Monday, September 3, 2012

Learning to Listen and Taking It Slow

As I age, my listening skills are improving.  As I am slowing down so is my brain and that is a blessing.  I'm taking more time to stop and listen as someone speaks before formulating a response.  It's not easy but I'm making progress.

This goes for my Jenny counselor as well.  Any other time I've tried a program like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig that has support available, I've always dismissed their advice because, "I already know what you are going to say and..."  Oh yeah's that working for ya?

There was a time that I could have counseled others on fitness and nutrition.  I was a fitness freak and a voracious learner when it came to how the body worked and whether or not the latest fitness "craze" was healthy or not.  I could also explain to you how your body processed food and why some calories are better than others and how fitness is a necessary component of any healthy lifestyle.

Okay - I still have all that stuff in my head but I'm not exactly a shining example of how that works now am I?  Clearly I'm not listening to myself either.

So this time I've decided to shut the fuck up and do everything Faith tells me to do.  This week she mentioned that I should try and walk so I can get that 1.6 up to 2.0 pounds per week.  And that this is a marathon not a sprint (much like recovery).  As the old saying goes, I didn't put it on in a week and I won't take it off that fast either.  (But why does it always come on so much faster than it leaves?)

Which brings me to my next step in the listening and slowing down process.  My approach to exercise.

In the past when I've tried to return to exercise, let's use yoga as an example, I've tried to jump in to the place I used to be...not where I am now.  That usually resulted in frustration and injury and giving up.  This time when I came back to yoga, I entered the process from a mindful place.  Slowly and deliberately.  Guess what?  It's working and I've never been more centered.  In addition, I'm getting stronger every day and I love that.

Exercise (cardio or weight training) has been the same.  I'd grab a dvd (usually an intermediate to advanced one) and I'd jump into it, pushing myself so hard that I'd feel like I was going to pass out or puke.  Then I'd wonder why I dreaded going back the next day. 

I swear I'm not really this stupid.

I have also downloaded a number of exercise apps on my phone.  First and foremost, they are targeted to the 20-35 year old demographic and since I don't see myself as 51 and out of shape, I just jump right in and do the same thing described in the above paragraph.

You know the definition of crazy right?

So forget the dvd's and the apps for 20 year olds...walking is the best way to get this party started right?  Yes...unless you're me.  See, back in the day, I was a fitness walker.  I usually clocked between 45 and 60 minutes at 4 mph 3-4 times a week.  So guess where I tried to go everytime I've tried to get back into shape.  Uh...yeah...once again - crazy.

But not this time.  I have this wonderful app on my iPhone called Lolo Treadmill.  It has all these wonderful settings and lets you decide your level of fitness, whether or not your walking outside or on a treadmill, and how long you want to walk.  It then plays music (you can use your own if you want) so you walk at the correct pace in time with the music.  All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.  Easy peasy.

This time I'm starting at the beginner level and when it tells me to walk at a level two (which is very, very slow...ugh) I DO IT.  I do the intervals as described.  I keep the pace as described in the app and guess what?  I end my walk feeling refreshed and fantastic as opposed to tired and ready for a nap.

Hmmm...maybe there is something to this "listening to the experts" and "taking it slow".

I swear I'm not really this stupid.


"No matter who you are, no matter what you do, you absolutely, positively do have the power to change."
~ Bill Phillips


  1. Haha, this made me laugh and feel excited for you all at once. Even when walking is the last thing I want to do, I always feel better about 1/3 of the way into it. Can also relate to the new willingness to not only listen to but also take advice. A lot of wisdom in this post, as usual.

  2. You are following your "God Advice"....shut up and listen, follow the yellow brick road...

  3. Sometimes we need to start at the beginning. Good luck on the new walking journey! xo


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