Managing the bumps along the way

So I had day 3 of biking to work on Friday.

I took a picture or two before I headed out.

I look really tough except the helmet kind of me away. Oh, and the pink bike, too.
Like I think I'm all tough and stuff.

I like to pretend it's a motorcycle.

While I’m loving biking to work, I hadn’t been feeling so great because I need to adjust my diabetes medication to adjust for the extra exercise in the morning, so I don’t feel nauseous. I felt quite ill, and it was hard to eat. I also had a tough time finding room for everything in my small bag (I have a solution, but it just hasn’t been implemented yet) so I found a way to have one of my items do double duty.

Hurray! We're Blueberries! We're going for a ride! In a blue cup! Wheeee!

It's a cold-drink tumbler! No, it's a blueberry transport device! No, it's both!

Yes, it’s a cold-drink cup. And it’s carrying my blueberries for my oatmeal once I get to work.

So I did it, I rode to work even though I felt kind of crappy, and it took me a couple of hours once I got to work, but I eventually felt like eating, so I washed off the blueberries, and the cup, and made some oatmeal in the microwave, and added a splash of milk, and made myself some iced coffee, also with the milk. And I ate a lovely breakfast, at around 11:00 a.m.

What I find myself wanting to write about is that making this sort of change is hard. Not to sound whiny. But it takes thought, planning and energy. If I didn’t already have spoon, bowl, iced-coffee makings and milk at work, I probably would have wanted to drive to work so I could just stop and get coffee and something to eat along the way.* So, I had planned ahead the previous day and purchased a bowl (my ordinary work bowl was at home, and while we have communal plates at the office, we lack communal bowls) and two flatware spoons (we always seem to have plenty of knives, a few forks, and no spoons in the office silverware drawer). I also had bread, vegetarian salami, Swiss cheese and a nectarine for lunch, already at work for me to eat. So all I needed were a change of clothes, and my blueberries, and a cup in which to mix and drink my iced coffee, and I was set.

Finally, breakfast.

Yes, I did play around with positioning the spoon.

The not feeling well is also a bump I’m working on addressing. It’s a situation where I need to adjust my medication, but since I don’t utilize insulin to manage diabetes, I can’t adjust as easily. (I’m not saying it’s easier to manage everything when using insulin to manage diabetes, but adjusting for the amount of food and exercise one gets is the one part that is easier).

These bumps are worth it to me. Not because I want to lose weight, or even get in great shape. It’s more how much fun and freeing it is to ride on the bike. And I like feeling “cool” — ’cause being a 42-year-old woman on a pink bike with a flowered helmet riding as slowly as imaginable without the bike falling over is so cool. I’m not saying that I’m not cool. I am. I always thought that other people who rode their bikes to work were cool. And I thought that a person had to be in “great shape” or an “athlete” to do so. So, learning that being in my shape and my level of athleticism were sufficient to do it is very freeing.

One other bump is that my tailbone is sore. Or the muscles and overall area around my tailbone are sore. I don’t mean tailbone as a euphamism for butt. I really mean my tailbone. So, I’m going to give it a rest over the long weekend. I’ll be back to biking to work as often as I feasibly can (there’s taking my daughter on the first day of school, and that is more important to me than being “cool”). A friend suggested freezing some uncooked rice and using that in lieu of an ice pack on my sore area, which sounds like a fantastic idea.

How do you navigate bumps in a new habit you are trying to adopt, without just white knuckling it through? I would love to know.

* You might be wondering, “why not just eat breakfast at home?” The answer is complicated. Suffice it to say that unless I wake up very early (and my little girl takes forever to fall asleep at night, so getting up early means not getting enough sleep) I don’t have enough time for it. It’s easier for me to just get out the door and eat once I get to work.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Managing the bumps along the way

  1. Ann

    I love this post. Right now, I am trying my darndest to be more active, like I used to be before life got crazy hectic—working every day for months and starting a new business. I want to eat to energize myself and walk everywhere for a very long time. These things are just plain hard to do, but when I plan ahead and work out my schedule, they are so worth it. I try to let that empower me to keep going and I think I have crossed my first bump. The next bump is walking stairs. There are tons of stairs in my hilly neighborhood. I really want to feel comfortable – without my back aching and my body complaining – when I climb up them. I want to walk for hours like I used to, and I think I’m ready to slowly build up to that again. It’s difficult and a personal choice, but so empowering– I believe I can do it…and it will be wonderful. πŸ™‚ Good luck to you and just know that someone is sharing a similar experience.

    • Yeah, isn’t it always the way that you think you’ve gotten over the bumps and there’s another one πŸ™‚

      Best of luck to you, too! Best of luck in your new business, too, hopefully things will be the good kind of busy but not as hectic in the future.

  2. AJC

    I have a few bumps of my own, so I hear what you’re saying. Thanks for the inspirational post! Hope your tailbone feels better soon. Mine always hurts too if I suddenly do some bike riding after a long lapse, which is pretty much every time I get on a bike these days. The weekend rest should do it for you.:-)

  3. Cate

    What an inspiration in a flowered helmet you are, my butt hurt from riding a stationary bike! I’ve been dairy and gluten free for six weeks now and feel great, after sixteen years of chronic illness. But all the meal planning, shopping, cooking, and cleanup is exhausting. What keeps me going when it gets tough is that my daughters are proud of me, and grateful that my new choices have helped all of us feel better. Happy cycling!

  4. Elvie

    I enjoyed this post so much because I also ride to work (3 days a week) in a neon green bike and have for 2 years. I am a fat 50 year old and finally proud of it! What I love about riding is that everyone waves to me (all my co-workers drive by and honk and wave) and I get so many people telling me that they saw me on my bike and they want to give it a try. So not only am I doing something good for myself but I am inspiring others-is that cool or what?!

  5. Wow, you rock, “motorcycle” mama! You look pretty darn kick-ass cool in your pictures! Very impressive.

    I can’t imagine not eating and then doing that big bike ride is that great for your health. However, I totally hear you about morning organization with a child dragging her feet. Could you manage to eat a Clif Bar or breakfast bar or something else that’s small and easy to consume between chores? Even just a piece of cheese and a little juice? Something to give your body energy on the ride? The work of the ride will help process the carbs.

    Well, just a thought. One other thought….try seeing a chiropractor if you can work in the time. That may help the tailbone issues. If not, there are reclining bikes that are supposed to be easier on the tush. πŸ™‚

    You rock! Keep up the good work, hon.

  6. I “get” the not eating thing. I take thyroid meds. Gotta wait to eat or you might as well flush ’em down the john. If I don’t take my thyroid meds right, I’ll fall asleep in the middle of a sentence that I’m speaking. It’s not good.

    What cracks me up about this post are your food photos. I visit a lot of food obsessed blogs where the pics are positively pornographic. Your’s are bad Saturday morning cartoons by comparison.

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