Sunday, April 26, 2015

"I Think I'll Go for a Walk Outside Now . . ."

 "The summer sun's callin' my name!"
(Did you recognize these lyrics? I know Lady Darcy did!)

It's a Sunshine Day!

Or it was this morning, anyway; right now, it looks like a storm's a-brewin'. Thank goodness I seized the day when I did.

I've had a ton of editing work lately, which is great, but yesterday I had a huge job that kept my butt plastered in a chair from 7 to 7 — 12 straight hours of editing. (And afterward, even though I'd barely moved around all day, I collapsed into a chair and watched five episodes of Daria, the greatest thing MTV ever produced, through half-closed eyes.)

And given that experience, today I desperately wanted to break a sweat.

I've been leery of walking outside my house, given all the knee trouble I'm having, but at 9:45 (a.m.) I decided to bite the bullet and head for the bike path. My usual "route" (so to speak — it's a straight line) is 2.7 miles, and the first half mile was hellish; I could feel every one of my excess pounds. I panted, I ached, I was morose. But I kept on.

And then the final half mile was hellish x 2. My right knee hurt like blazes and the rest of me was happy to join the pity party. It felt like it took as long to walk that last half-mile as the rest of the walk combined. But I kept thinking of Mindy Kaling, queen of awesome, who describes herself as the world's slowest runner (she says, "I'm an avid runner, but I run very slowly, like the speed many people walk"), and she inspired me — and also, here's a truth: If you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will eventually reach your destination.

Which I did. And here I am.

 . . . . .

It's now many hours later. I've completed my workout (weights, core, shoulder and knee PT), done some chores, had a bath, and iced my knees. I will ice them some more while watching good Sunday night TV (Call the Midwife! The Good Wife!) and painting my nails. I'm thinking chartreuse with tiny black polka-dots for my toes, and who knows what on my fingers.

Here's something I ran across recently that interested me.

Some researchers at Northeastern University took a second look at the famous "marshmallow test" (about children and delayed gratification) and did an adult version of it by offering participants two options: They could receive cash immediately, or wait several months to receive a check for a larger amount. But just prior to the offer, subjects were divided into three groups. Members of one group were asked to describe a typical day, the second group a time they felt happy, and the third group a time they were grateful.

Here's what happened:
The results were dramatic. The group that activated happy emotions scored the same as the neutral group that merely recounted their day. The majority of both groups took the cash upfront. But the group that activated feelings of gratitude showed double the level of financial patience. 
The researchers concluded that while the strategies of willpower, distraction, and logic will always have a role in helping us make better long-term decisions, gratitude may lead us to a far easier — and more positive — path to a successful life.

I've been thinking about this a lot. How can I apply "gratitude" to making better and healthier choices around food?

I'm still thinking about it, but in the meantime I have a new practice of starting each day thinking of three things that I'm grateful for.

Today, for example:
  • I'm grateful for the three editing jobs scheduled for later this week (and that I don't have to do any of them today!).
  • I'm grateful that the treatment for my kitty Fenton's newly discovered heart murmur is simple and inexpensive.
  • I'm grateful that I have some fresh pear-and-carrot muffins to eat for breakfast.
Probably there's more to say about all of this, but I want to get upstairs now and get the ice back on my knee. I'm just doing ice therapy, not drugs; we'll see how I feel tomorrow morning.

Till then!

— Lady C


  1. I totally love your musings on gratitude! Just exactly what I needed to read this morning! And brava for all the positive things you're doing. :-) -- SDF

    1. And brava right back atcha! I'm so happy that the gratitude piece spoke to you. Also: I have quoted you one thousand times already this year ("just walking to the bus stop feels like the March of the F--- Penguins") and I always think of you when Cole Porter comes up on my iPod. Someday, perhaps, we will walk slowly together . . .

  2. I am grateful you went for a walk EVEN IF YOU DID IT WITHOUT ME! And if you ever want, I will walk with you TO food. :-)

    1. You are the cutest and best girl EVER! ♥♥♥

  3. Aaargh!
    I thought I'd saved my comment so I could post it after I'd signed in, and while I didn't have to pick out a picture of a bowl of soup (there is no bowl of soup in these pictures), I didn't in fact save the comment, but rather a sentence from my own post...

    Anyway, Marz is dancing about, like a puppy waiting for us to go for a walk, so I can't rewrite it now---more later!
    I AM going for a walk!

    1. Tell Marz that I thought of her when David Soul came up on my iPod -- yes, I know she's a Starsky girl rather than a Hutch girl, but isn't it nice to be thought warmly of by a total stranger 2,000 miles away? :)

      Sorry for all the trouble you're having with the Comments feature! I appreciate hearing from you so much, so thanks for hanging in there. Enjoy your walk!

    2. You have David Soul on your iPod???
      That's so excellent / hilarious! Does this mean you're a Hutch girl?

      If I had to choose, I guess I'd take Hutch over Starsky. However, from where I sit, Starsky is giving me a smoldering come-hither gaze, and I can tell he really wants me to join him on the roof of his car, so he's kind of growing on me.
      (That means that from where I'm sitting on this couch, I can't help seeing the full-size poster in Marz's room. We live in a tiny apartment, so her fandom kind of bleeds all over.)
      In the past few months, I've learned more about these guys than I ever thought possible, having lived almost 54 years knowing, basically, nothing.

      Funny thing---people here (Minneapolis) keep telling me they went to school with David Soul or his Solberg relatives---because he really did go to college here, and his first child grew up here.

      Oh! I just remembered: my friend who went to school with David S's child knows *your* B-T friend here Julie C.!!!
      Small world.

      The comments problem only happened because I hadn't signed into my account BEFORE I started writing.
      Pure laziness...
      I love your blog's comments set-up... I think I'd have to change my template to get this threaded kind. Maybe when I'm more motivated to mess around with blog features I'll do that. But... that laziness thing...
      (What a hard life I have, eh?)

      So, I totally forgot the scintillating things I had written yesterday in response to your post---mostly just that I really love the results of the gratitude test.
      It makes sense to me that gratitude would work better than willpower... because will power is like pulling harder on one of those Chinese finger-traps, which just makes the woven rattan clench tighter, while gratitude is a move *toward* relaxing the tension, sort of a counter-intuitive move.

    3. The '70s are well-represented on my iPod. "Don't Give Up On Us, Baby" -- I remember lying in a bathtub with my boyfriend, circa 1985, trying to remember the name of the song. Ah, my jazzy youth.

      So, does that mean that my Julie went to school with Hutch's child??? I will have to ask her about this!! Did he ever show up for PTA meetings?

      (Like you, I really know nothing either Starsky or Hutch, other than their names, and Huggie Bear's, and that Elizabeth Glaser ROCKED. But I do like that song.)

      I was surprised and intrigued to learn that simply remembering a happy time wasn't as powerful as gratitude. Gratitude is mighty!! I have always been a thank-you-note and pass-along-a-compliment kind of girl (i.e., being abundant with my gratitude) -- maybe I'd be even fatter now otherwise!! (Ha.)

    4. Lying in a bathtub with a boyfriend thinking about Hutch... what a perfect '70s memory, even if it was 1985!
      And there were candles, weren't there? Gotta have candles...

      Oh, wait--wrong media reference: I was thinking of Bull Durham.

      Let me know what your Julie says about Hutch's child. I expect Hutch himself was well onto his 3rd or 4th (of 5) marriages by the time Child was in high school.

      Gratitude is stronger than even happiness... That *is* something!

      Have I said thank YOU yet, for your fun blog?
      I just felt lighter! :)

    5. I honestly don't remember whether there were candles. He was a fun boyfriend, and we stayed friends for a while — in fact, he sang at my wedding (and, according to my sister-in-law, devoured me with his eyes the whole time. I didn't notice, as I only had eyes for Husband). :)

      I will write to Julie right now! (And you are very welcome for my fun blog. Thank you for finding me! Your writing has enriched my life enormously, and I am grateful too.)

  4. Good on ya!
    Have you tried lots of epsom salts in your bath and arnica on the knee? You are smart to soak and ice it, plus elevate it when you can. The interesting part is how you will feel next time you walk your route and the time after that. Seems like we can lose fitness so quickly, but also gain it back quickly if we put one foot in front of the other...
    Mrs. Cynicletary

    1. Yes, both salts and arnica, and they're better than nothing but not as good as Motrin and ice. But I'm trying not to over-use Motrin. My knees felt pretty well the next day, with ice only (plus hot bath), and today I plan to exercise and sweat again (I did the math -- 27.5 hours of editing since Saturday a.m.!!!! ouchy). Cheers to the idea of gaining fitness back quickly!!

  5. Ah, from boyfriends in the bath to epsom salts... LOL