Sunday, April 17, 2011

Few Days Since I've Posted - Finding Time

Not getting off on the greatest foot with posting everyday to this blog. My life right now is stuck in the middle of a big move and thus big changes, and finding time for everything just doesn't always happen. So, I thought finding time would make a good idea for a post.

Life comes with plenty of changes: a move, a new relationship, a new job, a new baby or children, to name a few of the big ones. In the middle of those changes it's hard to keep on top of a healthy diet and exercise. Sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day, or you're still working out a routine that will allow you to have that time.

While I may not have been posting here for lack of time, I have been keeping up on eating well and exercise. Although perhaps my diet isn't as healthy as I'd like, and perhaps the exercise I've been doing is not completely the type I might always want to do. I suppose most importantly I've had to make the time to keep up with living well. It has to be a priority or it will fall to the bottom of your daily list and not get done.

At the same time, sometimes you have to cut yourself a little slack. Don't be fanatical about needing to workout or eat healthy, especially when your life is in the middle of change. Do the best you can, and keep up as best as you can, and make sure to improve as those big changes become not so big anymore.

I would like to be doing weights exercises. I actually like weights better than aerobics of just about any sort. However, my weights are packed away, not to be in my possession again for possibly a few more months, so I've done some push ups and called it good enough for now. And there have been days when my other tasks to do in a day just don't leave me time to exercise, so I make sure to put exercise into my schedule on other days.

My diet has also likely not been as good as it should be. My cooking means are limited, and after a few days of cooking only at home I get miffed at those limited means. So, yeah, I have opted for eating out a few times when perhaps I shouldn't have if only for lack of food or energy to cook healthy at home.

If I just remember that trying to keep health living in my currently busy life, I should be able to keep healthy enough until I'm again settled in my life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cooking in instead of eating out

I've been there before in my life, too busy to cook, too tired after a long day to mess with being in the kitchen and the clean up afterward. The easy solution is take out, fast food, or eating out. The problem is that almost all of those options involve a lot of calories, much of that empty calories. Both myself and my now husband gained a great deal of weight sometime during our graduate studies because we rarely had time for more than eating out.

It wasn't until I started to cook again at home that we both lost weight, me only a few pounds but several clothing sizes, my husband about 30 lbs. We're both much healthier now because of exercise and just as importantly eating better. I've found in the past that the best way to eat lower calorie, lower fat and properly portioned meals is to fix them myself at home.

I spent much of the month of March in between destinations, eating out more than usual because of a lack of food to fix in the house, a lack of instruments to cook with, traveling and eating out while visiting with friends and family. My plans have changed for now, we're trapped between destinations for who knows how long.

But I'd rather not spend several months eating out and gaining the weight that goes along with it. So, the other week me and my husband went to the store and bought food to fix at home. The alternative was that no matter how much we exercise we were going to gain weight and fat. Neither of us wanted to go back there again.

My cookware is still mainly old to be given away, or was once camping out pots. Although we have one new pot and a can opener. Cooking has been an adventure to learn how to not use all the kitchenware I've built up over the past few years. The food though is the same, and I can still throw stuff into a pan and make something not only edible but better for us.

Tonight we had asian stir fry chicken thigh and veggies with rice noodles. A nice portion, low in fat, good veggies and a lot fewer calories than the take out Japanese place down the road, or worse whatever all-you-can-eat Chinese place around. I already have schemes on marinaded pork scallions with a wine reduction and roasted asparagus for tomorrow night.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Throwing a little run into my walk

So, I'm a fairly big supporter of interval running. Running for the entirety of a 30 minute workout is just a little much for my knees and side. Until recently I had a bike to ride for longer workouts, something that is rather easy on knees. Since then I've instead been walking and running in intervals. At least it allows for more aerobics and calories than a regular walk.

Intervals are also the way to start running. One can't expect to go from couch potato one day to marathon runner the next. You could also use it when getting back into running after either an injury or a long time away from running.

In fact, intervals is how I started running in the first place. I began with 1 minute of jogging and several minutes of walking (meaning 4 or more), then repeated until the distance or time I wanted to go was up. With each trip to the park, I added more time to the jogging interval, took away time from the walking interval. Eventually, I was up to a full workout of jogging alone.

Now, the usual way to go about doing something like intervals of walking and running is with some sort of timer or stop watch. But, really, I just find that a bit annoying to concentrate on while running. Plus, I often do this with my nearly 60 lbs energetic lab, which makes looking at even a watch fairly difficult.

So, these days I use landmarks instead of time. Since I often run the same route I've picked out landmarks and push myself to get to it before I stop running. Since I've started back at walking & running I've added in more intervals of running, and I've moved forward my landmarks so I'm running farther with each interval. I suppose the important part is pushing myself, making myself run until I have gone as far as possible with that interval. It's the same concept of using time, just don't give up early.

Perhaps over time, I'll be back to a full 30 minutes of jogging. My guess, it's not something I really have in me anymore, but if I can get still get good exercise with only mostly jogging, then I'll manage with that.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A New Beginning

A New Beginning
The point and reason for this blog is to post a daily thought about health, exercise, diet and healthier living. I've tried in the past to keep a journal about such thoughts, and have decided to turn over a new leaf and do this for real this time.

In keeping with that idea, some thoughts about that new beginning. Throughout most of my graduate studies I was a part-time exerciser. Part of my tuition fees went to maintaining the rather nice student health center at Ohio University. I'd go for weeks or months with no exercise, and then break down and want to use what I was paying for and enter the gym.

Each time that first day and week was difficult. Getting back in the saddle hurt, and just a few minutes into whatever exercise I had picked I'd be regretting the thought of entering the gym at all, but I wouldn't stop. Then, the next day I'd hurt because of the workout, and still drag myself back to the gym again. A few weeks into regular exercise I'd feel better, stronger. But, then life and my studies would get busy again, and I'd convince myself not to go to the gym one day, then another day, and eventually stop exercising for the time being.

All though that I hadn't learned the most important lesson, to just suck it up and stick with exercise for the long term. Starting about 5 years ago, I and my now husband tried to lose weight and get back into shape. Since then I've had very few weeks I haven't done some sort of exercise at least once. Likely the longest I went without exercise in that time was a few weeks following surgery to remove my gallbladder, a good excuse given by doctors.

That doesn't mean I'm a fitness or exercise fanatic. In a bit, I'm planning on doing some outside walking and running with my dog so we can both enjoy the lovely spring weather. Still, I'll hate those first 15 to 20 minutes, and want to stop, take it easy. But I won't, I'll keep going, and by the end of exercising I'll feel better, stronger and healthier. The exercise might not always be the funnest, but me being the healthier person I want to be is worth it.