Tag Archives: exercise

So Many Wagons to Catch…

child dinner plate tray vegetarian

Wee healthy dinner portion with almond milk

I’ve gotten better at self-discipline over the years, but often it just seems too grown-up.

A summer mentality extended itself into my October, and I’ve been less than perfect when it comes to diet, exercise, limiting social media and dedication to my freelance career.

The thing about being pretty on top of stuff for a lengthy period of time is that you really notice when you fall off the wagon. It’s worse when you fall off two or three.

Not that I’d take anything back. Oh no. The season has been great, and full of real-world experience and people. But now we’re about to enter the Long Dark, and I’m sensing that it’s time to regroup before the holidays slam into us all.

First things first: Dinner. Iris and I were home last night, so I made sweet potato whole grain patties with guacamole and spaghetti squash with tomato, green pepper, zucchini and summer squash. We had dutifully eaten our apples and oatmeal earlier in the day, and I even managed to work in some gentle yoga. So I’m doing alright.

We’ve talked about getting back in the saddle, on the wagon, whatever, here before. A tidier diet is the way I often begin the process. This time around it’s going to take a little more effort. Muscle tone apparently disappears rather quickly.  But, it’s happened before, let’s hope it will happen again!

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Not Curvy – Well Rounded

sphere rainbow coloredI’m all for accepting our given body types, and not promoting the idea that only one body shape is truly beautiful.

But I’m not going to lie. I’ve always wished I was a bit more curvy. The gentle roundness of the female hip line is just beautiful, and the perfect model for so many pretty dresses and form-fitting pants. I may not be as beanpole-shaped as I once was, but I don’t think I’ll ever blossom into a grown lady with full hips that counter my generous rib cage.

Let me be clear – I am completely alright with my body, and probably more comfortable in it now than I was 20, 10 or even five years ago. Still in the spirit of complete honesty, I confide to you my wish for voluptuousness.

Since I can’t change my bone structure without drastic measures, I’m trying to make the most of what I do have: a healthy, 33 year-old system of organs and tissues. Since I can’t make it curvy, I’ll instead make it well rounded.

I’m referring to my exercise routines. You may have heard that doing the same exercise over and over, without variation, will give you limited benefit. Seems reasonable. At the moment, I’m doing Zumba once a week, yoga once or twice a week and running once a week. The Zumba flows at the whim of the instructor, while yoga at home and running tend to stay pretty predictable, outside of my pushing for that 5K goal (which, ahem, I surpassed on Friday!).

This is part of why I’m so glad I got a punch card for dropping in to the yoga classes at the Market. Assuming I can get myself there by 9am on at least most Saturdays this summer, I’ll get some good variation in that workout as well.

If optimal cardiovascular health, reliable strength, flexibility and stress management are all accomplished, this is a well roundedness I can accept, even if I still covet wider hips.

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Sloshy Rainboots and A Dead Squirrel

toddler girl outside rain bootsIt’s Wednesday, which dictates the post be somehow related to food or health or science or something practical like that.

But I want to talk about Spring nature and toddler messes. So we’re going to call playing in alley puddles exercise. Ok? Good.

Yesterday, Iris and I spent the day at home doing the usual activities like making and eating food, reading books and listening to music that lets me pretend I’m 16. On this particular day, we were also treated to a mild thunder shower (love). That meant puddles.

Better yet, Iris has a brand spankin’ new pair of rain boots, courtesy of her Auntie Sara. I put two and two together, and made the executive decision to go puddle hunting in the alley behind our house. That made me the coolest mom in the world.

For what was probably close to an hour, I watched Iris stomp, jump and run into puddles, she all the while laughing with abandon and grinning from ear to ear. She did fall a couple of times, but seemed unhindered by her drenched pants and muddy hands. When I deemed she was as damp as she should be, I took us inside. That made me the worst mom in the world.

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The Turncoat Body

Benedict Arnold color portrait paintingI’ve always thought of myself as a healthy person, fortunate in a body compliant with my physical ideals.

That same body, to whom I’ve been very kind in recent years, recently turned on me in two separate ways. While neither situation is serious or permanent, both were nevertheless a glitch in my normally steady health.

First was the slightly elevated cholesterol at the end of January. I was incredulous. How does a dairy-sensitive pescetarian get high cholesterol? Despite the fact that my HDL (good) cholesterol was excellent, that darn LDL (bad) cholesterol apparently enjoyed some winter egg and cream cheese indulgence (I may have cooked one too many batches of creamy white chili). I’m now slightly haunted by what my cholesterol must have measured 10 years ago… Genetics and comfort food are powerful, my friends.

My doctor (who, I must tell you, is endlessly wonderful regarding my health anxiety) says my age, low cardiac risk and good HDL actually counter the small elevation quite well, and I have no cause for alarm. Diet, exercise, a redraw in six months. Calm restored.

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Am I Running Yet?

girl running black on whiteI am not a runner. I just happen to like moving forward quickly sometimes.

Scoff if you must. But I’ve heard others use the phrase “I’m not a vegetarian, I just don’t eat meat,” and it makes sense to me.

These terms – runner and vegetarian – invoke not just an action or choice, but a culture. I’ve gone for a few runs, but I do not see myself joining the larger running culture anytime soon.

Of course, I also used to say I could never live without steak. Huh.

Anyway, here’s the thing: I’ve tried running. Last night saw me go out into my childhood neighborhood for my third official run. I do not make route plans, I do not own a foam roller. I do try to run a couple of times a week. I have no goals, other than to maintain and prevent. I do intend to work toward longer, more consistent runs (meaning with fewer walk breaks).

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Flat Butts and Joint Settling

princess leia and jabba the hut star wars

I need a health check.

(I may not look like Jabba, but I’m getting a sense of that flabby, I’ve been sitting too much feeling.)

As I’ve mentioned before, work is picking up, and that’s an excellent thing.

But. There’s the butt. It’s sitting – a lot.

While I feel like I bounced back pretty quickly after Iris was born, I’m still not quite where I was before I got pregnant, and I have some pants I really want to wear again.

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Soapbox: Healthful Reminders, Part 3 of 3

pyramid of physical activityIn Parts 1 and 2 I yammered about food. I always talk about food first because everyone has to eat.

Like it or not, healthy eating habits are the best way to get into better shape and health. While exercise is essential, it can’t make up for a poor diet, and let’s face it, most people aren’t going to do it anyway.

BUT, I digress…


You must do this. Weight loss is nice, but this is about your health. Weight loss comes with better health.

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Why I Love Yoga

Colorful Buddha printI used to make fun of yoga as a typical, trendy form of exercise. Back then, my exercise was walking off the double cheeseburgers while I served them to my tables.

Then, one summer, very post-waitress and about to give up meat, I actually gave it a try. Words were eaten that night.

I think my first blissful sentence afterward was “If everyone in the world did yoga a few times a week, there would be no more war.”

Why do I love yoga? Here:

I love yoga because it is versatile. No matter what your physical situation – young, old, male, female, pregnant, arthritic, diabetic, tense, short, tall, overweight, underweight or perfectly healthy – there is a yoga that is designed for you. It can be fast and sweaty or slow and cooling.

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