a peek inside the fishbowl

17 Sep, 2022

September is a good time for change

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I went on a power walk around the block this morning and I tried my hand at doing some intervals for a certain stretch of it that has evenly-spaced blocks.

So my 45-minute walk looked like this: warm up walk, awkward run for one block, huffy puffy walk for one block, run for one block, walk for one block (I repeated this about four times) and then a warm down walk that included a pass through the farmers’ market in Westboro.

I’m going to try and do this more often.

While back I upgraded Overdrive, the app I use to borrow and read books from the public library, to one called Libby. It took awhile to get it working but I’m a convert. It has a nice interface and the lending process is easy. It also has some fun features that weren’t available before. For example, now I know how long I spent reading a particular book. Libby has also made it easier to view and borrow other things from the catalogue, such as current magazines. So last night I went to bed with the latest issue of Prevention Magazine. I haven’t read this magazine in ages but I see it often enough in my social media feeds. There were some great articles, but you know what, I kind of knew how they all ended even before I started reading them. Wondering how to stave off dementia? Exercise and eat a Mediterranean diet! Want to live longer? Exercise and eat a Mediterranean diet! Curious about cardiac health? Exercise and eat a Mediterranean diet!

I think MOST people KNOW what they need to do for their health, but we don’t do it for some reason.

I wonder if it’s because we are collectively an exhausted group of procrastinators who don’t like being told what to do, and also maybe we feel a bit invincible and don’t think of our future selves very often.

I think about that a lot. I wonder if future Andrea would be annoyed at present day Andrea because she neglected her health. (Ugh, this reminds me that I need to book my check-up.)

I’m fascinated by behavioural psychology and I’ve read a lot about why people do, and don’t do, certain things. I think all off those articles I’ve been reading about the things we should be doing for our health need a big postscript that comes down to this:

If you want to adopt a healthy habit, you have to take the most enjoyable/fun/delicious change and take a tiny baby step in that general direction.

Ok, maybe that isn’t the most erudite way of explaining it but for example, if we want to eat more fruits and vegetables, we can just pick our favourite fruit or vegetable and buy it more often. It might be that tried-and-true apple a day, or it might be frozen blueberries for the morning yogurt, or a more “exotic” treat like a mango or kiwi. There you go, one easy extra serving every day.

Change is very hard when you’re told to do it all at once. e.g. Lose weight! Exercise! Start a whole way of eating!

The best and most lasting habit change happens when you’re treating yourself, not when you’re depriving or punishing yourself.


2 Responses to "September is a good time for change"

1 | Sally Dowe Marchand

September 17th, 2022 at 5:16 pm

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Be careful. Running can become addictive and that’s how it starts. One block at a time. I understand the huff and puff. Some mornings I set my watch to walk because I think I can’t do it, but then end up running two blocks and walking one until I have done my 5 km. I still huff and puff ??? a lot! Good job!!

2 | Jennifer Jilks

September 19th, 2022 at 6:45 pm

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Good for you! that’s how I started jogging. We lived in North Gower, though, and I thought I’d work up to running around the block. It was 7 km, as we were in the country.
I cannot run anymore, my knees have gone. I’m happy to hear others getting out there!

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  • Will: Don't be afraid to be a prude. The world needs more prudes, not less. Don't let others shake you for caring about how your children dress and what the
  • Dean Prentice: Enjoyed reading your stories, having recently visited Silent lake and taking some time to take in the view from the memorial bench I too wondered who
  • Jennifer Jilks: Good for you! that's how I started jogging. We lived in North Gower, though, and I thought I'd work up to running around the block. It was 7 km, as we
  • Sally Dowe Marchand: Be careful. Running can become addictive and that’s how it starts. One block at a time. I understand the huff and puff. Some mornings I set my watch
  • Bill Dare: That building sure has changed from the early 70''s. My dad had a dusty office at the top floor there for a year. Good to see that a group of peopl
  • Jaye MacAskill: I love this! Great photos. We will definitely have to make a trip there one of these days when we finally make it up to Ottawa.
  • Jaye MacAskill: Sounds like a really fun time. Good for you guys!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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