May 1st: Awaking with Renewed Hope

May 1st!!!

today is the first day of May, “shockingly enough” (that’s sarcasm) it’s raining outside. i don’t know about everyone else, but i’m really tired of rain. i definitely prefer the sun, even though my ass got burnt pretty badly this weekend at Keeneland. i hope everyone has had a great weekend so far; fortunately, my classes have come to an end and i’m just kind of coasting to the end of the semester. i still have a paper, some journal entries, and some revisions to do before i’m done, but i’m not super overwhelmed with the amount of work staring at me.

it’s been awhile since i’ve made a substantial update. i think, in all honesty, i’ve been running away from my blog because i haven’t really been putting in as much effort as i once did and that scares me. instead of confronting it by writing about it here, i just ignored the blog all together. i put this blog up to keep myself accountable and instead i found myself scared of being judged by the people who read it. i shouldn’t care about what people think about my progress or my slip-ups– that’s what this is here for. if i was perfect, i wouldn’t need to update or even create a blog centered around my food/exercise hardships. i have a lot of those. i have a really hard time staying motivated. i have a hard time making it to the gym and i definitely have a hard time eating the foods i should eat instead of the foods i want to eat. i haven’t been trying as hard, i admit that, but the flame of passion for achieving a health standard is still alive within me and i felt it spark this morning.

this morning, as i was perusing my normal websites, i found a blog entry with “eleven tips for exercising,” and i felt i needed to share it.

1. Always exercise on Monday. This sets the psychological pattern for the week. Along those lines …

2. If at all possible, exercise first thing in the morning. As the day wears on, you’ll find more excuses to skip exercising. Get it checked off your list, first thing.

3. Never skip exercising two days in a row. You can skip a day, but the next day, you must exercise, no matter how inconvenient.

4. Give yourself credit for the smallest effort. My father always said that all he had to do was put on his running shoes and close the door behind him. Many times, by promising myself I could quit ten minutes after I’d started, I got myself to start—and then found that I didn’t want to quit, after all.

5. Think about context. I thought I disliked weight training, but in fact, I dislike the guys who hang out in the weight-training area. Are you distressed about the grubby showers in your gym? Do you try to run in the mornings, but recoil from going out in the cold? Examine the factors that might be discouraging you from exercising.

6. Exercise several times a week. If your idea of exercise is to join games of pick-up basketball, you should be playing practically every day. Twice a month isn’t enough.

7. If you don’t have time to both exercise and take a shower, find a way to exercise that doesn’t require you to shower afterward. Twice a week, I have a very challenging weight-training session, but the format I follow doesn’t make me sweat. (Some of you are saying, “It can’t be challenging if you don’t sweat!” Oh yes, believe me, it is.)

8. Look for affordable ways to make exercising more pleasant or satisfying. Could you upgrade to a nicer or more convenient gym? Buy yourself a new iPod? Work with a trainer? Get a pedometer to keep track of your walking distances? Exercise is a high life priority, so this a worthwhile place to spend some money if that helps.

9. Think of exercise as part of your essential preparation for times you want to be in especially fine form—whether in performance (to be sharp for an important presentation) or appearance (to look good for a wedding) or mood (to deal with a stressful situation). Studies show that exercise does help.

10.Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Don’t decide it’s only worth exercising if you can run five miles or if you can bike for an hour. I have a friend who scorns exercise unless she’s training for a marathon—so she never exercises. Even going for a ten-minute walk is worthwhile. Do what you can.

11. Don’t kid yourself. Belonging to a gym doesn’t mean you go to the gym. Having been in shape in high school or college doesn’t mean you’re in shape now. Saying that you don’t have time to exercise doesn’t make it true.

and all of these are so true and fit me so perfectly, especially number 10. i feel like i have to kill myself every day in order to get exercise in when in reality, it’s about becoming more active after all. my friend, Micah, and i were having a conversation about different ways to get exercise without it ever feeling like it; this list included parking further away from the door at the grocery store, walking to her apartment (it’s about a mile) instead of driving, walking to school every day, taking the dog on a longer walk than normal, etc etc etc. these small movements and activities, regardless of how trivial or useless they feel, are helpful! i need to learn this. more importantly, i need to learn that i am not a failure if i can’t run 4 miles in one sitting at a super fast pace. if i am at the gym or running outside, at least i’m trying and putting effort into moving my body. in the future, i may be more strict, but right now, i need to focus on just putting the effort in and be proud that i’m even doing it.

since school is out, i’m going to have more time to cook and exercise and i am so excited about that. i have some great ideas for some meals and since i’m a subscriber to Hungry Girl, i have a lot of recipes i want to try. there are just so many things i want to do and i will do them; i just need to figure out a plan of attack. i am going to set some goals for myself and that’s the first way i can think to really get my ass in gear. these are my May Goals. i may edit them in the next week.

  1. Lose 8-10 pounds in the month of May
  2. Exercise at least 4-5 times a week, including running, biking, swimming, and ellipticalling.
  3. Begin a strength training regimen with the free weights or purchase a couple of free weights for my home. this goal includes getting over my fear of the meatheads.
  4. Eat out twice a week (at most)
  5. Try one new recipe a week
  6. Make most of my meals Vegan.
  7. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
  8. Pick out a race in the next two months and register for it
  9. Start serious training for the Olympic Triathlon in September.
  10. Finish my C25k program and begin Bridge25k.
  11. SAVE. MONEY.
those are a lot of goals. but, i feel like the more structure i have, the easier i will accomplish my end goal. ultimately, i would like to lose 12 pounds by Bonnaroo, which starts June 9th. it’s time to get my shit revved up again. no more of this complacent, half-ass bullshit. it’s time to kick ass again! i apologize for the long post.
stay healthy, y’all.

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trying to get by in this wonderfully difficult world

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