Tuesday, April 07, 2009

you in?

Of all the things that we can do to help prevent cancer, the evidence that exercise provides enormous benefits continues to mount (and yes, I know we all know folks who were really fit who still got cancer). The magic number is 180 minutes a week (and yes, I know I have said this before. It just bears repeating). You need to break a sweat but you don't need to do all the minutes at once (in fact, you really should spread them out through the course of the week).

So just get out there, OK? Put one foot in front of the other. Go for a swim. Take a class. Jump rope. Do a little pole dancing, if that's your thing (and it is for many, if the popularity of the course at my local community centre is any indication). Just move.

And yeah, it would be a whole lot easier if the weather would cooperate. My walks have been considerably shorter since the snow started falling again.

Accountability Time (or taking care of my body in 2009: part 4).

I didn't make a whole lot of progress in March but I am pulling up my socks and getting back on the horse (and mixing a whole lot of metaphors while I am at it).

Let's review the commitments I've made so far, shall we?

1-Walk VIGOROUSLY for an average of one hour, five times per week (300 minutes a week).

I almost made it. In fact, I came just under 100 minutes short for the month. All things considered (illness, chemo, travelling), that's not too bad.

2-Eat seven servings of fruit and veggies a day.

Not even close, although there were some good days. And we ate well in Florida. I need to focus a bit more on this one.

3-Cook dinner at least once a week.

It depends on how you define 'cooking dinner.' We've been eating way too much junk and prepared foods around here lately. However, I am certainly taking much more responsibility (as compared to almost no responsibility) for the family dinners (and I do that more than once a week).

The last couple of weeks have not been great but if I take a longer view, I am doing much more (and healthier) cooking than I have in my life.

4-Go to yoga once every week.

I went twice in the last five weeks. Not good enough. Especially since I am paying for 8 week sessions.

5-Cut down on refined sugar.

Well, if the goal had been to increase my sugar intake to the point that I felt well and truly addicted and jittery and my pants were getting tighter, I would have done very well.

It all started on the road trip. I would get treats for the kids and a little something for myself. And then the if the kids didn't like the chocolate (my big weakness) I got them then I would get them something else. But a chocolate bar shouldn't go to waste, right? I think my all-time low was the day I ate half a Three Musketeers, half a Milky Way and one and a half of those chocolate bars they sell at the cash at Starbucks.

Or maybe my low point was sending my oldest son to the corner store in the rain last night to get me an Easter Cream Egg (this was after my spouse had failed to return with one for me from the grocery store).

The truth is that for me, sugar is addictive. Once I have a little bit, then I just want more. And I really don't like how it makes me feel.

So it's time to stop.

Except for the organic, vegan chocolate bar that came in the mail today. Raw, organic cane sugar doesn't count, right?

4- Take my vitamin D and calcium supplements daily.

I may have remembered three times. I did get lots of Vitamin D from the sun in Florida, though.

5. Do either 10 minutes (at least) of strength training or yoga with the wii fit or abdominal exercises every day (chemo recovery days excluded).

I did five minutes of abdominal crunches. Once.

But I plan to go and use the Wii Fit (I did buy the thing) right after I finish writing this. Or at some point this evening. Really.

OK. So there is lots of room to improve here. I promised myself that I would end 2009, feeling healthy, fit and strong. Time to renew this commitment.

And I don't think I will make myself any new promises this month. I just need to actually fulfill the old ones.

How about you? How are you doing with the goals you set for 2009?


Dee said...

I'm not sure if I set any specific goals, although last week, I posted about not eating as much processed sugar myself. Not doing so well there. Like you, while on vacation, I kinda got hooked on the stuff again, and drinking diet pepsi (I only have two a day, not too bad, huh?) and having drinks with colleagues at this conference. I have been walking, though, and my plastic surgeon just released me to play volleyball and softball in moderation. I do, however, need to do more aerobic exercise. I might have to invest in a stationery bike or elliptical trainer or something.

Don't beat yourself over the head too much. You have seen improvement in most of your areas - once those become more of a habit, then you can tackle the other stuff, like crunches (god, I hate those!).

Okay, I'm gonna go eat something healthy for dinner.

raino said...

i'm struck by - cook dinner at least once a week!? hello, i could like 6 times a week. sigh

jana said...

Good for you! I'm working hard on my fitness goals after a big health scare last year and some serious ongoing concerns about residual chemo side-effects (though I've been in remission for quite awhile now).

I started a fitness blog with some friends to help keep me more accountable and it's worked really well.

Average Jane said...

I like the specificity of your goals. I just wrote a "I need to turn my life around" post, but my ambitions weren't nearly as concrete. I'll probably steal yours!

laurie said...

Thanks all for sharing. It makes me feel so much better.

And raino? Yeah, I know I've had it pretty good re the cooking. My spouse used to ask "what number are you dialing" when I would say that I would "take care of dinner." When it comes to laundry on the other hand....

Nat said...

I didn't really set goals. I wanted to drop a few but it's not happening given that my cookie addiction shows not signs of slowing down.

I wonder if I get my 180 minutes/week...

JuliaR said...

I've been a member at the GoodLife gym for years now and I love their "Body Flow" classes. The combination of tai chi, yoga and pilates (but mostly yoga) last for an hour, so when you commit to going, you are there for the hour and can't bail like if you are at the gym by yourself. I was going to 3 classes a week but the 5th and 6th chemos knocked me for a loop so I didn't go for 6 weeks. But now I am back and loving it! And they have added a class so I can go 4 times a week! Plus, this weekend the weather is supposed to turn (I hope) so I will oil up the bike chain and see how far I can pedal. I am planning to bike to all my radiation appointments that start April 15. My goal is to get into the best shape I've ever been in and stay there for the next 50 years. :)