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Archive for the ‘exercise’ Category

You might recall that I (and my family) was a card-carrying member of various nudist clubs, depending on where we lived. When our daughter reached puberty, she got shy enough about it that we stopped going.

Well, she’s now 17, and prefers to not have anything to do with us anyway, and we have more freedom as a couple, so we went to a local mineral bath last Sunday, and enjoyed the sauna area. Naked.

It was so relaxing, and I got my Sunday morning exercise in as well. I took a robe with me, in case everyone else was wearing them. I sure didn’t want to be caught out with a sauna robe that wouldn’t fit my extra-ordinary hips. Didn’t need it – most people walked around with their towels slung around their shoulders, and some wrapped their towels around themselves while they walked.

The saunas of course required nudity, and the whole garden/cafe/pool area was also nude. It was such a pleasure, and while I was still the fattest one there, stereotypically “beautiful” bodies were rare. Most people were wrinkly, overweight, shaped oddly, you name it, we saw it. I love knowing that people enjoy being nude without making it a sexual or moral issue. And I love doing it regardless of my size.

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OK, so maybe it’s a bit farfetched to think of me ever doing an Ironman competition. First I’m highly non-competitive. I hate competition. Sure, winning is nice sometimes, but I could live quite happily in a world without competition.

But I have been able to be far more active since I changed how I talk to myself. Last week, while visiting the in-laws, I was able to walk further than normal without stress. Yesterday, I did my aquajogging, with a little swimming thrown in for good measure, and worked it good. Later, DH offered to take me on a nice walk, followed by a cup of coffee somewhere. We ended up walking about half again as far as we expected. In total, I probably did over 3 miles on Sunday alone.

Food was absolutely no problem. I ate a light lunch because I knew we were going to have cake with our coffee, and later a hot dinner. However, when later came, we weren’t hungry enough for a cooked meal, so I heated some soup. And no snacking afterwards. I left f

Today I’m cooking a broccoli cheese soup for lunch, and am really looking forward to the vitamins. Broccoli, carrots, onions, yum! I use bits of leftover cheese, so this one will be a mix of cheddar, processed cheese, and mozzarella. Hmm. I better add a little cayenne to kick it up a notch.

To all of this I can add that I’ve been successfully ignoring the scale, and not judging myself. Also, I’ve been calm and present enough in my life to get back to playing my harp and reading real paper books, things I feel like I haven’t enjoyed in years.

Do I ever want to do a real ironman? No. But I do want to keep living the way I’ve lived in this past week.

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I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. Robert A. Heinlein

Something is letting go inside of me. I hope it’s not my sanity <grin>.

First thing I did over the weekend was get rest. Lots and lots of rest, at which point I realized that larger people often need more rest, simply due to the extra load they’re carrying around. Go grab a couple of gallons of milk and you’ll see what it’s like to carry around even 15 extra pounds. Then try it with 100 extra pounds.

Then a funny thing happened. I wanted to practice my harp, so I did. Then I wanted to take a walk, so I did. Then I DIDN’T want to cook dinner, so I sat down and rested and drank a cup of coffee. Then I felt like cooking dinner, so I did. The next day repeated itself, only with 2 walks.

And my eating – it’s getting less and less, much closer to the way I think I will be eating when I am actually losing weight.

I’m thinking more about what life will be like when I’m really free of the excess weight as well as the excess food and extreme thinking. And taking action to support that life right now.

When I imagine myself, sitting here, only much much thinner and eating much much less, I realize that I will be living differently as well. But the living differently I can do now. I can do the dishes without obsessing, I can eat an apple instead of a cookie without thinking I’m punishing myself.

Individual food decisions are easier, particularly portion control, because my mind asks, “Do I really want something this heavy right now?” and the answer is no. I often ask, “Can I go do this anyway?” and the answer is yes.

These are very freeing thoughts.

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Exercise a little differently

Exercise on Monday worked both my legs and my upper arms. First, we walked around downtown Stuttgart to choose a place to eat dinner, and second, I nearly choked the living sh*& out of him for not being able to choose a restaurant until I was completely worn out from the walking. My right leg was hurting, I was limping, I was beyond grumpy, and still he couldn’t choose. Grrr. At least choking the living sh*& out of someone builds the biceps.

Sometimes my DH has to make a decision that pleases him, rather than one that needs to please us both, or the whole family. This can be hard for him, since it means that he has to decide all by himself. He loves pleasing all of us, and hates having to choose something that I might not like. He’s a sweetie until he reaches this point, then I want to scream.

ANYWAY, dinner and a big glass of wine restored my love for him.

The rest of my exercise has come from swimming on Sunday and stair climbing all week. My temporary desire to punish my husband has only been exceeded by the fact that DH has reached the end of his rope with our teenager.

She kept getting up later and later for school, and has wanted us to drive her the last several weeks. Normally she prefer the bus, but comfort has won out. Her morning habits have become sleeping at late as possible, then going downstairs for a toasted English Muffin with butter and orange juice.

DH, angel that he is, has been the one to remind her multiple times to get up on time, fix the muffin, get the juice, and in general allow me quiet time in the morning. However, our daughter’s behavior got so teenager-y that he just completely rebelled. This week he has chosen to take the bus, and doesn’t help her out at all in the mornings. More power to him, because it releieves a lot of his stress.

This has not gone over well with DD. I am apparently completely incapable of buttering a muffin, and she has informed me of this in her inimitable teenage tone of voice. Yesterday I toasted the muffin, then she didn’t come downstairs in time, and she complained that “it was too cold to butter.” I told her to put it back in the toaster for 5 seconds, then she could butter it properly. She chose to go hungry instead.

For the first two days, she also tried blaming me for her being late, but I’ve since adjusted my thinking and my words so she hears me telling her “It looks like you’re running late” rather than “Time to get up now.” That’s a big difference in words, because the second set empowers her to take responsibility for her decisions. I also searched out other, possibly faster ways to go to school, and told her about them, so she gets a sense that I’m on her side.

Today she skipped breakfast without blaming me for not having time, and we got to school with 1 minute to spare. She was even borderline polite when I offered to stock foods that don’t need to be toasted in the morning and she could eat in the car on the way to school.

Oh, I digressed – my exercise has been climbing up and down stairs to wake her, remind her, get juice, get her laundry, and because DH is taking the bus, we don’t park in the same place, and I have to take 2 huge flights of stairs to work. This is all a lot more exercise than I ever thought. I’m tired.

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My current affirmations include:

  • Eating that won’t help me with what’s on my mind
  • I want to go swimming. It helps me think clearly
  • I like being strong enough to go up the stairs at work without breathing hard

Rather than spending time thinking about my eating patterns and why I do or do not eat, I am providing myself with other tools to keep myself happy and doing what I want to do.

Yesterday I was stressed out at work in the morning and recognized that I was upset about emails that probably didn’t need to upset me. However, I couldn’t figure out why, so I looked at what I was doing to see what might help.

I noticed that I had chosen to listen to a German newscast in order to improve my German skills. However, I realized that due to the stress, I hadn’t heard a word. So I replaced the newscast with some favorite music and calmed down immediately.

On Wednesday I have a job interview for a job that I really want, but fear rejection. I keep slipping into the vicious circle of wanting the new job, liking the old one, fearing the feelings of rejection if I don’t get the new job, and going round and round without resolution. Facts are irrelevant to my anxiety, but here they are:

  • Both jobs have exciting pluses and tiresome minuses
  • The new job has a pile of old emotions associated with it that are painful to work through
  • I prefer the new job
  • They might not choose me because of headcount, not because of skills
  • I have far and away the best skill set of the candidates for the new job
  • They might also not choose me because they reject me personally (this is real, not just paranoia)

Arrgh arrgh arrgh. I don’t want to learn that I won’t get the job. I’d rather live life thinking that I could have had it if I wanted. That might be more important than actually having the new job. What the heck can that mean?

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It’s been an odd week in IE-land.

First the scale breaks, and we haven’t gotten it fixed, so I have no idea what I weigh. I can only continue to eat intuitively and pay attention.

Then I get a great walk in, having gone to Strasbourg for the whole day on Wednesday. I was so tired that I ran out of energy the last couple of kilometers.

Thursday was aquajogging, but I fell asleep and missed it. The weather was so good that I couldn’t resist going for a long walk, which involved actual sweating and hill-climbing. I felt so energized that I went really fast.

Friday we went drinking and generally partied hearty.

Saturday I collapsed, unable to exercise at all and eating everything in sight in the morning, but didn’t eat anything again until a salad late in the evening.

Sunday was a great aquajogging day, and I also enjoyed an hour-long walk as well. I skipped one meal and ate normally, even light at the others.

Normal living, normal eating, normal life.

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My moods can swing up and down. What I’ve been noticing lately is that they go down more often on days when I do not exercise or write a blog entry. There are those days when there just doesn’t seem time for anything like that, and it can show up in my eating.

At lunch today, I ate more than I planned for dessert. About half of a tiny cup of ice cream was the right portion, but I finished all that I did not put into my husband’s coffee. As we walked back to work, I realized that the smaller portion would have felt better. That’s when I also realized that these things happen more often when I don’t exercise or write. My guess is that I need to do something about every 20 hours or so. That shouldn’t be any problem, since I can write at any time, and it doesn’t take more than a minute to jump up and jog in place a bit.

There seem to be 3 areas that need caretaking in order to keep yourself feeling physically fit:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Aerobic stamina
  3. Strength

When I have all three, I feel powerful.

My positives:

  1. I planned to work last night, but was too tired, so I honored that feeling and slept.
  2. My scale is out of juice, so I’m living without weighing in, and it’s not too bad
  3. I had fun exercising last Sunday
  4. My stamina is increasing
  5. Some of my muscles feel hard like steel. Cool.

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