Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I'm reflecting a bit these days about all the great changes in my life since becoming Sparked about eleven months ago.
I have come so far and I want to see where I am going and see if these ramblings will help point the way to where my new lifestyle may need some work and refinement.
The most important healthy habit I started to form was to do a little movement every day, at least 15 minutes no excuses - just a baby step of healthier living. Before I got Sparked I rarely worked out - I could go for walks but that happened very infrequently, and I got winded very easily. Not fun!
When I started I usually ended up doing more than those 15 minutes, and I did manage to get off my ass and move a lot more than I had done before. I still keep track of my workouts and streaks of daily walks/movement. The 15 minutes I started with has now evolved into 45-90 minutes 5-6 times every week. So far in 2009 I've been to the gym 52 times (I keep track! LOL).
My goal is to do a morning work out at least once every week to "get used to" exercise any time of day. I need the flexibility of that since some days are busier than others. I also have a rule of never letting more than two days go by without some activity. It doesn't have to be much, and in very busy periods I return to the 15-30 minute no excuses walk before bed!
After daily walking and waddling became habits, I remember blogging about the trouble I had with a strength program to be a consistent part of my weekly workouts. I am very happy to say that this too has changed. I've been doing a full body strength program twice a week since January. Getting a program at the fitness center was definitely worth it for me!! BTW: I'm having another appointment with a fitness instructor on Thursday and will get some fresh new exercises and tips for improving and moving on! Can't wait!
Basically I have learned to LOVE many forms of exercise and I hope this will last forever and that I will be adventurous and try new things all the time. I also get restless if I haven't been sweaty and worked out in a while.
The second most important early goal and life changing habit for me was to start eating breakfast every day. I used to eat breakfast on Saturday and Sunday but NEVER before work! I recall saying I would become so hungry around ten if I ate breakfast since "my stomach would wake up ..." These days I have my daily oatmeal breakfast or something else every morning! Before Spark came into my life I didn't eat at work until our lunch break around noon - I usually only had a cup of coffee (black/no sugar) by my computer at work. My metabolism must have been shot!
The third big change in my daily diet was to avoid unhealthy treats on weekdays. I still stick do that. I haven't stopped eating anything - I just use portion control and moderation, and if it isn't the weekend, I can't have salty snacks (my "weakness"). I have stopped "treating" myself out of all proportion. I am aware of when I eat a treat and consider it before I eat it. I usually don't eat mindlessly, I measure out my portions and eat my allotment. For instance, my darling and I share a (small) packet of crisps on a Saturday, and sometimes we have the same packet last two weekends. I'm proud of being able to have it last through the week without nibbling.
Water, mustn't forget the water - I got a water bottle as a reward quite early on and basically carry that around with me all day. That has also been a big part of healthy lifestyle change!
I am constantly thinking of where I can grow and what I can improve - and that in itself is a huge change for the better! I lived in apathy, lethargic, didn't really think or want to consider my choices. It is such a huge relief to be able to say that I grow and learn and evolve into who I AM inside. I am stronger and much, much happier.
This new lifestyle would have been SO MUCH HARDER if my darling had not joined me and it has become something we're both proud of that we can do this with relative ease.
So - where do I go from here?
I will keep my new healthy habits. I will keep on tracking as before.
I love my Polar HRM and will use that on my workouts to track calories burned. (Just HOW did I manage before getting a HRM?? LOL!)
I know I can do better with enough sleep. I'm usually up past midnight, and that has got to change when I have to get up for morning workouts, so that will be one area where I'll put in my baby steps to improve.
I want to learn meditation and yoga. I need to soothe my mind and mind chatter.
I want to get a more organized home, re-decorate and get rid of some of the clutter we have, and the baby stepping skills I have learned will come in handy. I think this will also help soothe me.
I'll let you know how this goes!
Haha! I just noticed I haven't written anything in this long blog about the weight I have lost. That might say a lot! And it IS funny, since I weigh myself daily, but only because I want to keep TRACK of the numbers.
I think what I try to do is live my life as the thin person I AM inside my flab, and the weight loss WILL follow. It takes its own sweet time, but in these eleven months I have come half way to what I put as my goal weight when I started.
I expect the last half will come off slower, but I am getting healthier and stronger and happier and improved in so many ways and that is what I focus on, not the number on the scale.