A balance of Mind-Body-Spirit

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thoughts on Balance

Back in 1997 when I started Weight Watchers, I had a job that was a split shift. After rolling out of bed and doing 2 hours of work, I was off for most of the day, and I started each day at the gym. Some days I would do some of the circuit machines and a 20 minute walk on the treadmill, but often after I had started my walk, I would choose to keep walking for another 40 minutes so I could have a cookie.

At that time Weight Watchers made one cookie and a 1 hour workout equivalent, but now it isn't as easy to figure out the exercise to food conversion for WW in a general way. However, April's Runners World has an article about a book called The Diet Detective's Countdown by Charles Stuart Platkin which gives those sorts of conversions. RW warns about post exercise treats and rationalizations ("Hey, I ran so I can eat this extra piece of pizza") by showing some of them. To work off the calories in the following foods, here is how long a 155 pound person who can run 12 minute miles would have to run (that would be a 74.45 kilo perso who can run a km in 7.5 minutes):

One large banana = 13 minutes

One cinnamon-raisin bagel with 2 Tbsp (30 grams) of peanut-butter = 41 minutes

Two slices of Pizza Hut cheese pan pizza = 58 minutes

and a cheeseburger with large french fries = 117 minutes


Nowadays, I'm happy to get a 13 minute run in to begin with let alone an extra 13 minutes to work off a banana (as if I would treat myself with a banana!). However, nowadays I also do not exercise for a cookie. Even way back when, it was never really about the cookie; it was about the exercise. The cookie was a way for me to set a goal for myself and build a habit; it was the proverbial carrot in front of the horse. I rarely ate the cookie I earned. I never ate it as a treat for having exercised.

I don't know that I'm really going anywhere with this beyond the idea that if you quantify the balance between food and exercise, it can sure put both into perspective.


Leonie said...

I agree that it is about the exercise - not the calorie burning. Really, fitness is so important in many other ways...That said, I have been known to do a harder workout on the day following a special, eat more than normal dinner! lol!

Niamh said...

Rachel: I've been LOVING reading this blog since you sent it to me! Jackson just looked at it too--and he commented that "If I did the 15 minute workout, I'd eat the cookie, and then have 2 beers!" But seriously, we are inspired by you. You look FABULOUS and I LOVE the way you fit in exercise in small bursts of time--because that is all people with young children get in a day! :-) Lots of love--Niamh

Cindy said...

Great post, Rachel!

Niamh, nice to meet you and would love to have you join us reguarly! If you want to post entries let me know and we can set you up. :)


Leonie said...

Hi Niamh! :-)

Rachel May said...

Nimmy P! Great to see you here! Tell Jackson he's welcome to my beers too. :)

This post was funny because I did have a point when I started, but then with a diaper change, putting kids down for naps, and searching for the perfect choc chip cookie picture, I couldn't remember by the end. You ladies know the drill! :)

Niamh said...

I would LOVE to join--I have 10(ish) pounds to go to get back to my pre-baby weight and a LOT of exercise to do too! :-) And this last 10lbs is breakin' me! How do I go about joining?

Cindy said...

Hi Niamh,

Just send me an email at cinkel3@swbell.net and I will get you on board.

Nice to have you!

A balance of Mind-Body-Spirit

Thought for the Day

"Good friends are good for your health."

~Irwin Sarason

"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy! And happy people just don't shoot their husbands!"

Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde