Friday, March 26, 2010

Thanks for the guilt

You've been a great bunch of people. Thank you for all the nagging, guilting, and other forms of encouragement.

I've been clinging to the idea of exercising like a woman clinging to the edge of a cliff in a hurricane. The good news is that I might get a weekend off next week. And after that, things should actually ease up a bit and I'll be able to get back into an exercise routine that's worth the name. Presuming I remember what that is after all this time.

It really has helped, posting my exercise to this blog. I would -- so often -- have slacked off of exercising 'just this once' if I hadn't been posting up on the blog that I would exercise. Which is mostly due to the fact that you (yes, you right there reading this) might be looking at the blog that day. So thank you.

Exercise du jour: Again, the goal is to simply take a walk at lunch. I set my sights low, but the important thing is to exercise daily, no matter how little. Keep the habit of exercising going until I can give more attention to it.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today, I blame myself

What the hell. Maybe that'll work better.

I'll even take responsibility for my hair. Serves me right for trying something different, style-wise. I was going for a Look, but it's turned into more of a Glare. (Scary hair. Trust me, you don't want a picture.)

Exercise du jour: replay of yesterday's goal. Walk at lunch.
Not a replay of yesterday in any other way, thankyouverymuch.
Well, let's define 'lunch' as something that takes place at 10 p.m. Then I call this 1/2 hour walk a lunch-time walk.

I tried to capture a picture of 'The Glare,' but it doesn't come out well in photo-land. The hairstyle actually resembles more of a triangle: the ends are sticking out far to the east and west of my head. Capturing the chaos in a photo contains the mess far more than it should.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I've decided that this is All Your Fault

funny pictures of cats with captions
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I've decided it's your fault I'm not getting my originally scheduled workouts in.

No, it's not the fault of the insane work hours, or my slothful need to sleep more than three hours a night. It's all your fault.

If you were DOING YOUR JOB and making me FEEL GUILTY FOR NOT EXERCISING then not only would I STOP WRITING IN ALL CAPS, yes, I would actually be getting some serious exercise in.

Shame on you.

Exercise du jour: No, using ALL CAPS is not exercise. Sadly. Neither is aerobically jumping to conclusions or exercising my powers of deduction. So I guess I'm stuck with something boring actually achievable, like a two-mile walk at lunch.
Yes, I know. I set my sights low. But so long as I achieve the goal, it's a win. And days weeks months like this, sometimes a low goal is all you can do.

Update du 11:38 pm: Crap. I don't think I'm going to fit exercise into the day. Had meetings all through lunch. Tomorrow is another day. Maybe a better one.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fake it 'til you... well, just fake it, okay?

John Belushi imitation  Pretty good, actually
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It doesn't look like I'm going to get next weekend off either.
But I'm still going to try to exercise today.

Exercise du jour: I'm going to say '2 miles.'
Note the cleverness there? I'm not saying whether they'll be walked or run or crawled, but two mile's worth of exercise will ensue.

Maybe calories can be expended and fitness achieved even if the human doing the workout would rather be snug and warm in bed.

Done! Actually walked a brisk 2-1/2 miles today. In the spring sunshine, with clear blue skies and flowers blooming and bees buzzing and several mini-packs of lean crazed runners trying to run me down. All the joys of springtime, tra la.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Yeah, I'm just springin' into action here...

Quote du jour: Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.
- Rainer Maria Rilke

[Whaddya mean 'what does that mean'? It's poetry. You're supposed to feel it, not understand it. Intuitive, not analytical. Oh, whatever. Fine. Be that way.]

[Note to self: stop arguing with the logical half of your brain whilst on a public blog. People will think you're more weird.]

Exercise du jour: I am going to pedal. On my bicycle. I have sworn it.

Okay, so I should stop with the swearing already. I go through my life like a man late for the bus; running to catch up, I'll settle for getting to the destination somehow. In other words, walked 1-1/2 miles with Manuel.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Keep it simple, Merry

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I'm lowering my standards.
All I ask is that I do some kind of damn exercise.

Cranky? I've been working 12-17 hour days for the last week. Haven't had a day off in a couple weeks. HELL yes I'm cranky. The end is in sight. I'm hoping to get the next weekend off. Not too soon. I've barely gone near a vegetable; my only criterion for food selection is that it be fast. And yes, I've gained a few pounds and need to sleep for a couple days. On the plus side, my whining skills are in fine fettle. (What the hell is a fettle, anyway?)

Anywhere... where was I? Oh yes, of course. Whining. Anyway, the point is, tonight I'm going to run two miles. Oh all right. One damn mile. That's all I ask.

Exercise du jour: Running 1 mile.
Done! One thing about setting my goals low, it's much less stress worrying about whether I'll make them. Plus, the thought came to me about about 1/2 mile, what I'm doing here is mostly training the mind, not the muscles. Extend my mental stamina and the rest is easy peasy. (More or less. Mostly more.)

p.s. Fettle (n): State or condition of health, fitness, wholeness, spirit or form.
Next step: look up words like 'health' and 'fitness.'

Monday, March 15, 2010

Taking the week off... nothing to see here...

The Blue Bird of Happiness photo was stolen borrowed Liberated from Lost and Found in India

Having a week off. Or having an off week. One of the two.

This week, I'm not going to track exercise.
My only goal is to get through the week.
And then get a life.

Friday, March 12, 2010

If it's Friday, that means...

Quote du jour: “Frustration is the first step towards improvement. I have no incentive to improve if I’m content with what I can do and if I’m completely satisfied with my pace, distance and form as a runner. It’s only when I face frustration and use it to fuel my dedication that I feel myself moving forwards.”
- John Bingham

Exercise du jour: Going to try again for the 4.5 mile jog. I will do what I can do. Each time I fail, I fail a little farther than I did before. So it counts as progress even if I have to walk partway. Just as long as I'm out there going for it.

Done! It got later and later, and I started to wonder, but I made it with over an hour to spare.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

This IS my cheerful face. You got a problem with that?

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Okay, so here's the hand of cards that I've been dealt.

I've got:
  • a boss who thinks I do a crap job. (Five years doing this job and suddenly I'm no good?)
  • a dog so sick that she will let cats walk through her yard without even lifting her head.
  • so much work to do that I've worked 3 out of the last 4 weekends, and I will need to work another 3 to get things done. (Tie this one back to the crap job. There are limits to how many 12 hour days I can put in and still deliver perfection.)

And all I can think to say is, I am being CHEERful, damn it! I refuse to let this get the better of me.

I can choose how I will react to this hand of cards. Nowhere is it written that I have to wail and bemoan my fate except for on the blog. So long as I can get some sleep, some exercise, and a chance to hug the sick puppy, then I will get through this.

I've shortened my expectations for the day. I'm posting it here to make sure it gets done.

Exercise du jour: One single simple damn walk at lunchtime. That's all I'm asking.
Done! Well, if you stretch your definition of 'lunchtime' to 10 in the evening, anyway. Thank God for Manuel, or I'd never have done 20 minutes of walking. (And he had no problem with being put away and ignored for so long, either.)
p.s. And if it wasn't for the fact that I'd pasted this goal up on the blog, I would never have done any exercise at all today.

I have to ask, or I won't get a lunch break. (Not that my job would deny me, but I would. I'm feeling pressure to get these manuals out now, and maybe get home before 10 pm, and that tends to take precedence over taking care of my basic needs, like a walk. Which is stupid. I know.)
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

LOLcat wisdom

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Quote du jour:
In men whom men condemn as ill

I find so much of goodness still,
In men whom men pronounce divine

I find so much of sin and blot,
I do not dare to draw a line

Between the two, where God has not.

--Joaquin Miller

Exercise du jour: Jog 2 miles.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Me, Picasso, & James Thurber

People tell me it's useful to keep picture records of my progress.

The problem is that even the idea of putting photographs of myself up on the blog depresses me utterly. On the other hand, I've always admired people who did have the fortitude to put their pictures up on their blog. They also tend to have been successful in reshaping themselves. Maybe there's a connection. I knew photos would not work for me, but I did an interesting experiment. I drew my shape.

Since I am of course gifted in artistic skills self-delusion, I decided to draw in the style of Picasso or of James Thurber. I drew what I recalled looking like three months ago and what I looked like today.

Note: Yes, I did chop my arms off for these pictures. But then I had them surgically reattached. No worries.

My spare tire has definitely lost a little air, and it's caused a redistribution of stuff. It's like I still have most of the weight that I'd had before, but instead of being around my waist, it all just slid south a few inches.

Technical note: If you want these progress pictures to twirl around, PastaQueen style, follow this procedure:

1 - Print out the picture.
2 - Lay the printout on a flat surface, such as a table.
3 - Run around and around the table while keeping your gaze fixed on the printout.

[Note: the womanagement of Sheesh are not responsible for any injuries that might be incurred during this procedure.]

Hey, if you want some cool progress photos:

Somehow, I don't think I need to worry about anyone stealing my pics.

Exercise du jour: Jog 3 miles. I'll see if I feel like going a bit further, to make up for the Friday fail.
Done! Not a pretty job, but I did it.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Forget willpower, give me habit

Used to file my nails.  Got out of the habit.
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Little things really do add up.

Fr'instance, if I eat a piece of Saturated Fat, it is so much easier to have that glass of wine or chocolate eclair. On the other hand, if I do my scheduled run, it is much easier (alas, not "so much") to do the next scheduled run.

Success builds on itself, just as failure does. Alas, failure has gravity on its side: it's so much easier to fail than it is to succeed. At least, it is until I pound it into my brain and my body, over and over again, that I will exercise and I will eat right. Then habit, the body's love of the familiar routine, takes over and keeps me going.

Give me habit over willpower any day.

Of course, right now I'd settle for either. Have you seen my motivation anywhere? Could've sworn I had it a few weeks ago. I just put it down somewhere...

Exercise du jour: 4.5 miles jogging
FAIL. I did try. Ended up walking 3 miles instead. Will try again Sunday.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Need to pla n ahea

Example A
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The good news: after this week, I will have time to sleep and clean house and even exercise.
The bad news: this week, I don't see how I can get all three done.

Several deadlines decided to all shift to this week. Pressure? What pressure?

I prepared by buying a week's worth of 'healthy' frozen dinners. Can you survive a week eating only food taken from the freezer? Will report back with details.

Exercise du jour: Need to find time to squeeze in a 3-mile jog.
Done! A messy house is a sure sign of a woman who's determined to exercise. That's my story, anyway.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Bad Merry

Here's the scene. It's 9:30 on a Saturday night, I've been working overtime all day, and I've decided 'the heck with it, I'm not going to ride the whole way home. I'll take the Max.' So I ride up to the Max station. Granted, not perhaps the best Max station. It does tend to be the station that you hear about on the news, with the words "the incident occurred at" used in the report. But the road home was starting to feel quite dark and deserted, and the train would be along in a couple minutes.

Yes, okay, the station was also rather dark, and it did have a bunch of big men lurking deep in the inky shadows. And as I got up to the ticket dispenser, a man on the other side of the tracks, some ways off in the dark, started yelling. I caught the word 'bicycle.' I figured even if he were drunk or on drugs, still I was surrounded by all these big guys who looked like they could've been part of a gang. I should be okay. Probably. I mean hell, this is Portland, not San Francisco. It's the Canada of the west coast. The general level of 'nice' is fairly high.

Then after I bought the ticket, I turned around to find myself facing an angry old man. "You were riding your bike at the station! And you heard me identify myself as a duly appointed Tri-Met supervisor! You were violating the law! Do you realize that the penalty for this offense is $170? Do you want me to write you a ticket?"

This went on for a few minutes. He was really pissed off at me. (Good thing I didn't do something trivial, like shaking a baby or something.)

For the record: Yes, I was doing something against the rules. So he had every right to write me a ticket. I don't think the yelling was necessary, certainly not at that volume for that length of time. Perhaps it made him feel better. I have a sneaking suspicion he liked being able to exercise what little power he had over the universe, for he didn't in fact write up a ticket; he got it out of his system by yelling.

[I think infractions this minor should be covered under the heading of Common Sense. If you're sitting on a bike, go at 2 mph and avoid pedestrians. If it's crowded, become one of the pedestrians. Don't make people feel unsafe.]

The funny part was what happened after he walked away. I found myself surrounded by a whole lot of big, tall, tough-looking guys. Who were all working hard to keep a straight face. One of them quite solemnly shook his finger at me. Then he grinned. Another mean-looking guy muttered, "I wouldn't have let him speak to me like that." A third guy said, "Hey, ignore him. That man spends most of his days getting disrespected by 15-year-olds. You handled him really well." A fourth guy just laughed.

Well, maybe the duly appointed long-arm of the bureaucracy was mad at me, but at least I got to meet a bunch of tough-yet-sympathetic guys.

And another plus, the encounter should encourage me to avoid this Max station in the future. Which should make it easier to pedal all the way home next time.

Exercise du jour: Cycling 3 miles in the morning, and definitely a whole lot more miles on the way home.
FAIL. In fact, I'm betting that the whole week is going to be a fail. By the end of the day, I was rather glad that I hadn't ridden my bike in. I left around 9 pm and would have faced another dark deserted ride home -- or else faced dealing the the joys of Tri-Met.
I've prepared for the week. On my way home, I bought 8 Lean Cuisine fast food meals. That way I'll get two meals a day, somewhat kinda healthy food. That's the best I can do.
Usually, I set up a week's worth of exercise and try to make the goal each day. This week, I'm not going to hold myself to doing this. I'll do what I can.
I wish life didn't get in the way of my goals. Some weeks all you can do is hang on and hope to make it through intact.