Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wait...What Was I Doing?

Nothing sounded appealing yesterday, so I did a half hour of strength training in silence (as silent as my house gets with three dogs). I realize I need to do this more often because I get a better workout when I concentrate on the moves rather than sing “Mas Tequila” at the top of my lungs.

Instead of music or news or a podcast, I listened to the Pink Panther neon wall clock ticking loudly on every second. I followed its cadence while lifting rather than the cadence in my head because, as I learned, 10 Lynn seconds is about 6 or 7 real seconds. Amazing the difference 3 or 4 seconds can make. Just ask my obliques. Fifteen to 20 reps, 3 sets…that’s 2-3 additional minutes per exercise. Yikes.

After the ST at home, I went to the gym and did cardio for 50 minutes. With all the thinking and music listening I do to distract me, the exercise itself becomes tertiary. I just muscle through doing the same old same old and wishing it was over. Halfway through my workout yesterday, the song “The More You Ignore Me…” by Morrissey came on. I forgot I’d added that to my playlist.

“The more you ignore me The closer I get You're wasting your time The more you ignore me The closer I get You're wasting your time”

It was like Morrissey was channeling my body. “Stop ignoring me!” it was saying. “Pay attention!”

I focused on my thighs and calves and heart rate and realized, yes, I really was being an ignorant nit. I could do better, work harder, stop wasting my time. So I cranked up the arc trainer to 50 and a 7 incline, found “Mas Tequila” on the playlist, and stepped in time to the beat (no, I didn’t sing). I paid attention to everything me. I felt every drip of sweat fall over my nose and watched them drip to the floor. I felt my feet and legs and arms and abs. For 3 minutes it was just me, my myself and I. Well, and Sammy, too, but I didn’t engage in my usual fantasy of drinking tequila in Baja and licking the salt off of…oh never mind.

Today, I rode my spiffy new recumbent bike in silence. I thought I’d go stark raving mad, but it wasn’t too bad. I learned where I need to focus, so hopefully that will become second nature with some practice.

I am easily distracted, though. My mind wanders all over the place, whether I’m exercising or writing or whatever. For instance, the first thing I wanted to do this morning was pay bills and balance the checkbook. I got up from my desk in my office to retrieve my checkbook in my purse hanging on a chair in the dining room. On my way, I remembered I wanted to plan meals for the week. I wandered into the kitchen, dug out cookbooks, figured out the plan, and then walked back to my office. I sat down and thought, Wait. I need my checkbook. Back to the dining room. On the way, I remembered I wanted to add soap and paprika to the grocery list. But before I could do that, I had to turn off the electric candles in the windows, open the shades, make some tea and pick out workout clothes. I got back to my desk and still didn’t have my checkbook.

This is a recurring issue for me. Even after yesterday’s intentional mindfulness during exercise and I was feeling so good about how well I’d done, today comes and I have to start all over again.

And that’s OK. I didn’t lose weight overnight. I can’t train my mind to pay attention overnight, either, right?

Now I’m really going to go pay bills and balance my checkbook. Really. I am.

9 comments:

  1. I feel for you in the distraction department. Flylady has helped immensely, but I can still find myself 5 steps away from my original task, and none of them finished!

    When I saw this...I thought of you! I know you're a fan of TJs. Just one more thing to distract you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdB7GDZY3Pk&eurl

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  2. Thanks for the link, jenive! I loved it! It's so true. TJ's has the oddest, coolest things and yet so many strange little rules. We don't have those cart stop thingies here in PA, but I discovered them in California. My sister thought it was hilarious when I tried to lift it over the threshold!

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  3. That's the thing about mindfulness. It's all right here right now. Doesn't matter about yesterday--and thinking about how well you did or didn't do yesterday just takes you even further away from right here, right now! Gah!

    ;)

    Well done with that, though. That sounds like it was a wonderful experience.

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  4. Your post made me laugh. I get distracted by telling you.. Hubby is the KING of distracted. If I don't put a list in his hand and walk him through it, he'll end up on his computer reading e-mails or falling asleep on the couch. Sometimes it's just easier to do myself. Oh no... did I just rant? Sorry - loved your posting! Appropriate! Vee at www.veegettinghealthy.blogpsot.com

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  5. I hear you on the distraction stuff! I cannot clear my mind when doing yoga, I just keep thinking of the things I am going to do when I finish it! I have a hummingbird's brain.

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  6. On the mindfulness/attention/focus thing - that has been the biggest benefit of yoga for me - not so much being able to focus on one thing - as being able to have NOTHING going on in my mind.

    I was behind in my reading and just caught your burger recipe - wondering if there is a reason that you don't do the whole thing in the food processor - ??? would chop the carrots easily/tiny. I have heard that onions should not go in a processor (changes the taste) but don't know if this is true??? And have you ever tried letting them 'set' in the refrigerator for a couple hours before cooking? One of my turkey burger recipes recommends this and it does make a BIG difference in getting them to stay secure-ly in their patty form - ?

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  7. whoa, Lynn, have you been in my house watching me? And I am mindful in some areas. But so many times my whole day goes the way you described 'paying your bills.'

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  8. So THAT'S where I get it from!!!

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  9. I am the WORST at being distracted - I am the same as you, I put my keys down, start to unpack the groceries, then realize I want to clean out the fridge, then I find the spinach and remember I wanted to put a frittata together, meanwhile the frozen groceries are melting all around me!

    Glad I am in good company!

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