Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

still at it

February 17, 2011

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day! I’m about to go out and enjoy it, but first I wanted to say that even though I haven’t kept you up to date on my Fitness Together progress, that doesn’t mean I’ve given up! To the contrary, I’ve been plugging away at this fitness thing for 13 months! It’s hard to believe, but I’m still at it (applause please, lol)!

What’s harder to believe, and I’m not proud to say this, is that even though I’ve been at it for over a year, it’s really no easier than it was (ok, maybe it is, a little!) Sticking with something that just doesn’t come naturally is just plain hard. I’ve never been an outdoorsy or athletic person. I think I could’ve been if I’d been brought up that way, but alas, I wasn’t.

We tend toward those things we are most comfortable with, whether or not they are good for us.

So, what I’m saying is, I’d like to tell you that if you stick with an exercise and eating plan, it’ll just become part of your life. Yes and no. If you stay intentional about it, it will. But if you drift back to your old ways, it won’t. Maybe after another year? I’ll let you know! I think the embarrassing truth may be that I’m always a batch of cookies or a bag of chocolate kisses away from blowing it. Hershey’s Kisses aren’t bad, but a whole bag of them is!

I love baking. My family likes it when I bake. I love being appreciated by my family for my baking/cooking. I love eating what I bake! Why would I give all that up!? Giving them up isn’t necessarily the answer – I’ve tried it and it just makes certain people (me) grumpy! A good compromise is doing less baking. I can still bake, just not as often. I can cook all I like, healthy dinners are a good substitute. Exercising to compensate for my goody-love is a wise plan also. I knew a police officer who told me once that the reason he worked out was so that he could eat what he wanted!

It’s sobering to own up to a reality in my life that I’m not proud of. Fitness will always have to be a deliberate choice for me. If I don’t stay focused and intentional, I’ll drift back to finding excuses for not getting to the gym or outside walking or running. I’ll drift back to being out of shape, out of energy, heavy, self-conscious and miserable. Wow, this is a good reminder of how I used to feel. Is it really worth feeling awful to laze back to my old bad habits? Hmmm, this puts everything in perspective. I’d rather have a little discipline daily than live a life of daily regret.

Recently my husband and I were on a week-long vacation where it was warm and sunny. Perfect weather for walking and running! Did I run or walk daily?  No. Did I go to the beautiful fitness room even once? No! The reason is this: for me, working out is still work! When I’m on vacation, I want to forget all work! I want to take a vacation from my problems, like my friend in my favorite movie, “What About Bob?”

The happy vacationing couple!

So, I gave myself permission to not work out. I walked up 275 stairs every morning and down that same number after being at the pool for a while. Sometimes I walked up those stairs two or three times a day. Les and I went for a beach walk one time because it was beautiful, not because I wanted exercise. I did nothing I didn’t want to do. (Isn’t that what makes a vacation so enjoyable anyway?) But I’m bummed that I didn’t want to.

Subconsciously it must have been bothering me. When I got home, I started having disturbing dreams – in them I was gaining weight, growing  bigger and bigger and stressing and stressing, my clothes wouldn’t fit – things like that. (I know I’m in trouble when I go to bed at night with the last thought on my mind being, “If I don’t make some changes tomorrow, I’m going to be in trouble. . . .”  Makes for a fitful night and a stressed out life!)

So, while I vacationed, I had a perfectly lovely time, but now I am home and am “back to work.”

I have to admit, it feels good to work out! Afterwards I’m always glad I went and put out the work. It just doesn’t come easily. I never get up in the morning with my first thought being, “Today, I can’t wait to workout. I think I’ll go right now!”

I guess what I’m trying to say is this, I would’ve thought that after a year of patterning my behavior and eating habits, it’d become natural. Although disappointing, at least I know where I stand and will just have to keep doing what I’m doing because it works, and because I feel terrific!

By the way, I ran more yesterday than I have in 6 years! I felt invigorated and happy! (I also could barely walk last night, but that’s beside the point!)

I’m still at it!

cul-de-sac of self

February 7, 2010

I’m back from vacation! It was great! Actually, it was incredible and fantastic and amazing!

Sorry for leaving you in the lurch, perhaps wondering if I’d given up blogging after so short a run! I decided at the last-minute to spend my time with my man instead of pondering my topic all day then hiding away while putting it to post! It was a decision neither of us regretted!

We were down in the Baja peninsula where it was warm and sunny every day but one, during which time it rained a steady heavy rain all day, providing time to rest and read and recover from all the time spent in the sun! We walked steep hills, climbed hundreds of stairs and descended them all for exercise then laid by the pool to recuperate! A perfect combination! It’s always so good to get away from home and all the demands and just rest and pamper ourselves! But, amazingly, it’s always nice to return home even though no one is changing my sheets and towels daily or preparing my food and cleaning up afterward! I’ll miss that – oh, wait, I already do!

I was thinking, as I often do during the first few days of any vacation, wouldn’t it be great to live like this? And then I think, no, it’d get old. I can’t imagine that, but I’m sure it would! Then what would I do to get away from it all?!

Actually, I’ve read that America has one of the highest rates of depression if not the highest of any nation. That shocks me, as we also have more than just about any nation. We have access to medical care, grocery stores, clean water, not to mention all the other amenities and pleasures that we regularly enjoy.

Something else that I think is related will probably seem to you as if it isn’t, but I believe there is a connection. Volunteerism is not what it used to be in America. I don’t have the numbers to prove it, but I’ve talked with people in different venues who depend on volunteers, and there just are never enough. It seems everyone is working. Everyone is busy. No one has time to volunteer, or at least very few do.

The connection is this: When I am wrapped up in myself, I make a very small package indeed. My world is minuscule. (One definition of the word minuscule is something that is so small as to be negligible or insufficient.) I’m not meant to be wrapped up in myself. It’s lonely and depressing. It could smother me. Being all wrapped up in myself prevents me from seeing life from a larger perspective. It keeps me from seeing others who have less than I do, who have needs and sorrows and troubles. When I’m living for myself, I spend all my time and energy and resources on myself, trying to make it, or trying to get ahead. That can be a very lonely and unsatisfying world in which to live. It’s not really living, it’s just existing.

We used to have friends that lived at the end of a cul-de-sac when their kids and my own were small. The kids and I would usually go to their house to play since there was very little traffic and the kids could ride big wheels and scooters and run and play with little interference. That’s about the only positive type of cul-de-sac though.

I looked up the word today (surprise!) and this is what I learned. A cul-de-sac is a street, lane or road that is closed at one end. It’s also any situation in which further progress is impossible. It’s also the hemming in of a military force on all sides except behind. The origin is French (no surprise) that means “bottom of the sack.”

Living for one’s self is like living in a cul-de-sac. It’s a dead-end. Making progress is impossible.  But giving one’s time and energy and resources to others; sharing what we have with people is energizing, invigorating and life-giving! It brings hope to others, and in turn increases our own! Our discouragements dissipate and our depression begins to dissolve. There is nothing so satisfying as sharing!

Jesus knew this principle. In Luke 17:33 he said, “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will keep it.”  It’s a paradox, but it’s a principle that brings peace.

Volunteering, whether at a school, a church, a hospital or some other place can be just what we need to drag us out of the cul-de-sac of self.