Monday, November 21, 2011

Wake me up when it's December, 'k?

funny pictures - Oh!  Gheesh!   Heres  it  comes  again.  Dat  fing  called  Mondae. Wen  i  rulez  da  wurld,  i  iz  gettin  rid  ob  itz.
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Good: Thanks to the lack of car, I got a lot of walking done this weekend just from Getting Things Done. To wit, walked 7-1/2 miles this weekend.
Bad: Might not get any exercise at all this week.

The next seven days are going to be hellish. I don't get paid for hours I don't work, so I'm going to try to work three 12-hour days this week to make up for the loss of money from the holidays. Plus which, I'm going to be spending money, flying home for Thanksgiving and then on to Southern California for a family reunion. The odds of healthy eating, regular exercise, or enough sleep occurring this week are, unlike the woman typing these words, extremely slim.

Site du week: Eco Cat Lady has a great post on why Alarm Clocks are the Root of All Evil.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Getting crafty

Confession du jour: I'm trying to learn crafty things like crochet. (Yes, I know this photo shows Cary Grant trying to knit. Stretch your imagination a bit, okay? I defy you to produce a photo of a hunk crocheting. Must be something only women do.)

I figure that spending three hours a day commuting by public transport should provide the ideal time and place to learn this craft stuff. For one thing, you can't throw the tangled yarn down and run out the door screaming. Not while the train is moving, at any rate.

If all goes as planned, I will be able to do a bit more serious exercise today. Since I worked four 10-hour days, I get today off. So I have the time to exercise... presuming I don't spend it doing chores. Are chores more important than exercise? Clearly not. Well... unless you want to be able to find clean clothes, eat off clean plates, have the electric bill paid before they cut it off... pish! Trivial things like that.

Exercise du jour: I'm figuring two hours of ellipticalling: one in the morning, one in the evening.

Note: I don't know how this will go. I've been extremely lax on the elliptical lately, so this might prove too much for Damn Knee. Six weeks ago, this would've been an easy goal to do. Let's see what happens.

Photo courtesy of Noelle Noodle.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

But baby it's cold outside

job fails - We Must Leave the Shower-Womb Eventually
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Quote du jour: I was so cold the other day, I almost got married.
- Shelley Winters

Quiz du jour: Reader, I married him, a quiz about lines from well-known books in English literature. Some of them I could identify the book, some I could only identify the author. A couple, alas, I knew them not.

Exercise du jour: 4 miles walking, 15 minutes ellipticalling.
Sigh. Yes, again. Let's see if I can do the full stint this time, even though I hab a code and hab to sneeze before I can breed through my nodz. (Yes, having a cold does make me type like that. What? It doesn't affect your spelling?)

Done! With the help of drugs, so I won't qualify for any Olympic records (I'm sure NyquilTM is on the proscribed list), but it's done!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Every family has its own internal language

Quote du jour:
Me: What's this potted plant?
Mother: Oh, Cathy gave me that. It's to replace that plant we had by the front door, the one that died when the weather got below freezing. I forget the name... something that begins with 'P'...
Me: Hibiscus?
Mother: That's the one.

Site du jour: In case you missed it, A Mouse in France wrote a series of posts on how to avoid getting computer viruses. And since she deals with that sort of thing for a living, this is straight from the horse's mouth, as it were. (From the mouse's mouth? Whatever.)

Exercise du jour: 4 miles walking, 15 minutes ellipticalling.
Sigh. Yes, again. This will become a habit eventually. I just wish I had a precise definition of what 'eventually' means in this case.
Done. Finally. Actually, not quite done. I skimped on the walking (2-1/2 miles), because my body decided that since everyone else was sniffling and sneezing, it should join in the fun. Slowest 15 minutes of ellipticalling ever, but I got up and did it anyway, so I'm putting the star up.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Oh, gift me a break

job fails - Halloween isn't Even Cold to the Touch Yet! Wait a Few Weeks!
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Quote du jour: I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.
- Shirley Temple

Exercise du jour: 4 miles walking, 15 minutes ellipticalling. It shall be done.
It has been done. That 'just 15 minutes' thing still works.

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Oh good. You still work here."

job fails - Clippy Asks A More Relevant Question
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Not the best way to start the day: "Oh good. You still work here."
- A co-worker, when I walked into the office one day last week. Turns out the company's been playing musical chairs, a.k.a. reorganizing.

Not the best way to end the day: That night I drove home by back roads, going 60 down dark, narrow roads that don't even had a shoulder if you need to pull over. I turned into the driveway, shut off the engine, and only then noticed clouds of steam rising up from under the hood. Half an hour later, the car was still steaming. Can't see any loose hoses, but there's a definite smell of antifreeze. Thankfully, I can get around without a car if I have to.

Goal for the week: I'm thinking that I might try working four 10-hour days this week. The manager told me that this was an option, and I'm wondering if it will work out better. I get more done when I can concentrate for long periods of time. Plus, I'm spending three friggin' hours a day commuting. Would be nice to only have to do that four days a week.

On the down side, doing this means that I will have less time to exercise during the week. Therefore, I have to take a walking lunch break. Also, I will have to make it an absolute rule to use the elliptical every night. That's going to be hard. I don't mean physically, but mentally. By the end of the day I'm usually worn out and want "me" time -- I want to relax, put my feet up, and be self-indulgent. The trick here is to try to persuade my inner slug that using the elliptical is a form of self-indulgence.

Exercise du jour: 4 miles walking, 15 minutes elliptical. Yes, I know it's the same goal as before. When it gets easy, I'll up the workout. (It's easy enough physically. The challenge here involves time and discipline.)
Done! Actually did 5 miles walking.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Internet is making it harder for me to be a slacker

Here I was, spending time on the Internet because it was too dark and cold and gloomy to get off my ever-increasing bottom and get on my bicycle for a short 4-mile ride. (But it's so dark! It's so cold! It's so glooooooomy!)

Then I had to go and read Lynne's blog about her ride from Eugene to Beaverton.* (For those of you from elsewhere, she rode 136 miles that day. For those of you from somewhere with a more sensible measuring system, that's 218 kilometers.)

Damn. It's much harder to look my conscience in the eye and tell it that I can't do my simple get-the-chores-done ride.

Done! 4 miles on a bike

*Sorry, Julie, but even though I'd love to stop in for a visit, it ain't gonna be by bike.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The magic of 15 minutes

Quote du jour:It always seems impossible until it's done.
- Nelson Mandela

Thanks to the amazing MessyMimi, I now know that today is National Cliché day. And it is a cliché that you can do more than you think you can.

When I absolutely positively cannot in any way Get Up And Exercise... for some reason, I can almost always still manage to get on the elliptical for 15 minutes. Can't manage half an hour, 20 minutes is still too long. But just 15 minutes, well, the bar is set low enough that the weary brain can grasp the concept and see it as doable. As often as not, I find that once I'm going, I can go a little further.

Exercise du jour: Yes, another 4 miles walking, 15 minutes ellipticalling. (Merry, when are you going to change the routine? A - when it becomes easy.)
Done! I'm claiming the star even though I did 30 minutes ellipticalling and no minutes walking. I figure I deserve it on humanitarian grounds, for even though I had a rotten day and really wanted nothing more than to crawl into my home/cave at the end of the day, I got on the elliptical machine. Of course, I wouldn't have done it if you -- yes, you right there, don't look away -- hadn't had faith that I could do it. The guilt of letting you down, well, I was ready to get up there and go through the motions to placate that guilt. Then, once I was going through the motions, it was easy enough to put a good tune on the headphones and get some real exercise.
I think the formula is Friends + Guilt + iTunes = Workout.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Why You Should Exercise Every Day

Hella long Quote du jour:

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts show
that, after just one day of not exercising, your body loses some
of its ability to respond to insulin (Metabolism: Clinical and
Experimental, July 2011). Inability to respond to insulin is the
cause of most cases of diabetes that has the potential to cause
premature death in one of every three North Americans.

HOW SUGAR DAMAGES CELLS: After you eat, blood sugar levels
rise. If they rise too high, sugar sticks to outer cell membranes
to destroy those cells. That's why diabetics suffer from damage
to every cell in their bodies, leading to blindness, deafness, dementia, heart attacks, strokes, impotence, and damage to nerves, kidneys or liver. To keep blood sugar levels from rising too high, your pancreas releases insulin which drives sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Exercising every day helps to keep sugar levels from rising too high.

HOW CONTRACTING MUSCLES CAN PREVENT DIABETES: Resting muscles cannot draw sugar from the bloodstream without receiving large amounts of insulin. However, contracting muscles can remove sugar from the bloodstream without using insulin. This effect is maximal during exercise and is gone completely after 17

ONE MISSED DAY OF EXERCISE: In the study from the University of Massachusetts, after just one day of sitting, people had higher blood sugar levels after a meal, decreased ability to respond to insulin, and higher insulin levels. The more food they ate on the day of not exercising, the higher their blood sugar levels, and the less their bodies responded to insulin. This study shows that just one day of not exercising increases a person's risk for the side effects of diabetes.

HOW TO EXERCISE EVERY DAY: Many people become injured when they try to exercise every day. The most likely cause is that they do not understand the hard-easy principle that every knowledgeable exerciser should learn. You take a more intense workout on one day. The next day, you can expect to feel sore. That is when you must put very little pressure on your muscles. That means to run, dance, skate, cycle very slowly or lift lightly until the soreness diminishes. Only then should you move faster and lift heavier. You can tell that you are headed for an injury if you feel soreness that is not symmetrical and it worsens with exercise. Stop because continuing discomfort with exercise is often a sign of impending injury.

- Dr. Mirkin

Okay, I have a plan. Yesterday started off pretty good, with me drinking like a fish. I drank about three liters of water in the morning, but I slacked off in the afternoon only to find Mr. Headache coming back for a visit.

So today, I'm hitting the bottle every hour from the moment I walk in the front door to the last-minute frantic dash for the exit at night. And I'm going to exercise.

4 miles. 15 minutes elliptically. It shall be done, damn it.
It has been done. 30 on the elliptical. And it was good. The drinking plan seems to be helping.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Back to the routine

Quote du jour: Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.
- Yeats (attrib.)

Why does a headache leave you feeling as drained as if you'd indulged in an orgy of debauchery? If I'd known I was going to have a hangover, I would've gone out on the town, damn it.

Oh well. Another day, another dollar cliché exercise goal.

Exercise du jour: 4 miles walking, 15 minutes elliptical.
Semi-win. Did 3 miles walking. Yes, the headache came back. I am nearly positive that it's caused by dehydration. The workplace humidity is kept unnaturally low, to make the products feel better. They do provide extra drinking water stations to make the people feel better, and a round-trip walk to the closest one is a 1/4 mile walk, so it's not too bad. So long as I remember to keep drinking. Slacked off this afternoon, and lo! The headache returned this evening like an old friend. The kind who owes you money and sits around on your couch drinking your beer and watching shows you hate.