Rethinking A Few Things

I went down pretty hard on Thursday – at a time that feels like the afternoon to me, but which everyone else would call “not even lunchtime”. Thanks, crazy early schedule. But I get off the topic.

I went down pretty hard. It might have Ben the flu, or it might have been a cold, or it may gut gave just been exhaustion. The point is, I went down. And I spent some time talking to my wife, and (thanks to her insight, because she is wise) I realized a few things.

I’m going about things the wrong way.

I don’t think it’s a shock to anyone who’s been reading this blog do a while – like, the lad year – that I’m frustrated with my lack of progress. What I didn’t realize – I mean, really realize – is that I’ve given up. Oh, I didn’t talk like I did. I still gave lip service to the idea of watching my calorie budget and exercising, but I haven’t been consistent with those things for a while. Worse, I’ve gotten down on myself for it, and I’ve been using my goals to beat myself up.

Yeah, now that I write it down, it doesn’t make sense to me either. But it’s what I’ve been doing to myself. It like I’ve been getting some perverse sense of pleasure out of setting myself up to fail, and then failing, and then wallowing in doughnuts as a way of rewarding and punishing myself.

Weird, right? So what am I doing about it?

This isn’t a quick fix thing, really. But the realization is freeing me up to accept what I’ve done, and to forgive myself. I mean, yeah. I messed up. That happens. I’m human. Messing up is a thing that we do. So is fixing it, once we realize what we’ve done.

Forgiveness isn’t easy. I’ve got one of those annoying inner voices, after all. You know the voice, right? The one that tries to undercut your confidence by bringing up that embarrassing thing you did in high school twenty-five years ago? That voice, when I’m down on myself, goes into overdrive. I’ll be arguing with that voice for a while, I suspect.

I’m also cutting myself some slack. I’m taking my calorie budget back up to 2,500 calories per day. That’s higher than the USDA recommended 2,000 per day, but every calorie calculator I can find says that it should still have me losing 1 to 3 pounds a week. And it feels less restrictive than the 2,300 calories I’ve been failing to eat each day.

Finally, I’m going to be reassessing my exercise goals. Sure, I need to do more than walk. But I’m probably better off with a modest exercise program that I actually do, then an ambitious one that I do sporadically if at all.

Nope. This isn’t going to be easy. But it’s all things I need to do.

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Tired

Yeah, that pretty much sums things up in a single word. I actually intended to hit all my goals yesterday. But then, by the time I got home from work, I was exhausted. How tired do I mean? I mean, I was too tired to make French toast. And all you have to do for that is beat an egg with some sugar, dip bread in it, and fry it.

Uhm. For context, I’d planned to make French toast for dinner last night.

So, anyway, I’m clearly tired. Still. I think it has far more to do with a lack of sunlight than anything. If it’s not too bitterly cold out today, I’ll need to get out and walk outside on break and after work. Try to recharge a little.

Or maybe I can just sleep until spring. I’m sure that won’t be an issue at work or anything.

Eating Well: Chicken Noodle Soup

First off, let me just say that I hit all of my fitness goals yesterday. So, whatever t was I decided while lamenting my lack of focus seems to have gotten me focused. Maybe I should lament some more?

Nah.

This chicken noodle soup recipe helped with hitting that goal. It’s tasty comfort food, and it’s nice and warm, and that comes in handy at this time of the year. The temperature dropped some 20 degrees last night, so a warm bowl of soup is nice.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (1,128 calories)
  • 2 quarts chicken broth (120 calories)
  • 8 ounces egg noodles (873 calories)
  • 1 large onion (60 calories)
  • 1 large carrot (30 calories)
  • 2 celery stalks (12 calories)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Chop up all the vegetables and put them in a baking pan. Put the chicken on top of the pan, and bake the whole thing for 45 minutes.
  3. Shred the cooked chicken. Add it and all the vegetables and the broth to a pot, and bring it to a boil.
  4. Add the egg noodles, and boil until the noodles are cooked, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Let the soup cool to a temperature that won’t scald your mouth and throat, and enjoy.

Notes:

  1. The entire pot comes in at 2,223 calories, give or take specific ingredients. When I fished it up, one bowl was about 1/8 of the pot, so that’s roughly 278 calories. Not bad, and it makes the second helping you’ll want a whole lot easier to justify.
  2. Seasonings? Sure, if you want. Me, I just tossed in a tablespoon of a seasoning blend I have – a mixture of garlic, onion, pepper, sea salt, and parsley. To tell the truth, I don’t think it was necessary.
  3. This reheats well in the microwave or on the stove. Assuming you have leftovers.

Trying To Get Motivated

I managed to drag myself out of bed this morning and get some exercises done, and that’s when it hit me. It’s been at least a week since I’ve done that, and probably longer since I hit my walking goal. Or my calorie budget. Or, really, any of my goals I am, it seems, in a slump.

I’m not entirely sure why.

Maybe it was Thanksgiving? Or maybe it’s the wildly inconsistent weather – two days ago I needed a heavy coat, and yesterday when I took my son to Cub Scouts I probably could have gone in shirt sleeves. Maybe it’s me struggling with my latest mad project (trying to sleep a reasonable number of hours). Or maybe all of those are excuses. I’m not entirely sure, to tell the truth.

What I am sure of is that I got up this morning and exercised. And that I probably should have done just a little mire than I did. But even that little bit has left me feeling pretty good. I mean, planking and squats doesn’t have the same 3 am wake up punch that a mild and a half walk has, but I still feel good. For the first time in a week, I’m feeling a little more motivated.

Clearly, I need to do more of this. So, today I’m also going to make sure that I hit my walking goal. By the end of the week, I’m going to be all the way back on track – weird weather or not.

Working Around The Christmas Tree

I completely forgot to weigh in over the weekend, and I don’t feel at all bad about it? Why? Because I was doing important things, like buying a new Christmas tree and decorating it.

Pretty, isn’t it?

There is, of course, both good and bad to having the tree up. The good is that it brings a real feeling of Christmas to my condo. I spent the evening on the couch with my son, watching Christmas movies and playing with the various settings for the lights.

The bad is that the tree occupies a chunk of living room real estate that I would otherwise be using for exercise. Sure, I’ve still got room. But I’ll need to be careful for the next month. No need to go and accidentally slap an ornament into the kitchen, or something like that.

Off Track

Well, it’s been a crazy and weird week. Between car trouble and injuring myself, I haven’t really managed any exercise since a Tuesday. And, of course, some of those reasons are better than others. Mostly, though, I’ve just been distracted.

Still, I must be doing something right. I can’t tighten my belt any further without drilling a new hole in it, so that’s s good sign.

I should be back to everything on Monday. Both my knee and my arm are feeling significant better already, so I’ll be ready to try exercises involving them by then. Carefully., of course. No need to stress anything too much and reinjure myself, after all.

Threeish Miles

So much stuff happened yesterday, and not all of it was good. But let’s try and focus on the good part, shall we?

I had to get the brakes fixed on my car, about a $900 repair. So I dropped off my car and decided to walk home – it’s something I’ve done before, after all, so why not? It sure beat sitting at the garage for the 2 1/2 hours it would take. With that thought in mind, I threw on my headphones and started walking.

I just googled the distance. It turns out that it is 2.8 miles from the garage I used to my condo. They estimate it can be walked in 58 minutes. It took me about 75, but there were a couple of delays. One was the classic “call of nature”, and we’ll leave it at that. The other was tripping and falling.

That last was fun, particularly since it happened while I was crossing a (thankfully not busy) side street, about 1/4 of the way along my route. I don’t know if I tripped, or if I lost my footing as I moved from sidewalk to road, or what. All I know was that I was suddenly and badly off-balance. I managed approximately three steps while thinking “I don’t really want to fall”, and down I went. Landed mostly on my left knee and then my elbow.

Don’t worry, I’m not badly hurt. It felt like it took forever to get organized and be able to stand up, but it couldn’t really have been more than 30 seconds. My knee ached (it turned out I scraped it enough to bleed slightly), and I limped for the next 50 yards or so until I – as they say – walked it off. For some reason, my upper left arm actually aches mire than my knee.

So, that’s my exciting cross-country walk story. It made sure I hit my walking goal, but also means I’m adjusting my exercises for a while. Squats and pushups are on hold until my knee and arm feel better, because I can put weight on my arm but see no reason to push it and risk injuring myself more.

Good times. Here’s hoping today goes better.