I HATE cardio – what shall I do for 30 minutes?

Here’s the reasons I hate cardio.  If I’m gonna do cardio, I’ll need to reduce the level of hatred from these items as much as possible.

1.       Boredom

2.       Sweatiness

3.       Excessive eating afterwards

4.       I hate walking / running

#1 Boredom & #4 I hate walking/running

Feels like I’ve tried every walking / running app out there to motivate me and combat boredom.  Zombie Runs!, the NPR podcast for walkers, joining online forums for walkers/runners, etc…just didn’t work for me and I would STILL get bored.

Plus, I hate to walk or run as exercise.

Treadmill exercise is out, I’m NOT buying another treadmill.  And I’m not willing to walk outside.  Between the weather, speeding cars, and the fear of actually having to interact with my neighbors – just not something I’m gonna do.  And it hurts the bottom of my feet.

I had mild success at using a spin bike.  I already own a spin bike that I added a Wahoo cadence and speed sensor.  I was trying to make a poor-man’s Peloton, just like I saw in this article.

By the way, why does my spin bike have reflectors on the back of the peddles?

Anyways…

For $15 a month, I can use the Peloton app even if I don’t own a Peloton bike.  It offers on demand rides and live sessions, durations from 15 minutes and longer.

The instructors are high energy and engaging.  So, maybe that will help me stay engaged and not get bored?

#2 Sweatiness

Well, this one seems straight forward.  While I would always feel awkward walking the neighborhood with a towel sling across my shoulders, I can easily use a towel in my house to mop off the buckets of sweat that I create.

#3 Excessive eating afterwards

This one is gonna be hard.  I know it happens.  It happens every time.  It’s a combination of being truly hungry after exertion AND the I Deserve phenomenom.

I did cardio, so I DESERVE ice cream.

Water will be key.  I’ll need lots of water to keep myself hydrated and to fill my stomach.

I will have to eat something.  I’ll try to do cardio just before dinner, but I’ll still have to avoid overeating at dinner and not just rely on willpower.

So, can I just add more dinner?  Maybe more vegetables or a salad?  I know I’m just working on cardio these next two weeks, but I have to counterbalance the risk of overeating.

I’ll allow myself to eat a bit more dinner, as long as it’s the healthy part of my dinner.

Did I mention I hate Cardio?

Week 3&4 Plan – a little bit of cardio (I hate cardio)

For real…I hate cardio.

My ENTIRE body jiggles during cardio.

I heavy-breathe / wheeze like Darth Vadar running a marathon while chain-smoking.

My brain gets bored and asks, “Why the fuck are we doing this?” the whole time I do cardio.

After I do any kind of cardio, I simultaneously want to take a nap and eat everything in the house.

And I sweat, a lot.  It’s awful.

All the books, talking heads on TV, news & magazine articles, and my doctor claim cardio is good for me and would help me lose weight.  So, I guess I should do it?

Ultimately, I’d like to do 5-6 days of cardio.  But…I don’t think I’d be successful if I tried to do that much now.

So, I’m going to take a measured approach and commit to a level of cardio I’m willing to do and I think I can be successful at.

I believe I can find 30 minutes, three times this week and next week to do a little cardio.

That’s it.  That’s the amount of cardio I am willing to do. And keep my better breakfast going.

Week 2: rocked breakfast! (but i am exhausted)

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What went well this week? 

Planning to fail 

It was a crazy week at work.  I came home exhausted each day, barely slept, and then got up and did it all over again the next day.

Normally that would be a prime opportunity for me to fail and eat like crazy.

Fortunately, I jarred up my yogurt Sunday night, so when I remembered to eat breakfast, the yogurt was waiting for me in by backpack.  The time I was saving in the morning not stopping at McDonald’s was a bonus this week, to get a jump on the issues I was dealing with at work.

I did forget to eat breakfast one morning.  I knew that was going to make the day hard and that I would get big time hungry later.  So, I at least knew the crazy was coming and planned ahead with some healthy snacks.  I nearly bought into the illusion that since I skipped breakfast, I had saved calories and could just eat whatever I wanted… I successfully avoided the hot cheetos.

Another day, just a really hard day, I really wanted a candy bar that afternoon.  I wanted that ray of chocolate sunshine and sugar rush.  I know I was only focusing on breakfast these last few weeks, but it felt like I had leftover willpower strength and I used that to not have a whole candy bar.  I did eat a mini out of the office candy jar.  So, compromise.

Willpower Muscle 

Willpower is like a muscle, and I have definitely been exercising that muscle.  It felt like the little decisions I made and sticking with my breakfast plan built up that willpower muscle and it got easier as the week went on.

What didn’t go so well?

Stress 

I let stress effect everything this week.  I’m usually pretty good at managing it, but it was just one too many things this week and I just kinda fell apart.

Sleep deprivation is a problem.  If I don’t sleep, I can’t function.  It made the week extra hard.

Getting enough sleep is critical, not only for me to lose weight but in life.

I have struggled with sleep for most of my adult life until the last year.  I’ve been on a good streak this last year by using a sleep hypnosis app.  Now…I don’t believe in hypnosis, but I was so desperate a year ago, after trying every book, every pill, everything – I tried this hypnosis app and it worked.  I try not to think about it too much.

But I’m so stupid, I didn’t even use that hypnosis app this week.  I made the assumption that since I was sooo tired, I was just drop off without it.  I was super wrong.

I just can’t let stress impact me to the point where I don’t even use the tools I know works.

Gotta make a plan for Week 3&4.

Warm yogurt

It’s the afternoon. Why is my jar of yogurt totally untouched?

I got busy and ended up skipping breakfast.

I rarely skip breakfast.

I become a hulk-level rage monster when I don’t eat breakfast.

When I planned to fail at breakfast, skipping breakfast wasn’t a concern. Donuts and Golden Arches were a concern.

I became a bit hungry a few minutes ago, but I didn’t really want to eat a jar of yogurt that had been in my backpack for 10 hours.

Healthy snack seemed like a smart move.

Except the healthy snacks were downstairs in the canteen, surrounded by chips, candy bars, ice cream sandwiches, brownies, HOT CHEETOS!!!! For the love of HOT CHEETOS!!!

I am thinking “Bring a healthy snack from home” could be my lesson of the day.

Because I came THIS close to HOT CHEETOS instead of this apple. This sad, pathetic apple was the last of any kind of fruit in the canteen. I am gonna have to watch out for the willpower drain effect later tonight and make a plan

Week 1: what did I learn?

What went well?

Being prepared

Pre-jarring the yogurt, along with a ziploc bag of plastic spoons and the bag of dried fruit, made the logistics of breakfast easy. I saved myself time and even arrived a little early to work all last week. For all 5 workdays I ate a better breakfast. On Saturdays, I don’t eat breakfast. On Sundays, we usually go out for breakfast. That’s family time and I’m not going to change that, but I did cut out the pancakes :).

Adding a barrier

Wallet in the truck worked well. The one morning I wanted to stop at McDonalds, just the thought of having to get out of the car for my wallet gave me pause.

What didn’t go so well?

Willpower strain

There were 2 days where I was tempted to eat something else for breakfast. While I stuck with the yogurt for breakfast, it depleted my willpower. I had stronger cravings later in the day that I relented to. So, next time I put a strain on my willpower, I will either plan to have a healthy snack or a small piece of something I want. I’m hoping that will stop me from going overboard.

Let’s see how week 2 goes.

The donuts made me do it (but it was really me)

DONUTS!?!?!?!

In the year I have worked with my new manager, he has NEVER brought donuts.

Until today.

Cream filled, jelly filled, sprinkle, chocolate glazed D-O-N-U-T-S

I ate my yogurt and dried fruit, while gazing over the donuts, which were being kept right next to me. I could SMELL them.

Good news – I did not eat any donuts.

Bad news – It cost me my reservoir of willpower to not eat the donuts and a bit of righteousness crept in.

“I didn’t eat those donuts…so I deserve a snack.”

After a normal lunch, my mind was convinced I needed French fries on my way home. And if I was stopping for fries, why not get a fish sandwich too.

I can’t decide if it would have been better to eat just one donut and not feel like I was missing out – or – if I did the right thing and should have planned ahead with a little bit of something sweet later.

Well, I guess I can always learn next time.

The Willpower Reservoir

For me, willpower is a finite reservoir.  It’s like a tank of liquid willpower.  When I make the effort to eat a better breakfast, I’m turning on the spigot and letting willpower pour out of that tank.

It can drive me to make less than optimal choices later in the day, since it feels like I have less willpower to spend.

And because pizza from City Market is delicious, this is the second day I have had pizza for lunch.

I have to be able maintain the status quo of the rest of my life while I work on improving breakfast.

Until I can do that, I won’t be ready to take on the next change.

I’m hoping that better breakfast is gonna take less and less willpower as the days go on.