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Listen to your body

Although I don't really want to admit to growing up, there are times that I notice that I am getting older. This doesn't mean that I am falling to bits or anything, but it does mean that when my body has an issue, it doesn't just clear up by itself any more.

Having said that though, most of the things my body has to deal with are more day-to-day stuff, not really those side-effects of ageing. (especially since I stopped dying my hair and discovered my natural colour is grey marle)

Like the sore ankle that I can hardly walk on the next morning after I do leg presses not-quite-right at my fitness class. Maybe I have had my feet too far apart, or too far back, but now I have adjusted my stance a bit, and it seems to be working.

Or the four day headache that I have at the end of term that lets me know just how tightly wound up I have been - it only hurts when it's letting go. A good massage or the osteopath can set that one right, but really I need to work more on the not get…

Bigger Goals

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Lately I have been finding that those small goals just aren't enough to keep me motivated. There have been so many things going on in my life that is has been far easier to say that those things need to be done and there just isn't enough time left over for exercise. And to a certain extent that has even been true - things like moving house (again, and not for the last time), and Home Shows, and students' assessment marking, and kids' sports and cultural events can't be put on hold in the same way that a half-hour run can. What does it matter if I skip one?

But it does matter, and that's where the bigger goals come in.

In the same way that for me my weight was a catalyst but not a motivator, small goals alone are a benchmark but not a motivator. Not all people do, but I need something to work towards, and/or something to measure myself against. There are a few things I can do:
pick a challenge - find something that I have not done before, that is going to extend m…

The Health edit

In which I ask what health actually is.This being a blog about fitness and health, it's about time I got to the health side of things, because essentially, that is what the goal is. But although I have been meaning to write a blog about food since about the third one, this isn't it.
Recently I've been doing a bit of re-assessment; a couple of things have happened that have just added just the right amount of chaos to my life to be too much. I've been deciding which stressors in my life I can control or get rid of. As well as thinking about some of my roles at work, I have been thinking about my fitness goals too. 
The main thing that got me into this whole journey was hitting that certain top weight and feeling pretty bad about it. But I have realised that whilst the fitness class and the running are making me feel good, being also focussed on trying to lose weight has actually been more stressful than helpful.
I like food, you see. And in all the time since I began this …

Today I did lots of walking.

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All of the uphills, 'cause today was HARD!And I was wondering why. There are several things that it could have been, I guess.
Maybe it was that I am still stiff from the hardout fitness class on Tuesday (thanks, Beth!). It was a combination of boxing and strength stuff, but it was the chest presses and jump squats that really made me sore. And I could really feel my running muscles protesting as I was attempting to run up the hills, which is why I walked so many of them - usually if I am a bit rough to start with, it usually gets easier after a few kms, but not today.
Maybe it was some random time of my cycle that is just making me feel really tired. Who knows where I might be in that, as, being 'a woman of a certain age', my cycles are somewhat unpredictable, and I never quite know what is happening. At least none of the other symptoms of being in my mid-forties decided to rock up, as then I truly would have turned around and gone home! 
Maybe it was the weather. It looks a …

Moving the goalposts

Or: I did it! Smashing the Small Goals.                So now what?Okay, not so much 'smashing'...
Today I managed my 5km loop in 29 minutes and 40 seconds; last weekend I got all the way around my 8km loop without stopping. I am really pleased with myself, because it has taken about 6 weeks, but those small goals I set for myself have been achieved. And achieving something you have been working towards is always a good feeling.
The big question now though is, what next? Having reached the metaphorical goalposts I set for myself, I now need to shift them out further, to keep making goals that will stretch me, but be achievable. At the risk of using too many cliches, I can't rest on my laurels at this point, I need to have a series of goalposts stretching out into the future.
Usually when we talk about shifting the goalposts on something, it is meant in a bad way. That's often is the case too, if it happens when we are partway through something (which is typically when it …

Don't go nuts!

Or, buzzword bingo: 'sustainability'.(But not in a Social Studies teacher way)
Fitness and health are not short-term things. When you start to build back to that level where you were before, or where you imagine you could be, or start at all, you want to see results. You want things to happen. And so, many of us are tempted to hit that latest 12-week-plan or celebrity diet that we see in facebook or wherever, we spend up large on gym memberships, and we hope that this time it will be different.
What I have found, through lots of trial and error, is that this just doesn't work. When I get to the end of the 12 (or however many) weeks, I just go back to doing what I did before, because that plan or diet or programme was just too hard to do all the time. And as the saying goes, "if you always do what you've always done ..."
But, if I just make one or two small changes at a time, then I am far more likely to keep going with them, and to see effects that last. This wh…

Beating CBA

Or: Motivation for people with excuses.It's not been a great week, exercise-wise. Having told you last week about setting those times to do things, and then sticking to them, this week just sortof slowly turned to custard.
CBA is short for Can't Be Arsed; if you get to CBF, it's all over. When I miss one bit of exercise in a plan, it seems so easy just to go, oh well, it's not working, I'll give up now. And that's when CBA kicks in, because it's much easier to not put yourself out than it is to make an effort to sort things.
On Tuesday I was sick, which was a legit reason for missing my fitness class. No matter, I'll get that run in later in the week and I'll be fine, I thought. But on Thursday the blue small person had an extra football game and on Friday (yesterday) I was too shattered to try and fit a run in between finishing work and going out to dinner with The Wine Ladies. Not so legit, but excuses. Which left me two out of three down for this w…