Friday, May 28, 2010

Color me easily amused

Today's a roadtrip day. Might not get any exercise at all, but since I usually post a picture of a Hugh on Fridays, and this made me laugh, I thought I should post this video.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Big shoes, small goals

Quote du jour: People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily. - Zig Ziglar

Recycled the quote du jour because a)it's still true b)I'm tired and want to go exercise rather than hunt for the mot juste. Had to get up for a 7 a.m. meeting today because it was the only time that people in Oregon, Australia and Spain could all get together for a phone conference. I hate outsourcing. The people are fine, but the time zone hassles stink on ice.

Okay. Whine done. It's safe to come back now.

Exercise du jour: Whining

Walking 2-3 miles, 30 minutes with Ellie the Elliptical.

Done! Okay, I lied. What I actually did was cycle for 30 minutes instead, because the walk got postponed until tomorrow and my knee is bothering me. And I'm trying to work up enthusiasm to work late tonight. Go me. Yeah. Woo. Oh the hell with it.

Picture of the Adidas campus in Portland.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Logic can take you to some pretty strange places

funny pictures of dogs with captions
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I've been thinking. Always dangerous when that happens.

I've noticed that what Theresa said was true: simply doing the dishes is a way of organizing the universe, or at least the part of the universe that is within my circle of experiencing. Leaving all the counters and the sink clean at the end of the day, as the Fly Lady suggests, is a way of making sure that when I stumble out of my bedroom in the morning, my environment sends vibes of 'neat,' 'organized,' and 'in control' to my waking subconscious.

On the other hand, maybe this cleaning and organizing of my kitchen/life/world is futile and doomed. I mean, unless all the laws of Physics are wrong (and those Physics professors always sounded way too sure of themselves) then the universe by its nature goes from organization to chaos. So isn't cleaning my kitchen an unnatural act?

Exercise du jour: Speaking of unnatural acts, the goal is to drag my sleepy self out of my warm cozy bed and do 30 minutes on the exercise cycle before heading into work after coming home from work.
Done! Finally. The exercise cycle doesn't give the same feeling of getting somewhere while you pedal, but it is still a good alternative to the road on a dark and stormy night.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Forcing myself to exercise

bob's house of video games
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Completely inapplicable quote du jour: The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me. - Ayn Rand

Today, the question isn't who's going to let me, it's who's going to make me exercise. It's cold out -- February rather than May -- and it's damp and I'm tired and ... oh, you know the story.

I'm not going to get off my ever-expanding assets and exercise unless I do something drastic.

Like telling you that I'm going to exercise.

'Cause I know you. You'll come back and check later to make sure the gold star of success is pasted.

And on days like this, I appreciate help.

Exercise du jour: 22 minutes with Ellie. And we'll go on from there.
Done! I'm redder than Xenia after a hot marathon, but it's done. So I've accomplished One Thing today. Thanks to you!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Go Xenia!

Xenia is running the Edinburgh Marathon this weekend. It seemed only right and proper to post a man-in-kilt, as Edinburgh is apparently full of men who dress (and look?) like this, and she needs to be prepared.

If you can think of a catchy, encouraging sign for Theresa to hold up, please leave your comment here.

Go Xenia!

Ewan McGregor courtesy of Barbara DoDuk.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Scenes from the back yard

The hawthorn blossom is almost finished, and the lilac is starting to fade as well.

Luckily, the rhododendrons are still going strong.

I mean, we're talking the energizer bunny of the flower world. So long as they're happy, they're going to keep going and going ...

And once they decide to quit for the season, it looks like the roses will be ready to step up to the plate and take their turn.

I do love my yard.

Adventures in shopping: Manuel gets a girlfriend

I've been draggin', my energy level saggin', my conscience naggin'.
Only one thing to do in a situation like that.

Yes, I went shopping.

It wasn't quite as bad as when I went to buy Orlando Manuel, my manual treadmill. But it still had moments of oddity.

Picture the scene: me in a crowded store, trying out the elliptical. Little kids tugging on their mother's sleeve as they pass by "Mommy, what is that lady doing?" (Honestly, does No One in this world ever try out exercise equipment before they slap down the credit card? Am I the only one?)

And the result is Manuel's new girlfriend: Ellie.
Ellie the elliptical machine. Bear sold separately.

She's a bit clanky, but I can get my heart rate up quickly and keep it up in the workout range without too much stress. I know it's exercise, but it doesn't feel like I'm working as hard as I am. I often don't realize how hard my heart is going until I check my pulse. It doesn't feel like as much work to get a workout using the elliptical machine. (Well, it doesn't feel like it until I get off. Then the muscles make themselves felt.)

Plus, she was 70% off, which appealed to my cheapskate frugal side.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

If I ignore it, maybe it will go away

If I ignore it, maybe my thyroid will go away...

Okay, maybe not.

Boring background paragraph: About 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (a.k.a. autoimmune thyroiditis). Which means that every so often my immune system gets honked off and decides to attack my thyroid gland with, as they say, hilarious results. Or not.

I tend to treat this as if it's not a serious problem and generally it's not. I've had a sub-clinical case for so long, I'd started to feel it wasn't something I needed to reckon with. The past couple months of living on caffeine and fast food... maybe that wasn't such a great idea.

Turns out that trying to make up for lack of sleep and exercise by drinking copious amounts of coffee is like taking an advance draft on funds you don't currently possess. Sooner or later, the Authorities come lookin' for you. And when you piss off your thyroid, it has a whole lot of authority.

tommy lee jones
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I got to the point where I was exhausted when I woke up, exhausted when I went to sleep, and dragging the whole time in between. Last Sunday, it took me four tries to mow my very small backyard lawn.

Even my brain was moving slower than usual. "Brain fog," they call it. The persistent headache is also a classic hypothyroid-problem: my face swells up like a balloon, the area between the eyebrow and the eye itself swelling up to the point where my eyes become half-hidden. All this pressure on the eyes causes a headache that no amount of ibuprofen can make go 'way.

So this past week, I didn't do a whole lot of exercise. Walked a grand whopping total of 12 miles. No cycling or nothin' like that. Ate vegetables, slept, took it easy.

I'm feeling better, so I am -- yes, for the 231st time -- going back to my exercise routine. Hell, I might not be fast, I may not get great results quickly, but I have honed my stubborn streak until it is as hard as steel. Don't mess with me. Outta my way. Stubborn fat chick coming through. Grrr.

Time's a-wastin'

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.

- Andrew Marvell

Some facts to consider:

It's May.

It's beautiful outside.

Everywhere I look I see people cycling, jogging, soaking up the sunshine and enjoying being fit.

The bastards.

Okay, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to call any of you healthy fit people bad names. I'm just a little jealous, okay? I'll be good now. Honest.

I'm still a bit shaky from the headache, which has now come back for the sixth day this week, but I have to get back into the exercise routine. I am feeling increasingly compelled to kick it into gear.

Plus, having a headache makes me call people names even when they don't deserve it.

I have been taking it easy because I'm afraid of injury and losing my momentum. But hell, after two months sitting in a cubicle, my momentum has upped and left me for someone with weekends off. So what? I have to push myself anyway. No point sitting around waiting until I feel better, or in the mood. Time's a-wastin'.

For me it is. Not for those people who've been exercising all along, like I should have done.

To be fair to the body, I'll only ask it to do one hour of cardio. The other hour will be stretching and balance stuff. Yoga, in other words.

But always at my back I hear
some anti-yogist whispering near
"Is yoga exercise? Puh-lease, my dear!"

Exercise du jour:
1 hour yoga
1 hour cycling

Friday, May 07, 2010

Friday: taking it off

Quote du jour: Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. - Howard Thurman.

Exercise du jour: Nada. For once, no scheduled exercise. I'm going to relax and de-headache myself.

Have a great weekend!

Thomas Jane courtesy of Flicker

Thursday, May 06, 2010

When lilacs last in the backyard bloomed...

In the door-yard fronting an old farm-house, near the white-wash’d palings,
Stands the lilac bush, tall-growing, with heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
With many a pointed blossom, rising, delicate, with the perfume strong I love,
With every leaf a miracle......and from this bush in the door-yard,
With delicate-color’d blossoms, and heart-shaped leaves of rich green,
A sprig, with its flower, I break.

- Walt Whitman
When Lilacs Last in the Door-Yard Bloomed

Over the weekend I went to the far back corner of the yard, where the laurel bush that's on steroids is trying to take over the world. I happened to look up, and found myself staring at a profusion of white lilac that I hadn't known was there.

The lilac tree is almost 7 feet tall, but even so the laurel is trying to grow over and around it. The lilac blooms were showing through the leaves of the laurel bush.

I love that the back yard still holds surprises. Times like this, I get the urge to turn into a modern-day Thoreau and hang out with nature more and the modern world less. Dare I say it, to be a thoreau-back to old ways.

Okay, maybe I dare not say it. It's still a wonderful feeling to be able to walk into my back yard and be surrounded by all the beautiful things growing there.

Exercise du jour: Alas, no surprise here. It's another walking day. I'm going to walk to and from the Max station, and I've scheduled a walk at lunch, then I want to walk to the Weight Watchers meeting. Since I missed my regular meeting, I want to walk to one that's a bit farther away ("a bit" = 2 miles). Even broken up into segments, I figure that's good for at least a five-mile day. Maybe a bit more.

Done! Sorta. "No surprise here," I said. Oh, there's always room for surprise. Ended up getting up late & having to drive to work, then working late and missing Weight Watchers. The only thing that went as expected was the 2-mile lunchtime walk. Even so, even though I had to work another 12-hour day, and I've got a headache for the third day in a row, even so I am content. Because I'm finally done with the main draft of that blasted manual on that blasted project and I can actually Get Other Things Done! Unless my headache comes back tomorrow, in which case I'm calling in sick and not doing anything strenuous. Either way, it's going to get better from here on.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Continuing on the straight-if-not-narrow (yet) path

You might well have seen this before -- it's about a month out of date, but I thought it was charming, so I'm exercising executive editorial authority and sharing it on my blog. (Hey, I'm rarely first, but only one person can hold last place so that makes me special too. In my own way.)

Video du jour:

Quote du jour: I love my past. I love my present. I'm not ashamed of what I've had, and I'm not sad because I have it no longer. --Colette

Exercise du jour: Cycling, 4 miles. Walking, at least 3 miles.
Done! Well, I'm calling it a win even though I'm skipping the cycling part. Walked 5-1/2 miles, but I'm tired. I think -- I know I've said this before, but I truly do think that today might be the last 12-hour work day for awhile. Fingers crossed, rabbit's foot rubbed, libations poured out to the gods -- oh screw that, I'll pour a libation for myself. It's been that kind of day.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Monday? Sorry. Just erased it.

Okay, yesterday didn't happen.
I have wiped Monday out of existence.
I am going to start over again today and get it done.

Exercise du jour: Me. Walking shoes. The road. 5 miles. It shall be done.
Done! Today was a damn fine Monday. Much better than the one I erased. At least, it will be once the headache goes away.

comic courtesy of xkcd

Monday, May 03, 2010

I'm supposed to date Jack Bauer?

Questionable fact du jour: On average, women date 24 men before they find Mr. Right.

Actually, it turns out they don't mean Canadian actors who star in the show 24. Some women date only a few men before they find "the one," while others can date up to 80 guys.

The reason I find this questionable is that I'm thinking the 80-date woman might have just given up and is a no-longer-counted statistic, like people who are out of work but have stopped looking.

Exercise du jour: Walk 5 miles. I'm going to try to see if I can break last week's record.

Upate du 9:11 pm Gaaaaaaaaaah! @#!% $^%$@ and !!#@%^#@&%#&%@$&*!!!!!
May the good Lord take each and every single solitary software engineer on the face of the earth and chop them up into little bits so that I can stomp on them good and hard!

Translation: It's late at night; I'm tired, I'm THIS close to finishing the last of the unreasonable projects that I'm on... and I just discovered a whole nest of new features that the engineer decided to add to the application without stinkin' telling anyone what they're supposed to do. Yes, I am blaming an entire profession for the behavior of one man. At this moment in time, I think that's a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Time for the mental blinders

Quote du jour: Our bodies are our gardens
to the which our wills are gardeners...
- Iago. Othello, Act I Scene 3

The goal for today is to set up the exercise bicycle. I'm trying to make my goals small so I don't feel overwhelmed. The body could probably do more, but I'm afraid of setting the bar too high and getting overwhelmed/discouraged as a result. I'm trying to catch up on everything I've been neglecting... the dog, the yard,and oh dear lord, the housework -- okay I'm starting to get discouraged. Time to put on the mental blinders and concentrate on this moment's task.

Exercise du jour: Cycle for 30 minutes.
Done! Not as bad as I thought it would be.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Status? Don't ask

I'm starting to emerge from the two months of all work and no workout, so I decided to take a long hard look in the mirror.


Okay, on second thought, screw the mirror. I'm going to put a cover over all the mirrors in the house.

It's amazing, in a depressing way, what two months of stress, fast food, no exercise and almost no sleep can do to a woman. I used to have a pot belly. Now it's not so much a pot as a cauldron. I haven't actually been attending Weight Watcher meetings. I usually found time to dash in and get weighed, but some weeks I couldn't even do that. Tracking my food? Yeah, right. Even exercise has been lost in the shuffle.

The ideal long-term solution to this would be to get a new job, one with more pay, less work, and with a gym in the building. A gym staffed by lithe nubile tanned gym instructors with an endless supply of biceps and patience.

A more realistic solution -- for now, anyway -- is to dig myself out of the hole again.
    Goals for this week:

  • Buy fruit, vegetables, fish. No meat/alcohol/sugar in the house

  • Cook enough food so that I can bring food to work

  • Bike or walk every damn day

  • Get back to attending meetings, reading blogs, and in general trying to find my lost motivation.

I'm putting these goals up here for all the world to see.
Probably all the world has better things to do with their time, but that's not the point.
I am a strong independent occasionally self-deluded woman who is making herself publicly accountable. So there.

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes on the exercise bicycle.

Walked instead, but it's still exercise. (Didn't get the exercise bike set up. Something to look forward to tomorrow.)

My portrait courtesy of Flickr: