Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ahh, Saturday!

How is it that I set the alarm for 5:15 on a work day and slap the snooze button at least three times before I drag my resentful ass out of bed, yet on Saturday, I wake at 5:15 naturally?

I'm a little more than halfway through the Happy Herbivore's 28 day challenge (button in sidebar) and I can honestly say I feel much better and am inspired to keep this going forever. The Challenge is about more than just eating Whole Foods Plant Based (hereinafter: WFPB) It's about improving your overall quality of life - decluttering, paying attention to negativity and making an effort to change, getting enough sleep, going for a walk, even a short one. Yes, I still come home from work too mentally spent to sit in front of another computer and make more words, but physically, I'm down 3 pounds and my energy level is great. It is helping me survive my crazy work days.

Yeah, remember how I am supposed to watch my stress, and chose this job because small company, close to home, swap lower than downtown pay for a short commute and less stress? I do have a short commute.

So all I can do is find ways to cope with the stress, and make time to get out of a chair and do something physical. Because as our grandmas told us,sitting is bad. It actually is Really BAD.

I could see the changes in myself, after a year at a desk job again. My year in Asheville and then my year attempting to get a decent real estate business going here was physically healthier, even though my bank account wasn't thriving. I was thinner, fitter, and slept better. I've traded steady deposits of cash for a much more sedentary life, and I need to change that. My posture has suffered, I am suddenly, randomly aware that I am rounding my shoulders and have to make an effort to "sit up straight" (again, grandma was right). I'd gained 8 pounds (on top of the 15 I still could stand to lose). I remind myself to get up frequently, even if it's just to walk to the window to check on "our gator" - the big boy who hangs out in the pond outside the office window. I am making a point of leaving the office at lunch, even if I eat my salad at my desk later. I get out and run errands, do something ELSE, standing UP, MOVING. It really has helped.

Today was a prime example. I woke early, drank coffee, took the dogs out for a short walkie (maybe a half mile at their pace) then returned them to the house. I considered taking Sophie with me (we have been doing 2 miles together, sans Murphy, most days). But I was in the mood for a faster pace than she can manage as a 13 pound dog shaped like a bumblebee. She has worked up to 2 miles at around an 18-20 minute pace, but she can't keep up with me at a 13 minute pace. I did a little over 2.5 miles, then came home, colored my hair (I had nearly an inch of gray roots, and even my short layers weren't able to hide THAT), and then somehow launched on cleaning, organizing, and rearranging my condo.

My son gave me a gift card for Mother's Day, and I knew exactly what I wanted: Roku 3500R Streaming Stick (HDMI) (2014). I had thought I'd use it in the living room, and use the Apple TV box I've had for years in the bedroom, because Roku has more streaming choices.

I quickly learned that the cable guy wasn't kidding when he said I needed a new TV. My 10 year old Samsung plasma TV does have one HDMI port, but apparently its brain is too old to recognize this newfangled device. It simply didn't see it. I tried it on the much newer bedroom TV and it installed like a dream, and works beautifully. The old Apple TV box will stay with the old living room TV, and the Roku will be quite welcome as a bedtime TV option.

But did I sit down and watch TV? I did not. I went on a cleaning and rearranging binge that lasted all day. Sophie was watching me nervously ("Oh shit, are we going to move AGAIN?") as I bagged old clothes for charity, rearranged small things that annoyed me, just worked my ass off all day. It felt great, and I am still full of energy.

Coincidentally, my daughter decided to do an online fitness challenge and at the same time, change her diet to one with tons of fresh veggies and fruit as its focus, though not strictly plant-based, and she has experienced the same energy boost. She also called me today to report that she can shop from her closet for her graduation dress - today she tried on a size four halter sundress from Anthropologie that she bought before she got married and had Miss D, and IT FITS! This has inspired me to roll out yon yoga mat more than once in a blue moon. And my new Roku toy has GaiamTV yoga workouts. It would be perfect if this worked in the living room where I have the perfect place for the mat, but I can make do in the bedroom. There will be no new living room TV before there is a new washer/dryer, because damn, Fred and Ethyl are barely hanging on.

Murphy says he wants to go for an evening walk, and I cannot turn him down. Then I really will sit down and knit. I swear I'm done bouncing around for the day.


besshaile said...

Ah - inspire me! I need to refocus on the plant based stuff. Too many slips and slides going on around here and guess what?No energy. Yeah.


Catherine said...

It really does make a huge difference. I come home from work mentally tired (thus the neglected blog) but physically, I'm bursting with energy.

KatyaR said...

I wanted to let you know I am taking your advice to heart. I am slowly starting to change the way I eat. I'm on day 6 of no soda, hasn't bothered me a bit. I'm still having a bit of sugar every day, and I'm drinking a lot of water. I can tell a difference in how I feel, and I think I'm sleeping better as well. I'm reading Mark Bittman's Book VB6 (Vegan Before 6), and I think, for right now, this is the way for me to go. I'm eating more vegetables and apples (my mother is rolling over in her grave--I hate apples, but Pink Lady apples are really good). I'm planning on cleaning out the fridge and the pantry next week while I'm on vacation and restocking with better food. Now I just need to start walking every day, and I think I'll be good.

Thanks again for the nudge--it really helped.