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19 posts categorized "running"

September 06, 2011

Speaking of running…

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I was asked to be a guest blogger in a series over at the Another Mother Runner blog. The question they've posed to a diverse group of women runners: Why Do You Run?

You can read my answer by clicking here.

And if there are any readers today visiting from the Another Mother Runner blog, you can read most of my fitness related posts by clicking here.

Or, you can just click here to see me answer a question about where my creativity comes from.

Or, if that's not working, click here to see a video of my son lip-synching and busting some sweet moves to Weird Al's "White and Nerdy."

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Another Mother Runner is the online home of runners and authors Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell. Their first book, Run Like a Mother, is one of the pieces that inspired me to get my run on. They are presently crafting its sequel, Train Like a Mother, due out in March 2012.

Join Sarah and Dimity and their 11,000+plus running fans on their always informative and lively Facebook page.

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June 16, 2011

Commitment

Easypeasy?

I recently picked up a few new workout tanks from my friends over at Another Mother Runner (the same rad ladies who wrote Run Like A Mother, which has inspired the inner athlete in me during the past year).

This one takes some cahones to wear outside on runs, which would explain why it has yet to make its debut around the lake by my house, but why it's perfectly suited to wear on my treadmill in my basement where cocky bravado reigns supreme.

I don't know if I've reached the point in my exercise journey where I can honestly say that my runs, or my swims, or my Zumba or BodyPump classes are the easiest part of my day.

I know that taking a shower is a pretty easy part of my day. I know that playing Plants vs. Zombies on my iPad isn't too taxing. I know that folding laundry, while the bane of my existence, isn't all that complicated when you break it down into one of the more manageable parts of my day.

I ran on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Three days in a row. I don't usually do this but my local YMCA pool was closed, and so my swim workout got bumped this week.

Wednesday's run felt the best of the three, which came as a relief, because I really debated whether or not I should do a third consecutive day of running.

I find that if you spend too much time debating, however, you are far more likely to come up with a reason why it's a good idea not to do something.

Exercise isn't necessarily the easiest part of my day, though certain days definitely outshine others. What it has become is the most non-negotiable part of my day.

Even when I stray from healthy eating [read: two small bowls of Goldfish on Tuesday night in a moment of "Screw it, I want these delicious damned extra cheddar blasted snack crackers NOW!"]. Even when I see little or no change on the scale from week to week. Even when I'm feeling less than inspired in every other area of my life, I know that 30 or more minutes to Move More and work up a sweat is something I can manage.

The other things I've found is that a workout can turn an El Crappo day into something just a little less Crappo.

I posted this to Facebook over the weekend:

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So while it may not be the easiest part of my day, my goal is to keep it the most non-negotiable part and to realize the benefits aren't always just scale and chub-reduction related.

 

April 11, 2011

When the going gets tough, the tough might go a bit slower, but make no mistake, they still go.

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Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota. I say this with an enthusiasm not previously felt in past years because the idea of actually being out and active in the Springtime was not exactly on my daily list of things to do back in the day. Let's just say I admired Spring from behind screened windows.

But becoming a runner changed all that.

I started running in January of 2010. It started out very slowly. I'd walk four minutes, run one, and then repeat, all at approximately 3.2 miles per hour on my basement treadmill. By April of 2010, I'd built my endurance up to being able to run 30 minutes without stopping. This in and of itself? A veritable revelation for a formerly inert adult whose idea of exercise had been doing laundry and pressing buttons on the remote control.

Once I'd hit that 30-minute mark in April, I decided it was time to step out the front door and give running outside a whirl.

First, you have to understand a few things about me.

1. I used to be moderately afraid of nature. Oh sure, I'd take an occasional walk on a gorgeous 65-degree day, but usually as soon as the bugs and heat came on, you wouldn't see me outside again unless I was on a grocery run, or the leaves were falling off the trees in October.

2. I like Kleenex and water within my reach at all times. When I'm working out, I get really thirsty and my nose runs like a faucet. When you're on a treadmill, you have everything you need right at your fingertips. The idea of toting all that stuff for outdoor runs? Well that just seemed like far more work than its worth.

3. I like routines. Knowing I would get up 4 days a week, get on the treadmill and make it worth the price I paid was something I liked. I liked the predictability of knowing exactly where and how I would be running.

But that day last April when I stepped out to run the roughly 4-mile route from my front door, around the lake and back, I was feeling strangely bold and adventurous. I thought, "What's stopping me from acting like a real runner?" So for shits and giggles, I headed out on a gorgeous 45-degree morning and ran the route.

Later that day, I could barely walk due to my screaming quads, and my sore calves. I was all, "Really? Really? I workout for 4 months, building up my endurance for this?" I could not believe that running on the pavement could be that much different than running on the 'mill. But apparently, my body thought otherwise.

So I decided right there and then. No thanks. I'll stay in my basement.

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I'm not sure what happened during the following weeks, but my inner athlete kept whispering in my ear to get back outside and give it another go. It said things like, "Wasn't it gorgeous outside?" and "Didn't it make you feel just a little more connected to the natural world?" and "You didn't buy all these cute running clothes just for your basement, now did you?"

So I went out again and found the second run didn't take nearly as much out of me as that first one did, though I was still a little shaky on the idea. I mean, I had to stuff tons of tissue into my sports bra to whip out at a moment's notice for the old nose blow, and I hadn't made the connection that you can take water with you on a any given run. Still, those were simply small obstacles getting in the way of the fact that I could actually get outside and run.

Once I hit May, my feet only saw the treadmill when the snow fell hard, fast and deep the following November.

The only thing that kept me from running in the ice and snow of a Minnesota Winter was the ice and snow of a Minnesota Winter. I'm no fool to know I have zero balance on ice and I decided that I didn't want to risk an injury from slipping and wipe out all the training and endurance I'd built up over the previous year.

So I ran in my basement all Winter long.

Now I know there are runners who absolutely cringe at the thought of being tied to a treadmill for any amount of time. I'm not one of those runners. Once I made the transition inside, I checked my check list to see if what I was hoping to achieve with running was still happening. 1. Sweating? Check. 2. Breathing hard and bringing my heart rate up? Check. 3. Getting a workout done and feeling really good that it's off my list? Check. 4. Contributing to my efforts to Move More? Check.

I had good tunes playing on my iPod, water and Kleenex aplenty. I settled in for a long Winter.

But there was still a longing to get back outside. A pining for just a few more degrees so I wouldn't have to run just to stay warm. A wish for the ice to finally melt so I could hit that lake route that literally transformed my athletic life last year.

When it finally hit 40 degrees, I got back outside and much to my surprise, the first few runs I've completed have literally kicked my ass. My muscles have ached in places I haven't felt since last summer. My pace is slower than it's been in months. And the worst part? My confidence as a runner has come down a few pegs on the pole as I'm wondering, "Where is the Cathy from last summer? The one who almost felt like each run had the potential to become a religious experience?"

My point for today's post is that exercise seems to have an ebb and flow. It's not always easy or automatic, and sometimes, you have to adjust your expectations, as I'm finding I'm having to adjust mine right now. I'm not a Speedy Gonzales. My muscles don't always want to respond the way I'd like them to. But I'm not giving up. I may go a little slower, or I may decide to hit the pool an extra day and drop one of the runs, but I'm not giving up on Moving More.

I might even reach a point where running no longer works the way I'd like it to, and if this happens, then I'll try a new class, or dust off my bike, or anything to make sure I'm honoring my commitment to my body to give it a little effort and keep it in the best working condition that I can.

If you're out there, Moving More, just remember: things do ebb and flow. Just like food and weight, sometimes the Moving part does too. I'm right there with you, scratching my head and wondering when my lake runs will feel glorious again.

For now, I'll keep plugging away.

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What about you?

 

January 27, 2011

Are you there winter? It's me, Cathy.

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After spending the past two-and-a-half months periodically connected to the treadmill in my basement, yesterday I finally decided to make nice with Old Man Winter and run outside.

It's not easy when you walk out the front door to this:

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And this:

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Every. Single. Day.

Don't get me wrong, it's pretty and all. But underneath all that pretty are patches of ice and potholes and other slick lovelies that are just waiting to put you on your tushka with all manner of sprained body parts resulting.

That, and it's cold. Really cold.

I've lived in Minnesota since 1990 and yesterday marked the first day in all these years that saw me embrace winter via exercising outside in it.

[cue choir of angels now]

When I started the whole Move More Eat Less thing a year ago this month, my moving more involved walking and jogging on my nuts-and-bolts basement treadmill. During the first quarter of last year, I worked my way up to running nonstop for 30 minutes (and I upgraded my treadmill along the way). I was so thrilled with my cardiovascular efforts, the idea of running outside never even crossed my mind.

Why would I? I mean, there are bugs and nature sounds and very likely perverts hiding in the bushes. No thank you. I'll keep my climate controlled enviroment and water bottle holder at the ready.

But in April 2010, when I finally decided, just for kicks, to see what it would be like to run around the lake by my house, I honestly didn't think it would stick.

I didn't set foot on my treadmill again from May through November. I guess you could say I finally got that Moving More in a natural setting would have benefits far beyond keeping the chub factor in check.

But once it snowed and the temperature started dropping into the single digits, I wussed out. Completely. I ran outside in November at 25 degrees and thought, "Chilly, but do-able." Then the typical Minnesota winter ensued and I returned to the basement from whence I came.

People—or more specifically runners—call it the Dreadmill. Even though I understand it, the way I've looked at it is you make your workout what it is. No, it's not going to feed your soul like running through a grove of trees on a 60-degree spring day will, but if you've got the right tunes and the right attitude, the sweat will run.

That said, yesterday morning when I walked Cole to the bus stop, I thought, "Okay, today's the day. I'm doing the lake route." And I almost talked myself out of it. Almost.

I bundled up (tights and running pants, two layers on top, hat and gloves) and crossed my fingers that I didn't slip and break something.

45 minutes later, I was so incredibly glad that I did.

19 degrees felt better than I imagined it could, even if the chubby part of my tummy was as rosy as a lobster and completely numb to the touch. And I hardly slipped at all.

Next week, it's going to drop back into the single digits which means next week, I'll very likely drop right back into the basement for a bit longer.

But I guess it's nice to know that I have options.

October 12, 2010

Tales from the Scale: Lights! Camera! Stalemate!

Action!

Dear Month Ten,

Hey-oh. Cathy here. Remember me? The one who has commited to Eat Less and Move More? Well I'm back for another report from the scale and this month has officially been dubbed Even Steven. This is first month in this process that didn't yield a loss of poundage on Ye Olde Digital Scale.

I am still falling ever so shy of the elusive 40-pounds of weight loss mark. .9 pounds if we're counting. We were counting, right?

What? You want to know how that makes me feel?

I guess I feel just okay about it. I mean, on the one hand, I feel amazing thus far. I move better, think better, sleep better, and wear jeans better. I'm making active choices because I want to nearly every day. Sure, I've got some aches and pains here and there, but by and large, I feel like I'm living the lifestyle. Full on.

On the other hand, I just returned from a trip up north for the weekend, where, despite logging a nice 4-mile run, I apparently forgot the concept of calories and foods that generally care for and provide nutritional love for your body.

(Candy corn and peanuts anyone? That was the bulk of my dinner last Saturday night. Thank you.)

I guess I'm writing this from a place of feeling like I threw common sense out the window with about as much thought as I give to tossing a used Kleenex. I don't like that version of me quite as much, because that version of me isn't taking care of the Prime Package.

But tomorrow is a shiny new day. In fact, every tomorrow is another chance to Move More, Eat Less and keep the Prime Package in fine working condition.

Month 10

Here's to tomorrow.

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Want to join in? Or document your journey? Or whine along? Or celebrate successes? Both the template above and this one are available at Designer Digitals for those who want to track their progress along with me. 

SUPPLIES: Layered Template No. 38 (Cathy Zielske) • Krafty No. 7 Cardstock Pack (Katie Pertiet) • Aki Solids Paper Pack (Michelle Martin) • Avenir and Archer fonts

To read more on my journey of Eating Less and Moving More, all posts on fitness related issues can be found here.

 

 

October 07, 2010

The Injury Report

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As many of you know, 2010 has been The Year of Moving More and Eating Less over here in my particular corner of St. Paul, Minnesota. (Coincidentally, that will also  be the title of my yet-to-be-penned memoir, which much like Eat, Pray, Love will take off like a literary juggernaut and later be made into a blockbuster movie starring the indomitable Liza Minelli in the role some say she was destined to play.)

But of course THAT is for another day.

This has been the year of running for me and I've received lots of emails from women just like me (i.e. you, or not you at all if you're a dude) who want to start running as well, and many have the same question: how's it going on the injury front?

Good question.

Without turning this into a litany of, "Hey doc, it really hurts when I do this," let me start by saying I feel like I've been lucky in the aches and pains department this year. But if I'm being honest, I have nothing to compare it to considering my former fitness plan revolved around watching Survivor and taking smoke breaks in my back yard. No real risk of developing an IT band injury there.

The main issue I've been dealing with since early summer is plantar fasciitis in my left foot. I'll be very honest with you: it is not severe or debilitating in any sense…not just yet. But when I started waking up in the morning and stepping down on my hardwood bedroom floors and thinking, "What the hell is wrong with my heel?" I knew there was an issue was developing.

Enter PF, a new term to contend with that before just meant we were going to eat yummy Asian lettuce wraps for dinner.

I've been treating it by backing off the longer distances during the week, and by sleeping in the oh-so-comfy and ultra sexy Strassburg Sock. So far it seems to be keeping it at a manageable level.

My right foot is presently PF free. The good news is that when I'm running you'd never know I had an issue. I don't feel it when I'm out there hitting the pavement.

So that's injury no. 1.

Injury no. 2? So far, just a tight hip after I run. And that's it.

I am presently running 4 days a week. Three days are going to be runs of 40 minutes or less, and then on Saturdays, I will push the distance a little to see if I can build it up. I have my eyes on a half marathon next spring, and I'd like to slowly but surely build my endurance.

My pace averages around 11 minute miles. This isn't blazing by any stretch, but it keeps me sweating and feeling as though I'm getting a decent workout. I also stretch post run for a good 15-minutes. These 44-year-old muscles get a bit rebellious if I don't and then it's it HELLO foam roller! (Actually, part of the stretching always includes the foam roller, and that is a treat indeed.)

I'm still planning to continue cross training two days a week, primarily swimming and biking, although when it gets colder here, I won't be biking. I don't want to create any more wind than I'll already have to contend with.

Will I run outside through winter?

As Minnesotans like to say, you betcha! As long as I'm running smartly and staying healthy, I'll bundle up and head out until it hits around 10 degrees. Beyond that, it just might have to be treadmill city.

Remember: I'm not a running doctor nor do I play one on tv. But I am trying to listen to my body and heed what it's telling me. For now, it's all systems more or less go.

Caution

September 21, 2010

Sporty Run Faves

Disclaimer: I am by no means a sports and fitness expert, nor do I play one on television. That said, I have gotten my sad little booty into much, much happier shape by grabbing the proverbial bull by the horns this  year, and Moving More and Eating Less. And running.

Bull! 

I've been asked to share some of my favorites in the realm of running. Shall we begin?

RUNNING SHOES

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I'm a big fan of Newton Running. I wear these shoes. I am striving for the midfoot strike, also known as natural running, or Chi Running, if you will. These shoes are pricey, and are light as a feather. They may not be for everyone, but for now, they are most definitely for me.

 

RUNNING CLOTHES

I've been slowly amassing more and more running duds. Here are some of my faves.

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New Balance Bonita 2.0 Running Skirt.

I can't say enough about this skirt. When I'm in it, I feel adorable. Plain and simple. End of story. Plus, it skims my butt in a more flattering way than any compression short ever could.

Nikeshort

Nike Fund Filament Women's Running Shorts

I have a few pairs of these basic compression type of short.

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Nike Distance Tech Women's Running Capri

I just picked up a pair of these for the cooler fall weather.

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New Balance Tempo Long Sleeve 2.0

I just picked up a few of these for fall. I love the flattering fit. Not too tight, and skims just over the muffin.

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New Balance Competitor Long Sleeve

This is perfect for mornings below 50 degrees. It has great little thumb holes in the sleeves, too.

 

Brooks jacket

Brooks Nightlight Jacket

Love this jacket. It will keep me dry in the rain, and help keep the wind out, too.

Headsweat

Headsweats Race Day Hat

I adore this hat. I have a few others by Nike, but this is my go-to hat. It has a great sweat band inside the hat. Helps keep that sweat at bay. It also hides any second day black hair dye, if you get my drift. I ruined my white Nike hat after washing that grey right outta my hair… lesson learned!

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Moving Comfort Maia Bra

Gotta keep the girls in line, people. I have two of these and my 36Cs don't move an inch. Well, mostly.

Bodyglide

Body Glide

Buh-bye boob chafe or chub rub. Anything that's rubbing, this stuff is a miracle potion. I don't run without it.

TUNE SUPPORT

I have a 5th Generation Nano, which of course you can't buy on Apple.com. But man, I'm thinking of upgrading to the this one:

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Oh, mama. Come to…mama.

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Nike+iPod Sport Kit

Although this is not the most accurate of systems, I love Nike+. It has been the key driver to my running. Keeping track of my time, distance and pace, and helping me to at least challenge myself to continue adding to my growing number of miles.

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The Original Shoe Pouch

Because I don't wear Nike brand shoes, I need a shoe pouch to place my sensor into. This one is not only cute, but works like a charm. Mine is hot pink, to match my shoes.

RUNNING READS & INSPIRATION

I don't know about you, but I like to soak up inspiration where ever I can find it. Here are a few great reads for runners.

Run Like a Mother
by Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell

I swear to you, this is the book that made it all click for me. It made me realize: I am a runner. I am part of a community—a tribe of women—out there, making it happen. Plus, I heart the authors. They are both amazing, strong, inspiring and wickedly smart, funny women.

Chi Running
by Danny Dreyer

This book came highly recommend by many blog readers, and it didn't disappoint. It helps me to focus on my form, and to be out there, running pain free. In short, it saved my knees.

No Need for Speed
by John Bingham

I think anyone interested in running should read this friendly, informative guide by John "The Penguin" Bingham. He could be your new best support system. In fact, check out all his titles. They're all worth their price.


And that blog friends, is the list…for now. I'm sure it will continue to grow. Dan has to laugh at me, because for him? He needs shoes, a cotton t-shirt, ratty shorts and an iPod Shuffle and off he goes.

But let's be honest here. He won't look nearly as cute.

September 13, 2010

Tales from the Scale: New Jeans Don't Suck

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What started last January has boiled down to this one fact: I bought new jeans last week—jeans that, if I'm being honest, I haven't spent that kind of coin on since my brief, misguided Guess jean phase of 1984—and the tag on those jeans that left the Lucky Brand Store with me read as follows: Size 8.

I realize that getting into shape has numerous benefits. It lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure. It aids in general stress reduction and buoys your overall mental state. It contributes directly to the potential to extend your life on this big blue ball by many, many years. 

But buying new jeans in size 8? I'm sorry for seeming vain and shallow, people, but that's a side benefit that just doesn't suck.

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DOES NOT SUCK!

It has been an interesting month. The scale didn't move until last week. I had a few over the top food fest days. I also realized with my increased levels of running and cross training, I simply wasn't eating enough calories. This is a good thing.

And while new jeans are definitely a cause for celebration, the little devil that sits squarely on my other, more weighted down shoulder is whispering in my ear like a pesky gnat: "Don't get too comfy there, missy. Don't screw the pooch on this one, like you did last time."

Gee, thanks inner critical voice. Your generous and thoughtful support is greatly appreciated!

Here's this month's layout documenting the journey:

Month 9

JOURNALING READS: I’m not gonna lie, seeing the before and after comparison is never going to get old, unless of course they begin to start matching up again. Here I am at the start of Month 9, and after a brief mental breakdown a few weeks back with a solid stretch of total crap eating and no visible weight loss, I had two major breakthroughs. The first? The scale finally moved after 3 weeks of remaining static. The second? I went shopping for new jeans. I realize the scale shouldn’t rate so highly. Really, I get that…ideologically. But seeing it move and realizing that I DO need to eat more calories to match my workout levels was a really critical piece of this pie, so to speak. I also realize that buying new jeans shouldn’t be the end all be all of getting into shape, but I’m sorry: I walked out of the Lucky Brand Jeans store with a pair of size freaking 8 jeans in my bag. WHAT? Get. Out.

I realize how few clothes I’ve bought in the past 3 years. Oh sure, I’d pick up a new blousy chubby girl shirt every now and then to mask my ever expanding muffin, but I’d sort of just given up. I wish that weight and confidence weren’t so inextricable for me. Maybe that will change over time. Maybe it won’t. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done. I’m very scared that I may not be able to hold onto these results. I continue to explore the process as I continue my efforts to move more and eat less. Like I’ve said, it really is one day at a time.

So here I am at a critical juncture. The time when I am closing in on my goal (135) and need to prepare to transition into maintaining the results. 

I'm evaluating a lot these days. How much to eat. How much and how far to run. How to read the signs of my body for tweaks and pains. How to live in balance with life and food.

I will tell you this in all honesty: it is never automatic.

For now, steady as she goes. Eat less, move more.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go admire my new Lucky Jean clad-ass. I figure, flaunt it while I've got it, right?

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Want to join in? Or document your journey? Or whine along?Or celebrate successes? Both the template above and this one are available at Designer Digitals for those who want to track their progress along with me. 

SUPPLIES: Layered Template No. 38 (Cathy Zielske) • Krafty No. 7 Cardstock Pack (Katie Pertiet) • Aki Solids Paper Pack (Michelle Martin) • Avenir and Archer fonts

To read more on my journey of Eating Less and Moving More, all posts on fitness related issues can be found here.

August 16, 2010

Tales from the Scale: Slow, Steady, Sporty and Skirty

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At the end of 7 months of Eating Less and Moving More, we find ourselves here:

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JOURNALING READS: Seven months in and all is copacetic. This month finds me down 3 pounds from last, and it would make sense that things are slowing down just a bit. I’m moving 6 days a week (4 runs of varying length and two days of either biking or swimming) and I’m finding myself hungrier than I’ve been in a while. I’ve been blowing through those extra weekly points every week. I really feel my body needs them right now. I’m trying to be a better listener.

Speaking of better listening, I know I have to be careful with not over-doing the running. I’ve got some heel pain I’m trying to address right now. I can’t deny my fear of injury resulting in the inability to run at all. Yes, I DO have other options in swimming and biking, but there’s something about the run that is just a bit more lucrative from an overall fitness bang-for-your-buck standpoint.

I decided to join a running group, which feels pretty big to me, considering my tendency to do things on my own. I’ve gone to 4 of their weekend runs and each time I’ve almost talked myself out of it. But each time I go, I am rewarded with a run I would have never taken on my own. My overall mind set right now, while still wanting to eat well and continue to move toward my goal weight of 135, really has shifted into thinking like an athlete. If you would have told me that back in January, that I’m dreaming of running a half marathon some day, I would have belly laughed at you. And Lord knows, I had the belly size to REALLY laugh.

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Not a huge difference from last month, if you recall. Still, three more pounds? I'll take it. As one kind blog reader pointed out, "Go grab a pound of butter and look at it. Now you feel better about a pound, don't you?" Indeed, I do.

Since January, I've lost 36.9 pounds. That's a whole toddler. Or two chubby babies. Or one smallish-sized Golden Doodle. Or 36.9 pounds of shredded cheese.

Any way you look at it, it's an accomplishment.

I need to remind myself of this on those months where the numbers don't reflect much in the way of change. I need to remind myself of the complete transformation I've had and continue to have in my journey from Dieting Person to Wanna Be Athlete.

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Do I have a weight goal in mind? Yes. 135 to be precise. I think that's a nice number for a 5'6 woman in her mid-40s. If I reach that number, will there be a part of me that wonders how it might look and feel to re-visit the land of the 120s? Of course there will. I may be making strides in my fitness life, but I still have some body image issues lodged pretty far down in the old limbic system.

But for now, I'm not focusing on that. Instead, I'm focusing on what I am learning to be the only thing that really has to happen to maintain a healthy lifestyle at a weight I feel good at: Eat Less and Move More.

I think people want a secret pill, or a magical combination of nutrients, or a machine that does the work for you. I say that, because I am those kind of people. Or at least I was. I was the kind of person that didn't want to do the work. I just wanted the results. I was the kind of person who came up with a whole bevy of can'ts whenever I tried to figure out my issues with food and chub.

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I can't run. I can't eat healthy. I can't lose weight and keep it off. Can't. Can't. Can't.

The one thing running has taught me this year is to stop being such a whiner. Stop selling myself short on what is possible for my life. Stop dismissing things before you at least give 'em a fair shot. 

I don't think I have all the answers here and I'm not saying that indulging the occasional pity party isn't part of this process. But what I have discovered is that you don't have to hit rock bottom and wade around in a mucky pool of self-loathing to really start making changes in your life.

I simply believe this: Eat Less. Move More.

Make and renew the choice every single day. 

Some days will be goo gobs better than others.

And then pray to God that injuries don't send you into a downward spiral of Kelloggs Frosted Corn Flakes and salt 'n vinegar potato chips.

Amen.

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Want to join in? Or document your journey? Or whine along?Or celebrate successes? Both the template above and this one are available at Designer Digitals for those who want to track their progress along with me. 

SUPPLIES: Layered Template No. 38 (Cathy Zielske) • Krafty No. 7 Cardstock Pack (Katie Pertiet) • Aki Solids Paper Pack (Michelle Martin) • Avenir and Archer fonts

To read more on my journey of Eating Less and Moving More, all posts on fitness related issues can be found here.

August 09, 2010

Identify

Swimmeet

A shot of me at a swim meet taken in the 70s. At least my Mom thinks it's of me.

Dan and I have been talking a lot lately about fitness and health and running and muscle pain and injury and running races and moisture-wicking fabrics and hydration and bike upgrades and freestyle and flip turns.

And by "talking" I mean Dan smiles and nods, and I forget to take breaths between sentences.

When I decide to "do" something, I do it full throttle. I jump in head first, dive down to the bottom, grab every single shred of detail I can find along the way in order to fully immerse myself in the complete experience.

In 2002, it was scrapbooking. From the first time I stepped into my local Archiver's store, I quickly figured out what I needed to be a part of the club. Never mind the fact that I didn't want to be part of a physical club—the introvert in me didn't need to sit shoulder to shoulder at a crop to truly fit in. But I did need to do what I needed to do to fully immerse myself in the experience.

In 2010, it's been running. From the first workout clothes I bought at Lucy, I quickly figured out what I needed to do to become part of the club. This particular club seemed tailor made for introverts. I could do it all by myself in the privacy of my basement, and later, out in the world at large. Granted, scrapbooking was far easier on my cardiovascular system than this one, but I have nevertheless jumped in head first to immerse myself in the complete fitness experience.

Dan has always subscribed to the Groucho Marx philosophy of "I wouldn't want to be part of any club that would have me." For Dan, running is something he simply does. He doesn't want a satellite watch. He doesn't care for wicking fabrics. He doesn't read Runners' World. He doesn't refuel with sport gels. His nipples never bled when he ran his marathon in 2003. He gets one good pair of shoes, and heads out the door.

Long story short: he has no need to belong to a club. The whole "Just Do It" philosophy definitely applies to him. But more specifically, "Just do it, and shut up already."

He has said that he just doesn't want to identify as a runner. It's not who he is, it's just something he does. Something in his psyche wants nothing to do with being a part of an identifiable group.

You know, he's like that one penguin in the Far Side comic:

Farside_02-04-07

What about you?

Do you get soaking wet, or just dip your toes in the water? Or is it somewhere in between?

I'd love to hear how people "do" what they do.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go grab a towel and dry off…you know, because me? I'm soaked to the bone.