I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Perfect weather to be outdoors

Our walk in the park yesterday
I love this time of year. It's cool in the morning and sunny and warm during the afternoons. It cools off enough at night, with the clear skies, to make it comfortable for sleeping. I always have the window open in the bedroom for fresh air, and change my bed coverings to compensate for the differences in temperature throughout the year.

It was a smallish group yesterday for our walk, with no slowpokes along, so our leader Cindy set a very fast pace. I spent much of my time trying to keep up with the two women walking right in front of me, and I talked (when I could) with Judith, who walked next to me. I can never walk at the front of the group, because I can't keep up. This is the only time during the week that I am challenged to walk as fast as I can, so I would miss it if I didn't go on Saturday mornings. And I am much faster than I was when I started walking with them, so it's helpful. Cindy has had some clinics to teach people how to pick up the pace, and I learned a great deal in them. She is a retired race walker and makes it seem effortless to zip along at a fast clip.

Cindy is a little slip of a thing, which helps, but she's shorter than I am, so it doesn't have anything to do with stride. In fact, she taught me to shorten my stride rather than lengthening it, and walk at a faster pace. It works, plus planting my heel and then pushing off with my toes on the back part of the stride.

I've been struggling to lose the few pounds I gained when I went to Turkey. They keep stubbornly hanging on. I've found that if I weigh myself every morning at the same time, I can see the trend of my weight, and when it starts going up, I get very annoyed. I normally have a three-pound variation, and when I see a number that gets higher than that, I begin to think about every bite that goes into my mouth during the day. I'm really trying not to feel guilty about it and cut myself some slack, but I've managed to keep off those fifteen pounds that I lost a few years ago by paying close attention to the trend. Not to mention that I got rid of all my "fat" clothes a while back. It's very distressing to put on a favorite pair of pants and feel like the waistband has shrunk.

So it's a constant struggle and remaining vigilant is necessary. I've noticed that my metabolism has continued to slow down as I age, which is normal. I recently read that old age is usually broken down into three parts: young old (65-74); old old (75-84), and very old (85+). I notice that as I travel through young old age, I need less food to maintain my weight, and I suspect this trend will continue as I grow even older, no matter how active I am. Sigh. It just doesn't seem fair, since I still have the same sized appetite. And I do enjoy good food, but I think I enjoy having my clothes fit properly even more.

We all know dieting doesn't work, so for me what's left is paying attention to the daily trend. When I first began weighing myself in the mornings, it was a struggle to make myself get on the digital scale when I knew I had eaten more than I should have the day before, but I forced myself to do it anyway with a little mantra ("it is what it is") and now weighing myself is part of my daily routine, like brushing and flossing. Taking care of this body so I will be happy inhabiting it for as long as possible, it's just what I do.

And now that the weather is becoming so lovely outside, I will be spending more time walking, hiking, gardening, and just plain enjoying myself in the sunshine. It also helps to keep my appetite in check, because for some reason when I spend enough time outdoors, I begin to notice that I'm not eating as much out of habit but more out of necessity. Spending too much time indoors with a full refrigerator is not conducive to maintaining a healthy weight. For me, anyway.

The other thing that is interesting to watch is, as the weather improves, I don't find myself anxious to get down to Skydive Snohomish and throw myself out of perfectly good airplanes. It's fading away, almost by itself, naturally. Now that doesn't mean I'm done, but there is a definite difference in my feeling about skydiving. I still see pictures of my friends on Facebook continuing to enjoy it, and I remember that once upon a time I did, too, but it's gently winding down. Maybe one of these days I'll just wake up and remember that I was once an avid skydiver and as much as I enjoyed it, it's in the past. But not quite yet.

Well, another morning of musings, another Sunday post done. The sun has been up for an hour already, and I feel energized and am looking forward to the day ahead. I wish for you that your day will be a good one, and until we meet again next Sunday, I hope you will be well and happy.


Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Happy Sunday to you, DJan!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Your walking group sound like runners to me. I like to stop and take photos and rest when I want so a group would not work for me. Chance stops when ever I do and he doesn't make me feel guilty. I hope you have a great week! :)

Anonymous said...

Though I am sedentary, I am glad I don't get out of breath when I walk briskly. Interesting info about the stages of aging.

Linda Reeder said...

I'm not a group walker either. I've even had to adjust to having tom walk with me. 3.5 miles an hour is my extreme speed limit.
I am finally determined and committed to losing the weight I gained back over time and over traveling and holidays, so I am watching everything I put into my mouth, keeping up with my walking and keeping moving in general, and I also weigh myself every morning - have been for a long time now. I'm hoping the "trend" in downward.
I've just organized an impromptu tea party for our breakfast friends for this afternoon. The sun is shining and the wisteria is in bloom. Gotta' watch my cookie intake, though. :-)

Elephant's Child said...

Happy Sunday, week, and life to you, oh inspirational one.
I am currently (not before time) starting to limit what I eat, and up my activity. In a year or two I should be at a reasonable weight.

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, Ahhh … weight … It just keeps coming back to that doesn’t it? When I was a kid I was skinny and the metabolism could burn off amazing amounts of food. It seems somewhere around that 5th decade things changed … well, not the eating, but the metabolism. :-) After heart surgery at 62 the cardiologist said I wasn’t tall enough for my weight. He was putting it nicely. I’m doing better now. I think the thing that keeps me in line now is that I just hate the feeling of being chunky. One of the best things I’ve found is simply walking. It seems to stabilize many aspects of life. I like your group walk but my inclination to stop and take photos while walking might annoy others in the group. Thanks for another interesting post. Have a good week ahead!

Gigi said...

Weight. Seems to be the bane of my existence. But truly, I have no right to complain considering how unactive I am. Contrary to what some say, I find that if I don't weigh myself often, if not daily, I have no accountability...and that's when I will pack on the pounds.

Arkansas Patti said...

Aw phooey, I am "old,old" but then I pretty much knew that.
Surprised with all the exercise you do that you can't eat like a truck driver and still be scrawny.
I do the morning weigh in also for the same reasons. I weigh naked so when I weigh at the doctors office, it is always a shock. Clothes and shoes weight a lot.

Meryl Baer said...

I am with you on the food thing. New pounds take longer to shed than ever. And my appetite is not waning with age. I walk a lot, but am the turtle and not the hare - a slow but steady pace!

Red said...

As we age we need less food as we are not quite so active. Unfortunately we keep on eating the same amount of food. Good for you for maintaining a healthy weight.

Glenda C. Beall said...

It is hare to give up things we love whether it is food or fun. I used to ride horses. That was my passion, but I can't ride anymore and walk the next day. And I am wistful about it, but I can say I was good at it, knew horses and rode well, but it is in the past. I am about to reinvent myself again soon. Life changes us and we must roll with the tide. I am container gardening and my deck is filled with pretty flowers, birds and bees.Have a great week, DJan.

Tabor said...

Food and exercise is always the key...eat less and do more. I try, but years ago i could lose weight with just that, now I really find that my weight is not at all easy to lose. Once I lost the estrogen in my life, my weidht just grew

Marty Damon said...

It is so much easier to get ourselves outside now that the weather has warmed up. And I enjoyed your musings about weight, dieting, and exercise. So many of us are juggling the same thoughts.

Retired English Teacher said...

I'm so ready for spring. It is still not really spring here if one is expecting warm weather.

I need to find a walking group. I know there are some around here. First though, I have to get my conditioning back a bit more. I also weigh myself every couple of days for the same reason. I don't want to get more than three pounds out of my range. I'd like to get my range down, but that will come soon I hope.

Friko said...

‘being indoors with a full fridge’, Oh how well I know the feeling. Even worse is being indoors with a bar of chocolate handy!

But yes, it is time for gardening and walking and doing lovely outdoorsy things again, so maybe eating will not be the first thought that comes to mind.

Walking is the best exercise you can indulge in to my mind. It’s gentle and stressfree and good for just about everything. I walk by myself, I really feel the need to look about me, bend down and smell the flowers, watch the stream tumbling over stones and follow the flight of birds in the sky. I find that in a group you have to ‘follow my leader’ and if the leader is only after speed and mileage, that’s not my thing.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Walking does wonders. And watching ones waist is a thing I understand very well. It's hard to stay away from sugary baked goodies. But at my age it's a must do. And luckily Buddy agrees. Treats are for very special occasions. Sundays are sometimes a special one.
This week we finally have some warmth and even sunshine,