Sunday, January 14, 2018

Once Again

Here's to another round of committing to a better diet. I have good intentions, but I get rushed and lazy and that turns into poor nutrition, more salt than is good for me, and some extra pounds that have somehow settled in. Thanks to my heart attack history, I really need to be more careful and not let things get out of hand.

In a burst of enthusiasm, I read through a classic diet book, DASH Diet for Dummies (DASH = Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), cleared out some "bad" foods from the pantry, made a grocery run for healthier food choices, did some cooking, and am now ready for the week with a steely look in my eyes. I even made a food, exercise, stress relief, and sleep schedule to post on the refrigerator and track what I eat and do. I've never done that before, so perhaps I'm really serious this time.

It's not rocket science, of course: lots of fruits and vegetables, beans and dairy for protein, limited bread, and very limited snacks and sweets. Plus 30 minutes of activity a day minimum, reading and relaxation, and 7 or more hours of sleep per night. Same old, same old. The difference will be in tracking the amounts and facing up to the sneaky extras that have become habits, like that fancy flavored creamer in my coffee every morning and the occasional 2 a.m. deadline push.

Meanwhile, I've been going to the gym semi-regularly and working with a personal trainer. Having an appointment is very good for my accountability and the trainer is a delightful Canadian who keeps me well-motivated. Some very cool life-sized photos of Muhammad Ali don't hurt, either, with quotes like what he used to tell himself during training: "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." 

The training sessions are rather expensive, but worth it. I can definitely tell I'm getting stronger, and because I have some kayaking and hiking trips planned for later this year, I need to make sure I'm in shape.

After the first training session, I was so sore for several days that I could barely move. Now it's become something of a challenge whether I will be sore or not. For the past few weeks I've worked hard but haven't been sore. So this last time we really put the hammer down, almost exclusively on weights for my arms. It felt good to push myself.

Two days later, it hurt to raise my arms to brush my hair, and to take the milk carton out of the refrigerator, and to lift my purse to put the strap over my shoulder. I sent Max a text accusing him of turning me into a Tyrannosaurus rex: strong legs and puny, weak little arms!

Fortunately I think the soreness will resolve in another day or so--just in time for my next workout.

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