Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Thoughts on Excercise...

Having just had day light savings time, our days (at least where I am) have actually been quite bright and sunny!  In addition to the lack of general gloominess, the temperature is rising!  I hear we are actually supposed to reach fifty degrees sometime this week!  For the people on the coasts or down South, that's cold, but for a Midwestern girl like me, that is flip flop weather!  Well, not quite, but close enough! 

What does this have to do with exercise you may wonder?  

Well... for me it is the indication that I can no longer hibernate and I have no choice but to go outside and be more active.

Ahhh winter, such a lovely excuse for a chubby girl, such as myself, to not have to work out.  Especially this winter, when when we were bombarded with 18 inches of snow!  However, the sky is blue, the grass is green and it is getting warmer and warmer each day that goes by!

Which brings me to my new theory on exercise...

Have you ever tried really hard to stick to a work out regimen just to have it fail miserably?  Like really royally backfire?  Yeah, me too.  Several times.  My basement is essentially where work out equipment goes to die.  It is not funny, we have a treadmill, an elliptical, an Ab Lounge, a Gazelle, a Total Gym, weights, a bike...I think that's about it.  Although there is a good chance there may be a few other small things down there as well, like some Perfect Push-Ups and jump ropes.  Anyhow, the point is their current and only use has been to collect dust.

This is what caused my "ah ha!" moment, so to speak.  I thought to myself, "With all of these resources at your disposal, how are you still so out of shape and why won't these pants button?"

Once I posed this question to myself, I quickly began creating as many excuses as possible, I am quite good at that.  Essentially what it boiled down to is this:  I like my sleep and I do not like having to wake up any earlier than I have to, especially working a full-time job that requires me to chase after children all day.  However, if it isn't completed in the morning, it will not be completed because by the time I come home, my energy supply is usually depleted. 

Once I had come to that conclusion, and I was thinking about my job and my students and how this nicer weather would mean time on the playground I thought, "By golly, I've got it!"


Whoa!  This was a whole new concept for me!  I mean, I knew I did not enjoy exercise (in the adult sense,) however I again began thinking about my students.  They have no clue how many calories they are burning when they are wildly riding bikes in the gym or running and playing tag with their friends on the playground.  They are doing it because it is FUN!   So I asked myself this question: 

Is it possible, can exercise be fun?

I immediately answered myself with, heck yes it can be!  I work with children, these are the little ones in all of our lives that often sit and laugh for no good reason other than it is fun!  So what happened between the time when we were all children to now when we are all adults that has made being active tiresome and feel more like an obligation and less of a pleasurable activity?

Sure, sure, we all have our responsibilities and we do not have as much spare time as we once did.  But I have realized we have sucked the fun out of being active, therefore, we are not going to be prone to make time for it because who wants to?  When we were all kids, we played soccer, kickball, dodgeball, rode bikes, etc.  As adults, we walk/jog in place on a treadmill until we have burned the appropriate amount of calories.  Now, is it written somewhere that once you hit a certain age you cannot enjoy those other, way more fun, activities anymore?  Why do we torture ourselves needlessly?  

I remember a time in my parents' neighborhood when all of us kids could regularly be found in the road preparing for some intense bike racing, roller-blading or tag playing.

Now, I did not involve myself in those activities because I was worried about the long-term affects of being overweight, or trying to fit into my school clothes or because I knew I was going to have one of my mom's famous cookies that night.  I did it because I loved it, because it was fun and I enjoyed myself when I did it!

Now I am going to say something that may seem crazy to some... it is my belief that if there was more of an emphasis on fun active lifestyles and less of an emphasis on these dreary, get up early and drag your butt to the gym lifestyles, perhaps obesity would not be such an issue?  Just a theory.

Either way, it is a theory I am going to test wholeheartedly.  This Spring, Summer and Fall, my husband and I will be devoting free time to being active and engaging in fun activities that will cause calories to burn while we enjoy ourselves!

To get us started we bought a video game, yes, I wrote video game.  We purchased the Zumba Fitness Party game for our Wii.  We figured this could be a fun game or activity that can be played indoors on rainy or cold days, and let me tell you friends, it is FUN!  You have no choice but to shake your booty if you want a high score!  I am ashamed to say, my husband currently has a higher score, but that will soon change.  If this game is something you want to try, prepare to feel it throughout your whole body!  I've never done an activity for only forty minutes and felt it in so many places!  It's truly wonderful!

Moving along...  We plan to regularly engage in these other fun activities throughout the next few months as a way of being active:
  • Going for bike rides!  (Just bought my husband his own bike!)
  • Rollerblading!
  • Hiking!  (Luckily there are three areas right in our town that are conservation areas with hiking trails!)
  • Canoeing/Paddle Boating
  • Bowling (Yes, you can burn calories doing that!)
  • Softball (My husband will be joining a recreational team!)
  • Shopping (Haha, you burn calories while you walk around the store, right?)
In general, the goal is just to spend more time outdoors, whether it is playing bags in the backyard, walking to the neighbors or playing catch with my husband.  I think all of these things sound way more appealing than going to a gym or going down to my basement where it's dark and boring...  Essentially, we have made a choice to enjoy ourselves and have fun, not to take things too seriously and certainly not to make ourselves do something we do not want to do.

I would love suggestions on more activities that would be fun and calorie burning!

Hopefully, soon I'll be able to report some weight loss as well as fun moments we spent enjoying these types of activities!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Thoughts on My Own Delinquency...

I need to apologize...

I began this blog on a day I had off of work.  Since that day, I have been extraordinarily busy!  Working with children, as many people are aware, can be exhausting.  On top of that, I only like to post items that I have written if I am 100% confident they are grammatically correct and meaningful.  Hopefully that explains my tardiness, seeing as how it has been quite a while since I have last written.  Long story short - I am sorry!

Now, on to more exciting and important things, to solve the mystery of what book has me so spellbound, it is a lovely book by the title "The Red Tent," by Anita Diamant.  I will not go into too much detail (as I have not yet finished it,) however, I will say, that it is a glorious tale of the relationships between women and how essential these relationships are in our lives.  It is solely based around the biblical figures Jacob and his four wives, and narrated by his one and only daughter, Dinah.  Truly a wonderful read!

In addition to working like a mad woman and reading, I have been on a quest to find the perfect grocery store.  My husband and I have jumped feet first into the world of coupons and bargain shopping in an effort to be as financially responsible as possible.  However, we have found that more often than not, there are not always coupons for what you need.  In addition to that, when one particular store has a large sale on certain items, their other basic items may be more expensive than another store.  

I feel like this is a losing battle.  

We are getting quite frustrated and just want to know how to save some money on every day items!  If it were up to me, I would live on a chunk of land in the middle of no where and do my best be like Laura in the Little House on the Prairie books/show.  I wish it were easier to be completely self-sufficient and not so reliant on all modern conveniences.  Ugh.  That is what I have to say about that.

I will, however, remain optimistic.  We are trying out a new grocery store tonight that is having a pretty good sale, so that should be interesting.  I feel like such a dork, I'm a 24 year old woman who's Saturday night plans consist of trying out a new grocery store in an attempt to save money.  I don't know, is that funny?  Or just sad?

Moving on, my poor little kitty, Zoe, was just spayed yesterday.  I cried a little bit.  I think it is really hard taking these tiny animals in and not having them know what going to happen to them.  I felt like a monster.  Now she is home and I am her nurse.  I have literally been feeding her out of the palm of my hand, rubbing her head and sneaking her pain medication inside of treats.  I'm praying for a speedy recovery!

Another topic that has been on my mind is SPRING!  It's so close I can almost taste it!  I have already bought some seed packets for my vegetable garden, my patience is growing thin because I want to dig down in that dirt and see some little plants sprouting!  Furthermore, I cannot wait to sign up for our first CSA.  What is that, you may wonder?  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  Essentially, it's when someone, like myself, pays money to a farm or "buys a share," and is rewarded with fresh, organic produce each week.  Luckily for my husband and I, we are surrounded by nothing but farms so we have our pick of the litter, so to speak.  Most CSAs range from $20-35 a week, so essentially what you might spend at the grocery store on produce anyhow and this comes to you straight from the farm, it is organic and you are helping to support your community.  I am in the planning stages of one whole blog entry about this where I will discuss the contenders, the pros of each, the cons of each and of course, which one we choose to "invest" in!  I'm very excited!

Lastly, my husband and I have been majorly struck by spring fever and are planning several projects around our house.  Now our house, which we purchased in 2009, was built in 2005 and is fairly new and contemporary.  However, it was a foreclosure and needs some tender loving care.  Plus we are still in the process of making it our own.  I am thinking I am going to need to upload pictures when we are done! 

For now, that is pretty much it for me!  I promise to try harder to write more frequently!  But now, I need to get back to my little Zoe!  Have a great weekend everyone!