Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tricks of the Trade

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It's Thursday! This week is flying by. Yesterday was busy at work and I felt that late-afternoon drag, "I'm tired, I don't want to go to the gym." I reminded myself of a few things.
  1. Being tired is NOT a valid excuse to skip the gym.
  2. If I skip the gym every time I feel tired, I'll miss half my workouts (if not more).
  3. I always feel better afterward, I'm always thankful I went. I will regret it later if I don't go.
  4. Exercising will give me MORE energy to manage the rest of the day.
  5. If I skip the gym this time, I'll be more likely to skip it next time. Going will keep momentum on my side and keep my confidence up.
But the truth remained I was tired so I bargained with myself, "Just go to the gym and run for 10 minutes on the treadmill and do weights." Better than nothing, right? Besides, after work I ate a scone I didn't really need and scones + couch ≠ momentum.

So I got to the gym and started on the treadmill. I was still coughing a little bit. The guy on the treadmill next to me wiped down the treadmill before he got on it as if it was contaminated with the plague. My coughing probably unnerved him. But it sounds worse than it is. I hope.

Anyway, I was nearing the 10 minute mark when I thought, "I feel pretty good, I think I'll go for 20 minutes." And there it is, the old Ten Minute Trick (I just made that name up) every time. If we can fool ourselves into making bad choices, "I can buy this gigantic bag of M&Ms and only eat one serving," why not fool ourselves into making good choices?

And at around 15 minutes I still felt good so I considered going for 25 minutes. I reminded myself that after the surgery on Monday I won't be able to run for a while so I better run while I can. But at minute 18 things unraveled and I stayed with the goal of 20 minutes. This is my workout, I make the choices. And 20 minutes is better than 10 minutes which is better than nothing.

After the run I did chest/triceps/core and felt really strong, already so grateful I wagered on myself and made it to the gym. For dinner I ended up eating a Kashi Lemongrass Coconut Chicken meal.

Kashi Lemongrass Coconut Chicken dinner

It was very flavorful. The only thing I didn't understand was the need for 1.5 teaspoons of sugar (a teaspoon of sugar has between 4-8 grams depending on the granulation). I can't see making this at home and putting in that much sugar. And in looking through the ingredients list, I'm not even sure where all the sugar is coming from.

Is it all in the evaporated cane juice? Or is there sugar in other stuff, like guar gum, xanthan gum or carrageenan? See, that's the problem with processed foods, even "healthy" ones such as this...too much mysterious non-food stuff. But, it seems there's a place in my life for this sort of thing and right now I'm not going to fight it. Besides, it was good. And at 300 calories it balanced out the scone. At least the scone was homemade, right?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

All I Can Do

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I didn't end up exercising on Saturday. The cough was too much. But I did manage to make myself a yummy omelet for lunch. Avocado, tomato, cheese and mixed spring greens. With an orange on the side. And cooked in butter. Yay for whole, unprocessed foods.

So a loungy day on Saturday. But Sunday I managed to get out for a hike at Henry W. Coe State Park. The weather at the start was nice, sun breaking through the clouds from time to time, and only a light breeze.

Those pics were taken from a short side-trek I did just to get the view. It's always nice to start a hike and within the first mile get a nice view.

The route I took
The above photos were taken on that Ponderosa Trail (on the left side of the map). The rest were taken along the way.

Frog Lake
There were backpackers camping near the lake but it didn't look like a great backpacking spot. First off, too easy to get to. Second, too many passerby for my taste. If I'm going to backpack I want to be more than a couple miles from most of humanity.

A bit more than halfway through the hike the sky darkened and it began to sprinkle. Fortunately, out of an abundance of caution (I just love that phrase), I'd brought my jacket along even though it didn't really look like rain at the start. Eventually it was outright raining. I had many layers on top but only capri pants on bottom and they got soaked, my legs were cold, but I managed just fine.

The weird thing about the hike was that it seemed to be 3/4 downhill. How can that be on a loop hike? For all the downhill we did there didn't seem to be enough uphill to even things out. Anyway, the rain and mist just made the place that much prettier.

I think I hiked around 6-7 miles but I didn't have my Garmin on so I'm not sure. I was hoping to squeeze in a movie too over the weekend but that didn't happen. Then back to the grind on Monday. And I was surprisingly sore from the hike. Guess their was more climbing than I realized.

I was on the fence about the gym. Between the lingering cough and my sore legs I wasn't sure. But in the end I decided my attitude needed a workout. I could feel the tension from no gym visit in four days. I started on the upright bike and managed my normal 25 minutes on level 8 just fine. After that I did back/biceps/core.

Then home for dinner. Today was a rest day from the gym. I picked the kids up early from daycare and brought home an extra one (Marek had a playdate). They kept me busy all evening. Then I did some work leftover from the day. Since I'm going to be off work for a while recovering I have to keep up with work so I leave nothing undone while I'm gone.

Oh, last thing...I weighed myself this morning, 143.4 pounds. I'm happy with that. My body fat was 29%. So overall I'm still a bit fluffier than would be my ideal but what do I know? I know my clothes fit, I'm fit, eating pretty ok (read: not great, not horribly), exercising regularly and just doing what I can do everyday to keep it going. That's all I can do.