Barbara – No one plans to become unhealthy

With the first long weekend of summer just ending, I’m thinking about my weekend health habits – or maybe the inconsistency in what my weekends look like – and wonder what the end of summer will look like. There will be two more long weekends and two glorious weeks of vacation that will be as unstructured as my usual weekends. And this worries me a bit. (A lot.)

I don’t think that anyone plans to become unhealthy. There was that woman who fantasized about weighing 1,000 pounds but I think we can file her under “results not typical”. There is a big difference between not planning to be be unhealthy and planning to be healthy. I need to think about what plans I need to put in place to continue to be healthy in the midst of outdoor festivals, visits with friends and families and on the hard-to-imagine days when I have no place I have to be.

It’s been almost a year since I joined Losing it in Ottawa and there have been many changes in my life. I’ve lost weight and inches. I developed a series of habits that have enabled these changes but for most of the time, I’ve been in a well-structured life. Remember that we lauched Losing it just after BlogHer so that we wouldn’t have to contend with a conference (and parties!) at the same time we were trying to turn our lives around. BlogHer 2011 is just around the corner and I’m wondering if I have the motivation and tools to get through.

No, that’s not accurate. I know that I can get through. I’m an adult who decides what to eat and whether to exercise. I can’t allow myself to create a story in which the helpless damsel (that’s me) is the victim of an unscrupulous step-mother/Queen (that’s the treats and leisurely lifestyle). I’ve always said that running is my anchor and I’ll honour that truth. Even when it’s hot and humid – which I hate – and even when I have guests or am with friends. I’ll continue going to Curves three times a week because muscle burns calories, even at rest. I’ll make more of an effort to try classes out at Goodlife because they might be my new passion.

In terms of food, I am going to eat a good breakfast and make either lunch or dinner a meal of which to be proud. Sometimes, I’ll eat a decadent breakfast, though, because I love breakfast but it will be with intention. I will have treats but not every day and I’ll eat only the part of each that makes me think “Wow!”  

I’m also going to listen to the wise women who share their ideas right here. I will  love my body as it is now, just like Vicky said I should. I’m going to look to unorthdox fitness tips that Coreen offered up and I’m most definitely going to follow Sara’s social media diet and, like Sasha, trust that success begets success. And in the heat and easy living, I’m probably going to have to fight the weight loss apathy that Lara mentioned and find the attitude that Jenn talked about. 

It’s going to be a long, hot, lazy summer. I’m looking to the rest of you for some help, too. Do  you have plans to stay healthy that you are willing to share?

Tale of the scale
In my last post, I wrote about being impatient with floating around my goal weight. I cut back my calories for two days, lost 1.5 pounds, was grouchy to one and all and felt dizzy when I attempted to exercise. It wasn’t a success. At all. I’m not hungry enough for the weight loss to toss my family’s feelings and my exercise plans aside to achieve it. But I kind of like knowing that I could hit that magic number if I wanted to badly enough.

Moving it
I’ve been hitting my step target (yes, I’m still pedometer-obsessed) but not getting in as many visits to Curves as I planned. I’m going to work on that. I joined Goodlife with the intention of trying some classes and running on the treadmill when it’s crazy hot. I’ve been more successful in the latter. I’ll have to decide by October which of the gym memberships I’ll keep. Two is kind of crazy but the price for 5 months seemed do-able as a trial.

I ran seven times in the last two weeks, including a long run that was 2km longer than intended when my group missed a turn. I’ve started running non-stop on shorter runs. I love that I can do 5km non-stop. My time to complete this distance is dropping and I know have a “longest-ever” continuous run distance to aim for each week. I’m easily amused and so these new records motivate me.

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9 Responses to Barbara – No one plans to become unhealthy

  1. Shona says:

    Barbara, you are so inspirational! And you have it right! We are the ones in control of our choices (even if they aren’t easy ones). I think that you have a great attitude (especially with regard to the scale vs. how you feel) and with deciding when to indulge and when no to. I find when I make a decision that is planned in advance, I can enjoy it more because it doesn’t bring on guilt since it’s been accounted for. I really think that planning ahead for the summer is key. I am also motivated by setting new goals for runs and exercise and I think it’s great you are trying out a new gym, too! (It did not sound crazy to me, does that make me a bit crazy, too?) I have no doubt you will do just fine this summer. Keep it up! :)

    • Barbara says:

      Good point about planning for treats to enjoy them without guilt! Even knowing that I’ll regret something taints the experience.

  2. Karin says:

    Another great post! Too tired to comment more, got home at 3:30!!!!!!!!! Thanks for a wonderful weekend!

  3. Lara C W says:

    Hi Barbara – I’ve been following along but not commenting much since post-race weekend. You all have such great self perspective and awareness and are doing great. Goodlife has several great classes and there are 3 in particular you might like to try. Bodypump is a weight lifting class – sign up for the class demo at the front desk before dropping in for the class. Using barbells w light weights you have concentric and eccentric contraction which will give you more strength gains than curves which does not (long explanation I can explain by email) = more weight loss. Plan for resistance training of some dorm a minimum of 2 days a week.

    Bodyattack is a high intensity cardio class w very simple choreography but you will sweat way more than any long run in less time it includes a short push up section w options and core work . I highly recommend that for providing variety to your cardio work but obviously one gets better at running w more running. Bodyattack has interval peaks so it’s a great metabolism booster.

    Also try out bodyflow. It’s a combo of yoga sun salutations, tai chi and a bit of yin yoga stretching. They have classes around 7:30pm wh is a nice wind-down for the body – good to lower the cortisol levels wh make fat loss difficult. Ps. I don’t work at goodlife just have tried all their classes and know a bit about exercise physiology.

  4. Lara C W says:

    Another tip w your calorie restriction and feeling faint- just make sure you r not specifically cutting only carbs. We need carbs for energy. W all your running you have additional energy needs. The simple formula of cutting 250 calories a day and burning 250 calories a day through exercise will result in 1 lb weight loss per week but look at your resting metabolic rate. You need age weight and activity level. Maybe you were not eating enough to support a ramped up activity level. I myself also found once I adjusted my fats-carbs-protein ratio (I had to increase fat and protein but keep carbs the same) my metabolism seemed to ramp up. Sites /apps like daily burn are great for tracking all this:) happy summer! I ate crap this weekend but I really enjoyed it. And I’m heading out for a run right now:)

  5. sherrilynne7 says:

    I tip my hat to you for giving us another inspirational blog post. Would that I had your discipline. :-)

  6. Sasha says:

    It sounds to me like you do have the tools you need to survive the weekends, the conferences, and everything else. I love your quiet determination. And the magic numbers really are just numbers. What difference would hitting that number really make? It sounds like your body has figured out the real magic number.

  7. Your wise woman breakdown was brilliant…I need that posted on my fridge :)

  8. Sara says:

    This is what happens when I wait to long to comment – everyone already says all the things I want too!! I need to focus on foods that fuel my body so I can keep working out at the intensity that I want to. The last two weeks have been a reminder about how easy it is to slip into old habits…your post was perfectly timed :)

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