Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Fitness Epiphany




Every once in a while, in the middle of doing some ordinary thinking, I have an epiphany.

You know, when the only reaction you can muster in response to that mental slap upside the head is to sit back with a 'huh' and a "blink"  "blink".

I've been unhappy with my weight for a while now. Over the years, I've come to accept that I'm a hedonist at heart.  I like eating bon-bons and lounging around in my sweatpants, so it's only natural that I would struggle with the hard parts, like adjusting my diet to exclude some of my favourite treats and establishing an exercise routine.  

But, enough is enough.  Basically, I'm having to face the reality of life lived as a middle-aged woman.  

Crap.  It sounds really bad when I say that out loud.

Anyway, there I was doing a few gentle stretches in a blinding beam of sunlight in my living room, all the while doing my best not to crush my cat who loves to lend her support by rolling around underfoot, when an old thought popped into my head.

Let me give you the backstory.  At the time that this thought was first birthed, I was in my twenties and working as a secretary for a large timber company.  They owned a company jet and the pilot's wife didn't work.  She was always trim and slim and well-dressed. 

The thought I had then that came back to haunt me last week was this:  "Well, if I didn't have to work, I could spend all day looking after myself, too."

Hmmmm.....

Fast forward to 2014.  I don't work outside the home and I have the enviable luxury of arranging my days the way I want to, for the most part.

So, I was basically called out by my conscience and I'm left with no excuses.  So far, my new routine is working out quite well.  It's only been about a week, though, so I'm not doing any happy dancing yet - although that could probably be counted as exercise . 

I'm determined to make some progress with my goal to slim down, in spite of some debilitating pain I've been suffering with my hips for the past several months.  I'm seeing a doctor about that, hoping to find the cause and, in the meantime, I'm finding that soaking in the hot tub followed by gentle stretches seems to help somewhat.  I do hope I see positive results soon because I have only so much time before my initial enthusiasm for this new routine begins to wither.

One final thought, in what could be interpreted as a sign from the Universe - the backspace key on my computer has stopped working.

Have you experienced any moments of serendipity or flashes of insight in these first few weeks of 2014?  I'd love to hear.

16 comments:

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Wishing you much success with your endeavors and not to crush your sweet cat too as you workout. But at least you have some company while you do it and that can get your mind off the drudgery of exercise. You can steal a kiss on that sweet nose from time to time.

I too had my “WOOPS” moment yesterday and thinking spring will be here to the South in a matter of 3-1/2 months, no time to waste, got to stop the late night trips to the kitchen for a snack. I do not sleep well, so I am up till 2AM. Was told that was a sign of menopause, well I am on the downhill side of 59; I thought I passed that long ago. I need to get busy and get back to my way of eating I stated at the first of 2011 when I lost 30 pounds and kept it off. But at the first of 2012 we started downsizing so we could move into a smaller house this past May and to be closer to our church. The stress of it all caused me to go to my comfort food and I gained back 10. Kettle Cooked BBQ potato chips (my weekness), potatoes, rice, pasta and sugar in many forms. I have learned that starches and sugar are my downfall. As of today; it’s back to eating healthy again, veggies, fruits, eggs, chicken, turkey, fish and sometimes beef. I do not give up the butter or occasional bacon and I managed to lower my cholesterol from 388 to 183 in a matter of 2 months by eating this way. I also add ¼ cup of ground flaxseed daily. Sprinkle it over salad or make a smoothie and I even created a recipe for brownies only using flaxseed, there is no flour in it at all. There is something wonderful in flaxseed, it helps move the system if you know what I mean. Why is eating healthy so expensive??? So in a nutshell, I do not eat processed food, boxed or canned. If I can’t get fresh veggies, I will get frozen which is the next best thing.

Like you, I do not work outside the home so I do not have any excuse.

Wonder if my parrot would like to get on the floor with me while I exercise?

GOD bless you and keep you strong in your endeavor and faith.

Carolynn Anctil said...

Tammy, I love carbs. One of the things I'm doing is severely limiting my intake of white carbs. I hear ya on the potato chips. I've successfully eliminated them from my diet for a year and a half, so far. My cat understands that if she wanders too close to me, at any given time of the day, she may be subjected to squeezes and kisses. She doesn't seem to mind. Good luck with your fitness goals!

C-ingspots said...

Wow, there's some valuable advice Carolynn! I want to know though - why is it that everything we love, always have to be bad (or fattening) for us? Damn it all!! As you know, I struggle with my weight too; always have been heavier than my peers. My family genetics made us shorter, stockier and with more muscle mass than many, or most women. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but because of that (and a love of food), I'm predisposed to weighing more than what anyone would ever guess. I think. Maybe I kid myself! :) I have vastly come to terms with my body style. I try to remember to give thanks for it every single day. My dreams of being a willowy, slender, long-legged wisp of a woman will never, ever come to fruition...nope. Not gonna happen! So - in light of that, I must remember to be thankful for my body enables me to do many things that I love, and lots of hard work that I don't necessarily love, but I am strong, healthy, rarely sick and slimmer than I was a year ago. Onward and upward! Diets do not work with me. I try to add in fresh veggies or fruit whenever I can, I try to limit my portions (even trickery by using a smaller plate), I try to eat breakfast, lunch and a smaller-portioned dinner and forego most snacks. I realistically cannot eliminate all carbs, but I can reduce them, or choose healthier carbs than some I can think of. I try to drink more water than anything else, no sugared drinks and no sugar in my coffee or tea. I will still enjoy some of those things that I love, as in pie, ice cream, cakes, cookies and everything else that is bad. But dammit, life is too short not to enjoy them. I just have a very small portion. That way I do not feel like I'm punishing myself, I am in charge instead, and choosing a smaller portion because frankly, the calories just aren't worth it. I am learning to be kinder to myself, less judgmental and more thankful for everything (including my body). And being respectful of myself and my body, I am choosing to treat myself with more reverence and care by making wiser choices and being more active every single day. I may not lose all the weight that I'd like, but I will lose some over a longer period of time, and I will become healthier and stronger because of those choices. We each have to figure out what will work for us. And a vital component of my solution is to look at healthy food choices as "the good stuff" and the fattening, calorie-laden foods as being ultimately, "the bad stuff". Sounds simple, but for me - that was an epiphany. I'm choosing to love and enjoy the good stuff. :) Love and blessings to you, my friend!! Regardless of what you weigh, you are a beautiful and valuable lady...

S. Etole said...

Your photo reminds me of the landscape here.

Caroline said...

I am a carb-o-holic! But good for you of taking on a routine and sticking with it. Be *gentle* with yourself!

Nancy said...

Girl have you been in my head? Last spring I got fed up with my excess weight and went to a Holistic weight loss place and lost 15 lbs in just a few months..She cut out my carbs sugar, all processed food...etc....After a few months she moved to another location in another city and I have slowly gained back about 6 lbs...I think the accountability was the key for me. I really liked that you looked at your entire health issue not just dealing with the wt issue. I haven't found anyone else like this but I know if I don't soon I will gain it all again.....It's sad that I know what to do but won't unless someone is checking on me...How childish is that for a woman my age.....
I will certainly be praying that you have all the success you desire.....Hang in there.....
Thanks for the web site you left for me....I'll love to chat with you about that issue......

altadenahiker said...

I can go months without cookies, candy, and chocolate. But seems I can't last a day without bread and/or butter and/or cheese.

Sharon said...

This topic is good for me right now - the treadmill has been used as storage central since the holidays. Tomorrow I will get it cleaned off so I can get back to walking! And I need to get back to drinking water, too, because I feel better when I'm hydrated. I'm sorry others have the same issues I do, but it helps to know I'm not alone:)

Bobbybegood1 said...

Wonderful post! I love carbs - pasta, rice, corn, sugar - all the stuff not good for the pancreas, which secretes insulin into the body at rapid rate. The positive carbs - black rice, quinoa, oats - are good and don't spike insulin as high or as fast. They are slow-acting. I agree with what Caroline said, "Be gentle on yourself." Cheers!!

Beth P said...

My difficulties arose when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia several years ago. Mind you the debilitating pain existed long before the diagnosis and my exercise routine diminished more and more with the passing of each year. Weight piled on between the meds taken for the pain and the lack of activity so I hear your voice loud and clear! I had always thought, like you, if I had the time to devote to myself I would be very healthy... wind forward... er, not so much! :D I hope your routine becomes just that, a routine and slowly, the best way, you will get back into shape!!!
Hugs my sweet blogging friend,
Beth P
P.S. I just moved my blog and hope you will follow me over at my new home... http://elisabetpollockstudio.wordpress.com

Laura said...

no backspace… moving forward and trusting what flows… that is serendipitous encouragement.

Catherine said...

Sometimes I walk up to my treadmill - look at it square in the face (dashboard) and say "I HATE YOU!" But then I get on, do my work out, get off, and am so happy I have it. LOL! Oh it's a daily choice we have to make. Sometimes the bon-bons and couch win. ;)

Keep healthy my friend!
xo Catherine

Eileen said...

I'll always said something similar...when I'm retired I'll have time to walk and exercise. I know it's a choice, I'm sure I could find the time now, but I choose not too.

Good luck with your goals. I'm sure you'll reach them!

Rain Trueax said...

On your hip pain, consider looking at what shoes you wear the most. I had that happen some many years back and got myself tennis shoes with a gel insert and a good arch support. As long as I wear shoes with that gel support, no hip pain. When I wear the wrong kinds of shoes especially for long walks, it's back. It's good to have it checked out for arthritis, etc., but look at your shoes also.

Carolynn Anctil said...

Rain: I had a similar thought. I wear orthotics and have done since I was a child. Arthritis has been ruled out, thankfully. We're going to see if it's an alignment issue next.

Rain Trueax said...

a good chiropractor can help figure it out. I have one I use when something gets out of whack. Finding a good one is key. The shoes though, even if they at one time worked, could still be the issue. I sure like the gel inserts.

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