This is my wellness journal from health class last year:
Dan’s Wellness journal.
4-1-08 The behavior I want to change is basically to get off my lazy duff. I need a consistent work-out routine that includes aerobics, strength, and flexibility training. My long term goal for this change is to have more toned muscles, a flexible and pain-free back, and a leaner stomach. No paunch, gut, or flab. My ideal would be Spartan “300” abs, but I probably won’t get to that level of perfection. I’ll be fine with something slightly cut. I suppose my specific long-term goal would be to create a habit of working out.
I chose this particular change to focus on because I have seen that in recent years I have cutback on my physical activity for a number of reasons: Getting married is one big reason. Also, buying a house, therefore using Saturdays to fix up our old house instead of going ice climbing, or saving that $80 a month instead of using it for martial arts classes like a few years ago. Plus, I love to eat and I know that sooner or later, my metabolism is going to slow down and I will regret my gluttonous ways. (It’s actually not that bad, we eat mostly organic veggies, but I do like my sweets too). I think the reason I don’t like to “workout” is that I am a social and competitive person. If I was in a weight room by myself, then I would do things until I got bored (20 min.) and then leave. However, if I had a partner egging me on, then I would spend all my energy on pumping out those last few reps. Plus I love the outdoors; I would rather spend 14 hours rock climbing than one hour in a gym, and I have too. My main activities in the past have been soccer, rock & ice climbing, snowboarding, mountaineering, Kempo, bicycling, kayaking, and hiking. I also took a yoga class that I really enjoyed and it helped my back out tremendously: I didn’t have back pains for months. (I messed up my back when I was 14 as a member of the Junior Olympic Luge team) That’s one of the reasons that I want to restart a good stretching regimen. I strongly believe in being in good physical shape. Take that how you want to, but I mean that generally, I should be able to ask my body to sprint a hundred yards and jump over a hedge; or climb 11 snow covered mountains over 24 miles in one weekend (Presidential Range, NH, March 2002) and be able to go on with daily life without too much of a recovery period. Of course I’ll be sore afterwards, but I could still do it. I understand that intensity may not be totally healthy, so that’s why I’d like to get closer to optimal fitness, not just decent physical ability. It was a value instilled in me by my father, who played sports and was a basketball referee. He encouraged me to join the VJAA (Valley Junior Athletic Association) early in life and I played soccer, baseball, and basketball year round. This influence was definitely a predisposing factor for me always wanting to be fit. I enjoyed playing team sports because of the cooperative aspect as well as the competition. I seem to have lost that as I got older and transitioned out of school. I guess I need to join a league somewhere. I have played a few games up at the Jones Rd. soccer complex, but it is hard to find the time right now.
4-7-08 I had a pretty good weekend health wise. Saturday Lydia and I took a short (one mile or so) hike with my best Man and his wife (social health). It was a beautiful sunny day as we walked across an old farmer’s field and into the woods. There were a few stream crossings and hills, so it was just about right for a pregnant lady. Then on Sunday I went whitewater kayaking. The Salmon was running at 1800 cfs (cubic feet per second), which was much higher than normal. Kayaking in general is a great workout and whitewater even more so because my heart rate is higher anyway from the excitement; and fear of drowning. It’s aerobic for the upper body and really works my core. My abs and lower back are still a little sore. I only stretched my shoulders beforehand, not a full body routine. Two years ago I almost tore my right rotator cuff rolling up on Fish Creek, so I make sure those are stretched out at least. I’m still not 100% yet. We were on the river for two and ½ hours. I surfed in a bunch of holes and flipped once. Great fun. When I got home Lydia and I took a walk around Hiawatha Lake (0.98 miles) and then I changed the winter tires for summer ones on the car which is a pretty good mini-workout in itself. Then today I rode my bike to work. It’s close to two miles (1.9) from my house to downtown and downhill in the morning, but back uphill from the flats to Onondaga Park in Strathmore in the afternoon. The last 100 yards is a steep uphill into my driveway. This is the first day I rode my bike since November, but I plan on doing it everyday now unless it’s raining. The only thing is that it only takes 12 minutes or so, so I wouldn’t consider it a complete workout. * One caveat to that routine: Tuesday mornings I have a Men’s Bible study that meets at a diner at 6:30 am. I get a ride, so I don’t ride my bike, although I am working on my Spiritual wellness, right?
4-8-08 Walked one mile and skateboarded for about an hour. I realize that it’s not a lot but I have so much to do. That’s a big obstacle for me right now. I talked to my wife on the phone before she came home, so I had enough time to go inside and make her dinner (fish sticks with home made tartar sauce and steamed broccoli). (healthy relationships)
4-16-08 I rode my bike to work two other days last week and also this morning. I can feel that my legs are getting more used to the work again. Before, I had to use the low gears even on the flats, but now I can use #7 or #8 without as much strain. We also walked a bit last weekend. Lydia and I had salads for dinner last night and watched the finale of “The Biggest Loser”, which is a pretty motivating show: one of America’s only good cultural exports. We gave the world McDonalds, now we give it hope that it can overcome obesity. 193 lbs. this morning. 24.8 BMI according to the following source: http://www.rush.edu/rumc/page-1108048103230.html.
4-22-08 Well, I’ve ridden my bike to work for the last three days. I also rode six miles on Saturday around Hiawatha lake while my wife walked the last mile. We have always eaten healthy, but I am trying to be more conscious about it. We had friends over on Sunday night for a Greek themed dinner. A feast of olives, hummus, and stuffed grape leaves. Yum! I was 192 lbs yesterday. I’m finding it hard to make extra time to work out. Like yesterday for example, sure I rode four miles to and from work, but then I had to go straight to class and study for an exam, then straight to bed. I guess I should just stop writing right now and do some pushups.
30 seconds later… out of breath but 25 pushups stronger. Hey, every little bit helps right? I think I am somewhere between Action and Maintenance in the “Stages of Change.” At least one big factor that is positively influencing my behavior change is my employer. We have our Signature Fundraising event coming up on July 20th. The Ride for the Rescue is a bike tour to benefit the homeless men that we work with. http://www.ridefortherescue.org I am in charge of a committee planning for the ride, so I feel like I have to put up a good showing and be involved. Right now, I am the top fundraiser and have signed up to ride 40 miles. I have safe areas to ride, but making time to train is a challenge.
4-25-08 The weekend is almost here and I plan on really getting out there. We are going to one of those huge neighborhood garage sales where 60 houses in a development have one at once. We will be doing a full day of walking, that’s something anyway.
5-2-08 Well, I think I’m slipping back to the action phase instead of maintenance. I have been riding my bike to work everyday though. Even this morning when it was still wet out from the rain and I could have called for a ride, I didn’t. I biked in. Or yesterday when I had to come in early for a presentation to the Executive Team and it was really cold (37°) I still rode. I haven’t made a lot of effort otherwise. One thing I do like from this experience is that I have really challenged to re-think many aspects of my life, not just physically. For example, I noticed that I get a to-go lunch everyday from Food Service, so at the end of the week, I had five Styrofoam containers in my trash can. It has been nagging me for a while, but I finally decided that it was unacceptable. So I ordered an aluminum Bento box from Japan, so that now I produce much less trash. It’s also a lot smaller than an American lunch box, so I will eat better portions than I would have otherwise. After our discussion in class last night, I have started looking at calories on things, so that I didn’t have the full Starbucks coffee this morning and I had a salad, banana, bagel, and V8 for lunch. I haven’t been working out as much as I’d like, but I think overall I am more healthfully minded. When I got home, Lydia and I took a walk around the park and then went to Danzer’s. I know, there goes the careful calorie counts. Oh well. If I can’t have a Rueben once in a while, then life’s not worth living. When we got back, we went for another walk just for good measure, so at least that is something.
5-4-08 I think I have degressed back to the Action stage of change. I am consistently riding my bike four miles a day to work and then walking with my wife, but I don’t feel that that is enough. I have met two of my three short term goals though. My obstacles right now are finding time for working out. A huge factor is that Lydia is very close to giving birth, so I want to be home with her to help her out and not off in the gym by myself. Also work, end of semester craziness, and trying to get the house ready before the baby is here. Maybe I’m too hard on myself. I guess I’m doing pretty well overall.
5-5-08 190 lbs & 24.4 BMI today, so I must be doing something right. I also rode four miles today.
5-7-08 Still holding at 190 lbs and I rode my bike again today. Plus I went for a walk for lunch.
So class is almost at an end. I believe I was able to achieve some positive impact in regards to my goal of getting into a consistent work out habit. I ride my bike to work four days a week and walk with my wife after work quite often as well. I have nearly achieved all three of my short term goals. Just two more pounds lost and I can say totally achieved. I found that, much to my surprise, rewards did not actually motivate me that much. Maybe I picked the wrong ones. What I did find though, was that even though I haven’t followed my behavior change plan to the “t”, this experience has let me focus more on my overall health and not just physical stuff. I have mentioned some changes through this journal, but I think I am improving many aspects of my life. Diet, sleep patterns, social activities, spiritual health, environmental habits, etc. As far as the future goes, I plan on continuing my new habits and possibly even adding to them. I like the new active me and don’t want to lose that, so that by the time my son is able to rough house around, I can do it with him. Thank you for this opportunity to review and alter my health behaviors. I really enjoyed it. Now it’s time to hop on the bike and ride home from work in the rain. Yee hah.