Sunday, April 15, 2007

And now for the hard part...

I achieved my weight goal (as well as a bonus extra one pound) on the 30th. Now comes the hard part -- maintaining. Here's where aerobic exercise fits into my picture. (I've told you all about my brief morning commitments to grunting, groaning and listening to my body go snap, crackle and pop.) That’s toning and stretching; walking is my choice of aerobic workout -- It's handy, easy-to-learn and, outside of a good pair of shoes, requires no large investment.

Walking has to do with feeling fit and being healthy. I don't like to connect it to weight, but I do use it as an incentive. I get out my pedometer at the start of the walk. When I get home, the number of calories I have burned (my little Omron peddie does the math for me) are freebies. I can choose to deduct them from the day's total calorie count (if I'm trying to make up for being naughty bad during the week). Or, if I've been eating the appropriate number of daily maintenance calories, I can use them to reward myself with a small treat.

I know. I know. I am rewarding myself with food which is an absolute no-no when it comes to weight management strategies. But, and perhaps I’m fooling myself, I like to think that I am making a distinction between considered food choices versus emotional eating or mindless munching. In a world of so many diversions (television, reading, video games, napping, movies, Internet surfing, chatting on the phone, depressed pouting, and just generic zoning) we are not ordinarily inclined to heave ourselves up off the sofa and take a walk. When we do, I think we need a reward so we’ll be inclined to do it again!

After my mile and a quarter today, struggling much of the time against a very strong head wind, I had a small piece of homemade (not made by me, but by a friend who is a gifted baker) angel food cake. Calorie outgo, 77; calorie intake, 70. I feel righteous on so many levels....

Sleepless in Snowflake:

I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and resorted to my compulsion to research the topic to death. Here are a couple of my findings:

The standard remedy for sleeplessness is staying awake.

  • No napping allowed
  • No lying awake in your bed grinding your teeth because you aren’t dropping off. (You have to get up from bed and go somewhere else and do a quiet activity for 15 or 20 minutes)
  • And (the one I’m finding the hardest of all) not going to bed early when you didn’t sleep well the night before. In fact, you have to stay up later than you did the night before and get up at the same time. It’s a killer.

If I try to stay awake at night by reading I tend to nod off. So I am staying awake by watching videos. And as we don’t have a movie theater within 30 miles of home, I have lots of catching up to do. But what I am finding about most movies as I try to stay awake is that three out of every four of them is a bomb, and that the fourth one often is only marginally worthwhile.

On the other hand, once in a while you find a remarkable film. One of these is, Everything is Illuminated. My niece April recommended the movie sometime ago, but I am not a fan of Holocaust-themed anything so I put it off. But last week was Passover, and April’s birthday, and it had been a stressful week at work without much sleep for several nights so I thought I would check it out. (Also, the video had moved from first run to cheap checkout price.)

I’m grateful for the experience, and would recommend it without reservation to anyone who wants a movie to ponder rather than her or his own navel. Since it’s a holocaust movie you know it’s not going to be fun. On the other hand, the first third of the movie is almost rollicking comedy. The character of Alex, the Ukrainian youth filled with huge admiration for anything Western (particularly bling, clothes, music, dance and Michael Jackson) is wonderfully realized by a genuine Russian fellow named Eugene Hutz. The American Jew searching for family ties in the old country is portrayed by Elijah Woods (Lord of the Rings) in a set piece performance of an oddball kid who collects family memorabilia such as his dying grandmother’s false teeth.

I make it sound weird. It’s not. Need a diversion from food, from stress, from life? Spend a buck ninety-nine. It’s a swell investment.

Fruit futures…. The photo accompanying this posting is me with a crown of plum blossoms. My two plum trees were smart enough to bloom in early March. My peach and apple trees, unfortunately, choose April and suffered a week of hard freeze. No peaches this year, no Rose’s special Xtreme Apple Butter. Life can be hard.

E-you later, darlings.

Aunt Rose