Thursday, September 15, 2011

Moving Forward

I hauled myself out on my bike after dinner tonight.  Alone, wonder of wonders.  It's been nice and cool today - I love the fall, and I'm excited to finally get to enjoy my favorite weather.  Never mind that a little black rain cloud caught up with me while I rode, and I got a bit damp.  At one point I took refuge under some heavy maple trees, beside a wonderful shade garden a handful of blocks from my house.  It was very peaceful, just listening to the rain patter on the leaves, and I amused myself by trying to identify the plants.  Whoever owns that garden has a fairly extensive collection of hostas, among other goodies.

I've been trying to mind my menu lately, with pretty good success.  More lean protein, more fiber-rich carbs, Greek yogurt as a snack, and modest portions of everything seem to be working for me at the moment.  Getting out and exercising is my weak spot, but I'm working on it.  Sometimes during my daughter's soccer practice I walk laps around the field.  Sometimes I walk in the neighborhood.  I'm trying to ride my bike when the weather permits.  My difficulty is that I'm not consistent about exercise. I'm not a schedule-driven person, and I don't have a great track record for following a plan on paper.  Lists and schedules make me twitchy, as if they're just waiting for me to miss a day and FAIL. (It's like topiary - seeing a garden full of topiary makes me feel the same way:  pressured, confined and harassed.  It's just too anal for me to deal with.  It would be like living with Gilbert Huph, Bob Parr's neurotic, controlling boss in The Incredibles.)  So, I'm working on the "Do SOMETHING Every Day" principle.  Sometimes I'm more ambitious, sometimes less, but my goal is to get active somehow, for at least half an hour (and preferably more), each day, indoors or outside.  (And I do count strenuous housework as a form of exercise.  If I break a good sweat bending, stooping, reaching, wiping, carrying, vacuuming, mopping, and scrubbing for an extended period of time, darn right it's exercise.  But I still try to get out and walk anyhow.)

I'm hoping to be able to just work through this process quietly, with no fanfare.  I'm not a "weight loss blogger," and I'd rather go to the dentist than compare low-fat recipes and weight loss tips with friends, family, and strangers.  (Anyone who knows me KNOWS how much I dislike going to the dentist, too.)  I don't want to make a big deal of it because I'd like to be able to make daily food choices without wondering who's watching.  (And some days I KNOW I'll make less healthy choices.  But that's life - it's a balance.  I'll enjoy that family party or date with my husband and have dessert today, and exercise a little more and eat modestly tomorrow.  No big deal, and life moves on.)  But I figure if I share part of my journey with others, we can encourage each other.  I can't do it alone.

Whether or not I hit a particular number of pounds lost isn't really the point.  What I'm after is improving my health.  Obviously losing weight will feel good, and I'd love to wear things I've only been able to dream about since high school.  But the numbers aren't going to rule me.  Progress can be measured by so much more than a scale.  So, here I go - wish me success!