Monday, September 22, 2008


Kathleen asked what my motivations are for healthy eating and the new found, mysterious, jogging desire. I do have a few disclaimers. 1) You are not here to witness my whole day and are not privy to my regular eating habits since I typically don't share them. Aren't blogs supposed to make one look good? Yes, I do try to eat healthy, but I also ate 8 chocolate chip cookies on Thursday afternoon -not counting the dough because that wasn't really a cookie yet and doesn't count towards my intake. 2) I am working to exercise more, but our last move has currently placed me in the midst of a "perfect storm" of circumstances. Some were already there, I just wasn't taking advantage of them for various reasons. Most of them fall under the "motivations" category, so I'll list them. They are not in any particular order.

1) I want my children to arrive safely at school and home. Every time I think about just waving them out the door every morning I hear a story about some nutcase who tries to pick up a child or two while they are walking home from school alone. We also had that lovely experience with the door-to-door sales man a couple of weeks ago. Yes, even here in "Happy Valley" we have our share of kooks.

2) 1 mile each way to school, up hill both ways!- Ok, not really, but we do live way up on the mountain. It is very much downhill all the way to school and very much up hill all the way home. I can guarantee that it is better than a stair stepper or tread mill anyday, having used both at various times in my previous life. And since Motivation #1 is a huge one to me, I am there walking almost every day. Some days we drive, but it is the rare exception. Curch happens to be half way between between our house and school, so we try to walk there as much as we can as well. Given their choice, the kids would drive all the time. Not going to happen as long as afterschool activities consist of books and computer time. Soccer a couple of times a week is a start, but not enough if there's anything I can do about it.

3) There are no buses for anyone at the elementary school. Our school happens to have all the students live within walking distance, so the only options to get my children to school are to walk or drive. We live about as far as you can and still be in the school boundaries. There is another school at the other end of our street, but it would be at least as far, if not a bit farther and doesn't have as much shade on the way home. See Motivation #4 for the reason we don't drive.

4) $4.00 gasoline- I know it's dropped down here now to about $3.70, but I'm trying to stay in the exercising habit. In fact, in the first 3 months we lived here, I only put 1500 miles on the car including several trips to Salt Lake and a couple of drives up the canyon. That is a major improvement over mileage in, say, New Hampshire!

5) High Cholesterol- Runs in my family and I am very prone. Exercise seems to work better for me at keeping it down than just watching my diet. I happen to like living and have no desire to cut my turn on earth short due to heart/vascular problems. I also would prefer to not have to take medication, so that leaves me exercise.

6) Knees- I've had bad knees since elementary school. As a result, I can pretty much count on getting shiny new metal ones at some point in my life. I saw videos of that particular surgery in college and am in no rush to experience it! Exercise does a couple of things- keeps the joints healthy and lubricated and the muscles strong to prevent more damage. If and when the blessed event occurs, the stronger my legs are at the time, the faster the recovery will be. I'm also hoping that the longer I can put off the surgery the longer science has to come up with some plan that won't require it. Keep those fingers crossed!

7) It's not hot here! I really hate being hot. I'm getting over it in relation to working out, but doing anything but swim outside in AZ is just not even remotely appealing. It was on the warm side when school started here- usually upper 90's when school got out. There were some days when it was near 100 and I just drove. I don't like being that hot, so I won't make the kids walk home that hot, either. Now it's in the upper 70's/low 80's in the afternoon and it's been in the 40's and 50's in the morning. I still get warmer than I'd like walking in the afternoon, but it's bearable. The mornings are perfect. I love them. Yes, I plan to walk as often as we can in the winter, but we'll see how it goes. I planned to give birth to my first child without an epidural. I wasn't in labor very long when I discovered how foolish that thought was and changed my mind. Winter here may be the same kind of experience, though I walked every day in college and survived. We'll see.

8) I can feel new muscle. There's something very encouraging about success. It also helps that the numbers on the scale have dropped by a few and since I know that I have new found muscle I know that I'm most likely losing inches as well. It's very motivating to feel any progress and it makes me want to do more.

9) I have changed my diet enough that food really high in fat make me sick to my stomach now. For example, I really can't stand the thought of ribs. Even those yummy chocolate chip cookies last week made me feel somewhat sick. It's been a pretty good motivator to at least attempt to eat better.

10) Exercise and healthy eating helps keep the headaches away. If I have a headache coming on and can get in a walk, or some other form of exercise, and some thing to eat with a healthy source of protein, most of the time I can get rid of it. Sleep plays a big role, too. I could definitely be better in that department.

That's going to be it for now. Now, I'm off to get in my car and drive to the store to buy the ingredients for Family Home Evening dessert (Cream Soda and sweetened condensed milk. Throw it in the ice cream maker and it makes a yummy slush). So, when it comes to exercise and healthy eating, do what I say and not what I do!


trublubyu said...

i cannot wait for the temp to dip low enough that it will be bearable to walk kids to and from school. i hate walking in the heat. i really envy you right now with the beautiful fall weather upon you.

Kelly said...

I walked my kids to school one day a couple of weeks ago, and we were all beet red and sweaty by the time we got there, as it was already in the 90's. Can't wait for the cooler temperatures to arrive (people say it's cooler, but not significantly enough yet!). I think you're taking some great steps. And it makes a difference to just make it a natural part of your day! Go Shannon!

Tim and Katy Glemser said...

You are an inspiration Shannon! Oh dear, I'm so bad though...when I read about your intake of 8 cookies plus dough, I was like, "Heck yes! You da woman!" For me, cookies are essential to one's balanced diet.

Kathleen said...

It seems like you have a pretty common sense approach to this whole thing, slow and steady with a few splurges now and then, and you are still seeing results. It's nice to know I don't have to find a crash diet that I would suffer through, lose a few pounds then gain them back a few months later (been there, done that). Keep up the good work, you really are motivating me to do better, thanks!

Carrie said...

That is awesome that you walk your kids to and from school. What a great experience for the kids too - even is they don't see it like that right now. They will thank you later for it.