Sunday, June 13, 2010

Do the stuff that makes you happy

Recent studies have proven that the older we get, the happier we become. This article came out in the New York Times a few weeks ago, but it's just one of many similar articles.

There are a lot of theories on why older people are happier, but the one that makes the most sense to me is because older people have figured out what makes them happy. Instead of doing the stuff they don't like, they do the things they enjoy.

Therefore, I'm done with bootcamp class. I paid for a month, but it was deeply discounted to $39. I only went twice, and I hated every minute of it. I liked the group class atmosphere. I hated everything else about it. Especially the frantic pace and the exercises. I hated the music, and most of all I hated how I almost couldn't walk for two days after the class. I don't think it's good for a person to exercise so hard that they can barely get out of a chair.

I'm 54. I don't want to waste time doing things I hate. I don't exactly love to exercise, but I don't hate it. I enjoy weight lifting, and never dread doing it. Cardio really isn't my thing, but I know it's a necessary evil and I do it six days a week. Great music helps a lot, as well as variety. I try to do a different machine every day at the gym. Or better yet, a bike ride or a brisk walk outside, both are preferred activities over the gym.

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in the Pacific Northwest. Sun shining, 72 degrees. Perfect bike riding weather. I rode from our house to the mall, then the mall to the gym for strength training for 45 minutes, then back home. I stopped a few times to take pictures and talk to a lady walking her yellow labs (I love yellow labs). It was the best two and half hours of my entire week. It made me very happy.

The swimming and the bootcamp class didn't work for me. There are still other things I can try. Next is an aerobic/strength training class at my gym. The only problem is that it's at 5:30 p.m. I'm really not much of an evening exercise person, but I'm going to try it a couple days this week. The last time I went to this class I was very overweight and although I liked the instructor and the music, I wasn't physically able to keep up. Hopefully I'll do better now.

A few pictures from yesterday...

Rhododendron in the gym parking lot

A view from my bike trail, Mt. Rainier in all her glory.

Me and the bike on the BPA trail in Federal Way, WA

Eating until I feel full
Last week I tried the Weight Watchers Filling Foods technique and not tracking every Point, I only tracked my weekly 35 Points. I tried eating until I felt "satisfied". It came as no big surprise to me that it didn't work. I gained 3.4 pounds this week. It's just a problem I have when left to my own devices, I will eat too much. It's who I am and a problem I have to deal with.

This week I'm counting Points again. It's another necessary evil, but I know it'll make for a much better weight loss week.


Weighting Around said...

OMG, the oil spill tracker is frightening.

But more pleasantly, I am somewhat older and try to do things that make me happy. I think at this age (and I shall remain silent on how high it is) I appreciate everything I do so much more - even going to the gym! Every day and every moment should be appreciated.

Roxie said...

I love this post about doing the stuff that makes you happy! I think that's half the battle. Life shouldn't feel like punishment! Great pics....

Rettakat said...

"I'm 54. I don't want to waste time doing things I hate."

You have the insight and spunk to keep looking for the activities you can enjoy while getting and staying fit... I think that is great!!

And what an astoundingly beautiful view of Mt Rainier from your bike trail. :-)

Alan said...

Great pic of the mountain! I just posted that I'll be getting more exercise the next three months with this beautiful weather in the NW.

I'm with you on the "left to my own devices I will eat too much." That is sooo true for me. I just have no sense of "full". It kind of amazes me how "dumb" I can be about eating when I'm pretty smart generally. Wish I'd have learned this lesson earlier.

Helen said...

The Mt. Rainier photo is gorgeous!

I'm not an evening exerciser either but I've found that I'm doing ok with my 2-3 evening Thai Boxing classes. I guess it's because they're almost right after work and I've got an instructor pushing me. Maybe you'll find the same.

Grace said...

Hi, Diana! I'm glad you're following your heart and ditching the class you hate. Smart girl. It's hard to do anything to the best of your ability when your heart's not in it.

Saturday was amazing, wasn't it? It's nearly 4 pm Sunday now, and it's getting pretty cool here in Port Ludlow. I'm going to have to close my windows soon. Brrrr!

Love, Gracie-kins

✯FiTCETERA✯ said...

I love this post, Diana. Yay for being in touch with who YOU are and what you like to do or not do. I think this is great insight. I think we've been taught that there is something righteous about finishing everything we start regardless of whether we find joy in it or not. BS. :D
I love the pics especially the one of you and your bike! You really rock the helmet! What a gorgeous trail you get to ride on.

re: my way to the store. Unfortunately, it's not all easygoing. I do have to ride the road quite often but if I feel too unsafe I go on the sidewalk. I wear my dorky safety vest and hope for the best. :)

I can't eat intuitively either. I'm not to be trusted around food.
I'm weighing, measuring and counting calories now. It's just what I have to do otherwise I'll eat too much. I don't have a "full" setting.

I hope you find lots of opportunities this week to be as happy as the 2.5 hours you had on Saturday!

Miz said...

I adore the pic of you and the bike.
we need more of those.


M Pax said...

I hear ya. I nixed exercise I don't enjoy. Granted, I like what any kind does for me later, but some I just like more than others.

I feel like a stuck record, because I keep telling people this: but fill your life with things you love.

It was a beautiful day here, too. Almost 80. Hot! LOL

Ron said...

Awesome pics! I am sure I couldn't handle boot camp! hell I can't hardly get out of bed now! but getting better.....