Today has been a day of too much sitting. After my morning workout, which hardly gets me any steps I had a meeting, Mah Jongg and another meeting all in the sitting position. Now I am a world-class sitter. I was never an antsy kid who could not stay in my chair at school. Give me a chair and a reason to sit and you’ve got me. I am a productive sitter too. Through all of my meetings and games I also needle pointed, so I consider myself to be doing double duty while I am sitting. Happy sitter, that’s me.
Then I remember that I am now a walker. Even though I have started wearing my fitbit over six months ago and have been walking at least 20,000 steps a day for the last four months, there are some days I forget I need to walk until it is late in the day.
Walking 20,000 steps takes almost three hours if I were to try and do it in one continuous time period. If I have not walked much in my normal living by seven at night I am screwed. And thus here I am at the treadmill desk at night, having not eaten dinner or written my blog or gotten my steps.
Why didn’t I suggest in all my meetings that we all walk around the conference table rather than sit and stare at each other. I know that my brain works better when I walk and I am sure I am not alone in that. Now my brain does not work better when I run because I have heard the voice inside my head screaming, “What are you doing, stop running.” But waking, my brain is happy with.
Now on I am going to suggest some walking or at least a walking break during all meetings that last more than twenty minutes. I think everyone will benefit and for those who do not like the idea they may make meetings shorter so they won’t have to get up and walk. It will cut into my needlepoint, but then that is my reward for after the 20,000 steps. I love a calorie free reward!
Parking is tough in Paris so you better be able to walk. For the last few days the Metro has been free because the pollution has been so bad, especially from cars, that the government was doing all it could to encourage people to use public transport. Considering that there are more tourists than anyone else we are all already walking or taking the metro unless you are infirm in anyway.
Paris has been great for getting more than my 20,000 steps in a day. Even yesterday when we spent three hours riding on Segways rather than walking I still got my steps. One thing that helped was our night visit to the Eiffel Tower. First the train we were on to get there stopped two stations before our stop and the train driver told us he was going off work and we needed to take another train. Rather than wait we decided to walk the 2 and a half kilometers to the tower.
That small hiccup made us a little late so we joined the long line to buy tickets and only made it to the second level. Considering the smog and the night It was high enough for us. Carter discovered she did not love heights as we descended the 669 stairs rather than wait in line for the elevator. I did not mind the stairs, just the giant lights shining in our faces every few levels that made finding the step difficult. Carter wanted to kiss the ground when we finally got down.
Today Russ and I cross crossed the city from one antique market to the Pantheon and back to the antique market when I decided that a vintage Hermes Scarf was too good a deal to give up. I think we crossed the Seine at least 14 times just today. I had my steps by 4:00 in the afternoon and we still have to walk across the river again for dinner.
Clearly Paris is a walking city because most of the time that is the only way to get anywhere. But heaven forbid if you are handicapped. The narrow sidewalks, steps and cobblestoned areas make walking treacherous. I have no idea how French women walk in high heels in this city. I am thankful for my sensible shoes, but I am sick of wearing them.
Now I have the adventure of trying to pack all my goodies in my roll aboard suit case I was determined to bring. It is a good thing I did not bring a bigger suitcase because I might have bought more if I did. So it’s au revoir to Pais early in the morning and back home to driving and clean air and being able to pull up to the grocery store and park. I love Paris, but am glad the living is easy back in North Carolina.
It’s been about six weeks since I upped my step goal from 10,000 steps a day to 20,000. With only a couple of exceptions I have met my goal, but the average is well over 20,000 steps. This has been hard some days because 20,000 steps just takes a huge amount of time.
This morning since it was Saturday and I did not have any pressing engagements and my husband was actually home I had a big lie in and did not walk at all before noon. Big mistake! After Carter and I met our friends Hannah and Campbell at the mall for some spring clothes shopping I still needed a butt load of steps when we got home at 4:30. I got on my tread mill and powered through them into the evening.
I watched the counter on my phone app as each 100 steps would get me closer to that 20,000 mark. The second I hit the number I jumped off that machine and dragged myself to the kitchen to get dinner. No matter how long I exercise I don’t ever reach the point I actually like doing it.
I am waiting for the day that the endorphins come knocking on my door and say, “Hey, aren’t you ecstatic you just lifted 145 pounds or walked nine miles!” Basically I hate exercising. I could go to the movies or do some craft project all day long for the rest of my life and be really happy. If I were captured by pirates and made to play Mah Jongg forever I don’t think I would really mind, actually I think that is called a Mah Jongg cruise. But if I were put on an island paradise and told I had to exercise all day I might say just go ahead and kill me now.
I know exercise is good for me and is helping rid me of excess fat, why else would I spend so much time doing it. I just don’t love it. I’d rather cook dinner or even do the laundry. If you are one of those lucky people who loves to exercise count your stars It must be nice to love doing something so good for you.
Today was a day of many meetings which meant mostly sitting or driving between sitting. Since I still don’t have a self peddle car even the driving meant more sitting. Because I started tracking my steps and trying to get at least 10,000 a day I have become keenly aware of how many things I like to do sitting down.
First on the list is eating and since eating while walking is not easy to do while having a salad I am going to have to continue sitting for that lest I chip a tooth with my fork. The second big sit-down is writing. In desperation I am writing on my I-Pad now while walking inside my house. This is very slow, but I am in need of both words and steps. I am not planning on doing this everyday.
My third favorite thing is needle pointing. Today I was almost finished with a cute squirrel ornament I was working on, but had run out of background color. I had a short window in my day between meetings so I dropped into my favorite local needlepoint store, Chapel Hill Needlepoint and a few of my regular stitching gang was sitting at the table working. Since they are regular blog followers they wanted to know how many step I had done today. It was pitiful to report that I was only up to 5,400 with a busy day still ahead of me.
I decided it was time to see if I could walk and needlepoint at the same time. I was only working on background which makes for easy work and the lighting is excellent in the store. So stitch, walk, visit, talk, tell stories and answer a question or two from customers who did not know me but thought I must work there otherwise why was I walking around the store so much, I did. My friend Annie captured me on my loop around the table.
Now I know my needlepoint was slower as was my walking, but I had less guilt and more fun. Unfortunately most of my needlepoint projects require a little more attention than I can give them while walking. I already needlepoint while playing Mah Jongg and I’m sure I’ve let a few winning hands go by because of it. So is it better to multi-task and be slightly slower or less adept at something or is it better to concentrate on one thing at a time? I think that since I am walking and writing at the same time right now I can not also add thinking about great philosophical questions to my multi-tasking.
Today is day four in the 10,000-step commitment. It is harder than I thought to make sure that I get all those steps in. I find myself trying to do more and more things while standing up moving. Some things are successful like dancing back and forth holding my glass in the icemaker, or reading all my e-mail on my phone while walking around and around my dining room table. Some things are not successful, like needlepoint or writing my blog while walking.
Yesterday as I sat in church I thought that I could really get a lot of steps in if I were allowed to circle the perimeter of the pews while listening to the sermon, but being Presbyterian that would be highly frowned upon. Today I had my regular appointment with my trainer so I did a little running on the treadmill before she had me lifting weights and doing lunges. Yes, I got about 2,000 steps in before my workout but for the most part balancing on a bosu while holding dumbbells and then squatting got me no steps.
I also went back to Yoga class this morning. It is amazing how little I move in Yoga and how hard it is. So while I did an insane amount of exercise, especially for me, I still have only reached 7,125 steps by four this afternoon. Sure I have lots of hours left to get that last bit in but I don’t really want to be running up and down my front walkway at 8:00 tonight like I was last night, especially since I have hardly played any Words with Friends and done not one stitch of needlepoint today. Just thinking about getting my steps done is causing me anxiety, which I am sure, is not burning off any extra calories.
I wish I did not have so many things that require my use of a computer to do because I have tried to carry my laptop around with one arm while typing with one hand and I am a total failure at that. First I tend to run into things and second I forget where my train of thought was going and I end up typing pure gibberish. I tried writing on my phone but I do not text by the thumb method so I am very slow and the change in focus from looking through my reading glasses to just over them at the floor is giving me a big headache.
I have dragged my dog outside for more walks, but her need to stop and sniff and squat is frustrating to me. Yes, I do a little dance while she is doing her business so technically I am getting some steps, but I know that I look like I have some disorder or just ants in my pants. It’s not that I don’t want to get out and walk more, but how in the world am I going to get all my regular living done? I’m leaving the computer now and am going to go run around the block before it gets dark and I get hit by a car.
Being a tourist in a city is not only fun, but can also be healthy. While in London Carter and I walked and walked and walked. Our hotel was four blocks from our tube station and once in the station the actual trains were another good walk underground. That was just the pre-walk to get to where we would go and really walk.
Carter did not have much sympathy me when on the first day I came up with a pain in the back of my left knee until she too hurt her knee a few days later. Despite these amateur walker injuries we soldiered on.
We would walk through Green Park to Buckingham Palace and then through St. James Park where there were lots of aggressive squirrels wanting food along with some very forward geese. We saw one squirrel who literally climbed the pant leg of a man with nuts, trying to get one. I guess most men have nuts, but this one had one in his hand the squirrel wanted and eventually got.
Even though it was bitterly cold and windy most of the days we were on holiday we kept walking because we just did not have a choice. The coldest, but sunniest day we were there we took the train to Hampton Court, which is just a short walk from the station across a bridge over the Thames to the Palace. It was so windy that although we were pushing as hard as we could the wind almost held us in place preventing us from crossing the bridge. I must have burned an incredible amount of calories that day between the walking and the trying to keep my body temperature high enough to stay alive.
The only times we were not walking was during meals eating. And we certainly had many wonderful meals. Carter, having been well trained on varied cuisines, was keen on having Indian, Japanese, French, Thai as well has the British Staple of fish and chips. I was sure that all this good food was going to be a killer to my weight.
But the walking obvious saved us. This morning at my trusty home scale I got on with a feeling of trepidation and was shocked to learn that I had not gained one pound, even after partaking fully in two afternoon teas, eating nan at dinner my last night and having toast with strawberry jam every morning.
This is no way gives me pause to think that I can eat like I did this past week at home, even if I gave up my car and walked everywhere. I know that I have weeks where my body looses weight and weeks where no matter what I eat I don’t loose weight. Perhaps this week in London was one of the good weeks in my cycle. It certainly was a good week in my life.