I ran 2.5 miles yesterday! In all honesty I walked most of it because running on my hilly road is tough, but I am improving. I originally started walking my road and have gradually worked into running it. I started by only running on the downhill parts because it felt the most natural. There is one area that is particularly steep that once I reach the bottom I try to keep running for as long as I can. The only difficulty I have with that is the slow, long incline up to the mailbox. You see from my driveway to the only other driveway across the bridge (I actually run to their mailbox because it is just past the driveway) is 1.2 miles round trip! From my driveway we go uphill, then slightly downhill, then slightly uphill, then very downhill, you cross the wooden bridge (which is relatively flat), then start a gradual incline for almost the whole .2 miles to the mailboxes. It is very challenging. After I mastered the downhill run, I started working on running that .2 miles and running back up that really steep part right before the bridge. I have on 2 occasions ran up the whole hill before the bridge, but have struggled more with running the whole .2 miles after the bridge. I think it’s the length combined with slow incline. Last night I ran almost all of it. I had about 20 feet left to go before I had to stop and catch my breath because my lungs were burning. Some of you may think I should have pushed through that last 20 feet and now that I am writing I think I could have done that, but after running downhill, over the bridge, and all of that incline, but the 20 feet I was feeling like a champ! Maybe on the next run I will push through the burn. I am also excited to announce that my ankle doesn’t hurt in my new shoes when I run on the hilly road. It only seems to bother me in my new shoes on a treadmill and since it is Spring I don’t have to be locked down to a treadmill any more. After the run I ate a ham & cheese sandwich for dinner made from leftover ham & wheat bread and watched the Atlanta Braves opening day game against the Phillies. The Braves won 7 to 5 with 3 home runs! Go Braves!
Running & Skipping
Today, I have been thinking about how elated I felt after running and my motivation for exercise. If you read yesterday’s post you would know that I was having my own personal pity party. Nothing was good enough and that mood prevailed most of the day even into my relationship with Christ and my self confidence. I was hurt and angry by the time I got home and immediately changed into my running shoes & exercise gear! I have learned over the last year that running/walking is a required stress reliever for me and I prefer to do it alone. When I am stressed or feeling like I did yesterday, I turn on my IPod and run/think until the lyrics come in loud and clear. When I am running like that the music is just background noise and I don’t hear the lyrics, but once I have released all the thoughts and ideas in my mind the lyrics start coming through a little at a time. Once I can sing along I know that I am going to be just fine. Yesterday when the lyrics finally cleared I was listening to Laura Story sing Blessings. It is great song about how our blessings from God can sometimes be actual trials we are going through. I will have you know that after praying, running, chatting with God, and hearing that song I have felt elated all day! I told a co-worker earlier that I felt skippy today and I do! If I wasn’t at working wearing heels I would be skipping everywhere. I even had an image of jumping up and clicking my heels together like they show leprechauns doing on TV! I know that is totally silly, but that is how I have felt all day!
“JUST KEEP SWIMMING” – DORI
I have been trying to find great motivation to keep exercising and eating right even when I get discouraged, so I really started thinking about it. What motivates me? So far I have come up with 6 things that motivate me.
1) My relationship with Christ – The Bible tells us that we are a temple of God, that the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, and that we should take care of our bodies. I will admit I am putting this one first because it should always be the first reason to take care of yourself especially if you’re saved, but in honesty this is usually my last motivator to reach for. I use it kind of like a trump card in spades, when all else fails this is the Big Daddy that is going to get me out the door no matter what! I was feeling kind of ashamed of that, but now I am kind of happy knowing that my relationship with Christ is strong enough to get me moving when nothing else will. That’s how it should be.
2) My son – is definitely a motivator. Not only does he have the honesty of a 6 year old pointing out all your flaws because he doesn’t know any better, but he is all boy and full of so much energy. If I didn’t lose weight and continue to exercise there is no way I would be able to keep up! He is always ready to go, go, go even when I want to take a nap.
3) My attitude adjustment – As I said earlier I need to run/walk in order to relieve stress and not just every once in a while, but at least 3 days a week I need a long, solo workout outside to keep my emotions in check. I can do it on the treadmill indoors, but I get the best benefit from vigorous, outdoor workouts! I have also learned it has to be running/walking. Lifting weights just doesn’t do it for me. I can do boxing or some other form of cardio, but not strength training. I also use yoga, but in a different way. When I am upset as in sad or angry I need to bust out the cardio! When I am worried over something, my mind is just running nonstop with ideas, or I am trying to overcome a physical problem (pain/headache/pms/etc) I turn to yoga (I think it could probably help cure everything).
4) Muscle Definition – Last night while standing in my bathroom brushing my teeth I noticed some of the muscle definition in my biceps and thought how awesome! I know that I have mentioned it before that I lost a lot of weight and then gained some of it back, but I have to say that there is a difference this time in losing it. This time I am doing it without the help of a bariatric doctor and the medicine they use and I am exercising more. I thought the weight would take forever to come off, but that isn’t true. You don’t get the same huge drop from the start like you do when using appetite suppressants, but the weight comes off slow and steady. It looks better too. This time I can see the muscle definition in my calves, biceps, thighs, & forearms and I want it to stay there. I want to be fit and feminine or as others like to describe it strong is the new sexy!
5) Reading about others’ successes and failures – For me following others on their journey is great motivation for me. I like reading what others do to be successful, but I also like seeing them make mistakes and reading about the strategies they use to stay on track. I follow Carrots N Cake as a fitness blog and I love it when she posts about her disappointments. If she felt like she could do better then she tells you that and she even discusses it with her Hubby! I have to say he is a straight shooter when giving his opinion and she is a strong person because she handles it well. Learning how others handle these kinds of things really helps me grow and motivates me especially when I make a mistake. It also helps me learn things about myself like I am not very competitive and I don’t know how to set proper goals. In fact, I don’t really fit in with my generation or today’s Type A personality because those things don’t seem to motivate me, but that’s ok I am learning to live with it.
6) Living and working around people that are aging, unhealthy, or just don’t care – I live with parents both of which are much older than me. My dad is 71 and my mom is 62. I also work with quite a few people that are old enough to be my mom or dad. Some of these people are sick because of the lifestyle that they lived or their bodies are just starting to break down (I’m not sure of the cause). Others are in pretty good health, but they aren’t looking to improve it. I call that the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” philosophy. Then some of them are trying to be healthier, but they want to do it like everyone else in America quickly with little effort. I don’t want to be that person.
These are some of my motivations. I wanted to share them because staying motivated is a challenge for me. What keeps you motivated? I would love to hear from you.
Breakfast today was 2 slices of wheat toast with PB, lunch was a ham & cheese sandwich with Sun Chips. I have had hot tea or water to drink all day. Any ideas for dinner?