Friday, April 30, 2010

Falling off the plank

I was so excited about my success with the plank pose that I decided to practice it again when I got home last night. It wasn't so easy the second time. My arms shook and I didn't feel steady. I guess that's why they call it a yoga practice, huh? When I tried to lower into low plank I just fell out of the pose. If at first...
I did about 25 minutes on the treadmill this morning at .5 elevation and 3.0 mph. I now have a blister on my big toe. It's my first "injury". Fortunately I had some moleskin in my desk drawer and I applied it and now it feels ok which is great since I'm planning a long walk for tomorrow. I just now tried the plank again and I got into the position ok but my arms still shake and I can't hold it for very long. Something to work on for the next few years.

We're having tornado weather so no outdoor play today.

If I don't post again before Monday (I don't have access to a computer on the weekend) have a great weekend and keep on moving.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Magazine mania

I am a reader. Reading has always been one of the greatest joys of my life. Mysteries are my favorite relaxation reads but I'll read almost anything in a pinch. During the past year I've subscribed to and read many fitness and health journals. A couple of days ago I found the May issue of Health in my mailbox. It's pretty light reading but I enjoy it. (Remember I work in a medical library - our journals are heavy duty, need a dictionary to read stuff) This month there's a yoga sequence for beginners. It's just what I've been looking for. I have learned a lot of poses but they're just disjointed movements. I've longed for a routine I could learn and practice. For the next few weeks I'll be doing the one in this issue. I tried to find it online so I could include a link but it doesn't seem to be anywhere but in the magazine. Check it out if you're interested. I'll be sure to keep you up to date on my progress. I just did the first three moves. I'd never tried a plank before. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

My walk to work this morning was aided by 35-40 mph gusts of wind. Lots of pollen and dust in my face. I felt the need to shower again when I got here. I tried a new route home yesterday and I prefer the different streets. For one thing there was less traffic.
Lunch was interesting today. The cafeteria was serving baked white meat turkey with sweet potatoes. I also got a big plate of raw veggies from the salad bar. Lots of chewing and volume from the veggies.

More later...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keep on moving

I've been thinking a lot about functional fitness. I've begun to notice that I'm able to do some things much easier now than I could even a month ago. I don't get the same strain or pain in my right shoulder when I shelve or pull books from the top shelf (I'm a hospital librarian for those of you who don't know.). I can roll over in bed without having to get out of bed and then lay down on the opposite side. This is so nice to do. I can get up out of a chair without getting dizzy. I can walk to the south tower (the far far away other end of the hospital) without getting out of breath. I'm not lifting weights (yet) but I am doing yoga poses which require the use of the shoulders and upper back (down dog anyone?). I think even this minimal effort is helping me to gain strength and balance. The walking is helping me to develop overall strength which makes moving in general so much easier. It's also building up my cardiac endurance and giving me more power from my lungs. I simply breathe easier. I can now lay on my back to read without feeling like I am going to smother. That's do to the weight loss I'm sure. Simple things that most folks take for granted.

Enjoy moving your body today. I know I will.

I walked to work this morning. One of the nursing students saw me walking and offered me a ride. I didn't want to seem impolite but I told her no I was walking for a reason but thank-you. I've also walked to the 7th floor and done lower body stretches. Good day so far and I still get (not have) to walk home.

More later...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stressed out Tuesday

Whew - I hate snafus. I know, who doesn't. I got a second denial letter from my FSA provider for a claim I sent in properly. The first time they said I hadn't signed the form. I had a fax confirmation form showing that the form was properly signed. I called. A nice young man told me what I needed to do. I did it. Got a denial form yesterday because I hadn't sent the receipts along with the form which the young man told me I didn't have to do if I put the reference # of the signed form. Sigh. I think it's been straightened out.

Then last night I went to sleep ok. Woke up at 1 something in the AM and could not go back to sleep. I did all the things I know work to get myself back to sleep and none of them worked. I counted my breaths. I read. I remained awake. So this morning I didn't want to get up. I hit the snooze. I talked to myself about getting up. I hit the snooze alarm again. Finally I told myself that if I got up, got dressed, and walked to work I could have a container of chocolate skim milk. I walked to work in 38 minutes (counting all the lights I had to wait at) and got my chocolate milk. It tasted so good. I told myself that the rest of the day would feel better because I got in my exercise. So here's to less hassle and more relaxation.
BTW - I have the t-shirt with the cat on it. I get lots of comments when I wear it.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I had a great walk on Saturday. I live a few blocks from the local university and for some time now I've wanted to walk the perimeter of the campus. It's two miles not counting walking from my house to the campus. I did it in 59 minutes and a few seconds. The weather was cool and the sky was mostly blue. It's a pleasant neighborhood, the sidewalks are in excellent shape, and there were lots of folks out running, walking animals and riding bikes. I felt like part of the fitness community and look forward to other walks in the coming weeks.

This morning I did my 40 minutes on the treadmill at 2.9 mph. The woman on the one next to me was doing 4.6 mph at a 10.0 elevation. I'm impressed. Something to aspire to right... I also did my 7 flights of stairs and some stretches for my lower body.

More later...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ripple Effect

I'm getting to a point where when I run into people I haven't seen for awhile they want to know what I'm doing to lose weight, what skin products I'm using, and can they follow me around and do whatever it is that I'm doing. I am at a loss as to how to explain it. I'm not "on a diet" and I use soap, water, and a lotion with SPF. This journey started about a year ago and I changed one thing. I started putting frozen blueberries in my cereal. When that became a habit I started having two servings of vegetables for lunch. I kept adding healthy foods and the healthy foods just kinda pushed out the unhealthier ones. I didn't give up anything. After a few months I started doing some yoga every day, I then added walking around the block everyday. I kept adding blocks until I was walking for half an hour. Now - the only thing that has changed about my life is everything. It's the ripple effect in action. But everyone wants a quick solution and this journey hasn't been quick. I seek progress not perfection and I do these things one day at a time and it's working for me. I've got a long road to go but taking small steps makes the process nearly invisible.

Today was a 40 minute session on the treadmill at 2.8 mph. It felt good. Did I periodically want to stop - yes. Did I stop - no. I kept telling myself how the rest of my day would go knowing I'd gone the entire 40 minutes. I also thought about how disappointed I would be if I didn't.

Then for lunch my boss is out of town today so my co-worker and I decided on Mexican. I had a bean tostado, a ripe banana, and a big container of ice water. It tasted good. It wasn't diet food and it satisfied me for now.

Sorry about the rant...

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I woke up to rain and thunder this morning. I also woke up too late to do the treadmill before work so today I'm doing the stairs. Our hospital has 8 floors if you count the basement. I'm starting in the basement and going as high as I can. It should be interesting. My goal these days is to keep moving as much as I can in the time I have and with the venues around me. I guess that's kind of what's meant by cross-training - a little bit of everything.
******** EDIT ********
On my way to the cafeteria I stopped at the stairs. I was determined to make it to the 5th floor but I made it all the way to the 7th - the TOP floor. WOW !!! I was a little out of breath, not painfully just a little and my forehead broke out into a sweat. One more activity under my belt. If I start putting them all together I'll have a nice workout.

Last night I baked an organic sweet potato. It was the best sweet potato I've ever eaten. I put a little cinnamon sugar on it. It filled me right up.

Happy earth day folks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Treadmill morning

This morning was a wonderful 40 min walk on the treadmill. I'm up to 2.7 mph which may not sound like much but a couple of months ago I could barely do 2.0 mph. I'm working on endurance more than speed right now anyway. It felt good. I worked up a healthy sweat. It is definitely neat to have a gym so close to my cubicle. It's a benefit of working for the hospital.

Last night I fixed some brown basmati rice with french cut green beans, brussels sprouts, onions and a can of tuna. Very satisfying. I think I'll add some canned tomatoes next time. I've ordered some garlic sprinkles from Kath's (KERF) Open Sky store. I love adding garlic to everything and she seems to like this brand a lot.

Glad it's hump day...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring fever

I don't usually get spring fever but this year I have a serious desire to hang out outside. This has been such a nice spring. The weather is beautiful (except for the storms) and with walking back and forth to work I'm getting to spend some serious time in the great outdoors. Saturday I thought about walking one of the trails near my house but I couldn't figure out where it came out near me so instead of driving to where I knew it was I just walked in my neighborhood. Everyone was outside working in their yards putting in flowers. Anyway on the news that night I heard that a woman had been knifed on another trail in the north part of town. Maybe I don't want to walk the trails after all. Topeka doesn't have much crime. I guess it was an example of being in the wrong place... I think I'll stick to more populated areas or find a buddy to walk with.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Treadmill trials

It was stormy this morning and I do not like walking while carrying an umbrella so I left at the same time I would have if I were walking to work. Parked my car, left my stuff at my desk, and walked down the hall to the fitness center. I love that it's so close - no excuses. I used the treadmill. It was one of those mornings when I simply sailed along. I could have walked a lot longer but my director would not have been happy if I told her I was late because I couldn't bear to hop off the treadmill.

Last night I tried sweet potato fries for the first time. Yum. I couldn't stand to eat them with ketchup though so I sprinkled them with a little cinnamon/sugar. It's a good thing I didn't fix the whole bag because I would have eaten the whole thing.

Looking forward to the weekend.

More later...

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I drove to work the first couple of days this week. Today I walked. I'm at a point where my mood definitely shifts for the worse when I miss a couple of days of walking. I find my mood sours and almost a sense of depression creeping over me. I read in the current issue of Health magazine about a woman who refers to running as her Prozac. I understand that. Walking is cheaper than Prozac for sure.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Produce Binge

I didn't eat many fruits and vegetables over the weekend but I've made up for it in the past two days. Yesterday I had blueberries with my breakfast of yogurt and GF granola. For lunch I had a handful each of raw broccoli, cauliflower, grape tomatoes and cucumber slices. I also ate a cup of fresh summer type fruit. Then for dinner I had steamed brussels sprouts, broccoli, corn and a huge Johnagold apple. So far today I've had blueberries, broccoli, french cut green beans, and stewed tomatoes. I also ate a flavorless apple. The cafeteria is not a good place to buy fresh fruit. Don't assume that what I have listed is all I ate - it's just the fruits and vegetables.

More later...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crescent City Classic

My first (2nd, 3rd, etc.) 10K was the Classic in New Orleans. Back then the route started in the French Quarter went up Prytania Avenue through the Garden District and ended up in Audubon Park near the river. High school bands were stationed along the route to cheer you on with rousing music. I remember walking under the finish banner for the first time. I threw my hands into the air and I was so supercharged with excitement. Those of you who have done races know what I mean. It was a fun run/walk and I enjoyed walking it for many years. The route has now changed but it still starts in the quarter and ends up in a beautiful park. Anybody wants a good excuse to go to New Orleans - do the Classic. This year it was on April 3 and I'm in Topeka but I thought about the racers and some year I'd like to go back and do it again.

More later...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My favorite quote

On the wall of my cubicle hangs a postcard with the words:

You'll learn more about a road by traveling it than by consulting all the maps in the world.

I feel like I'm finally getting "there". I'm not reading about exercise. I'm not thinking about exercise. I'm not telling myself I'll exercise tomorrow. I'm actually doing it. I get up (albeit reluctantly). I shower, get dressed, and walk to work. During the afternoons I plan what I'm going to need to fuel my walk home. I'm doing it one step, one day at a time.

More later...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Baked Potato Bar

Today was the cafeteria's baked potato bar. I had the potato with steamed broccoli (over steamed but steamed nonetheless), caramelized onions, about a half cup of chili, diced fresh tomatoes and a little sprinkle of cheddar cheese. I am stuffed. I brought a GF brownie yesterday but I didn't eat it so I'm having it later as a snack.

Looking forward to a bike ride and a yoga DVD after work. I've got a new yoga DVD from Yoga Journal that I've been wanting to try and today seems like a good day.

More later...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Waking up to hail

About 6:20AM I woke up to the sound of a big black furball yowling outside my window. He sounded insistent so I let him in. He hid under my bed and continued yowling for another few minutes. Finally silence then hail, lots of hail hitting my window and rain and wind. Now I know why my Smokey cat was so upset. He hates storms. Welcome to Kansas in the spring.

Anyway, by the time I had showered and gotten dressed the rain had stopped so I walked to work. It was an easy walk this morning. I even went by the library to drop off some materials which were due today. Errands - on foot.

I also had a doctor's appointment this morning and it was a very satisfying one. I'm now one half pound from losing 60. Yeah me!!!!!

More later....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Walking the walk, Part 2

My walk home wasn't as easy as my walk to work. I was walking directly into 30+ mph winds which were stirring up tons of dust. The dust got in my eyes which are dry anyway. That was no fun. I felt like I was walking much slower even though it only took a couple of minutes longer to go the same distance. I think I'm going to like walking. I know it will be good for me. Today was spring stormy - rain, thunder, wind... so I drove but I'm going to buy some paraphernalia to make it easier to walk in the rain. Like shoes without holes and maybe a poncho or a raincoat (do they still make raincoats?) This is a long-time adventure not a quick fix. Wish me luck.

More later...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Walking the walk

Today I walked to work. It took me about 35 minutes. The weather was mild but windy. It was a good walk. My feet didn't hurt. My back didn't hurt and I was somewhat exhilarated when I finally got to my cubicle. I drank some water and ate some Bakery on Main GF nutty cranberry maple granola with organic vanilla yogurt. Satisfied. I did it. Last night I could hardly sleep for worrying that I wouldn't be able to do it. Now here I am at my desk writing this. Of course, I still have to make it home this afternoon but I'm not concerned about it any more. Tomorrow is supposed to be stormy so I may end up walking with an umbrella. Fun - not. But I'll do it. I guess a little water never hurt anyone. I'll just carry an extra pair of socks so that I can change into dry ones (there's a hole on the big toe side of my shoe).