Monday, October 19, 2009

'Tis The Season!

Just made plans for my nephew to come visit me the week before Christmas! It's going to be a blast -- I'm so excited.

Aside from the joys of getting to see him react to freezing temps and snow (he lives in the south with my brother) and teaching him things like ice-skating and snowball throwing, we'll get to experience some of New York's Christmas magic together. The city is never so beautiful as it is leading up to Xmas.

Also -- and this truly was one of my first thoughts, so it shows how much my mentality has changed in the last year -- having him come here means I get more time in control of what and when we eat, and I can stay on my workout schedule. We'll fly back home together for Christmas Eve, meaning I'll only have a couple of days to dodge the mince pies, creamy dips, and large juicy roasts my family loves to eat over the holidays. Then I'll be back in New York.

If he weren't coming here, I'd have to be down there a week earlier -- meaning more time to combat boredom (by eating) and get sucked into the lazy stuffing of the pie hole that often overtakes me in the holidays.


So, back to the here and now. I got in an excellent workout yesterday despite crappy, rainy weather.

I bundled up and was dragging myself the 1.5 blocks to my local gym when I decided to just keep walking. That's one of the boons of living not far from Central Park.

Doing the elliptical at the gym is a must for me, in terms of cardio workouts. But it's such a spiritually bland exercise. I find a walk or a bike ride in the park or through the city feeds/fuels me in a different way -- I simply feel more grounded in my life and body when I'm moving through nature as opposed to plodding in a gym.

I wonder what those who are actively engaged in a spiritual life think about the ways and means of exercise? Beej -- any thoughts? Getting in touch with one's body -- and learning to care for it -- has always struck me as a tremendously spiritual undertaking. So while I know I do have to go to the gym -- and that always leaves me feeling pumped up and great -- I will also make time for those workouts that lead to quiet self-reflection, feelings of peace and a connection to nature.

In anycase, it was a tremendously frigid and windy walk around the reservoir -- but for once I had the spot all too myself! Minus the visiting ducks, of course. I was thinking often of Lori, out that morning in even more bitter weather upstate, doing a combo bike/run race!

Then I walked back to the gym and did my 45 minutes on the elliptical. And got on the scale. A little lower than it was last week, but not back to where it was before my trip upstate on Oct. 2nd.

Sigh. So quick is the damage, so long the repair.

Shortly I will go see my nutritionist -- the person who helped me get started on this journey and who does my "official" weigh-ins. I'm feeling slightly squirmy because I have not really lost any weight for the past six weeks.

I could have -- actually I did lose pounds here and there. But for each pound lost, there was a weekend or a dinner or a party where I indulged too much and put the pound back on.

I didn't gain any weight. But I was unable to make the lost pounds stick, either.

A few days of "clean" eating and working out and the scale numbers start to go down. A day or two of indulgences -- even small ones -- and it pops right back up again.

It's disheartening to know I had a six or seven pound weight loss in my sights and let it get away.

As punishment, I must do more Tabata! I'm slowly getting the hang of this nightmare workout and it can even be kinda fun (cough, cough). It does feel fantastic when you get through the whole four minutes. I'm nowhere near as dedicated as South Beach Steve, but I'm getting there.

I'm working my way up to frog leg squats -- once my knee firms up some more.

15 pounds --- that's my goal. We'll see if I can make it.


  1. Hey Ish, thanks for the call out!

    I totally agree with your observation about the difference between exercise in the gym and exercise in the world (either in a park or on the street). I find that I get my cardio in at the gym (as you do), and get connected on my walks. Of course, that's not the only place I connect with God, but it's different. On my walks, sometimes I listen to sermon podcasts, sometimes I walk & chat with my wife, sometimes I just listen to music. But it's always a time of reflection and observation--so much more so than in the qym.

    And, man, doesn't it suck that one nutritional indescretion (okay, sometimes many!) leads to days or weeks of extra work? It finally gets to the point that it just isn't worth it to have that Big Mac or those Red Robin fries...or that whole pizza!

    And great job on the Tabata...I still haven't incorporated that into my workouts...maybe later. I'm still getting my butt kicked by planks.

  2. "So quick is the damage, so long the repair" - ah yes, the words engraved on my soul, sigh.

    And you chaps eat Red Robins? You are an uncouth race - we adorn Christmas cards with ours!

    Peridot x

  3. Well done on the pre-Christmas damage control -- I always feel better knowing I don't have days and days of nothing scheduled but checking in the fridge to see if the [fill in name of yummy thing] has been made yet! (Or better yet, offering to make it and sampling half of it.) And I totally sympathize with the quick damage -- I have been known to put on a size in a week...