Sunday, December 4, 2011

Health and Whimsy: Breezy days

Hello ladies,

The past week seems to have swept by like an unexpected breeze. I did continue with my walking program, four miles (6.4K) a day, six days this week. I achieved my fastest time to date. On Friday, I walked four miles in one hour and four minutes, 16 minutes per mile. I'm closing in on my goal of walking a 15 minute mile.

Continuing to build upon my home fitness accessories, I discovered a beautiful yoga mat at Whole Foods. The Tree of Life yoga mat from Gaiam has a tonal leaf pattern spreading from curving branches. I find the sage green hue relaxing. I'm excited to try it out this week.

My much anticipated replacement DVD player arrived midweek along with my ill timed monthly cycle. I decided to postpone adding core training until Monday. Unfortunately, the end of this week didn't seem an auspicious time for abdominal exercises. The DVD player kept me entertained with Lord of the Rings. The movies felt like a suitable backdrop as I explored the nether reaches of closets in search of weights and resistance bands.

Hydrangeas, a Spring memory.

I lost two pounds this week, bringing the total to 21 pounds since September 1st. I'm at a comfortable size, between a 10 and a 12. I lost the weight I gained over the past year relatively quickly. It was definitely a stressful year with my sister's illness, a major romantic breakup and financial issues. I am thankful my sister's health has improved dramatically. I am also grateful I have made the time to focus on my own wellness. 

Behaviors that helped this week:

  • Attending to the needs of my body while overriding my impatience and desire to stick to a plan. The mind/body issue can be tricky, especially since I have done similar workouts to the ones I have waiting by my DVD player. What looks familiar to my eyes is still going to feel new to my muscles. 
  • Cooking root vegetables and squash. I enjoy eating the fresh foods of the season. I prepared stir fries including beets, sweet potatoes and pumpkin this week. US ladies, check your grocery aisle for freshly cubed pumpkin. It's easy to prepare in a steamer basket and a nice alternative to zucchini. 
  • Trying new healthy foods. I picked up Lentil Sage Field Roast vegan deli slices at Whole Foods and tried Favorit Mango Peach Jam with my 0% Greek yogurt. 

Goals for next week: 

  • Get started with P90X DVDs. My plan is to complete one yoga session and two strength training workouts along with my walking routine. Even though I would love to do the cardio portions of the program as they are outlined, walking is essential for circulation and healing of my nerve damage. 
  • Record the number of reps I am able to do along with the weights I choose for each strength training exercise. It's useful to be able to chart progress as well as to remember which weights were the most appropriate for me at this time. 
How has your week progressed? I'm working on some future Health & Whimsy posts including topics about favorite snacks, body image and self esteem. You will also be seeing some new nail art this week before Sunday. 

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

Happy painting, ladies! 


  1. Way to go on coming even closer to your goal of 15 minutes for a mile!

    Also very good to hear your sister is doing so much better :)

    Great job you're doing!

  2. Nail Designs xox: Thanks so much for your encouragement! I'm hoping in the next couple months I'll be able to get my time down. I appreciate the good feeling for my sister too! She reads my blog, so she will see it. :)

  3. Diana, your walking time almost beats my running time! I did complete my 2nd 5K this past Saturday. I beat my time from 3 weeks ago, at my first 5K, by 2.5 min.

    I'm eager to hear how you like P90X. I am toying with the idea of using Cathe Friedrich's STS system. This is her DVD version of P90X. I have done it twice before and I think doing it to start off the New Year is just what I need. That, and turning my eating habits back to the better.

    I'm happy to hear that your sister is doing better. :)

  4. I am truly proud of you even though I don't know you personally. I really am! :)

  5. Kimberly: Most people are surprised that a fast walk can be close to jogging speed. It's great that you made it through your second 5K and even improved your time. I love seeing measurable progress. Feels good! :)

    This week, I am easing in to trying the DVDs and figuring out my strengths and weaknesses. I am surprised to realize plyometrics are my favorite thing and my yoga vinyasas are a definite area for improvement. I'm hoping to try a couple more before DVDs Sunday and continue with walking.

    I think it's good to plan ahead for after the holidays. Definitely more time to revisit favorite routines or try something new.

    Thanks for the good feeling about my sister. I appreciate it! :)

    Akuma Kanji: Thank you, sweetie! We communicate so much. I feel close to you too. I appreciate your encouragement. :)

  6. Most importantly your sister's health improving! Wonderful news to hear. Your weight loss & exercise is fantastic. I lost a 1/2lb this past week. I thought for sure I'd gain. I have a bunch of turninps to cook. Love them! I've never had fresh beets or pumpkin. How do you prepare them? Wish I had a Whole Foods close by. Sounds like a great place to shop.

  7. Lucy: Thank you for your kind words about my sister and your ongoing encouragement. So hard not to gain around the holidays! You are doing great!

    Beets are very easy to cook. You just boil them. Depending on the size, it can take awhile, a little longer than potatoes. Some people like to roast pumpkin, but I prefer it cubed and steamed in a steamer basket. I add cooked beets and pumpkin to stir fries and stews. Beets are amazing in salads too. So much better than the canned or pickled variety. When you store them in the fridge, let them sit in the juice they cooked in. Keeps the flavor. Let me know if you try them. :)


Thank you so much for stopping by! I do my best to answer comments. I read every single comment. If you have any questions or links that are unrelated to the post, please e-mail me.

Please be respectful and avoid leaving your blog link in the comments unless requested. Refer to the FAQ if needed.