Thursday, May 8, 2014

The First Hurdles

I have started to look for ways to regain my strength and stamina which seem to have been completely depleted over the last couple of years.  My goal is to shake myself out of this sluggish, lazy, blah state I have drifted into and to get back to a healthier, stronger me.

I have always been within the range of healthy weight for my height.  Except I am now on the high end of that range rather than the low end.  I had originally wanted to lose 10 pounds, but then I gained 5.  Go figure.  So now my goal is 12-15 pounds.   I do confess to being rather weight obsessed right now.  Not because of some arbitrary number or self image issues but because I want to get back to backpacking.   Carrying extra weight on your body is like carrying extra weight in your pack.  The older I get, the less weight my back and knees tolerate.   So to haul my butt up those mountains, my butt needs to be smaller and the legs stronger.  The extra pounds must go.   

Here are a few of the easy changes I have made so far:

1.  Added more fruits and vegetables to my diet.  

I would rather add healthy stuff to my diet than deny myself treats. Luckily, Martha has started Weight Watchers, and although she is driving me nuts with all the points for this and points for that, most fruits and vegetables have no points so we are eating a lot of those.  I am not doing any specific diet, but my eating has become much healthier because their are so many more options in my house. Martha preps a lot of the fruits and veggies so all I need to do is grab and go.  I am bringing a supply into work because this kind of stuff shows up every day.  

Now I first eat an apple and some almonds. If i still want the donut, I'll eat it. but the healthy stuff has to go in first. My junk food intake has diminished considerably and I don't really miss it.

2.  Leaving my cell phone in another room when I go to bed.

I have always woken up with the sun, this time of year around 5:30.  In the past I would get up by 6 and either go to the gym, take the dog for a long walk, or do some yard work.   And then came the insidious phone.  Instead of getting up, I started to check the weather, then my emails, and maybe play a few rounds of Scrabble.  And before I knew it, an hour had past and it was time to get ready for work.  Thankfully I am not on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  Sometimes I look at other people’s pages and they are literally on the entire day.  And night.   I wonder if they ever move away from their devices.  

From the movie Wall-E, a prediction of life in the future.
I know many people who are already there.
Thankfully I am not addicted to social media, but still, the phone still has had me riveted in bed rather than moving first thing in the morning.  Now that that temptation is gone, I am once again hopping out of bed and doing some form of exercise. Which also sets my tone for the day.  A lazy morning in bed translated into sluggish behavior all day.  Getting up and moving gives me energy for the whole day.  It is amazing the difference in my attitude and mood.

3.  Something to work toward.

My hiking buddy and I have set a date for our next backtracking trip.  Having a date to work towards is a great motivator.    So I have some timed goals for weight loss, leg strength and stamina.  I am still having difficulty with my backpack straps and the new foobs but I am hopeful that more healing time will take care of that issue. I picture myself on a mountain top and I am motivated.

It has been 2 1/2 weeks since I made these small changes.  I have lost almost 5 pounds.   I pop out of bed in the morning and do something - bike, gym, yoga.  Nothing too strenuous yet.  I am easing into it.   I walk my dog every day.  I am now training on a stair stepper to build both my legs and my aerobic capacity, which right now would allow me to hike maybe 1 mile with a pack on.   Pretty pathetic.   But I have 4 more weeks to train.    A goal is a very good thing for me.   I am feeling good, I already have much more energy, and I  am feeling much better about myself and my ability to get myself whole again.

Life is Good.

So how are you all doing?  Any inspirational, motivational or other fitness tips to share?  



  1. Momastery just did a wonderful blog post about being addicted to the internet.

    I think it has become a problem for many people, myself included. I read her piece this morning and it hit home. Now I've read your post and I think the universe is trying to tell me something. From now on the iPad does not come to bed with me. Hi, I'm Matty and I am addicted to the internet.

    1. I'm sure sure all this technology is doing us any favors. FaceBook and tweeting have become alternatives to real relationships. I find it all very sad. And while I am not addicted, I certainly am spending too much time there.

  2. I've been making small(ish) adjustments but now realize, I need a grand gesture; WW or...something. The park district summer programs book arrived this week, perhaps a class. Or a . . Martha! :-)

    Congratulations on the steps and measure of success.

    1. No question - having someone prepare good food in a bonus. It makes it just as easy as grabbing junk food.

      Smallish adjustments I think work best. Or at least are longer lasting. Keep up the good work.

  3. I read this and the Momastery article late last night, on my phone, in bed. Boy did I recognize myself. This morning I ignored the phone and computer, got up immediately and I have just come back from an hour walk. I do not need to lose weight but the walk has given me quite the physical and spiritual lift.

    I need to make this a new habit. And get off the computer : )

    Good luck on your new routines. I have no doubt you will be climbing your mountains very soon.

    1. Thank you. I think morning walks should be mandatory for every able bodied person. I think it would make the world a much kinder, gentler place.

      Good luck on your new routine!

  4. Foobs? Fake boobs? Funny!

    I did WW last year (or maybe the year before?) and lost 20 pounds. But, then our group disbanded and I fell off the wagon. I haven't gained it all back, but enough of it that I'm discouraged. I tried to get my partner to join me in a morning or evening workout but she simply won't do it. She complains about how much weight she has gained but won't modify her diet or exercise. Stubborn!

    So, it's up to me to figure it out for myself. I know the basics, as we all do. Eat less, exercise more. Yesterday I thought that I would try the enhanced dog walk method. Walk a block, run a block, repeat, repeat, repeat. If I can do that every evening when I get home from work, it will help a LOT.

    I'm inspired by your commitment to resume backpacking. Besides the physical benefit, there's the spiritual bonus of being outside in nature. So very restorative! Keep to your goal, and even if you don't backpack as far (or as steeply) as you used to, you'll still enjoy it and feel better. Thanks for motivating the rest of us!


    1. Martha has done well on the WW - 10 pounds in 3 weeks. I can't be as disciplined as she is in my eating, but I do make up for it in exercise. And yes, it is easier to eat better when everyone in the household is on board. It will be more of a challenge when Beaner comes home.

      My need to be in the mountains, and under the stars, is much more spiritual than physical. It has been far too long and my soul feels its absence. That desire is keeping me motivated.