I’m holding myself accountable and reporting on the first day (yesterday) of 30+ minutes of exercise for this week. It was such a lovely, gorgeous early fall day! With the temperature at 68 and the sun shining, it was a perfect day for a nice long walk. I walked 2.5 miles and didn’t rush, taking pictures along the way. I found it tricky taking pix with a phone camera, bright sunshine and a dog on leash.

driveThe gorgeous dappled shade greeted me in the driveway and shaded us through a large part of the 2.5 miles. Most of this walk includes houses on one side of the road and the other side is beautiful woods, cornfields and marshland.

deerflyEntering my favorite stretch of the walk, wandering through woods and marsh.

sumacMost everything is still green. There is a bit of red and yellow appearing. Sumac here in the fall is brilliant red. Occasionally, a yellow leaf would flutter to the ground in front of us as we walked.

marshThe marshy wetlands. This is where the deer flies attack in season.

cornbarnSmall town scenery. Cornfield and barn with a clear blue sky.

cloudsHere is where I have turned around and will retrace the route back home. Our main road (behind me in this pic) is under construction right now so I had to walk all the way and check out the progress. I took this picture to show the beautiful high whispy clouds in the bright blue sky.

buddyMy walking buddy is pretty tired and we’re only half-way done! Poor guy’s age is starting to show.

I am so grateful to live in such a beautiful area for walking. I will miss the nature soon when it gets too cold and gray and brown here.

Weigh In

183. While that looks like a half pound loss on paper, the truth is I’ve been seeing the same numbers bouncing around on the scale for the last two weeks. While some people would discourage every day weighing, I like it. I think I can get a better picture of what’s going on. The last two weeks have been super rough emotionally. I tend to soothe myself with treats when I am stressed emotionally and that is what I have been doing the last two weeks. I tell myself that a treat now and then is okay with portion control. That’s true, but for me it quickly escalates to treating myself too often and then the portion control starts to get weak…

And of course, there’s the exercise side of things. No surprise here, but depression makes it so much harder to get moving. I’m not one to sleep the day away, but I will watch TV and sit on the computer all day. Again, this is meant to soothe me.

The question is does eating a treat actually soothe our emotions? Does treating myself to my favorite rerun TV drama soothe my emotions? I have tried to observe the reaction of my emotions to these treats in order to answer this question. I have to say that for me, these treats do seem to work. The immediate result of a treat is relief. However, there’s the long term big picture. I know these treats are not healthy. I also know there are healthy substitutes for treats. Right now it’s so much easier to reach for a cookie and turn the TV on. I love going for a walk and it also soothes me. But to go for a walk involves dressing for the weather, putting on the right shoes, getting the dog ready (collar, leash, potty bag), accessories (hat? Jacket?), grabbing a Kleenex, grabbing the phone (it has the walking app), setting the app to start recording. While that’s everyday stuff, to a depressed person it can sound like a lot of work. I can have a cookie and turn the TV on in my pajamas. The only work is walking a few feet to the cookie and pressing a few buttons.

Everything looks uphill this week!

Everything looks uphill this week!

Wait a minute, how do I expect to lose pounds with no work?? So I should look at all that work to get ready for a walk as burning calories! Ha, it sounds so silly when I write it out, but honestly that’s the way my brain is thinking: it’s too much work! I’m glad I took the time to write out my silly thoughts. Maybe now I can change them to healthy, positive thoughts.

What are some healthy alternatives to eating and TV watching for me? Reading (health books or inspirational books), walking, any exercise, mindfulness exercises, writing, planning healthy meals. In thinking, it’s easy for me to come up with the sitting activities that require little physical effort. And there is some benefit to those also. However, I find that any exercise seems to boost my mood. This week’s goal is to increase my activity to walking or exercising a minimum of thirty minutes every day. Yes, every day! I will be curious to see how this affects my mood (and the scale) and will report back next week.

On a positive note, here’s to not gaining weight in spite of struggling!

P.S. Thanks for listening to my silly thoughts. Isn’t that a gorgeous photo? Just envisioning myself on that path brings my stress level down and brings joy to my heart. I love nature!

Tuesday Weigh In

183.5 Down 1 pound. I wasn’t home all day yesterday and I’m sorry that I didn’t get to post. It was a very strange week weight-wise. I was already 183 last Wednesday and stayed at that weight every day until Sunday when I was shocked to get on the scale and see 185. What happened? Probably a combination of things, but one thing was that I ate out a lot Friday and Saturday. I think I probably didn’t guess at those calories very well. So this weight is as of Tuesday, not Monday. I’m back on track and figure I need to be a lot more careful when eating out.

I did pretty well with eating vegetables this week. I ate them three times a day, except for two days only twice. Some of the vegetables I ate were: broccoli, roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted cauliflower, salad, tomato and cucumber salad, green beans, and spinach. I will keep this same goal since I think it helped me be more conscious of getting enough vegetables.

I’m still walking, but was not able to get myself to do any strength exercise this week. I know that all it takes is the first time to erase the negative thoughts like: It’s too hard. I can’t. Tomorrow. I don’t have time. I’m too tired. I’m too weak. I have more important things to do. These are the thoughts that hold me back, especially the last one. I struggle with believing I am worth the effort to get healthy. On a rational level, I know that’s not right. However, these negative thoughts are very hard to get rid of and I am working very hard to get rid of them! I have to keep reminding myself how important it is to me to be healthy.

Here’s to your health!