Monday, June 23, 2008

Catching Up

Ugh, it’s been so long since I last posted that I almost don’t even know where to start. I hate this, so much time goes by and I feel that I have so much to catch up on that I’m pretty overwhelmed. So anyway, let’s see, where to start, where to start …

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

Well, Mojo is still with us and has become a much loved member of my canine family, at this point I just can’t imagine having to give him up. He is such a total love. Wants to be petted and loved and he’s happy just to have that human attention. He can get pretty riled up and plays very actively with Tig and Fitz, they all play so hard that they completely wear each other out. But when not playing, he is very mellow and happy to just hang out and be adored. The Boxer rescue group still has him up on their adoption page however, and I have heard nothing definitive back about my keeping him, so I really have no idea what is going to happen. But at this stage, he is part of my family now, so giving him up will just be horrible, if it comes to that. Still, I would like to know soon, I think, as I would like to sign him up for obedience school and get him his tags and micro-chipped, etc. make him official. Right now we’re too much in limbo and it makes me uncomfortable.

Health & Fitness

So, back in March I took a good look at my lack of fitness, general health (or where it would be trending soon, if I didn’t take some action) and my weight and didn’t like what I saw, so I decided to get a grip on things. I have known for a while now that I had to make some changes and it’s been some time coming, so I finally managed to get the ball rolling. I started with diet, cutting back on portions, getting used to more fruits & vegetables and cutting out junky stuff. And also … cutting out BEER (I think that hurt the most!)

Well, after about a month and a half of watching the eating as well as after losing some weight, I started to up the activity. I started using a pedometer (as I mentioned earlier in this blog) and I started taking walks at lunchtime at work. At first the walks were relatively tame, just around the various footpaths, but soon I started venturing out onto the wooded trails. And as I started going further & further and into the more technical trails, I more & more realized that I wanted to run. Badly. So, one day I brought gym clothes & running shoes to work with me, changed in the locker room and did just that. It wasn’t pretty, and I wasn’t able to run nearly as much as I wanted to, but I kept at it. Well, since then, I’ve developed a routine of running five to six times a week! I can’t even believe it, even at my most committed during my first running incarnation, I never managed to run that many days in a week, and particularly week after week. I alternate between running trails in the woods around work (I love living & working in New Hampshire!) with running intervals on the treadmill. So far I am extremely slow (not that I was ever very fast, even when I was in shape for it) and I still can only run for intervals of a couple of minutes at a time (at most), but I’m sticking with it and getting out there and hoping that eventually some of this training will kick in. (I’m still waiting for that).

Additionally, I decided to sign up for some personal training at the company gym. It’s a pretty good deal and I felt that if I have this to anchor my week, it will help motivate me and keep me on track. Plus, I tend to be the type that will blow off strength training and abs work, if left to my own devices, so having training appointments will help force me to do that stuff. The first couple of weeks I had one session per week, but starting last week I moved to two. My muscles are sore and sometimes it’s hard to work in those sessions around the various meetings and other commitments I have, but I think they’re valuable and I schedule them in on my calendar, just like any other meeting. I’m worried about building too much muscle as I tend to build it easily (and at 5’2”, I don’t want to be muscle-bound) but that’s another good reason to employ the trainer, hopefully he will know what he’s doing, where I have no clue.

I’ve even managed to get my bike fixed up and actually took it out for a ride this past weekend. That was fun and a pretty hard workout. I thought compared to the running that it was going to feel easy, but it was hard, just in a different way. It had been so long since I had been on a bike that I had completely forgotten what it was like.

With the diet changes and the exercise I’ve added, I’ve managed to so far drop over 30 lbs since March. Considering my age, my hypothyroidism and my general tendency towards a sluggish metabolism and other hormone challenges, I’m pretty impressed with myself so far – heh. I’m sure that this weight-loss will slow down or plateau eventually, but right now I’m feeling very happy and positive about it all. Also, with the addition of exercise and activity, I feel so much better in general, in a good mood almost every day, I’m sleeping better in general, am relatively energetic, and pretty happy overall. So if a plateau happens, I can concentrate on how great I feel and work myself through it that way, rather than get too discouraged (hopefully anyway).

All-in-all, I’ve had a pretty damn good Spring, I have to say. I can only hope that Summer goes as well. At some point I suppose I should set some concrete goals, but I don’t honestly know what those are going to be yet. I know that I am only looking at the weight-loss in increments of about 10 lbs, so I’m just looking towards the next ten right now. When I get closer to where I want to be, I will reevaluate and try to come up with a more specific number to zero in on. The running and working out too, I’m not sure what my goals are going to be yet. For now I’m aiming for general good fitness so that I can do whatever I want to do and maximize my quality of life. I would like to be able to go out my door and run five miles easily without it being a major effort, I’ll be happy if I can get to that stage. Doesn’t have to be fast, but if I can run all of it, I’ll be fairly pleased with myself. Eventually I might have some kind of race goal, like maybe to run a half-marathon or even a marathon again, but I don’t think that I will even start to think about that until I can bang out at least the five miles without too much trouble. Right now I am too far away from being able to do that, to really consider anything more ambitious yet.

So, that is the update on the major stuff anyway. I’ve been pretty boring really, keeping quiet, exercising, walking the dogs, going to work, sitting on my deck and reading a lot. Life is good.

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