Diet, exercise and stretching

I’ve been eating my nutrisystem meals (left over from my diet last year) for lunch at work.  I’ve discovered a new dieting tool.  Kitty seems to think that if she went on the nutrisystem diet she would have a tendency to snack in between meals and counteract the diet altogether.  However, I think there may be a psychological advantage to eating diet food that is really bad tasting.  I’m sitting here eating this cup of “hearty minestone soup” which is by FAR the worst item from nutrisystems (visually, texturally and taste-wise and this is after I dump about ¼ cup of hot wing sauce into it).  I figure if I’m going to eat such a nasty lunch, then I’m darn well gonna stay in calorie deficit today because I wouldn’t want to counteract the effort that it took to swallow this nasty stuff.  Yuck.  The exercise is coming along.  I’m trying to do a long run, aiming for 8 miles, every week—not sure if I’ll have a chance this weekend with Al coming out for the Viking game.  I’m also trying to do the hand weights 2x/week.  The push-ups or sit-ups first thing in the morning isn’t panning out.  I did 5 push-ups one morning, but can’t seem to make it even a weekly habit.  I’ve been stretching about 3x/week now for at least 3 months and I can touch my toes.

I want to be able to do this when I’m her age.  By the way…. boy is this lady famous.  I remembered this photo from a while back and all I did was search “old lady stretching” and I found this photo on dozens of sites!

My ‘happiness’ goal may require some more effort on my part, although I do think my ‘seasonal affective disorder’ (self diagnosed) may be a bit better than it has been past years.  Maybe I need to set aside time to ‘meditate’ or set goals of some sort.  I remember Haus Frau once told me that she sets happiness goals that are small and acheivable.  Such as clean house, clean car and clean husband.  Aiming for all three in the same day….not quite as easily acheived.  As for keeping track of friends/family, I look at my facebook page periodically which makes me feel like I’m keeping in touch with people; but I’m not great about actually sending notes and I’m worse about phone calls.  I had hoped to host a wine tasting at my house this month, but I seem to have excuses for not actually doing it.

Stuck on a treadmill

The most useful thing that I’m doing for my health these days is training for a ½ marathon (July 4th).  Since we’ve had mostly below zero temperatures and it is extremely icy outdoors, I’m stuck on a treadmill for now.  My fitness level always drops significantly this time of year (probably due as much to weight gain as inactivity).  Right now, I can’t even run 3 miles comfortably.  My strategy is to run a mile, let my heart rate recover, then run another mile.  Since I go to the gym with Aldo and he likes to stay for nearly 2 hours, I have run up to 8 miles using this strategy.  I’m seeing minor improvement in my rate of heart rate recovery.  I can now recover to just under 130 bpm in less than 5 minutes even after mile 7 and my recovery after mile one is excellent (takes less than 2 minutes to get my heart rate below 100).  Now I need to come up with a plan that will keep me running and get me to add some weight training and diet improvements.  I did some small hand weight exercises on my yoga ball while watching TV about a week ago, but I was sore for a week.  I’ll try to stay motivated to do this more than once a week.  I also read about a sort of clever idea which was to do something first thing in the morning to get your heart rate up; a few push-ups or sit-ups or something like that.  Maybe I’ll try that once or twice a week—I could definitely use the sit-ups.  I still can’t seem to get Aldo to buy veggies, so maybe I’ll have to add a trip to the grocery store once a week.

I’ve heard about this idea of the happiness treadmill more than a few times lately.  The theory is that we all have a set level of happiness and although we can improve our level of happiness for brief periods of time (win the lottery, get married, have a baby etc.) our happiness level returns to a baseline shortly thereafter.  Psychologists say that the good news is that even horrific or traumatic events also change our level of happiness only briefly.  Of course, I’m not sure that someone suffering the loss of a loved one would consider their reduced level of happiness brief.  Some might argue that it takes months to years to recover from some set-backs.  This type of thinking sort of puts a damper on my whole brilliant endeavor to become a happier person.  My first project was going to be to start listing small things that make me happy every day.  Unfortunately, today I found out that my favorite coworker died on New Year’s Eve.  I suppose I ought to start my list anyway.  I need to learn to be grateful for things that make me happy and it isn’t useful to dwell on sad news.