After Monday’s deep post, I have had all of the soul-searching I can take for a while.
The following random thoughts have been on my mind this week:
1. My diet needs a nutritional overhaul. I have been feeling a little sluggish and have been perpetuating bad habits that I picked up this summer (two words: SNACKS and DESSERT).
Coincidentally, my parents recently told me about an application for my ipad (you can also use it on your iphone) called My Fitness Pal. It is a bit of an administrative pain, but well worth it, in my opinion, for several reasons. You have to record everything you eat (that is the painful part). The program has a large data base including the calories for meals at most chain restaurants and foods you buy at the grocery store. You can also enter a recipe into the program and it will give you the calories for a serving size.
Once you enter your food and exercise for the day, My Fitness Pal spits out a comprehensive summary of what you have eaten that day in terms of vitamins and nutrients – and, of course, calories. On day one of my trial, I was well over my quota of sugar and well under the suggested amount of protein. When did I start thinking that jelly beans are a protein source? Busted.
Also, it is a wonderful way to reacquaint yourself with portion size. I think many of us have forgotten what a reasonable portion looks like, as we are bombarded with super-sizes, jumbo and huge meals at restaurants. Honestly, I can not go to restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory anymore as the amount of food that is served to you is truly nauseating and, not to mention, very unhealthy and wasteful.
I now keep my measuring cups where I can easily find them in my kitchen and I measure everything – cereal, fruit, cheese, etc.
An interesting side effect of using this program is that the thought of having to write down everything I eat is a deterrent to eating it. Maybe you all are not as lazy as I apparently am, but I would rather forgo sticking my hand into the pantry and grabbing a handful of crackers on the way by if I have to (a) count them, and (b) find out how many calories they contain. Yech.
Oh, and did I mention that My Fitness Pal is free? Win, win, win.
2. On Tuesday of this week, I had the best yoga practice that I believe I have ever had. Since then, I have been thinking about what makes a workout strong. With me, it is not something that I can plan for or force. I tend to think that I can grit my teeth and power through things. In my experience, though, this has not been successful – whether it be yoga, running, biking or swimming.
What was different about this particular practice? I was able to shut off all of the extraneous “chatter” in my brain and truly enjoy what my body was able to do. Often I am thinking about what is coming next in my workout – “three more sun salutations and then we will move to the balance poses” or “after this mile, only three more left”. On Tuesday, instead, I focused on the exact moment, and enjoyed the fact that my hair actually touched the ground in the forward fold stretch. On each pose, I tried to push a little further than I had before.
One of the healthy living blogs that I follow, Peanut Butter Runner, had a blog post on good and bad workouts this week. It is an interesting read – When its Good its Great. Jen’s philosophy is that the tough workouts make you enjoy the good ones that much more – so don’t get frustrated by the bad ones. Learn to appreciate something about each one. I am going to try that.
Some time ago, I came across another blog post that has really resonated with me and that I have tried to apply to both my workouts and life in general: Strive for Progress, Not Perfection.
3. Finally, my buddy Bob Seger has been in the news this week. I have to smile when I see his picture, and there have been several in the national papers this week. He looks like someone you would see on the street – and I mean that as a compliment. He does not look like a rock star and I don’t believe he acts like one either.
Bob is in the news because he has finally decided to release his music onto iTunes. He has been a holdout for several reasons, mainly concerns about the effect of iTunes and similar programs on the music industry. The most exciting aspect of this to me is that he is including previously unreleased recordings, one of which is his rendition of “If I Were a Carpenter”. Awesome.
If you want to read the article on Bob, it is here: Bob Seger on iTunes.
Have a good weekend!