Sunday, November 20, 2011

Health and Whimsy: Thinking forward

Hello ladies,

I had a quiet week in fitness as my walking companions, Cate and Sophie, are out of town until after the Thanksgiving holiday. The temperature made a brisk shift from tee shirt weather to requiring dri-fit layering under fleece. The grey skies formed a cold mirror over the Schuylkill  River. Although there was a lovely symmetry between the clouds and the water, I am always grateful for the moments the sunlight ventured to join the scenery. 

I thought much about my health and fitness goals for the future as well as shaping my routine towards achieving those goals. While I feel comfortable with the aerobic activity so far, I can see the opportunity for increased core strength. In the Spring, I would like to join a gym and participate in group classes. I find having an instructor present can help me exercise at a challenging pace. 

While some people sign up for a gym membership the moment they decide to begin a new fitness program, I take a different approach. The difficulty of classes and instructors, I would imagine, can vary by location. In Center City, Philadelphia, it's common for professional athletes to regularly take group classes. I met members of the Pennsylvania Ballet in both yoga and boxing. 

I am wholly willing to be challenged, but I prefer being prepared. I also recognize the hazards of having done the exercises before and putting my mind before my body. This is a recipe for injury. I decided to add strength training and yoga to my regimen by following along with DVDs and videos at home. This will give me the option of pausing and working more slowly through an exercise. Even though I understand proper form, I will need to give my body a chance to perform to that level before increasing speed.  

Not quite a morning glory, but I am awakening a little earlier.

The scale is showing my weight down one pound, but I am noticing a visible increase in muscle. Apparently, so is the postman. I was complimented by the neighborhood mail carrier who said I was "looking good." He also remarked upon my dedication and said he sees me "out in all kinds of weather." I don't think it's possible to get more exalted praise from a mailman. For those who like to keep track, I'm down 17 pounds since September 1st.

Behaviors that helped this week:

  • Planning ahead for dining out. My friend Pam and I went to Green Eggs Cafe in Northern Liberties for brunch. It was useful to peruse the on-line menu beforehand and consider healthy options. I ordered the Ultimate Tofu Scramble with veggie sausage and multi-grain toast. Substituting a fresh fruit cup, I find it best to enjoy potatoes at home where I can control the amount of salt and oil in preparation. I saved half my meal for lunch the next day. 
  • Deciding to keep to my routine even when the weather wasn't ideal. I put my hood up when I got caught in a light rain and was happier for the outing.
  • Using the time during my walks to consider future fitness goals.
  • Continuing to work on shifting my sleep schedule. I woke up a few minutes before my alarm several times this week. 

Goals for next week:
  • Walk four miles (6.4 K) five days. 
  • Complete two exercise videos in either yoga or weight training. 
  • Write about experiences in journal. 
  • Winterize my walking wardrobe. I could use a polar tech hoodie and scarf that are easy to toss in the wash. 
  • Look for cross training sneakers. The walking shoes I have aren't stabilized for side to side movement. It's always best to wear shoes that are designed to support your regimen. 
How was your past week in health and fitness? Did you achieve any of your goals or create new ones? 

Health and Whimsy is intended to be a journal of my personal experience. Please consult your doctor before making changes to your health and fitness routine. 

Happy painting, ladies!


  1. Wow! You really are making a lot of progresses! I'm sure you will be successful on your goals because you DO have a lot of strength to fulfill your goals! I wish you a lot of strenght too to keep on going!

  2. Love the picture of the morning glories. Congratulations on your progress. Your are way out ahead of those who will just pondering New Year's resolutions soon.

  3. Congrats on your constancy! Your committment is amazing.

  4. Your doing so well. I'm really happy for you. Keep up the wonderful work. This is the time of year when it's really dangerous for dieters! I gained 2lbs last week. Phooey! I blame some of it on water weight gain. I don't expect good losses this week. I'll try though.

  5. Akuma Kanji: Thanks so much! I find setting goals each week has been really useful in moving forward with continued success. :)

    peripatetic33: Thanks! I love morning glories. They are like princess hats for faeries. You make a good point about the timing of my endeavors. While there is no bad time to start, I am happy to have begun before the weather shifted to cold here. Easier to build momentum. :)

  6. maisenzasmalto: Thanks for your support! I appreciate the vote of confidence. :)

    Lucy: Thank you so much! I wouldn't worry about trying to lose weight this week. Most nutritionists advise focusing on trying to maintain during holiday weeks. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving. <3


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