3 pounds, 3 weeks

I’ve always known that I’m a snacker, and that I *generally* eat healthy until I start mindlessly munching on snacks at my desk. I’ve been mindlessly munching for about three years now…and it’s been time to rid myself of that habit for awhile! Now that I am climbing again, I have even more motivation for shedding the pounds (it’s much easier to pull a 10-pound lighter version of myself up the wall).

Therefore, three weeks ago, I rebooted my myfitnesspal.com account and, much to my surprise, it has been working! A pound a week is healthy weight loss, and that’s what I’m doing. It means I’m cutting out a lot of empty calories (i.e., wine) and cutting down on snacks (specifically, anything from Trader Joe’s, chocolate and peanut butter!). It also means I’m being more mindful of what I shove in my mouth when I’m in front of a computer screen. Baby steps.

Someone who bites on things while awake.

The other day, when I dropped off my friend at the airport, I noticed she had a piece of gum in her mouth. That familiar minty smell filled my car like the sweet smell of flowers. She talked and chewed at the same time, which was something I wanted to do, too. Without thinking about it, I asked for a piece. The second it hit my gum-deprived mouth, it was as if a taste explosion went off in there. Minty flavors bursting on every single last one of my tastebuds. It was as if every type of mint — from spearmint, to peppermint, to wintermint — combined to form the perfect, extraordinary mint. At first, I thought — “this is some amazing gum!” Then, I remembered I’m cutting down. I savored the piece for all it was worth and spit it out shortly thereafter.

Not too many folks would say chewing gum is a bad or unhealthy habit. Unless, of course, you are an old fashioned school marm who does not want to see you stick it under the desk. Or, you are chewing gum containing sugar (apparently, you can’t get addicted to sugar-free gum).

However, did you know that chewing gum excessively can lead to TMJ? Symptoms of TMJ include: headaches (check), pain that radiates to the neck (check). It can be caused by teeth grinding (check) and chewing (double check). TMJ has prevented me from running in the past.

Webmd calls this chewing gum action: “bites on things while awake.” Well, thank goodness for gum! Who knows what I’d find to replace that action! I might even start gnawing on office supplies and, since we don’t use pencils anymore, that means my laptop.

An expensive bite, in comparison. Or is it? I’ve been consistently chewing gum since I started college 14 years ago. The average price of a pack of crunchy gum (my favorite) is $1.50. If you consider that I chew gum at a rate of 3 packs per week (on a good week), over 14 years, that’s 728 weeks x $4.5 = $3,276. That is definitely enough to buy a laptop.

Well, don’t you worry, my dear employer. I won’t be chewing on the laptop. Instead, I will be sucking on things, like I have been this week (cough drops). I’ll be investing now in Starbucks mints (unfortunately not a cost saver, but definitely a distraction from gum). I’ll be chewing sparingly, and most certainly not while running (definitely guilty of this in the past). The gum industry may notice a dip in sales. Though I haven’t seen any studies connecting it explicitly to daytime gum chewing, I’m hoping that the nighttime jaw grinding lessens a little, the headaches get better, and probably the impressions of me as an excessive gum chewer go down. Baby steps. It’s all connected, though.

Yoga + a Cold

I had this vision of something really interesting to write about when I was in the shower this morning, but now it’s muddled by “sick think.”

“Sick think” is what happens when you have a head cold. You walk out of a room, determined to get something (i.e., cough drops), only seconds later to realize you’ve completely forgotten what it is. You turn around to the place where you thought about getting that thing, and start going through the motions of what you were doing when you thought about getting it (i.e., emptying your purse). You remember what it was, and repeat it out loud, because then it will clearly seep into your clouded thoughts. Then, you worry that you might have early onset Alzheimer’s. It happens, though your memory loss is probably related to being sick, not something serious.

I’m sick, but I went to yoga yesterday, and started to feel a little better. I might go for a jog tonight, but I’m not promising anything. The missed long run on Sunday now seems very secondary to the cause of getting healthier.

I have a confession…

…Sometimes I look at people with perfectly healthy trapezius muscles and I feel a little envy. Today was definitely a green-with-the-desire-for-painfree-trapezius-muscles kind of day. In case you don’t know about trapezius muscles, they are the ones that hold up your neck. They get aggravated when you do things like play the cello, climb, ride a road bike, RUN, and sit in front of a computer every day. Basically, this is my existence.

So, I was sporting this today…and feeling generally miserable about my pain-inducing hobbies.

 

Source: thermacare.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 

I just want to trade my trapezius muscles with yours, you healthy trapezius-muscle-sporting person. Yes, you know who you are.