Sunday, March 4, 2012

Doable targets

Parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin experienced a late winter storm over the past week with areas in the north receiving record amounts of snow (22-26 inches). In Minneapolis we had about 4 inches of the fluffy stuff. A warm up is on the way though with 50 (!!) degrees in the forecast for the week. The mix of weather meant for me a mix in the kind of exercise I undertake and or where I did it. I biked 19 miles indoors using my trainer and five miles (!!) outdoors on my steady Dutch bike. I snowshoed .4 miles, cross-country skied for a total of 3.66 miles, and walked a mere 2 miles. Here are a few tracks of my snowshoes in northern Wisconsin (22 inches fell) and biking along one of the bike paths in Minneapolis.

Speaking of exercise there was an interesting article today in the Star Tribune about the importance of stretching and form while doing exercise and the necessity of mixing up the kind of exercise you do. I admit I have not been good about stretching especially with cycling. I am glad that on my own I have found out that cross training with other exercise activities is important, not just to get through winter, but in terms of using different muscle groups and avoiding repetitive inquiry syndrome. “Injuries tend to occur when monotony sets in” which is something I would like to avoid.

Doable target: I steadily make progress in exercise and eating each and every week. Even with my efforts, I am not really losing anything. As a matter of fact the three to four pounds that I gained during my three-week break are still with me. Today, I am setting a target for myself to get below 170 pounds before my birthday (May 22). Right now that is about 7 pounds. I know that is a doable goal for me. I plan to step up my exercise, especially cycling, now that the weather is starting to transition to spring. I believe my eating is good (about 1500 cals a day). Ramping up my exercise and being even more conscious of my calories will make the difference for me, I believe. 

One more thing: I think most of you know that I am a science and mathematics academic. This semester I am teaching a science course for non-science majors at my college for the second time. This time around I am teaching a unit on health and nutrition, including using one of Marion Nestle's books (What to eat) and a plethora of other materials from various credible resources. Part of my interest in this whole topic is my own journey to become healthier and I will even share my own story. But it is more than just about me.  I have found that health and nutrition are sadly absent in most general science courses at the college level as well as absent in the guidelines that are established for many states across the country called standards.  I will do my part to make these complex, interesting, political, and personal topics more visible from now on in my own teaching. 

Have a great week everyone! Stay strong in your lifestyle commitment. Thanks for reading. TTFN, Michele


  1. We had mostly rain in this part of Minnesota, but were in the Twin Cities yesterday (3 hockey games), and noticed that there was more snow up there.

    I like your "doable" target goal. I think your approach is a good one. Increasing activity is a good move, and 1500 calories is a healthy number. Have a great week and a good start to your new goal.

  2. I would love to be part of your goal to be less then 170 by May 22nd. I am sorta starting over tomorrow. Upping the exercise and lowering those calories. I sorta paused long enough now.
    You are doing great Michele, keep up the great work. Take care and have a blessed week!!

  3. You are doing so great with your exercise. Even though you are admittedly a very slow loser (and we've commiserated together over that), I have wondered why you did lose a tad faster as much as you burn with exercise. Biking and cross country skiing are huge calorie burners. And in the whole scheme of things, 1500 calories isn't an excessive number by any means. Wonder if a closer evaluation of nutritional make-up of those calories would make a difference. I know with me, it did. And I also know you are content with your rate of loss. But you work so hard for it, sometimes I just want to cheer you on and see it drop faster so you don't get frustrated!!

    Sure wish I could take that class!!! And I'm secretly hoping you can confirm the wildflower identity on my post this morning!!

  4. 19mi on a stationary bike would kill me for sure unless I had a very, very interesting movie to watch.
    There is a very mixed science on stretching especially before the exercise. US army right now advises against it.
    Hey, speaking about mixed science. Same goes for nutrition.
    OK, we are living in a very mixed up world. :)

  5. My trainer suggested that my calf injury was from exactly what you describe. I was doing the elliptical 90 minutes most days of the week:( Very cool about that course!

  6. Nice to see some snowshoeing tracks! One of these times, you need to mentions how you feel about snowshoeing. I need to give x-country skiing another try, but our snow conditions have not been the best this year.

    Way to mix things up! Keeps things interesting and makes it more likely that you will continue to keep at this. Great job Michele!

  7. My daughters were just whining about the fact that we had no snow at all this year. But, I'm ok with it. :)
    Enjoy your workouts and can't wait to see you hit that goal!

  8. Your birthday target is very do-able. Good luck, sending lots of good vibes your way :)

  9. Michele, I'm just catching up a bit. Glad to read about what you are teaching. Seems to me that health is so underrated, considering the effect it has on quality of life.

  10. I would love to come to your class!! That would be awesome!! I think you are amazing with all the exercise you do. I love the variety!!!

    Keep up the great work and stay focused!!

  11. Snow shoeing and cross country skiing are the hardest things ever! Great job keeping active. Good luck with your birthday target:)