When you love to eat, you've got to move.

Archive for April, 2009

Want to run a 5K?

Posted by pjcloud9 on April 14, 2009

This past week, I had a friend ask me if I had any advice or a plan for running a 5K in the next 6 weeks or so. I could probably put together a program based on my experience, but instead, I went out and did some research online. I learned pretty quickly that any 5k training program I authored would likely be a bit aggressive, primarily driven because of my love for eating. Sweets.

According to the training plans I found out there, this is pretty doable quite quickly. The best ones I found:

Take a look, give one a try, and let me know how it goes.
As far as advice goes, here is what I can offer:
  • Be sure to rest. Resting allows your body to heal and helps prevent injury.
  • Listen to your body. If you are sucking wind during a workout one day and it feels impossible, listen to your body and ease up. Tomorrow is another day.
  • Don’t get discouraged. Focus on the positive stuff you are accomplishing. The tough stuff? It is just there to remind us that we are human.
  • Reward yourself. Set up milestones for yourself and pick some rewards along the way. And it doesn’t just have to be cake (which is my reward of choice), but you could allow yourself some time to watch some TiVo that’s been sitting there or take a night off of work e-mail. Be creative.
Please let me know about your experience, how it’s going, where you need more help, etc.
Write me:

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Let’s Hear It for the Boy

Posted by pjcloud9 on April 10, 2009

I love to swim.

I started swimming way back when I was a toddler. I can’t remember a single summer growing up where I did not go to the pool several times per week. At first with mom, then babysitter, then via a bike with friends, then driving there on my own to meet up with people.
The early days were those of SPF 4 Coppertone, so little-white-me was a freckled lobster much of the time. Once biking and driving, I progressed to determined-to-get-some-shade-of-a-tan oils and Sun-In to created my crunchy, straw-like hair.
I started to swim with a styrofoam float. It was a giant chunk of styrofoam with a little red, white, and blue ribbon belt on it. I progressed quickly to other floatation devices until none were needed.
I took lessons. My parents thought it very important that all of us were trained to a minimum level of proficiency in swimming and piano, so we all partook. In swimming, there was Polliwogs, then Minnows, can’t remember what came next. I can do a mean survival float, though!
Once per summer we would go to “the beach” and meet up with cousins and friends for swimming and a picnic. I do use the term “beach” loosely as we lived in Nebraska at the time. Nonetheless, it was always a big day that we looked forward to. Building sand castles, swimming in the “seaweed” and dragging our sand-covered bare feet into the sun-baked car for the seemingly long ride home sitting on damp beach towels with the car windows cracked until the air kicked in.
It was all fine, I liked to swim. It was recreational, social, fun. And swimsuits were cute. I never imagined I would do anything athletically with it. I was not even familiar with competitive swimming until the 1984 Summer Olympics were on television from Los Angeles. Even then, I just knew of it, never saw myself swimming a lap in my life.
Then, I went boy crazy. Yes, I can honestly say I ended up swimming laps, swimming competitively, because of a boy. Why do we do that? Hormones.
So I did it. I started swim team because of a boy and I liked it.
I have this thing about me that if I am convinced something is a good idea than I pursue it swiftly and relentlessly. This was the case. I joined my high school swim team freshman year. I was a utility player: Not the worst, not the best. But solid, dependable. I would swim the stuff no one else wanted to like the 500 Freestyle and the 100 Butterfly. I was decent, not great. I was also a lifeguard and taught swimming lessons, the social circle of swimmers. The pool was still where to find me all of the summer into fall.
I look back now and I know I could have been a better swimmer in high school had I not been so boy crazy. I was often so distracted by my social life that my commitment suffered. I was always present at practices and meets, just not always 100% there. But, I also know I never would have swam a lap if I wasn’t boy crazy. And for that, today I am thankful.
Back in 2006 I got back in the pool after over fifteen years. Now I swim a couple of times per week year-round. I still love it. Being that it is now the age of SPF 50, instead of a freckled lobster I resemble more closely a blazing white Greek column at the pool. But I don’t care so much about that any more. Swimming is challenging in a way that makes my muscles work hard and it forces my brain to work right along with them. It is a total body workout that is exhilarating and exhausting. I know I work harder now than I did back in high school. And because I am around 20 years older, the payoff for the hard work is not physically as great. But intellectually, it is far more rewarding because of how in tune with my body I have become.
The other thing I love about me choosing to get back into the pool are the facts surrounding it. Even though I had not done it for a long time, it was something I had knowledge of. I had been there before, I knew what it took to swim for fitness. So I was patient with myself, tapped into that knowledge, and went back to that place. If you have done something before, if you have the experience, you can do this as well. It does not matter how many years have past, the data is still in your brain somewhere. Tap into it.
I can see very clearly that I will be the 84 year old lady who the young fitness center staff greets as I make my way to the pool to get a few laps in. I will show up very early in the morning. People will know my name. They may be intrigued with my dedication, but I will not say too much. As I tuck my white hair into my white floral swim cap – matching perfectly my alabaster skin, I will just think to myself that it was all because of a boy way back in the day. And I’ll just smile.

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Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness

Posted by pjcloud9 on April 6, 2009

One issue that people have when facing the daunting task of losing weight and getting in shape is thinking that there is a quick fix, a miracle of some kind that they can pursue, rather than putting in the hard work. I am here to tell you – SORRY – that is simply not the case!

This news can be a tough pill to swallow when we are surrounded by media talking of bailouts and stimulus packages. Bottom line is that in order to effect you personal well-being, you have to sign up to do the hard work yourself. The good news is, it can be done. IT IS POSSIBLE!
For those of you who have not met me, have no idea what I really look like (better photo on the blog coming soon!), you are probably thinking who is this chick? She is probably some size 4 wearing, 5′ 10″, high-metabolism, runner who eats whatever she wants. Easy for her to say.
I have to let you know, that is not the case.
I am, in fact, a 5′ 8″, over 150 lbs. (OK, over 160 lbs.!), meaty, “athletic build” (HA!), tree trunk-thickness leg-toting, size 10-12 (depends) women who has to constantly weigh the questions: What did I do today to burn calories? What can I eat?
April is the month that I celebrate my weight loss success. I lost 100 lbs. in one year, meeting that goal in April 2006. I started out by simply power walking at least 3 days per week in 1 hour doses and watching what I ate. I limited myself to one Diet Coke and one 100 calorie sweet treat per day. I simply did what I could to address my heftiness & lack of fitness by coming up with my own “plan” after reading a ton of magazine and seeing a ton of weight loss ads and talk show topics on TV while I was on maternity leave with my daughter spring of 2005.
You know what you need to do, don’t you? You at least have a slight idea of how to start. So why not? Why not make today that day and start? It will not be easy. There will be bumps in the road. But would you rather face a few of those bumps them the ones facing you in the mirror today?
I dedicate this point of view to this amazing country we live in, the greatest country in the world – The United States of America. We are free. Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness are ours for the taking! Start to find your happiness today in how you feel and how you look. You will be amazed at what you can do if you put your mind to it. And please come back here, because I am dedicated to supporting you!

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Contents may have shifted during flight

Posted by pjcloud9 on April 4, 2009

I never believed it when people told me. Typically in conversation it came up in the form of age decades. Just wait until the 30s, 40s, 50s, etc. Specifically the comments were around the female body and the inevitable changes. When I was in my 20s, the caution often presented itself something like this, “Oh honey, you are in your 20s. Just wait. (Insert evil laugh here.)”

It is happening. And I am fully aware it is just the beginning.
For some women it is their flapping-in-the-wind upper arms, or “angel wings”. For others, it is the tummy area, it pooches and protrudes. Many women complain about their chests, too small, too large, too much sagging. And the thighs, don’t get me started on my life long ailments there. In most cases, the thought that crosses the victim’s mind is, “I am not quite sure how this got there because just a few months ago it was right there and that was where it was supposed to be and now it won’t go back. How did this happen?” Honestly, it is perplexing.
For me, I certainly have my moments in all of the aforementioned areas. But the current issue is just that – the butt. In most cases, unless you are in your teens or younger, there is a fine line between defining a person’s upper thigh and where the butt actually begins. In my case, the fine line just keeps getting fuzzier and fuzzier. I can do every cardio-crazy, resistance-weights, leg-lift, bun-tightening freaking activity that I can think of and nothing seems to define that line. That is why I now affectionately call this area of my body my thass.
The only answer I have to this issue at hand, the thass that is, is this: DENIM. Denim is kind to the thass. Denim tightens, lifts and smoothes. I am currently wearing jeans as much as possible in order to benefit from denim’s special effects genius.
So I guess I just have to face it. This airplane is in flight and not getting any younger. Can somebody get me some duct tape? Oh, and while you are at it can you please make some bike shorts that don’t make my thighs pucker and that smooth my thass?

Posted in body | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »