Fat Fridays: Tis’ the Season

Good morning everyone. Hope you all are well today. 

I am busily cleaning my house, listening to Pentatonix’s Oh Come All Ye Faithful. (Ok, I had to stop writing there for a second so I could sing along. Ok. Focus on writing.) 

I was up all night thinking about all the things I need to do in the next couple days. My son has a Christmas program at school tonight, and we have family coming to watch. We’re having our annual Christmas Open House on Sunday which involves a lot of cleaning, cooking, and planning. And on top of all that, this week I pulled a muscle in my back and spent a whole day just sitting in a chair. Yesterday I was able to move around, but slowly and carefully. Today I am stiff, but able to move.  But, that put me two days behind on all the Christmas preparation I was planning on doing. And then last night the PTO from the elementary school said we are selling popcorn tomorrow, can you come help? And I said yes, while my eye started twitching. 

I am pretty sure that I pulled a muscle this week because I have been walking around in a physical state of stress. I love Christmas time. I love doing things for other people, making things special for my kids, all the extra Christmas activities. But, it can be stressful. I like my life slow paced. And the whole month of December is not slow paced. At all. And there are a lot of social interactions. And I am an introvert who has discovered over time that I thrive on a lot of alone-quiet time. And I haven’t been getting a lot of that. Last night I went to my son’s basketball game with one of my daughters. We watched both the boys and girls games. Another mom from the team was sitting next to me so we engaged in polite social chitchat. It was noisy. I spent a lot of time talking to my daughter. When we got home I gathered the family together so we could do our nightly Advent devotions that we do in the month of December. We finished Advent and then I gave my husband “The Look”. The look that says, I am done. I need to disappear. PLEASE TAKE OVER!! And my husband, who stayed home with all the other kids, fed them supper, helped them with homework, goes, “What??” All you’ve done is go to a basketball game! But, going to a basketball game takes a lot of energy! 

So, we tag teamed and made it through bedtime, crashed into bed, and then I dreamed about cleaning my house, preparing for parties, and kept waking up wondering if it was time to start the next busy day. 

So, for this blog, the question is, how do you maintain diet, exercise, and self-care during the holidays? 

I think the best I can come up with is Be Realistic. 

The next three days I am not going to have much time, but I plan to get up early tomorrow morning so I can squeeze in a workout. I don’t think I will get to one today though, too many things to do. But, I know that next week I will have more time, so I just have to accept that sometimes you can’t do everything. And as far as self-care, I think I just have to keep reminding myself that none of this is life and death. If I don’t get everything done, it’s ok. All of these things I’m doing are because I want everything a certain way. And if it ends up not being the exact way I want, Who cares? No one else does. Just me. So, I have to keep reminding myself that the level of importance I’m putting on all these plans is very flexible. And diet? Well, there is always January. Though I am going to try and come up with some quick, healthy meals we can just heat up for the next couple days without needing a lot of prep. 

So, I’m off to do more cleaning and then go sell popcorn and then cook and clean some more. And maybe try to remember that this is fun and I love the holidays. 

Fat Fridays: A1c and Mountain Biking

Happy Friday everyone! Hope all is well with you. I had some good news this week. I went to the doctor for a regular check up and got my A1c checked (a blood test that gives you an accurate snapshot of how your blood sugar control is doing). So, my numbers came down this year from 6.0 to 5.6. Yay! It’s low enough that the doctor wants me to go off my Metphormin and see if I can maintain these numbers without medication. 

Weirdly enough, the thought of going off my medication is a little scary. I think the medication has always felt a bit like a safety net. Ok, I’m not eating exactly the way I’m supposed to, but this medicine will help with that. Not the healthiest thinking patterns. So here I am, taking the plunge and having to take full responsibility for keeping these numbers down. No medicine to help. It has certainly reinvigorated me to get back on my diet more strictly. 

I’ll be getting another A1c check in about three months, so that will be enough time to tell if I can continue to be responsible with how I’m eating, and keep up the exercise. It would be great to get that number even lower. 

In other news, my husband got me to go mountain biking with him last night. He is an avid mountain biker and I have never been in good enough shape to go with him. At least that has always been my excuse. Now I’m in good enough shape to go, but the real truth is that mountain biking terrifies me. The trail we went on was so narrow! And then there’s this cliff-edge drop off. And I fell several times because I couldn’t figure out how to downshift, pedal and do a switchback turn all at the same time. Fortunately, all my falls were in slow-motion cause they always happened when I was climbing. But still, I feel way too old to be falling off a bike. 

I know that Mountain Biking is something my husband hopes to share with me (evidence, he bought me a really nice mountain bike). So, I’m going to commit to his suggestion that I just ride the same trail over and over again until I get comfortable with it. But, I better get comfortable fast cause I am NOT an adrenaline junky! And that ride, for me, was pure adrenaline.

But, it was a good workout. Heart rate was definitely up. My fitbit informed me that I burned 575 calories in an hour. And I did have some satisfaction in knowing that I tried something that scares me. 

Today, I’m tired and sore. I had already run two miles yesterday before I went biking. So now I’m just going to get my workout cleaning my house. Have a great week everyone! 

Fat Fridays: The Inconvenience of Getting Hot and Sweaty

Ok, all you exercise people. How do you work around the Hot and Sweaty part of exercise during a regular work day? I am finding the whole Hot and Sweaty question a bit of a stumbling block for exercise. 

First of all, it’s August. That is our State’s hottest, muggiest month of the year. It’s just kind of miserable. That means that any time you exert yourself, even for a walk down the block, you are going to get hot and sweaty. No avoiding it. 

Then, you have days like today where I get up and can’t figure out what to put on. I have to take a child to a doctor appointment in the middle of the day. Before I go to the doctor I have to drive children to school (and yesterday I made the mistake of thinking, no one will see me, I’ll just wear this ratty camisole shirt when I go to drop off the kids, and then my preschooler flipped out and I ended up having to walk him in instead of dropping him off, so yeah, I have to dress for drop off), I have to do laundry and mop some floors, but then, in the middle of that I have to go to the doctor’s appointment. And then this morning, I was just tired of wearing shorts and tshirts and so I put on a summer dress and sandals. Not exercise clothes. But very nice for going to appointments and school drop offs. And then I think, maybe I just won’t exercise today because I don’t feel like getting hot and sweaty. And I feel all fresh and pretty in my dress. And who wants to ruin that? 

This is a real hurdle! 

And my trainer is going to text me today when she notices that I haven’t completed my workout and she’ll say something like, So, how’s it looking for getting your workout in today? And I’ll have to say, sorry I couldn’t do it. I put on a dress this morning and I don’t want to get hot and sweaty. 

Arrgh. 

What’s going to end up happening is I’m going to have to finish taking all my kids to their various schools and then I will have to come home, change my clothes, exercise, take a shower, and then put the same clothes I started off with, back on. Not convenient. But I don’t know how else to do it. 

Exercise is not convenient. This is my take away. 

But, it’s worth it. 

Fat Fridays Begin with the End in Mind

It’s been a rough week. We have been dealing with gun violence in our community that took the lives of two highschoolers this week, days apart, both times they seem to have been caught in a fight that had nothing to do with them. On top of that we have had inclement weather that has kept my elementary kids home this week doing virtual school. Today I have simply been feeling weary. 

I weighed myself this morning, hoping to cheer myself up with my progress, but I had only lost one pound in six days, which is frustrating when I look at how much I exercised and how good I ate, despite the fact that we had a Valentines’ weekend. 

So, now I am trying to have a good attitude. I have lost ten pounds in five weeks. That’s good. I have been exercising around fifty minutes a day, six days a week. Also good. I can feel myself getting stronger. I have been eating for hunger instead of boredom or as a coping mechanism. That is awesome. 

My kids’ elementary school was a “Leader in Me” school for a while (not sure if they still are?). They incorporated Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits for Highly Effective People” and they went over these habits every day. It was impossible to not hear about these seven habits on a regular basis every time you visited the school. I don’t know if it made an impact on the kids or not, but there is one habit that has been on my mind this week, “Begin with the End in Mind”. 

I am tempted to get frustrated at the slow weight loss when I look at how much work I’m putting into the process. But, I need to step back and look at my end goal. My end goal is to have more energy, to not have an unhealthy addiction to food, to be in shape so I can do more activities, and to get my prediabetes under control. 

If I step back and look at these end goals, then I am doing very well. I’ve been taking my blood sugars more often and the numbers are already looking a lot better. I’ve been able to push through a very stressful week without binge eating anything, and have kept my intake at the level that it needs to stay for the rest of my life. I’ve been pushing my body to do a lot more than I thought it could do, and I can feel myself getting stronger and more capable. I’m jogging up the stairs at our house without giving it a lot of thought and I’m enjoying the rush of getting a really good workout. In other words, no matter what the scale says, I’m living the lifestyle I need to.  

I imagine I will have to remind myself of this often.