So I mentioned recently that I was hoping to divorce activity from “calorie-burning” in my mind, and this weekend I decided that since the weather had gotten so nice, I’d make a policy of something I had done off and on last year and start substituting some form of yard work for one of my weekly runs/gym workouts. And darned if it wasn’t actually kind of fun and satisfying to rake the yard and get things cleaned up a little, out in the gorgeous weather, and it actually accomplished something.

I like running on its own, and it gives me alone time to hang out with my iPod, as well as reducing my stress and helping with my depression, so it’s not like I am minimizing those benefits. But the unfortunate truth is that deep down my evil diet brain finds it an expedient form of exercise because you can burn a lot of calories quickly. So breaking up that mindset by varying my activity a little is probably a good thing, plus I’m using different muscles working out in the yard, which I think is good for your body overall, and I get to enjoy the fruits of the improvements I’ve made to my fitness when I can work longer without getting tired (note, I’m not referring to weight loss here–I think I could probably have made the same improvements just through Health at Every Size (HAES) strategies without any weight loss–it’s just the fact that I have started working out and lifting weights regularly over the past couple of years seems to be increasing my endurance for this kind of task).

I did check the Activity Points after finishing up in the yard, because I am apparently hopeless, but the amusing thing is that the number that I estimated was 4. In the original post I said I was hoping to be OK with activity for its own sake and not feeling negative about it if I only earned 4 Activity Points instead of 9. And looky there… that’s exactly what I did, and I didn’t feel edgy about it like I think I would have in the recent past.

Of course the ultimate goal would be not to check or care about the points, but I think this is a good first step and I think the once-weekly “real-life activity” substitute will be good for my sanity going forward. Not to mention my yard might look marginally less like shit this year. Nah, that’s probably a little too optimistic.