There’s Always Tomorrow

There’s always tomorrow
For dreams to come true
Believe in your dreams, come what may.
There’s always tomorrow
With so much to do
And so little time in a day.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….for gaining weight.  I’m not kidding, there are so many temptations all around me since Thanksgiving.  Everywhere I look there’s a holiday cocktail or snack and it’s oh so hard to not get caught up in it all.  Add in to this mix my inability to run, or do most workouts and I’m on sure fire path toward watching the scale creep up again.  It happens so very rapidly too, just a few weeks and I can find myself 10+ pounds heavier and my pants are already feeling tight!

Last Sunday, I began light walking and planned to walk a little each day this week.  While I got 6-7K steps at work each day, I never actually went for a walk.  Each morning, I’d tell myself that I would walk at lunch – never happened; or go down and do light yoga before work – never happened; or worse yet..I’ll just do it tomorrow which also never happened.  I am on that cycle of “tomorrow”, but unfortunately tomorrow never happens.

In a world that preaches – “There’s always tomorrow” when we fail to do what we set out to do, I’ve tried to live with a different philosophy.  Pablo Picasso once said, “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”   I realize that’s a bit strong for the diet context, but it’s the best way to live life overall.  Why put off until tomorrow what one can do today?  Also, very good advice.  We are never guaranteed tomorrow, so living life with the idea that we should do all we can today in this moment can serve us well when trying to meet our health goals.

Here’s a few things that have helped me in the past to get back on track, as sadly this isn’t my first time struggling.  I hope you find one that helps you and I hope writing them down gives me a push out of my comfortable bed this morning.

1. Treat workouts like appointments – You would never stay in bed if you had a work meeting, so treat your workouts like that.  I work out in the morning, or it just doesn’t happen.  I know this and yet I tell myself I’ll walk at lunch.  That is just not going to happen, my job doesn’t allow it.  I need to schedule my workouts on a calendar with a set time and stick to it.  I’ve been a bit too lax since the injury, enjoying the extra time in bed to sip coffee and relax.  My body needed that break, but it’s time to get back on a schedule.  Doing less has also made me lazier.   Today, I will pull out my calendar and plan my workout week.

2. Set an alarm or reminder – It’s super easy to fall down that black hole in the morning.  You know the one I mean.  You are sipping coffee and open the computer to check email quickly.  Next thing you know it’s an hour later and you’ve missed your workout.  I’m going to set a reminder on my phone to buzz when it’s time for my scheduled workout meeting in the basement.  This will break my trance created by all the Facebook and Twitter feeds that pull me in and don’t let go.

3. Create routine – In keeping with my scheduling of workouts, I need routine.  My childhood revolved around strict routines, my parents may have been a bit excessive about it, so I tend to crave them.  The calendar will help, but putting specific routines on set days truly keeps me going.  It gives me something to look forward to and helps when I don’t love a workout to know it’s only one of the days in my week.

4. Keep it light – When motivation wanes it’s often a sign that you need to lighten things up a bit.  I know I need to recapture some of the fun of working out.  This is actually a perfect time to do this, as I’m not training for anything specific right now.  My short term goal is to get moving and have some fun.  I’m planning to look for some new trails to walk on, or try some new workout routines on Beach Body On Demand that I’ve not tried yet.

5. Stay in the present moment – I have to live more like my dog Sonny – in the present moment.  It’s so easy for me to become overwhelmed by one bad choice (alright, seriously there’s been more than one).  I just have to keep going and move on because when I beat myself up for one mistake, it just gives me excuses for the next one.

6. Get connected – Keeping my mental state in a healthy zone is critical for my success.  I am an emotional eater and it’s super easy at this time of year to go down that rabbit hole.  I miss my family being as it once was during the holidays.  I miss my mom and dad being with me at my tables.  Every song or scent evokes memories and they can become overwhelming.  I’ve got to keep pushing myself to go out and get connected with others.  Walking alone is great, but it’s so much more fun to walk with a friend, or my husband.  I can’t run with my running group right now, but there are other injured runners who would likely meet me to walk.  Find someone to connect with during this holiday season and see if it helps you get back in a healthier mindset.

That’s the plan for the week.  I’m going to do my Sunday cooking today so I have healthier food for the week.  I also plan to get some food for my work refrigerator and I bought a small Nutribullet machine for my office.  I’m hoping if I’m craving something sweet a nice shake might provide some satisfaction instead of the chocolate or cookies.  If not, at least I know I’m getting some extra vegetables and fruit into my diet.

How are you doing this holiday season with your eating and workout plans?  If you find yourself struggling, try one of these ideas and drop me a line to let me know if it helped.  You are not alone on this journey!  There are many of us walking this walk and together we will get it done.

Great read to help change your mindset:

 The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

Inside the pages of this book are four life lessons that we all can draw upon in our daily lives.  Now especially, with our world in constant turmoil, with tensions running so high, I find myself relying on it heavily.  The four agreements are –

  1. Speak with Integrity – Your word is everything!  Say only what you mean and avoid negative self talk and gossip.  Use your words to speak the truth and of love.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally -Remember always that nothing others say or do is because of you, it is really a projection of their own reality.  Be immune to the opinions and actions of others and you will avoid much suffering.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions – Do your research before you make an assumption about someone or something.  When in doubt save your energy and don’t worry about it.  Ask and be direct rather than fretting and worrying about things. Be sure.
  4. Always Do Your Best – Under any and all circumstances do your best each and every day.  Yes, your best will vary depending on the situation, but do the best you can at all times and you will never be full of self regret.

I use them in my daily life and often at work.  They really are about making a mindset shift and approaching life from a position of self love and positivity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revise the Plan When You Must

Since I broke my three toes on Christmas, I’ve been struggling to get back into a running rhythm.  Anyone who has broken toes can tell you just how painful this injury can be.  I thought I had it under control as I pushed through on the elliptical in my boot and running on the treadmill with super wide shoes.  I laughed in the face of this injury and anxiously awaited warmer weather to get back outside.  Sometimes though, life has other plans.

Following my first outdoor runs, I quickly realized this wasn’t going to be so easy.  I felt like the months of easy treadmill runs did little to maintain my conditioning.  I felt like my foot and ankle were in a constant state of pain.  I felt like it was two steps forward, three steps back.  I felt like my head was spinning with the bullshit stories I tell myself.  Finally, I felt like I had to pull up my bootstraps and get this fixed.  My plans were in need of a major revision.

First, I needed to address the pain in my ankle because that is super scary to me.  I do not ever want to have that surgery again.  I think I knew the trigger for the ankle pain.  Over the winter, I was trying to switch over to zero drop shoes and believe this was putting unnecessary pressure on my peroneal tendon.  The shoes seemed to work fine on the slow runs on the treadmill, but outside training was just not the same.  I’m now back in my trusted Hoka shoes and hoping I didn’t do any damage to the tendon.

Next, my toes are still causing some pain in my foot.  This concerns me greatly and I’m hoping there’s no nerve damage.  I’m trying to incorporate the yoga toes pose back into my cool down protocols, as well as foam rolling religiously and hoping this will help.  If not, I definitely need to get an MRI in the coming weeks.

Finally, I definitely needed to revise my pre training plan to build up my strength for running.  I’ve been trying to get off some extra pounds gained during the long winter break.  Not too bad, just need to get about 10-15 off for my optimum running weight.  This week I’m down 5 pounds using the Weight Watchers app to track my eating.  Again, not a fan of plans but chose this one because I can eat real food that I cook.  I don’t agree with the severe limiting of healthy fats, but I’m incorporating what I know is right for my body with the plan and so far it’s keeping me honest about my food choices.

I’m using the Couch to 5K app to warm up my body and am on week 2 of the plan.  The pain in my ankle is still there at night, but I do feel like it’s subsiding.  As I do the couch to 5K plan (similar to the one I just finished, Run for Weight Loss, but less intense) I reflect on the walk/run strategy.  For now, I think this may be just the perfect revision to my running training.

Run/walk programs are an effective training method that can help increase fitness.  The stigma attached to it is that it’s not “real running”.  This stigma overlooks the fact that when alternating running with walking, you decrease the amount of impact on your body and potentially decrease risk of injury.  Further, using this strategy you recover quicker from your workouts as your body has built in recovery breaks.  It is also a form of interval training and can increase caloric burn during your workouts.

Running as we know is a high impact sport.  The continuous use of any muscle used the same way (running long in my case), increases muscle fatigue more rapidly. Continuing to run with fatigued muscles, will greatly increase the chance of injury.  Knowing this it makes total sense to me to use a run/walk program to build my fitness for the marathon.  During the walk portion of run/walk, your body has a chance to recover – both heart rate and muscular recovery.   Walking using different muscle groups than running and allows for some muscular recovery during these sessions.

Run/walk interval training is easy to implement.  Basically you run for a designated portion of time, followed by walk period, then repeat the cycle a certain amount of times.  The free couch to 5K app tells you when to run or walk.  I find myself looking forward to those beeps during my runs now.  I was worried I’d have trouble running after a walk period, but it’s actually quite the opposite.  I look forward to the run beep knowing it’s only for a short period of time.  Mentally this method is motivating and the time flies by.  My pace is even slightly faster over the long runs as when fatigued my pace tends to slow down to a crawl, often slower than a walk pace.

I’m excited to see if this method helps me get back on track without pain, or injury.  Are there any run/walk converts out there that want to share their story?  I’d love to feature your story here in an upcoming blog.  Let me know and please feel free to leave a comment below.  Looking forward to hearing your stories.

Great read to learn more about this method of training:

The Run Walk Run Method·

 

Taking the Plunge

What do you do when you need to try something new?  Do you hesitate, or jump right in?  Do you try every new thing you encounter, or are you cautious and selective?  I am the cautious and selective type.  I like to read and research before taking the plunge, especially when it comes to what I put into my body.  I want to be healthy and not fall victim to the mind robbing disease that has devastated my family.  I must admit it is hard with so many “things” out there.  I get emails, see videos, advertisements on Facebook and encounter people who truly believe in programs on a daily basis.  If I took the plunge each time, I’d be broke and most likely still in the same boat.

The way I stay focused is to remember my why.  My why is to remain healthy, active and maintain my memories long into my 90s.  With this in mind, I must remain careful about what I eat and drink.  My philosophy around nutrition is that food is fuel for my body and the means to remaining healthy.  These weight loss programs sound so darn appealing and I must admit those who have had success are totally passionate and committed to them.  The before and after photographs are so inspiring and I am extremely happy for them all.  But, I just can’t do them.  Those programs are not for me as I don’t want to get my nutrition from powders and pills and often if you dig deep enough the ingredients are not totally pure.

With the exception of Purium, a program which I’ve yet to find any bad ingredients in, most of the other programs have at least one ingredient that just won’t work for me personally.  I did use Purium for a while last year and will say I had no problem buying it.  I truly didn’t mind the expense and it was expensive.  My only problem with some of their drinks was the taste.  For me, they just didn’t taste good.  I am a fan of the Apothe Cherry drink and like to drink that at bedtime.  I found a version that cost less though and has the same impact for me.

Dynamic Health Tart Cherry Turmeric and Ginger Tonic Supplement, 16 Ounce

I mix 2 tbs of this juice with 8 oz of water and drink about 30 minutes before I go to bed.  You can drink it straight, but I prefer to dilute it.

Last week, I told you I was planning to do a 10 day green cleanse and shared the book I use with you.  I cleaned up my act this week for sure, but still was not able to feel totally on track again.  It just feels like there is something every day that gets in the way of my nutrition.  I made better choices and definitely lost 5 pounds, but I’m still not satisfied that I’m fueling my body properly.

This week I attended two days of professional development, not for nutrition mind you.  As part of the presentation, the presenter was sharing his struggles with weight loss.  As he talked, he shared an app that he was using to keep focused.  I am not a fan of programs, but found myself at a center signing up that very afternoon.  I have decided to do this program only because –

  1. I get to prepare and cook my own food.
  2. I don’t have to count or think about anything.
  3. I will get daily feedback on my journey.

I signed up at Weight Watchers not because I need them to tell me how to eat, what to eat or why to eat that way.  Believe me I know that already.  I signed up because they have made it so easy to monitor what I am doing on a day to day basis.  I love the app (yes I know I could just use a free app) and how simple they have made it to track my day.  Yes, the program is about tracking points and that’s just fine.  Yes, I’m aware that it really is about counting calories and portion control.  Yes, I know that I need to eat healthy fats and this program attempts to limit that, but I think I can make this work to keep me focused and get me back on track.

Right now, I can eat 30 points a day.  My superfood coffee counts as 9.  Though they would encourage me to swap that out, I know I need the healthy fat it contains and that in the long run it connects to my why.  I am able to eat vegetables and fruits as low point and no point options.  So, of course you know this will motivate me to increase my intake of those foods from my least favorite food group.  The best feature of all is I don’t have to convert or count anything to figure out points.  I get to simply scan the barcode and it’s there, or type in the food.  Thank you for this wonderful feature!  Lastly, you get points to swap the more you move which sure motivated me to take an extra walk last night with my dog.

Am I excited about the program itself, not so much.  Am I excited to have a focus to get me ready for training, yes!  This sign up for me was for a 3 month pass.  Just enough time to get ready to toe the line for my marathon training program which officially starts in June.

I’d love to hear your success and failure with Weight Watchers.  Please feel free to share below, or shoot me an email.

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