Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Some Things I'm Learning

I am starting to notice things around me in a new way that affect my health and thought I'd share.  I guess these days I feel like I am really on the right track, and while it's slow, it's very exciting.

First of all, when i am 'snacky' the old me would have gone instantly for the cookies (mmm chocolate chunk!) but now I am steering towards a yogurt, a fruit, or a hard boiled egg.  I have actually cut down on the amount of cookies we buy.  I never used to buy a lot of them, but when I'd find brand name cookies on sale for less than half price, I would stock up.  The problem is that it just means we eat more of them.  Now I am buying Bear Paws cookies for my kiddo which I don't like...makes it very easy to resist!

Sometimes I will have a cup of tea or glass of skim milk if I feel snacky and this will often take the craving away.  I am still treating myself if I need to, but instead of a big treat like an ice cream bar, I am happy with something smaller, like a square of dark chocolate.  I am not deprived, but am just trying to be smarter about what goes into my body most of the time.

Weighing once a week is awesome for me.  I am not obsessing about it and am actually excited for weigh in day most weeks, if only for curiosity sake.  Taking my measurements is great too, because even if the scale isn't moving, sometimes the inches are still coming off.

If I don't set a goal, it sometimes helps me work harder.  Sometimes I just make myself get on the treadmill with no idea of how long I'll stay on.  Invariably, i end up getting a good workout.  The rare time that I'm 'just not feeling it' I just get off and don't worry about it.

Tonight, I was contemplating a run (my first outdoor one this year) and then it started to drizzle.  I was going to wimp out but my kiddo with his good old fashioned Irish guilt made me feel like I ought to at least go for a short run since I had wanted to.  He also told me the best time to run is in the rain...I know that but I was so warm and dry inside!  I bit the bullet and out I went, determined to run or walk for 30 minutes.  I figured I would run a few minutes, walk a few minutes, run a few, walk a few for the entire 30 minutes, but something amazing happened when I started to run.

When I hit the point where I would normally walk, and my lungs were starting to burn and my legs were a bit sore, a fabulous song came on my iPod, and I told myself I could keep i did.  Since it was raining, my iPod was in my pocket, so i couldn't keep checking the time.  I decided to just choose a route, run until I was tired and check the time later.  I turned a corner after running what I figured was about 20 minutes, I was going to turn down a bicycle path, but saw four teenaged boys walking and no one else around.  I am not biased against teens, but I thought it smart to just run along the road since it was almost dusk and I was alone.  This meant I had to run a bit farther.  As I came to the street I was going to turn on, I felt so great that I just kept on going!

Long story short, I ended up running 8km straight without stopping to walk at all...not even once.  I have never done this in my life.  The last little bit was tough, with my inner thighs starting to hurt and my legs getting shaky, but I'd come so far that I was not going to quit.  Prior to this the farthest I'd even run without stopping was maybe 3 or 3.5km so this run was huge for me!  Once I started to walk near my house, my legs almost gave out on me, but it felt sooo damn good.  I have never felt so proud of myself for a fitness or health accomplishment!

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