Tag Archives: Exercise

Belated New Year Health Post!

18 Jan

Hello everyone!

Wow, I can’t believe I went ALL of December without updating! Apologies to everyone 😦 The holidays ended up being a pretty crazy time around here (even with just a small family of the two of us)! Husband and I started doing p90x shortly after Thanksgiving, which actually takes a large chunk of time out of our day 6 days a week. Some days I find it incredibly difficult to get motivated to do the workouts, often due to that fact alone; if they were, say, 3o minutes long, it’d be much easier to scrounge up the motivation that I lack. They are good workouts, though. For anyone considering trying it, the thing I love most about it is that it’s completely up to YOU how good of a workout you receive from it. Because of this, the question of, “oh, is it an intense exercise?” (which I seem to get fairly often) is a tough one to answer – yes, it’s incredibly intense and leaves you very sore and exhausted, so long as you push yourself that hard. I will NEVER forget that first week – we did everything so hard, because it was our first time working everything out. By the end of that first week, I couldn’t move; we walked all over downtown Seattle on our rest day, the day following the intense leg routine, and by the end of our time out, I was HOBBLING and on the verge of tears. It was terrible. But the great thing about the human body is that it repairs! Week 2 saw less intensity than week 1, due to our muscles having been ripped into disarray, but week 3 saw a great improvement, and our bodies were significantly less sore post-workout. We’re currently on our rest week (week 4), which comes just in time before you start feeling burnt out. I’ve been tracking my progress here at Dailymile, if anyone would like to join me on there!

We actually accidentally ended up taking an entire week off, because we went home to the greatest state of TEXAS! We just got back yesterday, and we had a blast. I was actually far more homesick than I knew I was, and returning to Seattle was a bit difficult for me, to say the least. BUT it SNOWED here today!!! So that was super exciting, and cheered me up 😉 I had actually packed my yoga mat because we intended to do the rest week workouts in Texas, but it ended up not happening (you know, “too tired,” or “ate too much,” and any other excuse we could think of). I ate A TON of food while we were home, mostly from the fast food establishments that I miss (i.e., Chick-fil-A and Whataburger), and I do not regret a second of it. We also went out to eat with two friends of ours at BRC Gastropub. It was PHENOMENAL. The food was almost indescribably good. My husband and I shared the “Big Ass Breakfast,” (so big, in fact, we could barely finish it, and we SHARED it!) and one of our friends ordered fried chicken sandwiched between biscuits? It was pretty crazy. I highly suggest everyone who lives in the greater Houston area go try it. It is worth the drive.

The highlight of the trip, though, was cooking Chicken and Dumplings with my mom (which will, of course, have it’s own post soon)! We haven’t been in the kitchen together since I was a kid, I’m pretty sure. It was so nice to cook with her! We got to spend some quality alone time together, and chat without any distractions; so refreshing! We also went down to visit my aunt and cousins, and she cooked a delicious meal for us as well! Not being with them for the holidays this year was kind of difficult, so I’m glad we all made time to get together when we WERE able to make it home!

The other reason for my absence is that, for a while, I wasn’t really cooking anything, and if I did, it was stuff I’d already posted. We got a bunch of Omoha Steak meat from husband’s mom for his birthday, so for many weeks I cooked simple, pre-made burgers. We’ve also been trying to work on our food budget and plan and buy stuff on sale, so it’s been tricky for me to pick recipes with doing things that way. I’ve still got to figure it out, since I’m used to picking a recipes and THEN buying stuff to make it. It’s less fun this way but I must make due for now! I *DO* have a bunch of backlogged recipes needing to be posted, though! So I will be working hard on getting those done in the coming weeks. Get excited! 🙂

Part of my New Years Resolution was to stay on top of this blog. Most people make resolutions to eat better and get more fit, so I figured a first post on health and wellness was fitting! And hopefully, I can inspire you all to adhere to any health goals you’ve set as well. I am so sorry I went so long without posting anything; here’s to that not happening again!

With much love and hope for all in this exciting new year,

-Katie

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A (prose) Ode to Exercise

7 Oct

I stubbed my little toe this week. Like, REALLY stubbed it. Prettyyy badly. I think I may even have broken it! But what are little toes good for, anyway? They are so useless, and do nothing but get caught where they shouldn’t be and constantly causing pain. Bleh.

But this is not the first misfortune I’ve faced the last few weeks. I have somehow managed to burn my right index finger on two different occasions when grabbing things out of the oven. I sliced into my thumb with one of those fancy new knives I raved about receiving a few posts back while cutting through a bell pepper. Though it was not my fault, I also got my foot landed on during Ultimate practice the other Tuesday, causing it to be badly bruised along the edge. I mean really, the list just goes on and on. My recent bouts of clumsiness have gotten me analyzing my daily routine, especially my exercise regimen, to try and find answers.

When we first moved to Seattle, I worked out every single day in the gym. I would alternate between the treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bicycle 3 days a week for cardio, and I at least lifted weights almost every single day.  I wasn’t looking for a job yet, as I was planning my wedding. Working out, especially first thing in the morning, as I was, really left me in much better shape than I seem to be finding myself in these days. I felt productive, useful, attractive, and whatever else is the very opposite of lazy. It really supercharged me for the day and made me more motivated for and productive at other tasks. And plus, weightlifting is so fantastically beneficial for our bodies. I ate guiltlessly during that period of time, because my body was burning more calories when resting due to the increase in muscle mass (because that’s what happens when you lift weights, and why it’s better for your body in the long run than just doing cardio).

When we moved to our permanent apartment, I became bogged down with setting up the apartment, unpacking, wedding planning, and many other things required in when moving states. I also did not like the gym at our apartment complex as much – it’s small, the weight machines are old and oddly difficult to use, etc. You know, the usual excuses. Therefore, for various reasons, I found myself no longer going to the gym. In fact, I quit working out altogether for a few weeks before we started playing Ultimate.

Ultimate Frisbee is probably the greatest sport ever. I am convinced it requires more running than Soccer; in soccer, there are down times where people aren’t running as much, but in Ultimate, everyone has to run non-stop the entire time. You’re running on offense trying to break from your defender to help your team get the disc to your goal, and if it gets dropped and turned over to the other team, then you immediately have to run just as hard on defense to work to get it back. It requires so much stamina and quick recovery. And because you’re running for almost 2 hours straight, your leg muscles begin to grow intensely and quite rapidly. It is better than any weightlifting you could probably do for your legs.

Now, while it was great and all that I was getting my cardio and leg workout, I wasn’t lifting weights and the work I had done in my arms was beginning to disappear, as they are not so aptly utilized in the sport. At first, I was sore for DAYS from Ultimate; my body didn’t know what hit it. And so, from there, I also fell out of the routine of lifting weights. I gave my all to Ultimate one day a week, and that became that. I’ve also started arduously job hunting, which keeps me couped up at my computer for 4-5 hours each morning. Then it’s lunch time and I’m hungry and (most often emotionally) exhausted from job searching/applying that I just want to relax, and thus end up BACK at the computer.

BUT, in addition to this, I’ve also recently given up my morning cup of coffee cold turkey. I felt dependent on it, and I didn’t like it. I am feeling like this may also be the cause of my recent absentmindedness, because said absentmindedness was not present until after I quit drinking coffee. But I digress.

It seems that I’ve forgotten how AMAZING weightlifting is, and I am resolving to start it up again. It heals your body and betters posture. It allows you to burn more calories at rest (and thus, lose more fat). It makes you more confident and thus, better able to handle the stresses of everyday life (of which I find many, being so prone to anxiety). But most importantly, for me, I just loved that energized feeling so early in the morning. As of right now, I have little desire or motivation to do the things I really enjoy doing, much less the things I enjoy doing even less (like the laundry). But I KNOW that if I could just drag myself down to the gym again and get back in the routine of lifting weights each morning, my attitude would be much improved.

I feel like living proof that exercise is a major cure for depression. When I don’t exercise enough, I am stressed beyond imagination, sad, and of a very angry disposition. When I get lots of exercise, I am so much more happy and pleasant. I need it. I’ve needed it my whole life. And you know what? It’s never too late for anyone else to start doing it, or to even start needing it, as well. We live in so stationary of a society – work is often so stressful that all anyone wants to do in their spare time is sit around some more, “relaxing” by watching movies or TV or playing games, or what have you. But exercise, instead of being considered draining, should come to be viewed as revitalizing. I know for a fact it is far more beneficial and rejuvenating than sitting and watching TV, which will only make one more tired. But get up, go out, and run for even just 10 minutes, and I guarantee you will find more energy at the end of it than you know what to do with. Even as a very active person, I still struggle at times to drag myself outside of my cozy apartment for some physical activity, but in those times I just constantly repeat in my head how much better it will be for me in the long run, even though I may not feel like doing it right now. It’s a sick cycle, and it can often be hard to break, but I have the utmost confidence that ANYONE could do it, so long as they tried hard. And it takes courage to try hard, especially in the face of what may be, for some, imminent failure. But you know what? That will make you an even stronger person, too – stronger than ANY amount of weight you could manage to bench press.

I will step off my inspirational soap-box now, since I’m feeling a bit better about everything. I am resolving to lift weights again, and it feels good. I already started by going the other night and doing what I could for my arms (which are still quite sore today). I couldn’t do legwork thanks to that nuisance toe of mine, but something was definitely better than nothing. I look forward to the benefits it’s going to bring. 🙂