Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Death By Helmet

I can just see the look on the medical examiner's face as he writes on his certificate, "Death by Helmet". Surely he would wonder, what would cause this woman to strap on her helmet so tightly that it would take the breath out of her? Couldn't she tell it was too tight? Wasn't she uncomfortable? Who would tell him that she missed running so much that she was desperate to get any kind of cardio work-out she could and since riding her bike did not hurt her foot/ankle, she was DESPERATE to ride no matter what! How would the investigators be able to figure out and tell her loving family, Reuben, Erin and Reub that apparently the rollers in her hair that she had to use because of the new hairstyle she got over the weekend, were really too high for the helmet but she forced the helmet on any way, snapped it closed, and rode for 30 minutes in spite of the trouble that she must have had breathing. At least she went doing what she loved, he'll add to his report, and surely he'll think he's seen it all now. Hmmm...."Death By Helmet".

O.K. Now that we're finished laughing, let's all learn from this. Let's not be so determined to eat right or exercise that we make unwise - O.K....down right stupid - choices. It really was hard to breathe this morning with that helmet snapped so tight on my neck, but I was too stubborn! I was too determined! I had to be that good example! I was going to get my 30 minute work-out no matter what! (O.K...I said you can stop laughing now.) I finally went to see a physician about my ankle/foot last week and he wants to have an MRI done to see what's wrong because the X-rays did not show anything conclusive. It's times like this when I realize that exercise is not enough. This lifestyle of being fit must include both exercise and eating healthy. I enjoy running, Yes, I really do, because of the wonderful feeling I get when I run, but also because running burns LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of calories! ....way-ay-ay more than riding my bike! So, without being able to burn as many calories as I usually do, then I really must eat right. And sometimes that's not so easy. So, we must be disciplined in both areas.

O.K. Really ...stop laughing.

It's a War!

As soon as I get home after work, the war is on! It seems like as soon as I walk in the house the 'eat the first thing in your sight' demons attack! It's got to be more than one because I am often so helpless with seemingly no defense! Somehow they know I didn't eat a healthy lunch. Somehow they know even though I'm hungry I really don't want to wait until I cook to eat something. Somehow they know that I was fasting until a certain time of the day and on quite a wonderful spiritual high but now things are different and I may be a little weak! Somehow they know snacking is my greatest weakness and if they get me quick they've got me for the rest of the evening. Somehow they know I've used so much discipline with my eating earlier in the day that by the time I get home I can't take it any more - I need a snack!!! IT'S A WAR I TELL YOU!! IT'S A WAR!

So, what do I do? Sometimes I just lose it. Sometimes I give into the temptations, snack on whatever I can get my hands on BEFORE dinner and my evening is ruined. And, of course I feel so guilty. It's awful. The next morning I start all over again with a new determination, (and begging the Lord for help in my prayers), to do better at eating healthy ALL DAY - not just until 6pm. Sometimes I eat dinner - if it's leftovers - AS SOON as I walk in the door before my hands can grab anything else! Sometimes I grab a piece of fruit - if I have to cook - to help me until dinner gets done. Sometimes I'll prepare some 94% fat free microwave popcorn just before I leave work and eat it in the car on my way home to keep me from wanting to snack when I arrive. Sometimes, as I drive home, I repeat my health affirmations that I've already said in the morning: 1- I am healthy and fit. 2- I do not want to snack tonight because I am not a snacker!!!; and, 3- I do want to eat a healthy dinner. I DO! I REALLY DO! HELP ME JESUS!!!

I believe we all have an area - or two - that we feel like we're in a war, with regard to our goal of being healthy and fit. To overcome them. let's first of all acknowledge them, then determine strategies to be victorious. And, let's remember, "A person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls" (Proverbs 25:28) And, "Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city." (Proverbs 16:32) OUCH!!!! THAT REALLY HURT!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Do Something Different!

Because of some physical challenges I’ve had in my left foot/ankle for the past few weeks, I’ve been unable to run four-five times a week the way I normally do. The first week, I tried walking instead of running for my cardio workout; still uncomfortable. The second week I tried the elliptical machine at the gym; still uncomfortable. So, yesterday I rode my bike instead – not a stationary bike at the gym, but a real bicycle. Yes, it has been a while since I rode. I haven’t ridden my bike much since I did the 25-mile Acura Bike Tour in 2006, but thank goodness, once you learn how to ride a bike you really do never forget. But, I miss running. I miss the track. I miss the gang at the track. Today, day two of riding my bike, as I was riding and feeling sorry for myself, before I knew it, I was reminded how much I love working out outside early in the morning; early before everyone begins their hustle and bustle; while the birds are still singing and the wind is still crisp and the sun is still on the horizon waiting for the perfect time to rise, as the moon gives out one last shout. Hmmm…my pity party soon turned to a praise party, as I seemed to fly along the not-so-busy-yet-but-just-you-wait-and-see streets in my neighborhood. As I rode, I began my daily regimen of reciting scriptures that I meditate on during my morning workouts. Hmmm…. I dare you to try an early morning workout outside. I know…. I know…that means you would have to get up earlier. I know….I know…. O.K. O.K., if not an early workout, because YOU ARE JUST NOT A MORNING PERSON, then at least try something different for your workout routine this week –whether it’s in the morning, noon, or night. Keep it interesting! Keep it fun! Keep it exciting! If we do the same old workout routine all of the time then we risk getting bored and then we may stop altogether. Try the gym instead of the tennis courts! Take a walk instead of swimming! Take a spinning class instead of an aerobics class! Jump rope instead of doing your exercise tape! Walk faster than you usually do! Walk further than you usually do! What a concept!! I can’t wait to hear what you are going to do different this week!