This is why I am no longer as active as I once was. After a week of walking on the treadmill and feeling pretty proud of myself, I suddenly went lame again. My old nemesis, plantar faciitis has returned to plague me for a while. I’ve worn my brace for a couple of nights and I’m going to get some new inserts. I may or may not be able to return to the treadmill. It may just be too hard a surface for my feet and I may not be able to walk for prolonged periods on anything except dirt. Unless you have experienced this severe burning pain and cramping in your feet, you may just think I’m a wimp, but believe me, this is a deal breaker. I have to walk in order to teach.
On the flip side, I have FINALLY lost two pounds. I think this is most likely due to the fact that I have not had a soda since December 30. Perhaps I have finally given up the liquid candy! We’ll see. Sixty days is the true benchmark for me.
There is a diet doctor in our area with an ad on television. I’ve never paid much attention to it because I assumed he was another pill-prescribing quack. Well, maybe I was wrong. He was on the local news one morning last week as part of their “Health Beat” series and I was impressed with both his logical advice and his sense of humor. He said that the number one thing you can do to lose weight and improve your health is to eat breakfast. Our bodies need nourishment to start the day and eating a good breakfast prevents us from overeating at lunch or dinner. That has never been a problem for me because I grew up in a household where everyone ate breakfast, but I thought I’d pass that along.
What really struck me was his advice about exercise. He said most people fail in their exercise plan because they expect it to be regimented and structured like going to the gym. What we need to do, he said, is just move more. “Dance, play, chase your toddler. If you don’t have a toddler, buy a chicken and chase it! But don’t think you have to do the same thing each day. I tell my patients to walk 100 yards and they look at me like I’m crazy. But I ask them, ‘did you walk 100 yards yesterday?’”
That makes so much sense to me! I’ve felt like a failure for years because I no longer attend the gym or walk with a group or get up every morning and do yoga. Perhaps what I need to do is just find daily opportunities for more movement, no matter what form it takes- walk a few extra steps, dance with my students, stretch- and quit worrying. It occurred to me last night as I was washing dishes that my real goal isn’t weight loss, but an improved lifestyle and better health. I have facet arthropathy, nerve damage from spinal surgery, and connective tissue disease. My family has a history of heart disease. All of these conditions can be improved with diet and exercise. I want to spend the next thirty years in better health and with less pain.
Twice during the past week I’ve eaten more than I should. What I’ve tried to do is really think about why. The first time occurred because I was cold. I was trying to compensate for the horrible winter weather by eating a warm “comfort food”. What I should have eaten was soup, either as a meal or with my meal. It would have been warming with fewer calories. The next incident was just a result of poor menu planning. I should have cooked a second vegetable and then I wouldn’t have eaten too much rice. It is this kind of thinking and planning that will eventually lead me to better eating habits. And that’s what I need- better eating habits.
Really working on portion control and replacement foods this week. Thanks to everyone who has given me suggestions. I want to hear about your successes and your failures. We’re in this together!