Busy Days and Learning Ways
I've found the easiest way to stay within your calorie budget: Stay busy. Today has been a really busy day. A full day at the radio station, then a big station sponsored public event this evening. All I had to do after a 1 ½ hour pre-event broadcast was greet listeners at the door, make sure they signed in, and give them tickets for free wine. Very easy-- and the bonus? I could sit down to do it. But still, after a really full day like today, I did not feel like working out. I felt like I already worked out. Thanks to Courtney's pushing, we did go straight to the YMCA to get in nearly a half hour of intense racquetball action right before they closed. Now I'm really tired. I thought I was tired before, but now I know I still had a little left inside. I feel so good that we went ahead and exercised hard. I would have felt so bad to have missed. Oh we would've walked at least a mile if we hadn't gone to the Y, but the time we spent in those courts was much more intense than a walk. It was a good choice Courtney! Thanks for making your dear old Dad, “Mr. Good Choices” make the right one! I saved some calories for the station event and did very well on calories during, and that's saying something, because the catering was incredible! So I learned a couple of things, that really, I already knew. But it doesn't hurt to be reminded of every know and then. 1. Staying busy makes counting calories super easy. 2. When you don't feel like exercising, that's when you need to do it the most! Let's face it, exercising has never been a part of my daily intentional routine, so doing it everyday on purpose is sometimes a challenge. But it's nights like this when it's the most rewarding.
I'll turn 37 on Thursday and I've decided NOT to allow extra calories. I will allow 2500 calories with a double workout on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but not my birthday. I was thinking about this today. We've always made food such a centerpiece of every special occasion, most of us do. But I don't have to over-eat to enjoy the company and family and new shoes I'm expecting! I concluded that if I allow myself to go over 1000 calories on my birthday, then it wouldn't be long before I started making exceptions for other days. Soon it might become “extra calorie day” on every close family members birthday, then non-federal holidays, then it might lead to “extra calorie” day—every other Sunday...then eventually I'd be right back to 505. Because each time I added an “extra calorie” day, I would probably be less motivated to do a double workout. Because making excuses to over-eat leads straight into making excuses to not exercise. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be the only two “extra calorie” days I allow myself during this journey. The reason? Because food is such a big part of the holidays, and not because of dysfunctional habits, but because it just is for everybody. I bet Richard Simmons even has a piece of pecan pie at Christmas! And would it be Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie and Cool Whip? Or that leftover turkey sandwich while you watch the big game? I think not! And I may try to avoid them now because I view them as a “bad calorie value” choice, but you can bet on Thanksgiving I'm having a big buttery dinner roll. If I have to, I'll drive all the way to Lucille's in Mulhall to get 'em. I've never tasted a roll that came so close to the ones my late grandmother-in-law Bertha Brake made. I want Irene to try them! It'll take her back to her childhood for sure. But you can bet your bottom dollar I'm working out double on those days. No excuses! I'm sure I'll hear... “Now, Sean...relax! It's Thanksgiving! And it's sleeting...Get back out there tomorrow.” I'm not predicting who will say something like this, but I almost guarantee it will be said. And then I'll bundle up and get after it! It might sound crazy to plan ahead like this, but let me tell you, good preparation equals good results. I remember one notable attempt in the fall of 1996. I was walking every day on the trail at Exchange Park in Perry, I was counting calories, I was even having a professional photographer take my picture every weigh day. I made it exactly 40 days that time. Day 41 was Thanksgiving, and I woke up that day and thought “I'm going to eat until I explode, and I'm not walking today”... I'm pretty sure I had pecan pie ala mode for breakfast. And gravy! Good gravy I had a bunch! The plan was that Day 42 would find me right back on track. Nope. Not even a little bit. I had tasted what I'd been missing, I hadn't learned anything about proper portions or eating to live instead of the other way around. The only thing I learned during that attempt was that if I consumed less and exercised I would definitely lose weight, what I failed to learn was how to approach food responsibly, how to recognize a portion, how to properly treat food in my everyday life. All I knew was, if one piece of pie tasted good, then three with ice cream was even better! I've tried to learn from these failed attempts and perhaps this time I've found all the pieces to the puzzle. It's like one of those brainteaser puzzles that you try and try and try again to solve, and you can't...until one day it just clicks, and you solve it. Then you can't imagine not being able to do it. This time it's clicked and I'm now solving this puzzle one day at a time. Good Night and...