The Daily: January 26th, 2021

Oh my darlings it is a glorious day where I am today. It is 63 degrees outside, sunny with just a slight hint of breeze. While I find it unsettlingly unseasonal, I am taking advantage. I went on two extra long walks today. I have to admit, I enjoyed them both. It was wonderful yo be outside.

Admittedly everyone else thought so too. Usually our walking trail is pretty quiet during the day. Not today. The beautiful weather and more people working from home tempted everyone outside. While I usually bring my mask and put it on when I see a singular person (usually with a dog) approaching from a distance I slip it on. Any turn on our trail is wide and you can see people coming from a pretty far distance. There are a lot of straight trails so seeing people is pretty easy.

Today I started my walks with the mask on and ended both of the walks with the mask on. Never once was it removed. I can’t complain though. Everyone else was wearing a mask as well and pretty much everyone looked like they needed a bit of time in the fresh air.

We do have a storm rolling in later tonight. I’m pretty sure that is why it was warmer today. With the rain the temperatures will drop to more seasonal levels. I just hope my tulips don’t take any damage. Some of them have started poking up through the ground. I planted them last year so this is the first full year they have been in the ground and I’m not certain if it is too early or not. Bulbs always come up first here but I usually think of the flowers as being up around easter. It’s early yet so manybe it will take a while to reach the flowering stage.

I am going to observe and not worry. Yet. I can always worry about them later.

Actually the weather is so nice I may pop outside and do a little clean up work in the back yard before I start dinner prep. The weather is just too nice to waste indoors. With rain predicted for the rest of the week, it does seem like the sensible alternative. So I am off to spend a little more time outside. And to clear away the branches that fell from our neighbors tree. I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow morning.

Oh, and it you are inside and looking to do some shopping, from now until January 29th Look Fantastic has 50% off Eve Lom Cleansers.

Workout Waffle: July 21st, 2020

My three favorite pieces of at home gym equipment (and the foot pump that makes the yoga ball small space friendly. (and yes. there are technically two yoga mats there)

Morning all, things have been interesting here.  I’ve more or less had to give up my walks outside for a little while. Its not totally unexpected, its just a bit early.  Usually the dog days of August hit and drive everyone inside for sanity’s sake.  I noticed it seemed a lot hotter than I remembered from last year, but looking over my notes I saw that I was still walking until the first week of August last year.  This year that’s a no go as we frequently hit triple digits or sit just under them. I have to say there is something I find oddly disturbing about seeing a digital thermometer read 99 degrees. I’m not entirely sure why, 100 is clearly hotter, but 99 manages to bother me more somehow.

My baby checked the weather data for me and surprise, record highs.  We are actually ten degrees warmer where I live than we usually are at this time of year. 

Because clearly that’s what this year needed, a brain melting heat wave.

After all, it’s not like anything else is going on, right?  

So indoor workouts it is, at least until the heat breaks.  So today I’m going to waffle a bit about my three favorite items in my at home workout tool kit. I should probably mention that my house was built in the late 1940s. While it is quite spacious enough for us, there aren’t buckets of extra space.  As a result I have what I like to think of as a moveable gym. It goes where there happens to be space at the moment.

The first element in this set up is my Yoga mat.  Even if your activities aren’t yoga based, I highly recommend getting one.  The first thing it does is it gives you a designated workout space. So what if you had to shift aside the couch to set up your personal gym?  While that mat is down, it is a designated space and makes it feel somehow more official. 

I know that sounds a little strange, but it really is helpful, even if only psychologically.  The mat temporarily transforms the space.  Plus, it is the same mat each workout regardless if you are in the back bedroom, living room or back porch. Using the same mat each time helps signal your brain (or at least mine) that even if this is where you ate popcorn and watched bad horror movies last night (Evil Dead in case you are wondering), now it is the place where you work out.

In addition the mat is textured to keep your feet from slipping and it keeps you from sweating on the carpet.  Which are things I generally like and find helpful during my workout.

My second piece of equipment is a yoga ball.  There are a lot of workouts you can download that use the yoga ball. It is also easily collapsible when you aren’t using it so you can easily get it out of the way if need be.  If you don’t have an electric air mattress pump hanging around your house, I recommend getting the yoga ball with the foot pump.  They look silly, but they are a life saver. I think most of them come with some sort of pump, but double check before you buy. 

I really like the yoga balls because first off, the exercises done with them tend to be low impact so tender joints like knees are protected. and they are great if you are just getting started on a workout plan. Plus, when you start out a workout sitting on a giant rubber ball, it is hard not to think of it as fun.  And seriously, how often as an adult do you get to bounce around with a giant rubberized ball? In a way that isn’t condemned by society at large?

My third item has to be my leg/arm weights.  The ones I’ve got are from ProsourceFit.  They are a soft material that just feels like a bag of sand and has adjustable Velcro straps so you can move them from your ankles to your wrists.  I have size medium in case you were wondering. 

(And no this is not sponsored, I just really like ProsourceFit. If I can’t pick something up in person I tend to order from them so their name comes up a lot when I talk about my equipment. The products are good quality and they last a really long time.  Plus, they are usually on the ball with shipping.  They tend to sell out of stuff because they seem to have a high turnover rate, although they are really good about restocking if they are out of something just wait a few days and check in and it is usually restocked. At least in my experience.  I’ve been eyeing some Kettle bells for a while now as well as a replacement yoga mat – I have two layered because they are both worn out in places and need to be replaced – so I may be placing a new order soon.)

While these are currently my top three items for an at home workout, I am always willing to try new things, so that may change.  Especially as my walks are down to nil until the heat breaks. I suspect this will mean a bump up in my indoor fitness as well as closer attention to my calorie intake. So that is this week’s workout waffle. 

I’ll link Prosource Fit below in case any of you out there are looking to add to your home gym.  It is an affiliate link so if you click and then buy something from them I may receive a small commission, which goes to support this channel. Even if you don’t click the link, I highly recommend checking them out.  Everything I’ve gotten from them has been quality and reasonably priced. Sometimes getting those to lines to intersect isn’t easy, and with work out gear, quality matters. Stay safe out there, or in there as the case may be.

yoga gear

Weight Loss Regime Survival Tip #46: Why Bother?

a new pair of shoes and moving forward one step at a time

I had this conversation with a friend of mine the other day and it really stuck with me. We’ll call my friend Jane for the sake of this post and to respect her privacy. She and I have very similar weight issues, i.e. far too much of it and no actual underlying health issues that aren’t weight related (like joint pain from feet being asked to carry too much weight). I think I started in about two lbs heavier than she was, but as I was 246 that put her at 244. For the past year we have both been inching along with our weight loss.

We were also meeting up once every week or so for moral support (and because our gym schedules happened to allign). I haven’t actually seen her since February at this point though.

When I spoke to her a few nights back she said that she wasn’t going to bother even thinking about her weight until the world returned to something more stable. Her argument was, quite simply, Why bother? Why bother focusing on weight loss when there are so many more important things to focus on right now? She even went so far as to put her scale in the cupboard.

I didn’t argue with her as weight and its loss are both very personal things that need to be dealt with individually, but I thought about what she said. I thought about it a lot.

And I have to say I disagree.

First off, I would like to say that, you should still pay attention to what is going on in the world. Sticking your head in the sand isn’t going to help you, although holing up like a hibernating bear might. Like most people I am following the news. However, there comes a point where paying too much attention is likely to drive me mad and having something other than the outside world to pay attention to has helped me tremendously.

While I am always thrilled when the scale shows me a lower number, and every weight loss no matter how small is celebrated by a happy dance, my goal at this time is merely not to gain weight. My weekly step on the scale is more of a monitoring process and part of my weekly routine.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still trying to lose weight, but I am more forgiving with myself than usual.

I find routines very important. Its why I started doing the weekly weigh in to begin with. I wanted a consitent day and time to step onto the scale to monitor my progress, lack of progress or even set backs. It keeps me honest and because I am sharing it with you, accountable.

Maintaining that routine makes me feel a bit more normal. In addition, at this point in my world because my weight loss plan involves monitoring my caloric intake and my exercising I sort of know how many calories I need to consume each day. With several week’s worth of groceries on hand, monitoring my weight each week actually helps me avoid some of my stress eating. Even if I only see my baby and no one else, I am still accountable to the scale each week. If I gain a bunch of weight, it probably means I am stress eating and need to stop.

If only so we don’t run out of groceries.

Being able to monitor the groceries also provides a level of comfort for me. Which is why I still have as healthy a meal plan as I can create at this point in time without constantly running out to the store for fresh veg and relying on a lot of frozen and dried produce from the freezer. Also much of that came from last year’s garden and needs to be cleared out as this year’s garden gets underway.

So the clearing out is actually a productive thing.

Adding workouts to my schedule despite not having access to the gym not only lets me build in breaks to my day, it also helps me relieve stress by focusing on just the way my body moves instead of following numerical progressions across the face of the globe. It not only keeps me active, which most doctors agree is a good thing, but I am doing exercises that force me to focus on my breathing.

During the exercise, whether I am following along with a Youtube yoga or five pound weight video or following along with the Planet Fitness Facebook page (my most common sources for videos) or walking around the neighborhood to stretch my legs in the sunshine between the rainstorms, there is my breath.

Steady in and steady out.

Not only does the action calm me, but as I don’t have any problems with the breathing in and out, I am also reassured that I am still healthy. I am reminded that I am fine.

No matter what news story I just finished watching.

While I respect my friend Jane and her decision not to even think about her weight or the scale for a while, for me, I believe there is ample reason to still bother monitoring my weight, even if it isn’t strictly to help with loss, and to maintain my workout routine, even if it isn’t completely for exercise.

I still focus on the outside world, but spending a little time focusing on myself actually helps me maintain a good balance so that I can deal with events without being overwhelmed. I know this isn’t technically speaking any sort of dieting tip, but I wanted to state why I am continuing with these posts the way they are. Hopefully you find the posts an enjoyable break from what’s going on in your life.

As for me, (and the lead photo for this post) my current pair of sneakers wore out and I just received their replacement. Actually my baby doll ordered the replacement based on a previous order. I was going to test out a different shoe this time around, but I forgot to tell him I was going to order them, so I have these.

I actually checked my chart and it was this time last year that I started monitoring my mileage on the shoes to see how many miles I got out of them before they were replaced. At that time I was alternating between the gym and the walking trail. At the moment, I am exclusively walking in the neighborhood and the walking trail. I think it just might be an interesting contrast to see how long this pair lasts compared to the others.

And yes that is another thing for me to keep track of, another item to add to my routine. I am by nature a list maker and I find this soothing. Hopefully you find it entertaining. So I will record this set of shoes for their mileage and compare it to last year. Then I’ll branch out to a different pair of shoes. maybe Reebok or Adidas next time instead of New Balance. We’ll see, for now the important thing is to just keep moving, one step at a time.