Thursday, May 10, 2012

Health & Whimsy: Getting it done!

Hello ladies,

There has been much progress since my last Health & Whimsy post! I am able to check off a few fitness and nutrition goals from my New Year's Resolution list.  I completed three months of P90X Lean Program, which  greatly improved my endurance, strength, muscle tone and flexibility. I'm planning on doing another round of P90X this year starting in the cooler weather. For now, I would much rather exercise outdoors.

My walking speed is down to a 15 minute mile. I complete my four mile walk in about an hour and two minutes. When I started power walking last September, it took me an hour and 15 minutes to cover four miles. I'm pleased with the improvements I've made in my speed with continued effort.

Although it took some will power, I fine tuned my diet by restricting my consumption of cheese. When I would like the flavor of melted cheese, I've been substituting soy cheese, occasionally enjoying goat cheese or parmesan and romano as a treat. As much as I love cheese, it's not benefitting my figure to eat it every day. I can get the proper calcium intake with help from Greek yogurt and soy milk.

My efforts are definitely showing. I am now wearing a size 8 or medium and down 35 pounds overall. I'm happy with the weight loss, but my main purpose for the nutrition and exercise focus is the health benefits.

A rose by the garden gate.

Weight loss so far hasn't decreased nerve pain, but being consistent with vigorous exercise and balanced nutrition seems to keep occurrences to a minimum. I'm glad I found a way to keep pain in check for the most part and help my body to heal, but there isn't much of a margin for error. Anything less than five days a week of exercise is problematic. Still, I am very grateful I can take care of the issue with vigilance.

Behaviors that have helped: 

  • Keeping my closet organized with clothes that fit in the present. I mailed tees, pants and skirts, which no longer work for me, to my sister and a close friend. Holding on to clothes that don't fit properly isn't the best use of space in a city apartment. I also feel it's wasteful to let things sit and go out of fashion when they could be enjoyed by someone else. The sense of non-attachment I feel towards my clothes also reflects my belief in my future success.
  • Outlet shopping. Old Navy and The Gap outlets have kept me comfortably attired for exercise. Going in with patience and a willingness to try on an armful of clothes to emerge with a few affordable, standout pieces is key. 
  • Creating a fitness calendar. I have a monthly calendar I only use to record each exercise session and rest day. Being able to view my activity at a glance helps me to see what routines are effective and keep track of exactly how much exercise I am doing. I find it motivating to see my calendar filled in with activity. Positive results require planning and tracking. 
  • Shopping for the future. Since I have been consistent with my healthy eating and exercise, I feel confident I will go down another size. I found a couple dresses I absolutely loved at clearance prices and decided to purchase a size small in each of them. The mediums I have fit perfectly now, but since it was cheaper to buy duplicate dresses than it would be to alter the ones I am currently wearing, it seemed like a smart plan. Also, it's a relief to know there will be something pretty and familiar waiting in my closet for the day when my current wardrobe no longer fits properly.  
  • Purchasing grated cheese or individually packaged serving sizes. The goat cheese from Trader Joe's comes in single serving mini rounds, as does gouda, which I may try for summer salads. Grated cheese is easy to measure by teaspoon. As a single person, I've temporarily banned blocks and wedges of cheese from my fridge. I feel the same way about cheese that many do about chocolate, so it was essential for me to have a moderation plan in place.
Goals for the next few weeks:
  • Walk four miles five days a week. 
  • Keep up with logging my meals and fitness on Twitter @ladyfingersblog. Thanks so much for everyone who has been commenting on my food tweets! I am glad they have been inspiring. 
  • Go to the Farmers' Market! The weekly markets are starting again in the local parks. I love buying my produce directly from the people who grow the food. The vegetables are fresher, more affordable and longer lasting. 
  • Create some new salads. It's the perfect time of year to experiment with salad combinations. 

The next few weeks before Cornflower, my baby Holland Lop bunny, arrives are going to be busy for me. I'm doing a lot of reorganizing in my apartment. My main goals for health and fitness are going to be keeping up best practices. I'll be refining my goals in early June and adding weight training and yoga as weekly standards. For now, I will keep doing what has been working and look to re-energize my routine in a few weeks.

How are you doing with your goals?  I'm curious to know what motivates you. Are you feeling more apt to focus on health and wellness with the summer season approaching? For those checking in from Australia, how does your routine change with the cooler weather?

Happy painting, ladies!


  1. I am motivated to eat better right now because 1) the hubs was just diagnosed with diabetes and 2) I just plain don't feel well with all this extra weight on me.

    And I love the farmers markets! And the U-Pick fruit and veggie places around me.

    1. I'm sorry to hear about your husband's illness. I've heard of people being able to heal from diabetes with attention to diet and exercise. I wish him the best. It's great that you are feeling motivated along with him to make some positive changes.

      There is a Weds. farmer's market that I love visiting! They have fresh country bouquets along with herbs and veggies.


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