Challenge Yourself Blog: Teri Davis

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9. Reward yourself; I am a great believer in positive reinforcement. I set goals -- small and large, e.g. I will do 35 minutes of cardio 4 times this week instead of 30 minutes 3 times; reward (besides the benefits of the exercise): a new bath salt or bubble bath. I will lose 12 pounds by the end of the month; reward (besides going to a new size and getting to buy new clothes): a new pink bicycle to add variety to my workout. This month's goal is 12 pounds; the reward is a kayak or canoe for the lake, big enough for Rosey or Maggie to accompany me.

10. Be innovative, exercise wherever you can. Take a "fit break" instead of a smoke break. We have smuggled exercise equipment into our office to enhance our "fit breaks." We even found a portable bicycle that fits under the desk!

April 1 -- A No-Good, Horrible Bad Day With a Happy Ending

The second month of the challenge was starting off great. I got my new bike. I've been cooking more; spicing up my diet with month two recipes -- Calphalon nonstick cookware is great to decrease the fat usage. I'm mixing up my cardio with group walk-runs after work and my trainer Danny has been working me just to the brink of pain.

UNTIL TODAY, first thing this morning while fighting rush hour traffic I got a very unpleasant phone call. By the time I got to the office I was so stressed that all I could think of was a hot fudge sundae (I know it was only 8 a.m., but I'm an old night-shift nurse I can eat anything at anytime), a cigarette (I quit smoking at the end of last year but every once in awhile I still get the urge), or a mimosa. Since I was at the office, the cigarette and mimosa were absolutely out of the question, and I couldn't find any ice cream in the freezer (I'm not going to lie -- I looked).

I made my oatmeal, added once piece of Rolo candy (the candy lady was out of Hershey's kisses; this day was definitely in the toilet), and logged on my computer. The first reminder on my calendar was to do six sets of 10 leg lifts. Alicia, our administrative assistant, has sent me invitations to do desk side exercises every hour, a friendly competition. My first thought was to toss the computer out the window, but instead I found myself doing the leg lifts, and the day seemed a little brighter after completing a set of leg lifts at the office before 8 a.m. The rest of the work day was without incident.

I left the office a little early, arriving to train with Danny early. Danny was with another appointment so after I finished my warm-up another trainer came over and asked if I would mind if he started my session. He looked nice enough so I said sure. WITHIN 5 MINUTES I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE.

Unfortunately Danny's appointment went a little long, and I continued to work with the new trainer. I can't remember his name (probably because subconsciously I had renamed him Satan), but he actually had me hopping -- 50-year-old women are not supposed to hop. There should be a law against 50-year-old women hopping! I made it through the workout; when it was over I was so sweaty I looked like I had just gotten out of the shower.

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