Garden Gloves Great for Running

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We are getting a taste of early winter with temps in the 30s.  I’ve found that the white, knit and cheap ($1.00) garden gloves at the local hardware store provide just the right cover to keep hands warm while jogging.

I’m Heading to the Park to Run

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A five minute drive from my house we are lucky enough to have a park that plays host to local high and college cross country meets.  It has a very hilly, open field and wooded running courese.  It also has about four miles of very well designed nice single track (single tire-wide trail ideal for mountain biking and hiking).

As soon as the wife gets back from the gym, I’m heading out there to get some practice running on the natural earth to prepare for a 5 mile cross country race I run in November.

Yet Another Great Question

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My wife said she was not looking forward to her workout.  She asked me if I ever felt that way about mine.  Sometimes, I said, but not too often.  Not as often as I did before I learned a few handy tricks.  Here are those tricks:

Interest I pick activities that I’m interested in.  I mainly run and bike.  I enjoy both activities.  If you’re having trouble staying motivated to exercise, ask yourself whether you really like the activity or not.  If you don’t, try other activities.  Also, ask yourself if there are different ways of doing the activities.  For instance, if I ran and biked only on stationary equipment, I would go bonkers.  I would not look forward to my workouts.  I can’t do it more than a few times a year when the weather is really bad outside.

Variety I try to maintain variety in my workouts.  There are several ways to add variety.  There’s variety in activity.  I like jog and bike mainly.  But, there’s also variety within each of those activities.  For example, to add variety to my running I can run different routes, different lengths (usually 2.5 – 5 miles) and on different surfaces (sidewalks, trails, off-road).  I can sign up and run a 5k, 4 mile, 5 mile or 10k race almost anytime.   Be creative.  Sometimes I take my running gear and run at my parents house, when I’m on a business trip or vacation to get a change of scenery.

For biking, I bike on the road or off-road.  I can go by myself or meet up with one of the several groups that ride near my home.  I can also sign up for various pay and charity rides.  I can pull my kid on a trail-a-bike or with my wife on our tandem, or both.  I can ride with fast riders (I learned the art of drafting early in my life) or slow down for some chit-chat with slower riders.  I can ride my 10 – 20 miles loops quickly from my front door, or we can pack up and ride on a number of family trails within a couple hour drive.   Every year I look forward to the one or two times to snow bike.

The point is, within my two main activities – running and biking – there are quite a number of ways to engage.  I’m only limited by my creativity.

In addition to exercising, it’s good to build up on your natural activity like yard work, cleaning and keeping your house organized.

Intensity Another drag on my motivation use to be my belief that every workout had to hurt.  “No pain, no gain,” right?  But, I found that’s a big myth.  My body isn’t built for continuous punishment.  Every week I vary the intensity of my workouts.  I usually do one or two workouts at a very low intensity, one or two and a medium and one at a high intensity.  I also “listen” to my body.  I’ll lower the intensity if I’m just not feeling it.   Taking the pressure off to not have to set a new PR each time out makes the workout much more psychologically enjoyable.

Another Great Question

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Several days ago a co-worker asked what it was that got me motivated to lose weight.  I found that question hard to answer. 

I think for me, maintaining my weight was always important, but my “beliefs” around weight control were based on myths that were making me fatter.  I let my eating habits get out of control, even though losing the weight was a goal.  I just hadn’t made the connection yet between what I put in my mouth and my waist line. 

Once I faced the truth and realized that whatever I was doing wasn’t working, I opened my mind a more to alternative explanations to weight control, which allowed me to learn the stuff I wrote about in my book and on this website. 

The bad news is that I can’t pinpoint exactly where this motivation came from.  The motivation is important.  Having the persistent motivation may give me an advantage over others.  I’ve known several people who learn the same stuff that I did to lose weight, become motivated to apply that knowledge and are successful.  But, for some reason, they seem to lose the motivation eventually and gravitate back towards bad eating habits and put weight back on.

I’d love to hear from people who are “Born Again” (that is, had no motivation for years and then found motivation) in regards to weight control and have had many years of success.  I’d love to know their secret.

Good Chat with Friend

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A few days ago, I had a good chat with an old friend about weight loss and weight control.  His story is similar to mine.  His eating habits gradually shifted over years to where he was eating more and more.  He was active and exercised regularly, probably more regular than me, but he just lost track of what he put in his mouth.

His uh-oh moment came when he was camping with his sons and they were climbing hills and he realized it shouldn’t be as hard for him as it was.  That’s when it dawned on him that he had been gaining weight gradually over the last several years and he really put some on in the last year or so because his eating habits got to he point where he felt like he needed to stuff himself when he ate.  That’s where I ended too. 

Once he changed his eating habits to take in less food, he realized he was never hungry.  It’s a liberating experience to realize that you only need to take in the right amount of food to sustain yourself.