If, like me, you strongly dislike food and fitness blogs, I advise you to stop reading this blog for the next two weeks because that’s pretty much all I’m going to be writing about. I’m on a mission and I take my missions very seriously when I take them seriously. But really, personally, I wouldn’t want to read this post because, quite frankly, I’m just not all that interested in pictures of people’s food or detailed accounts of their workouts, and I’m sure you’re not either. But oh well…it’s my blog and I can do what I want. So you have been duly warned about the boring, self-involved post to come.
It’s been exactly four days since I officially started being healthy. A family member I love dearly recently had some pretty serious health issues and it’s kind of made me realize that health, like everything else in life, is something you have to work for and towards. I’m not old by any definition (except maybe a five-year old’s), but I think I’m getting to that age where I’m realizing that I kind of need to start getting it together because I’m not going to be young forever. And, it turns out, I’m not going to live forever either, so I might as well make this temporary passing-through count. And I’m proud to report that I’ve avoided all 7-Elevens, most starches and shameless couch potatory for the last few days. I’d call that a good start. Yes, I think things are going well, except for the constant hunger and soreness. But I’m hoping this whole hungry all the time/feeling like my limbs are about to fall off thing passes soon. During this particular fitness/health kick (let’s face it…there have been many) I’ve learned the following things:
1.) Simply signing up for a 10K or 40-mile-race does not an athlete make. Yes, you get some feel-good feelings making the commitment, but you actually have to train for these things to become an athlete. Monday was unexpectedly warm and sunny, so I decided to bike over to my friend Rasha’s house to test out my current biking abilities and see how much work I have to do before the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, a 40-mile New York biking event Rasha and I signed up for. I biked a grand total of eight miles and all I have to say is that I have a lot of work to do. From bike-butt to sore arms to near lung collapse during uphill climbs, things felt bleak. That said, there are few things in life that make me feel as euphoric as biking on warm, sunny days and I can’t wait for spring so I can bike on a regular basis. Anyone interested in being biking buddies come spring?
2.) YouTube has so many FREE workout videos! I know I talked about this a little bit on my last post, but I’m so excited about this! Now that I’m paying unsubsidized rent money’s a little tighter, but YouTube let’s me do all this stuff for free! Thank God for the Internet. For example, yesterday I did this video after work:
Sure, the instructor has some crazy-face going on and is a little too enthusiastic for my less than sunshine and rainbows personality, but it’s nice to know there’s a lot of stuff I can do for free at home. I did a short YouTube search and found out I can do Samba, hip-hop, Persian Zumba and African drum workouts. How exciting is that??? I’ll probably still go to a Zumba class once in a while because you don’t get the same high-energy good vibes at home as you do at a good Zumba class (plus I’m perpetually at risk of becoming a hermit so seeing/interacting with actual human beings is probably a good thing), but now I really don’t have any excuse not to exercise at home. Unless the downstairs neighbors start complaining that it sounds like a zebra stampede is passing through every night…
3.) Food tastes really good when you’re hungry. Yesterday I made myself an egg white omelette with onion, corn and avocado, half a slice of rye bread with avocado, cottage cheese with a little bit of honey, baby carrots (which are really unappealing and boring, but at least they’re better than grownup carrots) and green tea. One week ago I would have been sorely disappointed by this meal, but yesterday, after a day of healthy eating and 30 minutes of Zumba, it tasted pretty amazing. I’ve really cut back on processed sugar and carbs and I’ve found that I don’t crave crappy foods or soda as much. I don’t know how long this state of cravinglessness will last, but I have noticed that as long as I mostly avoid starchy, sugary food, I can stay on track.
4.) It’s easy to forget how good being healthy can make you feel. For some reason, whenever I fall off the healthy-eating-fitness wagon, I forget all the good feelings. It’s only been four days since I started this new fitness/health kick, but I’m already feeling better. I’m sleeping better, my mood is better, I have more energy and I feel like I’m getting more done at home and at work. In fact, it’s been months since I’ve felt this good.
How do I get myself to remember these good feelings when I’m on the verge of being swallowed by a black hole of cupcakes, couch potatory and complacency? My biggest issue is consistency; I can stay motivated for days, weeks, even months, but I tend to lose motivation before reaching my goals. Anyone have any recommendations for keeping motivation strong? I think I need a workout buddy.