Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back on the Track

Since I have returned home, I have been struggling to get back on track with my exercise and healthy eating. Yesterday I decided to try bribing myself. I made along list of things that I would like to have or do, and I told myself I could pick one, if I stayed on program for a week. Apparently this worked because yesterday and today, my eating has moderated, and I have started exercising again. Yesterday I stretched for a block and a half and then walked for half a block. Last night I didn't sleep well. Just this much exercise (40 minutes) had boosted by mood to the point of near mania. I went out to dinner and to the movie, It's Complicated, with Allyson. (Brief review: Although the semen line and the scene where they show up stoned at the engagement party were funny, if I had the Meryl Streep character's house and garden in Santa Barbara, I would be so entranced I wouldn't give Alec Baldwin, or God forbid Steve Martin, a second look). Then I was up until 1:00 AM (this is unheard of, I'm a morning person.) I cleaned out my purse, organized my receipts from my trips, wrote two thank you notes, and made hotel reservations for our next trip to Miami. I wasn't the least bit tired, but I made myself go to bed. I tossed and turned all night. Exercise has this effect on me, at least for the first few days. It makes me extremely energetic. I also have been eating extremely well, thanks to Allyson who keeps preparing healthy snacks for me.

Today I awoke at seven to take care of my granddaughter, Gabriela, since Joe is still out of town. (He usually likes to do this except for combing the tangles out of her hair). After I got her off to school, I crashed on the couch until 11:00 AM. This did not leave me with much time to do the deeds I set forth for today: (1) clean up the kitchen and put away everything on my counter tops to create a smooth work surface 2). re-pot my bonsai jade tree in the container I bought in San Francisco (3) set up the paper white bulbs I received for Christmas, (4) pick up Kenny and Lawrence from school and take them to swim practice ( 5) walk for at least
two exercise blocks, and (6) write about it in my blog. Believe it or not, I finished this list. My kitchen looks the way I like it, and the sun room/conservatory has two new inhabitants. The little jade tree is very pretty, if I do say so myself.

I squeezed the two blocks of walking in between picking up the boys and dropping them at the pool. This was Allyson's idea and it worked like a charm. The high school track near the boy's house was open! This really cheered me up because I much prefer walking on a track to walking on terrain that goes up and down. The first time around the track my Achilles tendons were tight and my legs felt very heavy, but they got lighter the longer I stayed with it. The boys jogged and did crunches in the infield and I kept moving because, although partially sunny, it was cold. By the way, everyone in Northern California kept quizzing me about the weather here and asking how I can stand it, but I have to say I saw the sun only twice during my two weeks in the San Francisco Bay area. O.K., it is cold here, but at least the sun shines fairly regularly in the winter, and things are not deeply and constantly moist like they are on the north coast of California.

As I was enjoying the sunshine on my face as a turned the corner for the finish line on my second lap on the track, I had the urge to jog. So I did for 32 strides. For reasons unknown, even to me, I chose to count the jogging as four sets of 8 strides. I could feel my knees and lower back strain under my weight, but I finished the first set of 32 strides and nothing seemed out of place body-wise. I was not even breathing heavily. So I walked about a sixteenth of a mile more and tried the thirty two strides of jogging again. This time it actually felt OK, and not scary at all. By the time I finished my workout I had jogged 32 strides four times. It is amazing how much faster you go around the track when you jog instead of walk. I felt like I was going at warp speed.

And why was I able to do this today and not before? Because, while I was in California, I forgot to buy planetarium tickets at the Lawrence Hall of Science, and we only had three minutes until the show, so I jogged back to the main entrance, bought the tickets and jogged back (on a concrete floor no less) and absolutely nothing went wrong with my body. So there you have it. I am a jogger! And I have been eating well all day. I hope I can keep this up and win my price next Monday.


  1. Good job Martha! Self bribes are always useful for motivation. I'll have to do this to re-start my exercise program on Feb 1 (first day of retirement!).

    Keep it up!


  2. The first day is pretty easy. It's later on when you realize you really do not need to get up, etc. that it gets harder. It took about five months for me to feel really free. Let me know how it goes for you.