For those of you who have been reading my blog, you may remember I mentioned the graphic novel/movie V for Vendetta the other week in relation to The Valhalla Murders – I thought there were some similarities in the plot lines. I ended up watching V for Vendetta again after that post and wow, I was blown away. Not because of the similarities to The Valhalla Murders (which in hindsight are really minimal) but because of the similarities to what’s going on in the world right now. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie (or read the book), I highly recommend checking it out. And for those who have seen it, watch it again. It’s pretty spooky. Side note – if things continue to get worse, I may consider getting a haircut like Natalie Portman. Not sure I’d look as good as she did though…
I’d also like to point out that before naming this post, I did confirm that V for Virus was NOT a Sue Grafton novel. Turns out – her “V” book was V for Vengeance. So no worries about copyright infringement. Other V words I considered for today’s post were “victory” but we’re a long way from that, “vanity” but there’s none of that going on at the mo, and “vociferous” but no one really knows what it means.
Actually, today’s post is about fitness and the balance between staying healthy and enjoying couch time. As luck would have it, my neighbors got a new treadmill right before the shelter in place order went into effect and they were getting rid of their old treadmill. I immediately said I was interested so I scored a treadmill. It doesn’t have any incline capabilities – but it was free and I was happy to take it.
I like to think of myself as a fairly active person. When I’m at work, I’m never sitting down for very long. Plus the jewelry store has an upstairs so that also helps with my overall step count for the day. Now that I’m at home, it can be really easy to just lie on the couch all day (see previous post for notes on enjoying couch time). But I actually feel worse when I do this. My body literally hurts from inactivity. This is not good. On the flip side, I woke up this morning with aching knees so I started my day with Ibuprofen. Also not good.
Upon further review, I realized that I might have overdone it the last few days… Today was an hour long power walk in the Oakland Hills with Sonja. Yesterday morning was a 4-mile walk/hike with John and his puppy Bear in the Berkeley Hills. Then I walked on the treadmill for another 45 minutes in the afternoon while watching the final episode of Making the Cut (no comment). The day before that, I ran nearly 4 miles on the treadmill. And I ran 3 miles the day before that. So yeah, now I can see why my knees hurt this morning. But look at how cute Bear is – how could I not go walking with him:
FYI – I did not take Juno with me on the hike. It was really hot yesterday (strike 1) and he doesn’t like hiking (strike 2). If I had forced him to walk, he would have been dragging the entire time (strike 3) and since I wanted to keep up a good pace, I left him at home. We are spending every waking (and sleeping) moment together so I don’t feel guilty for leaving him behind.
With all this activity, you’d think I’d be dropping lbs and getting super fit. Sadly, this is not the case. Because all of the walks/hikes/runs equal the amount of steps I would have normally taken during the course of a day. So I’m basically maintaining the status quo. Which I guess is okay. I might look into streaming other kinds of fitness classes but I’m not there quite yet. I need to leave adequate time during the day for naps. I think I’ve had a nap 3 out of the last 4 days.
The other reason that I’m able to maintain the status quo is by refraining from snacking. This can be a real challenge but I manage it by having three good meals each day. Plus I know that I have absolutely ZERO willpower so I won’t even buy Doritos or pretzels or other salty vittles (another V word!) Give me the choice between salt and sugar and I’ll take salt 9 times out of 10. And I’m not a fan of the whole salted caramel thing. I want salt or I want sugar. Don’t mix them up – it’s annoying.
Of course, there is the exception that proves the rule. Exhibit A: Dill Pickle Ranch snack mix from Whole Foods. I discovered this fun bag decorated with cowboy hat-wearing saguaro cacti earlier this week. Normally I avoid ranch-flavored anything – blue cheese is my go-to. But dill pickle? Yes please! So I took a chance and OMG, I am in love. I have really tried to limit consumption to meal times only but have been unsuccessful. You will notice in the picture that the bag is practically empty. So now I have to make a hard decision… Do I buy the cute cacti snack bag again? Or do I just say no and cut up an apple instead. Only time will tell. Sigh.
In other food related news, I was in downtown Oakland late yesterday afternoon picking up a salad from Mixt for dinner and was thrilled to see that the Humphrey Slocombe ice cream shop was open! And they were doing a buy 2 pints, get the 3rd free. So of course I spent $20 on ice cream:
Okay okay, I’m getting sidetracked from my original subject of home fitness. I should mention that I also have a Concept 2 ergometer but it’s currently sitting in the corner in two pieces. Anyone who has done crew knows that the erg is no joke – this is a hard ass workout. My goal for the coming week is to dust it off and set it up. At one point, I even considered getting a Nintendo Switch because they have some fun fitness “games” but they are sold out pretty much everywhere. And I can’t really afford to spend $300 on the console and another $60 on each game. That would be irresponsible. But $20 on ice cream is fine. I can justify that. You know, keeping local businesses afloat and all that.
I will say this though about staying active and doing any kind of fitness – it really does make me feel better. I’ve always been a runner – BQ (before quarantine), I ran 3x/week in the morning after walking Juno. But now I’m doing something 6x/week. And yes, I realize I’m making up for not buzzing around at work. But more importantly, it keeps my spirits up. I’ve never come back from a walk/run/hike and felt worse. And even the annoying lady on the fire trail yesterday couldn’t dampen my spirits. With all the bad news that is out there, it’s important to do whatever you can to stay positive and feel good. So if my new normal is a hike followed by a nap and then some dill-flavored almonds with an Ibuprofen chaser, I can live with that.