Sunday, October 25, 2009

While we're on the subject

Thanks for reminding us about yesterday, Laura. Your mentioning it reminded me that applications for next year's Rotary Exchange are probably due sometime in October or November, also. Remember when we were just applying? Sigh...

I just got back from doing some hill work with my new Vibram 5-fingers, which are really growing on me. I've only used them a couple of times because of a cold spell which hit a couple of weeks ago, but now the weather has warmed up again and so I got them out. I think they're great for people suffering from shin splints. It's refreshing to feel like you're using muscles (like your shins) that you don't use much with regular shoes. While I was out there, I was thinking about how my life has changed over the last few months (except for my uncertain work situation, it has all been positive).

Here are some of the small changes I've made that are making a big impact on my life.

1. Sweety and I have stopped eating out (unless we absolutely have to). Impact: we're spending a lot less money, we're eating better and healthier food at home, we're less interested in eating out (This is interesting. It's addictive. The more you eat out, the more you WANT to eat out. The less you eat out, the more you realize that the food you make at home is usually BETTER than what you eat out), and our social interactions with friends are healthier. We meet people out for walks, runs, tennis, etc. We made this decision in order to cut out unnecessary spending (we don't know what is going to happen with either of our work situations) and because I wanted to lose the weight that I had gained this summer after the marathon. We are much more creative about cooking and grocery shopping now, and have found ways of making eating at home just as special as eating out (It's Friday! Homemade PIZZA NIGHT, for example...)

2. I'm using the car as little as possible. If I don't have to be clean and fresh when I arrive, I run, otherwise I take the bus. Impact: Alot of my running miles are simply transportation. I feel so green! I don't have to make time for running-- it's built into my day.

3. I stopped drinking about 3 weeks or so ago. Before, I would have a glass (bottle) of wine with dinner with Sweety and (often) drink too much when we went out with friends. I decided that it was counter-productive to all the healthy lifestyle choices I was making, and, let's face it, at my age, you get killer hangovers. I did have a couple of drinks when my friend Daniel was here from Brazil one night, but the nice thing was that it felt like an exception, not a rule. Impact: I don't miss it. I feel clear-headed, I can concentrate better, I wake up earlier, and am still really fun. I drink tea instead, or hot water and lemon, and this keeps me happy and hydrated (even if it makes me sound boring). Interestingly, my friends have not really noticed.

4. I run more often but less miles. Even when I log 7 or 8 miles, chances are it was broken up into 1.5-3 mile chunks. This really agrees with me. I feel strong and a bunch of my pre-marathon pants fit again.

5. I'm watching as little TV as possible and reading. This is positive in every way possible.

Kilo count: I'm down 5 kilos from my high in July. Trying to keep it steady and get down to my goal of losing another 9 or so kilos (or about 20 pounds). Since we started our challenge I have lost 2 kilos.

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