Danger: Shoes

So I’m trying to look reasonably nice at work these days. It’s beautiful out, I have a new long-term temp job in a beautiful location, and my coworkers are all very nice. Why not make a good impression by dressing as something other than a slouchy tomboy or my usual Harriet the Spy look? (Honk if you love Harriet.)
I got some new clothes, comfortable but slightly upscale, and that means I have to wear dress shoes. At least with a skirt, you know? I don’t wear heels – never even tried them on – but flats and loafers seem to be just as painful. Today I wore these feminine, petite Mary Jane flats from Nine West. They’re not new. I’ve had them since last summer and have worn them maybe five times. They don’t fit my normal Harriet ensemble, so I only wear them to weddings and job interviews.
Today the shoes looked nice with my skirt and they felt fine (as always) until I left the house. Later in the day I figured that because they were starting to rub my heels, they must be a little too big, so I stuffed toilet paper into the toes. (I did that with my loafers last week! Are my feet getting smaller?) I walked around the office and my feet felt better, the shoes comfortably snug.
After work, by the time I’d walked to the bus, walked to the other bus, and walked home from the bus, I had three blisters on each foot. From lightweight leather flats! I saw another woman get off the bus wearing shorts and sport sandals, and she ran across the street like a kid. I would have given a million dollars to be in her shoes! Literally.
How does this happen? No matter what shoes I wear, if they’re not laced-up athletic shoes, they tear holes into my feet in minutes. I see women walking around in all kinds of dress shoes, flat and otherwise, and they look perfectly comfortable. How do they do it? Is there something wrong with my feet? It’s enough to make me want to give up this make-a-good-impression idea and put my hiking shoes back on. All I know is, tomorrow I’m definitely wearing socks.
Maybe if I want to be chic but comfortable I should spring for some Campers. They look cute, summery, and comfortable, but I’m afraid to find out how expensive they are.
ANYWAY, I changed as soon as I got home, and biked to boxing. My feet felt fine once I got into my socks and running shoes. But when we started jumping rope I realized that my lower legs were killing me. My calves were cramped, I had additional surprise abrasions on the bottoms of my feet, and my shins and ankles ached. The outside edges of my feet felt like they were being hit with hammers. All of this from hobbling eight blocks in uncomfortable shoes.

Adventures at 40

My 40th birthday is next week. Wanting to keep learning and improving for life leads me to try new things and occasionally master them well enough to feel I’ve accomplished something worthwhile. In that vein, I’m writing down some recent events I’ve been pleased with.
This morning: five pull-ups and then another two after a rest of about 15 seconds.
Last night Today: 16 17 push-ups in 30 seconds, then 9 and 6 push-ups in the next two sets; I held the top position for the remaining seconds of each set.
A couple of weeks ago Today: Jumping rope, I did 110 120 doubles (twirling the rope around twice per jump) without stopping.
Another new thing I’m trying is to learn to do a handstand. I can still do a cartwheel, and when I’m warmed up I can do a one-handed one. That’s about as far as I ever got in gymnastics as a kid so I can’t complain. Also, I’ve been playing volleyball again this summer and have gotten a little better.
Pretty decent for 40, considering when I was young I thought 40-year-old women were frumpy and fragile. I do find it hard to take in the fact that such a high number could possibly apply to me, though! In my mind I’m still nineteen.

Eating Trumps Exercise

I wish it wasn’t true, but the fact is I can eat a whole day’s worth of calories in minutes and gain weight no matter how much I exercise. My inner whiner says, “As active as I am, why do I still have to watch what I eat?” It doesn’t seem fair.
This weekend lasted three days because of the holiday, and during the three days I wore myself out with the following strenuous activities: boxing class, three hours of sand volleyball, an hour and a half of kayaking, an hour’s bike ride, and finally a 40-mile scenic bike ride on a bumpy (extra tiring) gravel trail. And this morning my weight was five pounds higher than it should be, three pounds higher than it’s been recently on average.
Why? Because I haven’t been in the habit of weighing myself lately, and all the high-calorie meals have caught up with me. I took a trip to see a friend for four days and drank too much Coke. Later in the week I had at least one meal with french fries. Yesterday, on the long bike ride, I was starving when we rolled up to a little diner and I had a double cheeseburger. It was delicious! But in 40 miles, I bet I didn’t burn as many calories as I ate in that one meal.
On the positive side, I’ve been eating a good variety of foods including several servings of fresh fruit on most days. Still, as much as I exercise and as hungry as I get, it’s so frustrating to have to limit my eating.
I guess this is never going to stop, and I foresee several decades of gaining and losing the same three to five pounds over and over again. Worse, I’m doomed to serious weight gain on account of my eating (not just a few pounds) if I for some reason am ever not as active as I am right now. Which is pretty likely. I always expect to be active, but I doubt I’ll be playing sand volleyball and boxing at 65. What I’d like to be doing at that point in life is swimming, biking, and lifting weights. But if I’m going to control my weight for life I have to learn to eat lighter, like it or not. Sigh.
Here’s an article on WebMD, full of good reminders about permanently changing eating habits: Feed Yourself: Healthy Habits. I think I may have to start keeping a food diary again.