Fitness Goals: Heal My Brain Now Heal My Body
December 19, 2020
Exercise is important. I haven’t blogged about exercise other than plogging much because I self-identified as a runnter for over 30 years in my life. Exercise like managing my finances has always been easy for me. I’ve trained for marathons, run more than my fair share of half-marathons – and my fastest mile time is not bad at 5 minutes 15 seconds (I think). My half marathon time was also very decent, but it’s not important anymore. I didn’t blog about exercise because I needed to learn more about the earth, mindfulness, stretching my body, centering mt body through yoga, slowing my mind enough to notice the birds (there is one perched on our hammock right now a Black Phoebe) and actually I really needed to figure out how to cook. Above was yesterday’s project which was a Vegan Omelette with Besan (chickpea flour) which was a success.
Some of my concern and fear of eating disorders, which I can honestly say I’ve never had one, is that I innately understand the self-control and single-mindedness that adolescent girls can exert to get to a weight goal. Through that process of trying to meet a weight gain, many girls will have their thinking processes corrupted. A feedback loop on becoming obsessed with food and exercise and numbers. But the profile of eating disorders is very much concordant with many high-achieving women. If you are a high-achieving woman, you know this to be true. I remember distinctly being a resident at Mans Greatest Hospital, and watching a very controlled high school senior girl being lavaged feeds through an NG tube at the same time celebrating her early admission to Duke University. That was a scary moment as you see echoes of yourself in patients.
I was very lucky though in that I loved food too much and loved eating too much. The scary thing was at some point I loved running too much. As my daughter becomes older and is in the risk group for developing eating disorders, I am more mindful of how I raise her and how I communicate my values about exercise and food. These messages should be intuitive and should be loving.
Anyway, I think I’ve done a good job working through these issues the last year. My body feels limber through stretching and yoga. Walking and litter picking is a gentle activity that I can do frequently and able to maintain. I really enjoy cooking now and am working through the A to Z Dr. Plastic Picker Cook Book project. I’m going to give myself some time though, as I really want to perfect some recipes first before I include them. The granola one was too burnt. And I want to include more vegetables in the cookbook.
But the truth is that I can walk for hours and do yoga now, but I have to incorporate more cardio in my regimen. True body fitness includes getting your heart rate up above 140 for at least 30 mintues a few times a week. My daughter is on the soccer team and does cross country, and she was on a short run and I could not keep up. I can walk for hours, but really I should be able to run at least 30 minutes with her.
I no longer identify as a runner, as I think I (and all of us) are so much more than a single dimension identifier. Imperfect vegan, beginning yoga-lover, downward dog stretcher, beach plogger. I don’t like to have anyone tell me what to do, so I really have to figure out what works for my body. I have to get my cholesterol rechecked and it had been borderline high prior to Dr. Plastic Picker. I think with the plant-based diet it should be better. We are eating so little cheese, processed foods and more colorful and beautiful vegetables these days.
So I wanted to state for myself my fitness goals. I honestly could start training for a marathon again and pull out my old running schedule, and start punishing my body. But I don’t want to go back to that. I know my mind, and I need to teach myself moderation and exercise moderation as well.
My fitness goals are simple
- jog 30 minutes 3x a week
- Yoga 3 nights a week (10-30 minutes)
- Plog enough for 20 bags of trash either at work or around the neighborhood, I don’t have to always go to the beach. Give myself enough freedom to do some jogging instead.
- Feel fit enough to just ONLY a 10K. That is it. No more half marathons.
- Take care of my feet (I’ve had plantar fascitis in the past).
My brain works great these days, and I want to main my creativity and be able to write, think of innovative environmental projects for myself and the department. I also want to continue to make upcycled toys (which are so fun!). But I also want to feel just a bit more toned and also I honestly think I’ve been eating too many of my delicious baked goods in the mornings!!! LOL. It has been wonderful and delicious! But even vegan baked goods should be done in moderation. So those are my modest fitness goals!!!