17 Aug 2019

Working Out: Working It Out

Working It Out: Working Out on vickiarcher.com

I’m working it out literally, through working out.
This year as well as not taking my packing advice I shirked other important details. Like looking after myself.

It is an easy mistake to make but one that creeps up ever so silently until BOOM; you know you have dropped the ball.

It starts with an increased pace, changes that lead to greater commitments and less time in the overall day.  Changes chosen by you or for you – it doesn’t really matter, there are times when we have to do what we have to do. Once we start getting frantic in our quest to “get everything done” I find eating and drinking habits change. Basically, that means more of everything delicious, which at my age doesn’t necessarily translate as “delicious” on the body. Comfort eating and drinking is something most of us enjoy from time to time and there is nothing wrong with that in moderation; it is the moderation I’m not so good at. Once the extra becomes the norm then in my case I diminish the exercise.

See what I mean, it’s a nasty little cycle, which is hard to kick.

But kick it we must.

There will always be busy periods in life, unhappiness or great change – this is what makes for our incredible journey and these are the moments we must embrace. The art is in the management and not letting ourselves down in the process. Time is a balancing act and prioritizing is a skill to practice until perfect. What it does mean is we should not put ourselves last and we should factor in our needs. Our time and priorities must include our wellness. It is not rocket science; it is simply stopping, re-setting and appreciating us.

If we accept and acknowledge the benefits of a good diet and exercise and how they will inevitably enhance our performance in the day to day, we should be all set. It is such a pity this wisdom slips from my mind from time to time.

My focus is to find the balance; to do what I want and need to do without losing sight of me. Am I saying we should have it all? Why not?

Exercising more is my trigger to get back on track. It puts me in the right headspace and by working out I mean gym, yoga, Pilates and even walking. Whatever movement is yours; let’s make it happen. As begrudging as I am some days to bend and stretch, afterward I am so much more productive and energized. Not to mention the positivity and excitement that comes from feeling good about ourselves. Small changes can reap big rewards.

The downside? Bad hair days and too much workout wear.

The upside? Less of me but more of me, if you see what I mean ;) xv

Have Fun Working Those Legs Out

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Oh boy do I hear you. I’d rather take a beating than go to a gym. But I know I MUST do something as the cold months set in otherwise I won’t be able to walk come Spring. There’s a small gym in my town that is offering sessions Monday Wednesday and Friday for we people of a certain age :) I’m going to try and go. Wish me luck.


Go, Linda!
You will feel so fabulous for it once you get used to it.
It is never easy and it takes a few weeks to get in the swing, but once you do… you will never look back :)

Beth Anderson

This is why I think the iPhone health app, (or fitbit, but I lost three of them, the final one in Naples Italy and so I gave up) is a godsend.

If nothing else, I can fire up that app and see what steps and stairs I did so far that day, and carve out even 20 minutes to add to that. The fitbit was more accurate because you always had it on you, but the iPhone is close enough.


Yes I love that “health” app on my phone too… Not so good today with my steps.. but I did go to the gym ;)


I’m horrible at regular exercise. Gretchen Rubin’s books, “Better Than Before” and “The Four Tendencies,” have helped me a lot in thinking about how to develop better habits aligned with my natural “pre-sets” (namely, that I am better at meeting obligations to other people than to myself). I need external accountability to get me to show up for myself on the exercise front. If I don’t do three sessions on the Peloton bike (which is here in my office at home) per week, I deduct $100 from my monthly “pin money” and my husband donates it to the legal defense fund of a certain loathsome political figure who is so offensive and shameful in every way that I can’t even believe he is the same species I am.

So far, so good. It works for me.

I recommend the Rubin books to help you figure out where your motivations and sense of obligation comes from — internally or externally, or both, or neither — and see where it takes you.

Taste of France

An interesting article in the NYT about contestants from “The Biggest Loser”–how they struggled to keep the weight off despite eating next to nothing. One of them had to work out for hours, but over time got injuries that reduced his workouts; he gained weight back quickly. The body works to keep that weight on. But the article said that while exercise might not be the way to lose weight, it’s the way to keep it off.


Apart from the obvious weight benefits, I do believe regular exercise and in particular, the gentle kind is the way to stay healthy and well into the future.


Taste of France…I also read it and saw on TV ..exercise is not always /or for everybody
the way to lose weight, but stay movable. And many years ago an Ayurvedic doctor
adivsed me to walk for 20 min. before breakfast….so easy and invigorating….and since I adher to this I have no weight problems and it works for every metabolism type, because metabolism is the keyword and the reason why some people don’t lose
weight even doing a crazy workout. Vicky…from a certain age on we should not feel
guilty when we enjoy good food and wine from time to time, because it’s also food for
our soul which is much more important than gaining some kilos.

Our French Oasis

I am a firm believer in yoga and when I am really busy and life becomes hectic and I am running from place to place with not enough time I try to always squeeze in just 20 minutes a day. It does a multitude of things, it tones the body and it keeps us supple but most of all when life is stressful and we are super busy it forces us to completely focus for 20 minutes on breathing, I always find that I am in a much better frame of mind afterwards and able to view things with far more clarity.


I walk 6kms most mornings before breakfast at least 4 times a week and it has become such a habit that when I don’t walk my motivation levels drop and my day becomes very ordinary! There are many mornings that I am tempted to roll over and go back to sleep but I tell myself this is not just about weight, it’s about being healthy and it’s with health in mind that I drag myself out of bed! The big thing is forming the habit once you’ve done that you’ll find you will miss it if you can’t do your exercise. Exercising in the mornings I’ve found easier than later in the day and you are less likely to book something else into your ‘exercise time’.

anita rivera

Hello dearest Vicki! This is the story of my life lately: trying to find time for myself. It’s such a balancing act, for sure, to prioritize. While I’m urged to devote even MORE time to my work on the weekends and during the summer months, I opt to not. I prefer to cultivate my artistic side, but I’m also reminded of my work duties. Oh, what to do! How I long to dance again, to move on a regular basis to music, or at least do some YOGA! Beautiful outfits for any activity!


Thank you for this post, Vicki. :)

The key change I made several years ago that finally produced consistent behavioral change was a decision to meet my needs before all others’ needs. Written here in black and white, that might seem to be a selfish perspective and feared by those of us who have many obligations to others, e.g., family, work, clients, financial.

But after making this small change, I now have the freedom (which I gave myself) to exercise (yoga, aquarobics, walking), brush my teeth twice a day, shop for, prepare and eat nutritious food, and so many other behaviors that now deliver so many more benefits to me and to those whom I love and care for than we all had before I cared for me first.

A decision to care for ourselves, honor ourselves, and love ourselves can make a huge positive difference for us AND for those who depend on us. It’s one of those implausible, oxymoronic truths.


Oh Vicki thankyou for this message- I know just how you are feeling and as a tragic foodie who loves to cook and eat and entertain it is so hard. I read an article on food mindfulness (the latest “in” word!) and thinking more about what goes in your mouth and where it comes from and whilst it is just basic common sense it is interesting to step back and think about it a little more than usual . I have also started yoga a few months ago – gentle with a focus on stretching and breathing and I just love it and will do more classes next year. Walking too is a delight on a beautiful crisp morning and I agree, you feel so good afterwards!! Good luck Vicki and enjoy those special times just for you! Xx

Sam Hoffer

I go to the gym on a regular basis and have for years. The end result is I’m in much better shape physically & mentally for it. I suffer from chronic pain in my lower back and if I didn’t go regularly I would probably have a great deal of difficulty walking. My secret to going on a regular basis – lots of like-minded friends are there and we refer to the gym “the club.” Everyone inquires about the other, cares, is sincerely interested in each other and therefore, it’s more like going to meet old friends and visiting. Mind you we do get much more done than visiting, but caring, sincerely caring about one another is the key to a regular workout, at least for me. The other reason is – — my doctor told me if I wanted a good quality of life in my 80′, it was vital to stay in shape now to prepare for the future. That alone should get everyone moving regardless of your years.


YES! Balance. I will need to make a shift soon since my quiet and free summer off of teaching has left me so relaxed. Now, I’ll have to get back to school, stay sharp, focused but NOT stressed (or at least, not SO stressed). I must remember, as I’ve always done, to stay well and take care of myself with consistent exercise. I eat well no matter what, I get as much sleep as my body needs but the exercise part is hard to fit in during the school year!


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