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Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Importance of Acknowledging Where to Improve

When we returned from Maine in May, I was determined to walk every weekday because I found the more I walked, the more my leg muscles stayed balanced.  I wasn't having the shin and ankle issues that pretty much left me a hobbling mess.  We rocked it all summer and got up in the blazing heat to walk more times than I thought we would.  Opening your door to a wall of humidity that leaves you a sweaty mess by 8am is no way to start the day.  But it wasn't going to get any cooler so I knew if I didn't do it in the morning, it wouldn't get done.

Then it did get cooler which was nice but with the coolness also came a lot of rain and some freezing temps in there too and this was back in October and November.  My perfect daily streak started getting pushed back to 3x a week, then 2x a week and then I was back to weekend only walking.  You can see the slide into the abyss here:

(August (Woot!), October (What?) and November (Whoops) respectively

My justification was the two extra miles and almost 400 calories burned was making zero difference on the scale and I had a TON of work I needed to do so I needed the extra time in my day over those 45 minutes.  My legs begged to differ.  The two weeks in October where there was no walking during the week, I was sick, it was rainy and I just wasn't having it.  By Halloween, I could feel things starting to happen in not a good way and when I was on my feet in really bad shoes for about 9 hours on November 5th, I paid for it so hard that week with zero relief.  I still had to be up and active but it wasn't the same active that walking gave me.  There was no heel strike then propelling from the ball of the foot and I think that made a huge difference.

I was one month out from our trip, the work I needed to be done pretty much behind me and cursing myself.  The day before, we'd just walked 3 miles on uneven sidewalks and I could barely stand as a result.  When I was walking, we did that same walk and I didn't feel anything near what I was feeling then.  I knew then if I was going to be able to enjoy my vacation pain-free, the rehab needed to start right then.  It was going to suck but I had a choice to make...I didn't make the right one.  While I did continue to exercise obviously before we left I never added that walking back in and I feel like my legs paid the price for the second half of the trip.   Now we're back and quite doughy and wishing we'd made better choices but we didn't and we can only go forward from here.

So while weight loss might not be at the forefront with the walking, my leg muscles are much happier when I walk.  We've gotten in two walks this week in crappy conditions (Tuesday in blaring 40 mph gusts and Wednesday in what was mid 20's but the "feel like" temp of 12.  😐  I'm working on food and water intake this week then we'll add back in regular exercise because added sugar withdraw is REAL, yo. 

I would like to make the switch to morning workouts, not first thing but before noon if possible.  We both just feel better when we have our workouts done and not because we don't do it if we wait until evening but the evening seems to go faster especially in the winter.  We'll see if that still applies when the days get longer or not.  I'm not going to beat myself up over it though if we're not consistent this first month. 

I would like to be done with beating myself up in general.  I have practically medaled in it like an Olympic sport since I understood what being fat meant as a kid.  I didn't need bullies, I did a good job myself and as an adult, that tape still plays.  It will be way harder than losing weight because that is so second nature but I'd like to be a little kinder to myself in whatever form that takes.

Where do you need to improve?

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  1. I need to improve on slowing down my eating. Gulping my food down my gullet is never good for me and it makes it very hard to ever get to the point of feeling full before I finish way more food than I need. If I could improve that one area it would make a big difference and I intend to work hard on that this year.

  2. Mine is fluid intake, including teas (which I've just started with chai tea and continuing with green tea, all of which I drink plain since I can't add any kind of sugar...gotta say, chai is pretty good, and I'm not a tea fan. LOL) Keeping up with my water helps my lower legs tremendously because I end up with very swollen ankles every day if I don't do this regularly.

    I also want to get back to three meals a day with nothing in between. This forces me to eat breakfast and then not graze throughout the day. It's rare when I actually "need" a snack for blood-sugar purposes, so if I start allowing those to sneak in too much, I end up going off the rails. These two points of focus will go a long way in keeping things steady in my body throughout the day, therefore I'm mentally calmer too.

  3. I need to improve with my fitness. I got lazy in late November and all of December. I wasn't making the time for fitness. I was letting my holiday plans and work commitments run the rest of my life. It didn't help that my gym closed for a week, but now that it has been open for over a month and I still haven't been back, that is all on me. The only consistent thing I have done is attend my weekly yoga class. It has been my only fitness dot on my calendar in over a month.


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