April showers fade away to May flowers and with a new month comes big changes and new challenges. It’s been almost 2 months since I last ran and I’ve since had a health assessment that proves just how much I have been slacking off… but there are good changes and challenges coming as well.
So, let’s take a moment to look at May and see the plans, challenges and changes. Join me and Justin for a look at May.
Diet Changes –
I can’t seem to keep up with My Fitness Pal because I find it annoyingly obnoxious. So instead of trying to log everything and pay such close attention to the calories on the website or app during the day, I’m going back to old school ways of journaling. I grabbed a journal from my stash in my closet and am going to get it set up today before I go to sleep so I can track my food, my steps, and a few other health related things. Then, at the end of the day before going to bed I will log it all into the app. The anxiety that comes from watching the calorie number drop is not helpful or healthy so I thing this alternative will be better.
We need to up our veggie and fruit game, and that includes a trip out to the farmer’s market again. Or, if not all the way out there, at least heading to Freshfield Farms: a grocery store type place that has only locally farmed items. Okay not totally local, some are from out of state. But anything that is farmed as opposed to mass produced. Both have more reasonable prices for fruits and veggies than the mainstream grocery store unfortunately and Dreamboat and I are still on a somewhat tight budget so every penny counts.
During my health assessment for my insurance, my cholesterol came back insanely high. Which is weird that it can get that high in a year. My weight has only gone up 4 lbs (and I still think that had more to do with my period than with anything else) and yes, we’ve been doing more “grab and go” meals outside of our kitchen, but not enough to mess up my numbers that much…and certainly not with all fried, all the time foods. While high cholesterol does run in my family, getting on medication this soon is not in the extended plan. I’m only 35. So a better, cleaner diet it is…and I’m being smart about it this time. Small changes are key. My sugar is on the low side of normal, and my triglycerides are good, so the focus is on lower cholesterol type foods.
And honest, it’s summer: who doesn’t want a giant bowl of fruit salad with a dollop of whipped cream? Or freshly grilled veggies? Squash and Zucchini with a bit of basil olive oil and feta? That’s a meal in itself.
So where do I go wrong? I don’t food prep and I don’t plan our weekly meals. I get out of work at 6:30pm and while Brian is out of work before me, he doesn’t always start dinner before I get home. Having veggies at least cut up, meats pre-cooked and a game plan on what exactly is for dinner helps us stay away from the 30 minute argument of “what do you want? Well, I don’t care either. What do you have a craving for?” And it happens. Daily. Believe me. I got a subscription to Cooking Light for a reason, I should go through there and make a meal plan and then go shopping and food prep. I can do it on Sundays like I used to. Maybe I’ll even get the big guy to help me.
Fitness Changes –
My next appointment with the podiatrist is on Monday, May 4. I’m hoping to hear good news but my gut is telling me it will be another month or two before I can run again. My heel still hurts from time to time and while I have been stretching and living in my sneakers, it might not be enough yet. For now, I am three weeks into a yoga regime which is getting easier each time I do it mentally even if I can’t feel any changes in my stretches.
I’ve been able to pull three or four specific yoga routines off of MyYogaWorks and have been rotating through them. Some of the standing positions hurt my foot but I find alternative ways of doing those poses so to make sure I don’t hurt myself. I also have been fighting some migraines due to tight shoulders and I don’t know if that’s from stress or from the yoga. Either way, I am finding that I enjoy it sometimes even if I do miss it having some music in the background. When I took Flow at the gym, it always had music to it. I miss that.
The pool at our complex is still closed. Which is annoying. And stupid. I have a feeling it’s because it’s sinking and they didn’t REALLY fix it last year when they had it closed for half the summer, but it’s not my place to really care about that. So despite swimming being an option, it’s not. And it’s not like I’m a strong swimmer to begin with. Right now I can probably do two maybe three laps before wanting to die. And I do have Amber’s bike on my porch. I need to put air in the tires again so it’s usable, but I don’t want to ride alone. And our area isn’t exactly bike ride friendly. And I want Brian to ride a bike with me so we can take our bikes to the diner, have breakfast, and bike ride back. 🙂 It’d be fun.
Anyway – if I do get the all clear to run and workout like the cardio junkie I am, I’m thinking about alternating days of Insanity (again) and running, with long runs on Saturdays and long yoga on Sundays. Also adding some yoga in on my run days… like the 10-15 minute videos for post run stretching. They had a couple in there. One of my flaws is I never stretch. EVER. It’s caused me to get PF twice now and you’d think a girl would learn by now but not me. I know it sounds like a lot but I won’t do over 3 miles for the summer for my short runs, and won’t go over 5 for my long runs. It’s Florida in the summer, I haven’t run for a few months so I’ll need to rebuild my stamina, and my body naturally overheats. I’m learning (finally) from my previous mistakes.
But if I can’t run because my foot is being a butt, then it’s more yoga and I’ll start riding the recumbent bike in the fitness center. Alternate days. It won’t be a cardio rush, but at least it’ll be something.
Personal Changes –
Okay, we have some big ones here: First and most importantly in my opinion, my work hours are changing. After tomorrow’s Saturday morning show, I’m going Monday through Friday social media at my station. That means Saturdays are now back to race days, or long run days, or anything that isn’t work days. (unless, of course, massive craziness occurs) I’m really excited and am hoping that this shift in hours will allow me to rediscover the things that are necessary for me to find my health again: a normal sleeping pattern that consists of at least 7-8 hours a night, less stress due to trying to do two jobs at once, and getting back into doing the things I love which is racing. I’ve really missed it the past three years.
The next big change is doing something about stress: my blood pressure was sky high during my health assessment and that’s got me seriously concerned. So in my journal for food and whatnot, I’m also going to be taking my blood pressure. Once in the morning and once before bed to keep an eye on what’s going on. In order to help combat the stress, I have yoga and I downloaded a meditation app. I have an alarm set on my phone for 2pm Monday through Friday so that I can stop and walk away from my desk and take 10 minutes to focus myself and get back on track mentally. It’s going to be tough for a while to get work used to it as well as for me to get used to it but I want to not have to go on medication for that too. If it’s nice outside, I’ll do it outside. If not, I’ll go into the green room or go upstairs to the break room or something. I need to stop letting things get to me so much.
I’m hoping that the meditation and the yoga will help my depression as well, but in the idea of being transparent and honest, I feel like I should let you know that I’ve been in a pretty dark place for a while now. It’s been pretty hard to be the chipper, positive person I usually am. I am working on dealing with it, and can honestly say that I’m better now than I was…but I’m not out of this dark yet. And that’s just how depression goes: sometimes you are high and sometimes you aren’t. I’ve been on a pretty good high run lately, so it was only time until I had a down period. I’m hoping that with the schedule change and finding a new pattern I can come out of it soon. But again – I believe in transparency and I wanted to make sure you all know that I am not trying to be distant. I’ve never hidden my depression from anyone before and I am not doing it now. So yeah.
The Challenge for May –
Stay consistent with the yoga and the food journal. Keep a good eye on my stress, my BP and my focus. Write a little bit more than I have been, both blog wise and professionally. Those books aren’t going to edit themselves. When given the okay to run again, take it easy and enjoy the process of regaining my strength and speed. Find something to be happy about every day. Don’t kill the basil plants and cook with the fresh basil more. Meal prep and planning is necessary to get through each week. Hug Dreamboat and make sure he knows how much I love him. Sleep in next Saturday as late as I can just because I can. And laugh.
What are your challenges for May?