To the New Girl in Exercise Class this Morning


Starting or trying a new type of exercise can be intimidating. Before going to the running store for the first time to be fitted for running shoes, I had a great deal of anxiety. It took me several days to get up the courage to walk in. When I began yoga, I “needed” a friend to come with me to help alleviate some of the feelings of inadequacy.

Little did I know, however, that the rest of the community of runners and the room of full of yogis weren’t there to judge my performance and I wasn’t there to make them feel superior. All of them were quietly cheering me on and willing me to succeed, and to join their seemingly exclusive club.

It turns out that seemingly exclusive club isn’t that exclusive after all. It only takes is a desire to join and commitment to try your best. So when you receive a smile or kind gesture from someone in a class or a passerby on the route, that’s our way of saying, “We’re glad you’re here. Keep up the good work.” And even if you don’t catch a smile or gesture, know that we’re ALL cheering you on the inside!

As for the lady who was in yoga class this morning, I don’t even know her name, but I asked if we could take a picture for my blog. Hopefully that didn’t scare her off. The exercise community is always looking for new members and showing up is often the hardest part!

Related reading: The next step can be sticking with an exercise until it’s to the point that you start to like it, as written about in “Do You Really Like Running?”



Thanksgiving Game Plan

If I have a strategy before a big event, I fare much better.  This Thanksgiving, my game plan will include three components:  1. burn some calories early in the day, 2. fill up on lighter fare in the middle of the day and 3. enjoy sensible portions of delicious Thanksgiving dinner and dessert in the evening.

First thing in the morning, I’m planning to run a Turkey Trot with my boys.  (It will be our first race together!)  Finding time for exercise will give me a little wiggle room later on.  There’s talk of a neighborhood football game, so I might have the opportunity to burn a little more if the weather cooperates.

My mid-day strategy is simple.  Have a filling, but light meal.  If I’m hungry going into Thanksgiving dinner, I won’t make good choices.  So skipping or skimping at lunch would certainly backfire.  My go-to light meal at present: 4 egg whites (1P+ for Weight Watchers followers) topped with Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde (0P+), a toasted English muffin (3P+) with a spot of butter (1P+) and low-sugar jam  (1P+), plus fresh fruits and veggies (0P+) on the side.  With the protein in the egg whites and the bulk of the fruits and vegetables, this meal is filling and satisfying.  If I’m anything less than full by mid-afternoon, a snack of fruit, a light cheese stick and a cup of coffee with a teaspoon of creamer and a teaspoon of sugar (0P+)  will be my choice.

We’re gearing for a late afternoon Thanksgiving dinner.   I will definitely sample everything.  (Hopefully “just a dot, not a lot.”)  On the menu will be:

  • Oven roasted turkey
  • Mashed potatoes (made by my husband – his first attempt!)
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts drizzled with balsamic vinegar
  • Bacon-wrapped green bean bundles
  • Homemade cranberry relish (made by my daughter, with a little help from me)
  • Lightened-up oyster dressing
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Corn bread (made by my younger son) with honey butter (made by my older boy)
  • Pumpkin pie and apple strudel à la mode for dessert

Thanksgiving Table 2013

The Thanksgiving table is already set.  I like to prepare the table in advance, as it lends to the excitement and anticipation.  In hopes of having a relaxing and enjoyable meal, we made placemats from kraft paper and put out crayons for coloring.  Inside the place cards are quirky questions to spur dinner table conversation.

By crafting and following this game plan, I hope to emerge post-Thanksgiving being no worse for the wear.  Fingers crossed that you will, too.