Friday, July 30, 2010

Fitness Mis-step

So I was out-of-town on business this week, which is never an excuse to avoid exercise.  I found a new area not far from the hotel (Mt. Pleasant, SC) that featured some lightly wooded areas with paved paths that intermingled with some nice residential areas - perfect for walking.

Si I was cruising along enjoying the view and burning off some calories when something on the ground ahead caught my eye.  Now it happened to be right at sunset, so it was getting a bit dark and I had to squint to see exactly what it was stretching across the path, as I was fast approaching it.  Suddenly it moved, or should I slithered.  Ick - a snake, and I hate snakes, and I mean really hate snakes.  Cal it an unnatural fear or whatever, but it is what it is, which ain't good for me! 

Being that I usually am walking either near the Beach or in a more urban setting, I had never encountered a snake while doing the power walk, so this caught me totally off guard.  In retrospect, the setting was one that would support a slithery creature or two (obviously) but it still threw me off-guard.

Now I am a wimp when it comes to snakes, and despite this one being pretty small - maybe 24" or so and not exhibiting any signs of being hostile, my walking came to a grinding halt real quick.  No I didn't step on him, but I sure didn't want to get any closer.  Guess he felt the same way, cause he took off as fast as he could.

Now I had a decision to make - turn around and run - stay frozen in position till I died - call 911 - call a taxi - or continue on after skirting the last known position of the snake by at least 100 feet.

I decided to take the risk and move forward.  But noticing that there was a lot of vegetation growing along the sidewalk, I decided to walk in the street instead...  what the heck, I would rather get hit by a car than step on a snake - at least it wouldn't be a surprise.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Get Out Of Jail Free Card

Everybody has a bad week at some point - hopefully that is in the singular form, not the plural - where you ate too much and exercised too little.  You know what I'm talking about... the feelings of dread about getting on the scale and facing up to the reality of the ugly truth that those tiny digits will reveal.  Gee, it can be traumatic at best and almost suicidal at the extreme!  As the weigh day comes closer, the anxiety grows, and for those who respond to stress by eating more, it just gets worse.

So what do you do about bad weeks?  For starters avoid them!  But assuming you are a human being and not an alien life form (though weight loss can make you feel that way) you will have a bad week from time-to-time, its just a reality that has to be faced.  Thus, my solution is to just pretend it didn't happen.  How about that?  Just ignore it and turn a blind eye to your indiscretions and play dumb.  Think I'm kidding????

I'm serious - if you have a bad week, grant yourself a "Get Out Of Jail Free Card" and cash it in when it comes time for the weigh-in.  I know, some of you are jumping up and down and yelling "alright, weigh to go" while others are screaming"denial never works".  I agree with both groups - how is that for playing it safe...

But for real, on occasion, it might be better to skip a weigh-in when you know its going to be bad. Rather than depressing yourself with the real numbers, focus on making up for the bad week with an extra effort, so at least the next weigh-in should be back on track.  However, the concept doesn't work if you decide to adopt it forever, as you are always putting off the truth of the numbers, so don't get carried away.

In reality, a weigh-in should never be a bad thing as it is just feedback about your efforts which can be used to modify your weight loss routine as needed to keep things headed in the right direction.  Its far better to catch a negative trend early than to wake up 6 months later with an extra 20 pounds hugging your body.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Heat Wave Coming - Bring It On

Call me crazy, but I'm looking forward to meeting this forecasted heat wave head-on later this week, when it supposedly gets into the Carolinas.

A couple of years ago, I would have huddled in front of an air conditioner with the blinds drawn along with all the normal people.  But weight loss can do all kinds of strange things to your mind...

Now I welcome the heat, even in the three digits and even with humidity.  Will it slow me down from power-walking every day? Nope.  I'll even go out during the middle of the day.  I know, you think I am being stupid.  But keep in mind that I have been on this track for a while and have developed quite a tolerance for heat.  And yes, I know how to prepare for it and take care of myself in the middle of it.

On the flipside, if you don't do so well with the heat, its best to avoid it, but that is not an excuse to avoid your exercise.  Plenty that you can do inside, like walking in a mall, not to be confused with spending in a mall.  Or what the heck, switch to swimming.

To lose weight successfully, you must have all-weather, all-season solutions.