with her this week and every single day on vacation. Now, I love the musician Pink and I really want to go on vacation, so therefore I will be driving the 40 miles to walk for an hour each day with her. Whatever it takes to motivate me, right?
Am I the only person who has lied to a loved one who is concerned about his or her health, eating or exercise habits? Why am I doing this?!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The editors of Men's Health and Women's Health just released the first (I think?) issue of Children's Health magazine. It's on the news stands as we speak. I haven't yet been able to figure out if this is just a one shot thing, or whether this is going to evolve into a monthly magazine. I've only had the opportunity to flip through the magazine this evening and the topics range from nutrition, exercise, health, vaccines, parenting, child psychology, etc.
I wish that I would have learned from my parents how to have better healthy living habits. Maybe when I have my own children I will be a better example of living a healthy lifestyle.
If I read anything interesting, I'll share the info in the near future!!
Monday, September 14, 2009
I don’t exactly know what happened. I was doing pretty well with my walking routine and then suddenly-poof-the walking ended. I didn’t walk for practically a whole week, I had a HORRIBLE menstrual period, I pigged out all week to my delight. Then on Sunday I woke my lazy ass up and got back in control of myself.
The funny thing is that although I didn’t walk for almost a week, I still was able to walk for 5 miles and I still think that I could have walked more. So, at least the week long hiatus didn’t set me back physically.
But I have noticed that I gained back the weight that I had lost. I don’t know exactly how much I have gained back, because I am really trying to NOT look at the scale. It is so much more self-defeating when I am constantly weighing myself. So I suppose that I am just going to have to trust my instincts that I have gained weight.
I have so much that I want to blog about, but I am going to have a very long and tough week. I will post here and there and try to stay updated. See ya soon.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Over at yogamonth.org you can find participating yoga studios who are offering a free week pass to take yoga classes! What a GREAT offer! Head on over there and see if there is a yoga studio in your local area who is offering free classes. The yoga studio near my house charges $15 a class, so this is a great opportunity to take some free yoga classes if you are already a yoga fanatic, or to try out your first yoga session free of charge. The site also has lists of free yoga events throughout the country.
Remember--despite all of the pictures of people practicing yoga who are contorted into all sorts of crazy positions, yoga is a great type of exercise for all fitness and weight levels!
Tell a friend and spread awareness!!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I just looked online and I counted the weeks to go until the Honolulu marathon and I just realized that there are only 14 weeks left! Oh no! I need to get my butt in gear!
Now I know why my doctor sort of looked at me funny when I said that I would send him a post card if I finished the marathon in Honolulu and he said, "Just send me one even if you walk ten miles of the marathon".
I looked online at the Avon training schedule that I have been using and I just realized that although their marathon is 26.2 miles, that the Avon marathon is spread out over two days! Now I am freaking out, wondering if the training schedule is not appropriate for me since I will be doing the marathon in one day.
I am going to have to investigate a little more. I am now sooo nervous that I don't have enough time for training! I am over 100 pounds over weight, have not exercised in years, and I can't even get my ass in gear enough to walk consistently four days a week! Am I really going to be able to pull this off in fourteen weeks!?! My body already aches just from walking four miles on the weekends. How the hell am I going to be able to pull off 26.2?!
To add to my nervousness, one of the participants at my training today told me that she had a personal trainer from October to March in order to get her ready to walk the Los Angeles marathon. Imagine that-the skinny little thing trained for six months, yet I'm attempting to do it in four months. Even with all her training, she told me that she almost gave up at the 22nd mile.
Then she told me that her friend had walked the Honolulu marathon and said that it was extremely hard to do because of all of the humidity. So what did I do? Well, I just looked up and searched on youtube "honolulu marathon" and lo and behold, there are tons of videos of marathon walkers and runners trekking through the pouring rain. Ahhh! I am freaking out! I HATE HATE HATE humidity, and I most definitely don't want to walk in the rain!
In addition to all the freakiness mentioned before, she also told me that I will get a little tracker on my foot that will monitor me at the marathon and my family and friends will be able to track me online. I am not sure if that applies to all marathons, but that sounds really inspiring to me!
So for the next couple of days I will be getting my butt in gear and researching some additional training schedules to ensure that I am going to set myself for success.
Besides-who really cares if I don't finish, right? All that really matters is that I am going to try.
I conducted a three-day presentation and it was excruciatingly difficult for me to to exercise after an entire day of standing in front of forty people all day long. Monday I did nothing. Last night I managed to walk only 30 min, although my marathon walking schedule stipulates that I am supposed to walk 3 miles at a brisk pace. Tonight I am supposed to have 2o-30 minutes of cross-training, which I haven't done.
Now I can feel that my period is coming on, and the cramps are starting to kick in. Should I go outside for 20 minutes and take a quick stroll to try to dissipate the cramps? Should I risk walking outside alone at dark? What about the wildfires-is it even healthy for me to be outside walking? This morning I came outside of my house and there was a fine coat of ash on my car, although the fires are 30 miles away to the east and 60 miles to the west of me.
Now I'm stuck in a dilemma. I know that I probably shouldn't walk outside alone at night. Last night I walked around the park at 8 at night, but I was with my boyfriend and it is in more of a rural area as opposed to my urban area. I also suspect that I shouldn't be walking outside with the poor air quality.
So I suppose I just won't exercise, because I am one of those people who hates exercising inside my house, and I haven't renewed my gym membership yet.
Oh well, I won't fret. At least I walked 30 minutes yesterday as opposed to nothing at all. I'll just have to make sure that tomorrow I walk the three miles that I am supposed to walk on Thursdays.
It's a lot harder than I thought to jump into a six days a week walking schedule, when I am not accustomed to walking on a consistent basis in the first place. So, I am going to be okay with not completely following the six day schedule, and I'll just try to work on being more consistent with walking for four days a week. When I have that under my belt, I can conquer the two days of cross-training!!
Maybe instead of doing my cross-training tonight I should actually register for the Honolulu marathon online!!