A commercial is a small thing.
I wanted a lazy Saturday, because my brain is in that transition mode where exercise doesn't quite feel like punishment, but it does feel like work. I was planning a long run on Sunday (more on that later), so part of me wanted to rebel and spend the day relaxing and watching the Olympics and NOT doing my planned workout, even though the workout itself was relaxing almost by definition (Saturday is my yoga day).
I was about to bundle up and go out for coffee and a treat when a Goodlife Fitness commercial came on right as I was about to turn off the TV. It was that brief flash of a smiling woman in warrior pose that made me strip off my outdoor clothes and climb into my yoga gear instead. As always, I felt great after. My lower body gets so tight with the running that I need to get that yoga in before my long run day. The best part is that it puts me in a great frame of mind after: I'm still in Saturday relaxation mode, but it's a much more positive, healthy relaxation instead of the usual sit-on-the-couch-and-eat-bad-f
Curbside charity workers are a small (annoying) thing.
Charities are important and good. The promo workers who stand at the street corners with clipboards and harass people during lunch are irritating. It's not so bad to be stopped once in a while, but when you've lived on a popular corner for three years and work just a few blocks away, it gets a bit old. That's why, after I hit the bank the other day, I had a change in plans. I'd been planning to pop into my former local coffee shop on the way back into work, because they make the best London Fogs and I missed them, and I really wanted a butterscotch marshmallow bar because I felt like being reminded of my grandmother other something. I was iffy on both, but seeing a pack of smiling clipboards at the intersection decided it for me, and I chose not to cross over to the coffee shop.
A song is a small thing.
Sunday started out like Saturday. I slept in, because part of me knew that this was one of the last weeks where I could get away with it before we started hitting the really long long-run distances. When I eventually woke up, the last thing I wanted to do was climb into tight running clothes and go outside into -20-something weather. It was NASTY. I bummed around for a few hours before bundling up and walking up to the coffee shop I'd missed out on the day before (I'm seeing a theme here) and getting a nice comforting coffee and mac & cheese.
After lunch, I was still being lazy and half-fighting with myself, even though I knew I wouldn't be running. At that moment, Pink's 'Try' came on my playlist. That's become my unofficial song of this training period, and my reminder that even though it feels like it sucks sometimes, it's worth it in the end.
I felt a twitch.
So I listened to it again while pulling up google to see if there were any interesting running routes out in the opposite direction I'd gone last week. I found a park I like on the map, and plugged in a route. 6.5k out. My run for the day was supposed to be 13k. You don't get much more perfect than that. I left my desk to get changed and faltered a bit when I happened to glance outside - so I put on the song *again* and kept going.
The run was tough and fantastic all at the same time. I haven't gone beyond 10k since my last half marathon, so I knew this would be challenging - even more so because my new neighbourhood is surprisingly hilly. It was an odd route that took me through a lot of past memories. I live close to where I went to university, so I passed three of my old homes as I ran around the college - basement suites and crazy roommates and one year of living in student residence (which were actually nice townhomes). It's a time of my life I don't like to look back on. Even though I logically know that I got sick and I couldn't finish for medical reasons, I still feel like I failed myself by only being able to do two years.
After three kilometers of working that over in my head, I decided that it's not a bad thing. I can look at what I missed out on by getting ill when I should have been starting my life, or I can look back a decade later and realize that I'm running past my old university while training for a marathon, partnered with another fantastic human being in my life, living in a community I like in a home I just purchased because I'm working a good and challenging career. Life's not exactly crap even if it didn't work out how I expected, y'know?
I hit the park 6.5k - okay, 7k, because I got lost - later. The run back was mostly uphill and I was struggling at the end, but crawling into a nice warm bath and knowing that I'd done it was awesome. And luckily, that mac & cheese from earlier ended up being good run fuel instead of just a weekend splurge.
My front hall closet is a small thing.
We have two closets in our front hall. One is wide and shallow, perfect for coats and shoes, and the other is narrow but deep. This has become my fitness closet. Everything is in one place, and mostly organized, so I can grab it when I need it. It's right next to the TV room, so there's no excuse for not pulling out the yoga mat or some weights. It's not quite a home gym, but it's my little reminder of healthy space.
My office building is a small thing.
At least compared to some of the other buildings around us, since it's only ten floors. That's ten flights of stairs my co-workers and I have been climbing every day at 11:30. We meet in the hall, climb to the top, down to the ground floor, back up to the top and then back to our home floor. It's ten minutes of activity (if we do it twice) and burns about 50 calories. Not much, but that adds up over the week and gets us out of our chairs and moving. The cool thing about doing stairs is you can measure your progress. The first day, we were tired by the 4th floor. Now I can make it up to 9 before I really start to feel lt.
My lunch is full of small things.
I've continued to pack a lunch since I started commuting (today excepted). My typical lunch has a lot of food - and that's a good thing. Some days I'll have up to 10 types of freggies to nibble at, along with some combo of nuts, cheese, crackers, eggs, etc. I find that it takes longer to eat because there are so many little pieces and I'm full on fewer calories that way. I still do my typical work breakfast (english muffin with nut butter and banana, yogurt), but having my own personal veggie bar to go through for the rest of the afternoon is nice. It's a far cry from my retail days, when I used to wolf down a food court meal in ten minutes so I could get back to work.
Progress is measured in small things
I'm weighing myself daily, but I'm finally back to the mindset of looking at it as a stat rather than an overall goal. I do need to weigh myself - every time I've stopped, I've gained weight - and that's something I'm okay with. But now that I'm back to making actual behavioural changes instead of just thinking about them, the weight doesn't matter as much. It's dropping slowly, a pound at a time, just like it should.
The important thing is that the progress is happening in other areas that are directly affected by what I'm doing. I'm less tired. My body feels better instead of feeling like a flabby lump. I can run again. It's been a tough two weeks of going back into full training, but I'm seeing progress with every run. Last week, I struggled to run 5k. One week later, it was easy (apart from the whole -30 in my face thing). Tonight I'll run 10k and do it faster than last week. On Sunday, I'll build on my 13k.
I've had to stop thinking "I need to be X pounds by June 1st". June 1st will happen, no matter what weight I'm at. And unless I'm injured or something drastic happens, on June 1st I'll be running 42 kilometers, no matter what weight I'm at. Better to sink my efforts into training and nutrition that I can control than stressing over weight that I can't. If I do everything right, it'll fall into place. It's like the attitude I had when I first started out - my goal wasn't to be a certain number of pounds by my wedding, it was just to be better. 'Better' is the goal now, and it's those small things that add up to a big Better.
What are your small things?