Thursday, July 10, 2008

0 A (Not-So) Brief Update Before My Workout Begins....


OK, so here's an update from my last post. I spent most of my day off running errands, but still managed to squeak in a bit of correspondence: I wrote the B-day thank you cards, replied to the Wellsphere lady & accepted her membership invitation, & also responded to a scant few comments on this blog. Still haven't had time to email back some of my buddies & family -- Since I'm not in front of the computer as much these days, some brief phone calls are going to have to take the place of emails. ;-)

The only thing that didn't happen on that day, aside from the electronic correspondence (i.e., emails, replies to blog commentary, etc.) was my workout!

In fact, I haven't run since the Fourth of July. (Yikes, it's been 6 days; that's just way too long). And my last hundred pushups workout hasn't been since.... Gasp!.... June 26th. (I'm almost too horrified to count the number of days since that workout! I said "almost." Eek. It's been fourteen days. That's two whole weeks. Maybe I should start from scratch again, because it's been that long. By now, I imagine that I've probably lost most of the strength benefits of the previous workouts.) Anyhow, the point is that it's been way too long since my last workouts. Well, today that's going to change. In a bit, I'll be going out the door for my run, & then will follow that workout with some pushups.

OK, well, it's time for me to stop talking about what I'm going to do, & just do it. Enough said.

Also, I'm not going to make excuses for why I haven't worked out over the past several days (i.e., the irregular schedule, the errands, projects, & my fatigue from trying to accomplish all of it in a compressed time frame! ;-) ); I just have to prioritize better & work smarter.

I do sometimes feel like I've got an awful lot to do, & am frankly feeling slightly resentful (in the general sense) because sometimes I just want to have free time for me (i.e., fun activities & a social life with my friends & family), & not just feel like a robot who spends all of her free time running errands all day. I'm sure many of you can relate to this dilemma.

Of course, there are some things that are non-negotiable & just have to get done. And in addition to some of the essential tasks & activities (aside from eating, sleeping, breathing ;-), & getting ready for work, etc.), I do consider my workouts to be a non-negotiable item. Yes, they are that important.

So, if I were to dig a bit deeper & be 100% honest with myself, & face every scary question there is to ask myself about why I didn't make time to workout, I guess I'd have to fess up & say that I went for the instant gratification of completing some non-essential errands that probably could've waited.

Truth be told, that day I found it way more fun & more immediately gratifying to spend several hours cleaning out my closet(s) & ridding the house of my old exercise & street clothes that no longer fit or served a useful purpose.

I went through two walk-in closets, & tried everything on. That took several hours. It was a strangely glorious & ironic moment of procrastination. What started out as "just putting away a few exercise clothes before getting dressed for my workout" turned into a "chuck-fest" of absolutely every unneeded garment in sight. ;-)

Many of the garments were just too big, & no longer fit. I even chucked things I'd kept all this time because I was certain they'd fit me when I'd lost the weight, but then they still ended up being too big when I went to try them on. That was a real eye-opener. Apparently, I'm in even better shape than I thought, because those "thin clothes" I used to wear are now too loose. Wow. That feels fantastic. To know that I'm in the best shape thus far since 1997, (when I ran 7:30 minute miles). And of course, the really exciting thing to realize (on the exercise front) is that I know I can achieve even more & do so much better (in terms of overall physical fitness & health) than what I'm currently doing.

Speaking of which, here's a little amazing-but-true factoid: Would you believe that I'm now below the weight I used to be my senior year of high school, when I ran track & field?! How about that! However, this just reinforces my earlier point about how body weight shouldn't be the sole metric a person focuses upon in order to determine health & fitness! ;-) Sure, your weight is a certainly measurement, but that information alone doesn't tell enough useful information about the state of your health & fitness. Better to get tests measuring the full spectrum of your health, which should include not only your body fat & composition, but also your cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation levels, toxins, etc. (I got specific tests like these when I was at Canyon Ranch; they have some fabulous exercise physiologists & doctors specializing in nutrition & preventive medicine on staff there. They took the time to thoroughly explain the results & what they meant. It was an extremely edifying, & eye-opening experience & I highly recommend this place & the tests I took there.)

Of course, from a medical/health perspective, measuring one's own body fat percentage is a much more accurate way to determine healthy body dimensions. Of course, I would actually prefer to be at or below the same body fat percentage of my senior year of high school! ;-)

But anyhow, back to the clothing heave-ho/trash-o-rama. I also chucked some things that did actually fit me but still didn't meet other criteria. There were the things that just had to be chucked because they were old & worn, no longer in style, impractical (i.e., cotton workout apparel!), or just plain unflattering. It's amazing how unattractive some items can look after the passage of 5-10 years. ;-) Plus, technology has improved clothing quite considerably, so just on principle, I decided only to keep "the best of the best."

Yes, I've got some stringent standards regarding quality, fit, & style. ;-) (Those of you who read my fashion blog are already well-aware of this little fact. ;-) )

The actual chucking process was surprisingly painless. I found myself just binning the whole lot of things I used to wear or never even wore at all. (OK, the items weren't really binned per se; the lot of it was actually either consigned &/or donated to charities.)

In a way, it was like casting off "former selves," "past lives" (no, not in the "Shirley MacLaine sense of the word! ;-) ), & "old identities" which no longer apply. Of course, casting off the emotional & physical burden of material objects is an extremely liberating process. It felt great to get rid of all that junk! Yes, it was a truly joyful & most satisfying event. What a magnificent experience it is to try on clothes & then get rid of them!

The reasons are two-fold: First of all, it's a confirmation of the obvious -- Through my training, sound nutrition, & other healthy habits, I've managed to whip my bod into shape. So "Yay!" on that front.

Then there's the psychological benefits of unloading all of that crapola. Of course, there's the feeling of "shedding one's skin" both literally & metaphorically (with regard to the clothing & the body fat!), but there's also the feeling of lightness one gets from chucking unnecessary things that clutter one's life.

Time to celebrate! Whooo-hooooo!

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