If you have not seen my last post about this subject (the first five things I have learned) then you can just look back to this post. I really wanted to make sure that I understood, as well as my readers, that this is a completely new learning process for me. Well, as stated before, I am trying to pick things that I’ve learned in my recent endeavors, and things that I have known for years but did not make a connection to until now. So before I kill you with complete boredom, here are:
The Top Ten Things I Have Learned About Myself So Far (the second half):
5.) I absolutely am in love with barre workouts for strength conditioning. And it completely baffles me as to why I hadn’t thought of it as a viable way to work on leg conditioning without bulking up with weights. I mean, I’ve been dancing for years between various classes and rehearsals for dance-heavy musicals. So I wonder why the knowledge of this particular exercise stayed hidden in my little noggin all this time. Well, as far as barre is concerned, it’s really easy and low impact (you don’t even need to use weights if you don’t want to), but it is super effective. I usually try to do it in the evening, three times a week, when I get home from work. Since I do my running training at 6am, I like fitting it in later. If you don’t know what barre workouts are, here is a great video by the folks over at FitnessBlender.
4.) This fitness, training thing is so much easier when you cook for yourself. Now I can’t pretend that I didn’t know that already, but it really is something I have to reiterate. It is also much more cost effective to cook for yourself while training. The only problem that I have is the whole cooking for one conundrum. Granted, there are a ton of things that can be fractioned as far as recipes are concerned, but I have always been very experienced in the kitchen. When you know how to improvise, cooking for one is so much easier. Another problem that I run into is that I can never use fresh produce fast enough. Even though I try to use it as quickly as possible, and buy as little as possible, there are times when it will go bad anyway. One example of a great way to work with what you have is by cooking what will be useful throughout the week. Example: the boyfriend and I made a roast chicken with roast potatoes and carrots for the Super Bowl. We ended up eating all the veggies but had more than half a chicken left. I put that in the fridge and made various other lunches until today. Today I pulled the chicken apart to use for various things like chicken salad, country pie, etc.
I separated it into three piles: what I couldn’t use went into the trash; what was clean-pulled went into a bowl; and what I could use went onto the red lid. Because I had so many useful pieces (but not stuff I’d want to eat, though), I decided to make a stock that I would later freeze.
In case anyone is wondering, the stock includes the full carcass of the chicken (with fat, skin, etc.), a bunch of baby carrots, half an onion, two cloves of garlic split, and salt and pepper and some thyme. Then I made dinner with a half cup of shredded chicken, half cup of sauerkraut, a garlic sour pickle chopped up, chopped onions, a quarter cup of chick peas, pepper, paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. Over it, I had a couple latkes I made two days ago (yay leftovers!). (If you’re interested, the sauerkraut and garlic sours are from the world famous gourmet shop Morse’s Sauerkraut and European Deli.) So as you can see, having different things handy helps keep me on track.
3.) I absolutely, 100% do not want my endeavors to change who I really am, deep down inside. I know this journey will change me in some ways. Heck, the whole point is to change my attitude about exercise and fitness. But I don’t want anything drastic. This is that serious conversation that I eluded to in the last post. I think what triggered it was my boyfriend asking me if I had seen any of those movies about bloggers, because they ruined relationships. I know he was joking (you sarcastic jerk), but his words really made me think. I told him this past Saturday, while we were out to breakfast, that I wanted him to promise to keep me in check. He told me he wasn’t worried, but I told him I was. I didn’t want things to take complete hold of my life. I saw someone make a drastic (and similar) lifestyle change once, and it led to a divorce, and that terrifies me. But I guess the indicator I’ll be okay (we’ll be okay), is the fact that I’m already concerned about it. Luckily, we just concluded to cross that bridge when we get there. If we get there.
2.) I want to have a healthy heart. My boyfriend works in a setting where he sees people with heart problems all the time. Sometimes he’ll have these horror stories that worry me, as I have a history of poor heart health from every side of my family. It’s scary stuff. And as I realize that I want to be around for the people I love as long as possible, I need to keep my heart pumping blood. I know I want to live long (and prosper), but I’m not ready to leave the ones I love either. That may be a little selfish, but I’m thinking ahead here.
And the number one thing I have learned so far:
1.) I have the BEST support system in the world. Honestly, you are all the best friends, family, boyfriend, colleagues, and loved ones ever. I couldn’t possibly ask for better people in my life. So, thank you.