10,000 Steps to Wine (Original Post 06/04/14)

Listen, I like food. And wine. And more food. I have had a love affair with food for about fifteen years. I love how it smells. I like all the textures. And don’t even get me started on all the fabulous fantastical tastes. Oh how I love the tastes! But as of late, this love affair has been a love hate relationship. The copious amounts of cheese, pasta, burgers and breaded chicken have waged a war on my body that I am slowly loosing.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think I look bad but, I feel like shit. I can’t sleep at night and am tired all day. I get winding walking up a flight or two of stairs. I feel soft and jello-y instead of strong and firm. I am too old to feel like Chet after Lisa changes him to a big pile of shit.

Problem is, I have no self control or motivation. If there are a box of cookies, they are going to their delicious deaths in my mouth. And not just the 4 cookies that are the recommended serving. I think not. A sleeve will disappear in the dark depths of my gullet. And I will feel guilty an hour later once they have expanded in my tummy and it screams uncle that it is over full. If I have some spare minutes to kill, they are spent on Pinterest pinning clothes I can’t afford, exercise routines that I will never actually do and recipes for kale that I will try and convince myself will make that god awful dirt tasting bark palatable instead of walking around the block or doing some sun slautations. Bottom line I am lazy.

So I asked for a gadget to hold me accountable for my birthday. And I got it. It’s called a Fitbit Flex. Its pretty simple. It’s a little computer fob that fits in a small rubber wristband that I only take off to clean it or charge it every 5 days or so. It counts my steps, logs my periods of activity and has a sweet app for my laptop and cell where I can log every extra physical activity other than just walking as well as everything I drink and eat so it can track calories in and calories out. When I set it up, it asked if I wanted to loose weight or maintain. Since I would love to loose a few pounds, it then asked me how rigorous program that I wanted to follow; easy, medium or hard. The harder option you pick, the larger the calorie deficit it would recommend therefore in theory leads to you losing weight faster. Pretty simple. Track your activity and food intake for accurate calories in vs calories out. Bonus, I can set it for sleep mode and it tracks how many hours I am asleep, when I get restless and how many times I am awake through out the night. Pretty nifty.

Let me tell you, this fucking thing is a rude awakening. The default goal is 10,000 steps a day, 30 minutes of active periods (total) and 5 miles traveled. I left it at the default not knowing where I naturally was falling on a daily basis anyway. I was sure it had to be close to that. After 2 days I realized that with my job I only walk about 4,000 steps a day on average. Oh and my diet, I am eating enough calories for 5 of me. No wonder I feel like shit. So now I find myself taking note of actual serving sizes and adhering to them. I will eat a healthy turkey sandwich that I make at home because logging a 800 calorie burrito from Taco Bell is too embarrassing even just to myself. I am avoiding stupid excess grazing on bullshit all day because logging it, it’s just too much work. And water! Oh man, 64 oz. a day will add to your steps walking to the damn toilet all the time. I am always taking the stairs going down, no matter what floor I am on. I take the stairs up at the end of the day, you know, when I don’t care that I become a sweaty mess because I am headed home. I purposely park as far away from any store I go to. When I go to Target or the grocery store, I make myself do a lap around the entire perimeter before starting my shopping. Even then, I usually come up short. I read somewhere that walking after a meal helps with digestion. Righty-o. So I walk after dinner. And I am tired at the end of the day that I actually fall asleep at a decent time. Just over the last 2 weeks I have noticed I sleep better. Not to mention my skin and hair feel and look better. This being healthy shit is AMAZING!

Occasionally the weather doesn’t cooperate and it is raining or so damn hot and humid that my evening walk isn’t an option. I mean, I live in Virginia now so that’s no surprise. Or, lets keep it real, Game of Thrones is on and I have to watch it. In those cases I have a little $60 stepper in the corner of my living room that I hop on to get my steps and active minutes. Bonus, I get to log an activity of “Climb stairs or Stair-master” which bumps the calories burned up a notch. And, that my friends, is how I found myself on a stair stepper, drinking a glass of wine & perusing Pinterest tonight sweating my tits off. I may or may not have almost fallen off the stepper a time or two but, whatever. I hit my daily goals.

The Negative Pull Up (Original Post 05/14/14)

They say that once you hit 30, shit changes with your body.  Your metabolism slows, gravity starts to march across your softer parts stamping them looser and dimpled like a piece of fatty meat, beat with a tenderizing mallet and suddenly opening the pickle jar takes a bit more effort. Who ever the proverbial “they” are, they’re right dammit.

It couldn’t have been a sudden decline.  It’s not like I went to bed a a hard body and woke up with grandma arms.  But it did sneak up on me.  First, my favorite jeans kept getting shrunk more and more in the wash.  Just the waist band and thighs though.  The length stayed true.  Go figure.  Then it was the arm openings on my short sleeved shirts.  That obviously was the laundry too.  And then it happened.  I moved to a sunny beach and had to put a bathing suit on.  Where the hell did that doughy white body come from?  And how did my bathing suit shrink…. Oohhhh.  Dirty fucking 30’s have struck.

So it’s time to wage war on this bodily decline.  I refuse to feel bad about myself now that I have seen what can never be unseen.  So for the last few weeks, I have been finding ways to get a little extra movement in my day.  Taking the stairs, offering to mow the yard with the antiquated manual push mower and parking as far away from the store when I run errands.  And I have added actual weight work outs to the mix.  I have been picking up my small weights and occasionally one of the heavier ones of the sailors to work on my arms, doing the “Brazilian Butt Lift” moves that I pilfered off the internet, and various series of crunches and planks.  But these are just little things.  The bigger deal is, I have cut out most terrible but delicious items I normally consume.  Instead I have traded them for vegetarian dishes made with fresh veggies and little to no carbs and a few fats as possible. If you know me, you know my soul is weeping for cheese.  Preferably melted over a perfectly prepared medium burger. But I digress and frankly typing that made me hungry for no reason. The bottom line is, I have been feeling better.  I don’t see much change yet but, I feel better and that’s something.

So that gets us to tonight.  Tonight, the sailor has duty.  This means I have the house to myself. So, while my vegan cruciferous and carrot casserole was cooking, I planned to sweat it out until the kitchen timer dinged time for din-din.  As I gathered the few items I needed for the planned activities, I noticed the sailor’s doorway pull up bar.  I had flashbacks to high school PE tests and only needing to accomplish one chin up from a dead hang.  It wasn’t so hard.  Could I do one now?  Probably not, but I MIGHT just get half way.  So I slapped that thing up and took grip.  The moment I started to strain to budge my gelatenous self up I knew it was a mistake.  But, it was the pop in the side of my neck though, that drove this fact home.   Needless to say, at the moment I can not look left with anything other than my eyes nor can I tilt my chin down to my chest.

Aging sucks.  I want a re-do on my 20’s so I can prepare for this downward spiral better.