Random thoughts on fitness

I’m a little scared to step on the scale. I’ve gained back a few pounds over the holidays and I’m not sure I really want to know if I’ve been successful in working them off. But what I am sure of is that my doctor is proud of me. He said this to me, along with a pat on the back, at my appointment the week after Christmas. My cholesterol levels had come down to within nearly normal range and my blood pressure was significantly lower. He listened to my heart, told me to keep up the good work, and then I was back in my car headed home. And that’s what it’s all about really. Seeing lower numbers on the scale is awesome, but checking my heart rate with my watch while I’m sitting on the couch and seeing my resting heart rate in the upper 60s/lower 70s range is what makes me feel good. Before I started back on this fitness journey, my resting heart rate was often around the high 90s. I’m eagerly awaiting the results of my blood work from another doctor to see what my A1C and other numbers are like now. I’ve always told myself that I am not so concerned about losing weight so I will look good in skinnier clothes, to quote Queen Latifah from an old Weight Watchers/Nutri System/Jenny Craig commercial, I want to be a “size healthy” and that’s exactly where I’m headed.

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I started this diet and exercise routine on Saturday, November 4th (thank you Apple Watch activity app). The day before that was the last day I drank a soda. I’m terrified of even taking a sip of one now because of what a friend of mine said about the first time she drank one after going without for two years. She had told herself she was only going to drink one, but wasn’t successful in going back to not drinking it. It’s funny now, because since I quit smoking about 13 years ago, I started to have occasional dreams at night where I am smoking a cigarette and am so mad at myself because in my dream I acknowledge that I’m smoking after having successfully quit. Then I wake up and am relieved and renewed in my desire to never smoke again. Since November, I haven’t had a dream about smoking, but I have had dreams where I am drinking a soda. The relief in waking up and realizing it was just a dream is the same as the smoking dreams.

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My husband got me a new pair of running shoes for Christmas. I really needed them too. The hot pink ones he got me two years ago have served their purpose and it was time to retire them from active duty. So with a new pair, and a gradually increasing collection of athletic clothing, I started running again. I had gone back and forth in my mind about where to run because my neighborhood has had some dangerous incidents happen with shady people. That, and I always feel a little self-conscious walking up the side of a very busy road to get to the neighborhood I like to run in. I walk facing traffic and I don’t like that all the oncoming cars can look right at me as they drive by. Despite this, I restarted the Couch to 5K app on my phone and have completed week 1. Sort of. I ran this past Tuesday and with a little over one minute left before the workout was complete, my phone battery succumbed to the frigid air and died. When I got back home and plugged it in, it did not register that I had completed a workout in the app. Oh well. I’m happy to do Week 1 Day 3 again, given that I have spaced out the workouts a little too far. Running outdoors is harder when the temperature is just at or slightly below the freezing mark.

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Inspiration can be found anywhere. At a Christmas party, I was talking to an older couple from my church who are marathon runners. They were big supporters in my last running endeavor. I told them that I had started running again, and we spent nearly the rest of the party talking about running. I started to tell them that I was going to pick up running again after the weather warmed up, somewhat expecting them to agree with me. But instead, Martha offered to give me a wrap to wear over my face so that I could run with a little bit more warmth. True to her word, she brought it to me at church the next Sunday.

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I’ve been a little leery about signing up for a 5K again. The first and last time I ran one, I didn’t go much farther after that. In fact it was very quickly after that race that I stopped exercising. I had achieved my goal and that was it for me. So how do I stop that from happening again? I wondered about that for a while, but then I remembered a friend of mine running a 5K every month for a year. That was her goal and she did it. So I decided that I would sign up for a 5K, probably for one that will be in March, and then I’ll sign up for one in April. If I have two that I’m scheduled for, I’ll be less likely to stop afterwards. That, and paying for a membership to the local running club is hopefully going to be what I need to keep me going. For now though, I’m on a roll, I have no intention of stopping anytime soon, and the bottom line is, I’m loving every minute of it.

 

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