Monday, March 09, 2009

Teaching myself to lift heavy stuff without dieing

I'm basically brand-new to this weight lifting thing. I'd love to have a good trainer or coach helping me with this (and would REALLY love someday to find some regular CrossFit classes to attend, even though they scare me).

But I'm cash-poor at the moment - I can't really afford my reduced-fee Y membership and regular personal training also.

What I do have are:
  • common sense
  • a pretty good layman's understanding of anatomy
  • a wealth of information at my fingertips
  • the time to sift through that information
So, I've decided to stop hemming and hawing (and spending endless hours on the treadmill), and start 1) lifting with purpose and determination 2) challenging myself via interval training. I won't say that my plans are 100% solid, but they're beginning to coalesce.

I really want to keep things simple and functional as possible. This means doing challenging compound movements like squats and push-ups. Yeah, push-ups are challenging for me. I've never called on my upper body to do much hard work before. But I'm ready to start.

Today I'm sitting and feeling sore (the good kind) from yesterday's lifting. Tomorrow I'm going to do the same thing. I'm excited to get my tendons and ligaments primed, so that I can really start challenging myself in terms of weight.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Food and emotions

I fell back into my previous way of eating for a few days, although I am back on track now. It's clear to me that my relationship with food is a little more emotional than it should be.

I have been reading up on emotional eating, and a lot of the advice advocates re-thinking food as a fuel rather than a friend. This is valid in a way, but not something that I really want to embrace. The thing is, I believe that food IS more than fuel. It's a sacred thing. I don't want to treat it like gasoline or electricity.

What I'd prefer is to focus on building positive emotional relationships with healthier foods (and to break up with ice cream!). To be honest, this is a lot easier in spring and summer when fresh, high-quality produce is abundant. I don't want to make too many excuses, but let's just say that I'm excited that winter is almost over.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

A full week, and then...

...I fell off the wagon. Chocolate, and chocolate ice cream. And unfortunately, I was not moderate about it.

In retrospect, I was playing with fire prior to this - binging on dairy more than I wanted to, eating out of boredom and not hunger.

I am back on track today. A little annoyed with myself, but not devastated. Given how attached I've been to sweet stuff, and given my unfamiliarity with willpower and food choices...this wasn't surprising. It was an instructive slip-up; I didn't feel very good yesterday or today. Today I ate well and exercised well, and I feel great.

So, here's what I've gleaned so far:
  • I can't have sweet foods in the house and expect not to eat them (for now).
  • Neither can I go to the grocery store in the evenings after work and expect not to pick up something undesirable and/or unhealthy (for now).
  • I get the bored munchies on days when I'm not physically active.
  • The bored munchies are a sign that I 1) need to get off the computer or 2) eat some more of the nutritious food I made for dinner.
Getting creative with breakfasts already. That hasn't been as difficult as I thought, but I am not rigid in my definition of breakfast food.

I've found that the amount of money I've been spending on food has increased a little bit. Not too terribly much, but I don't have the resources or space to be able to buy meat in bulk as I'd like to (one day I'll have a chest freezer!), so I spend more. I did pick up a used Crock Pot for $10 today! That should go quite a ways in allowing me to purchase cheaper cuts of meat.