Well, here we are at the start of the year and I'm going to be completely cliché and dedicate myself to health and fitness. I've had many bursts of inspiration over the years with all sorts of motivating factors: at my worst, I was motivated to just be skinny or to look good for a guy. It's funny the things you pay attention when your motivation is tainted. I constantly compared myself to other girls, thinking the most hideous thoughts both about them and myself. My measure of success was literally how I lined up to all the girls around me, no matter our difference in genes, age, and general uniqueness. If the circumference of her arm was smaller than mine, she was, by default, better than me. Hideous, right?
I've shared a bit of my story here before, and I'm proud to say that in the last few years my motivation has shifted toward much healthier goals: A long and happy life (which honestly, didn't even seem to matter to me at 16), to be fit instead of skinny, and reach physical goals that are longer and harder to make me - you guessed it - faster and stronger. My new measure of success is me vs. me. Did I run that mile faster than last time? Are these weights easier to lift than last week? Can I pass on dessert without having to call on every ounce of self-control?
This year, I've got a few extra motivators.
- First of all, I'm turning 31 in a few weeks. Don't we always want to be our best selves on our birthdays?
- Second, we're going to Australia in 10 weeks. It's still summer there and I haven't bought a new bathing suit in a few years. It. Is. Time. I want to run on the beach without dying and I'd love to do a real push up. I've never been able to do a real push up. Is it just harder for some than others? I'll never understand that one.
And so! In order to stay on track, and because I really love following other people's health challenges, I thought I'd check-in here along the way. Inspired one of my favorites bloggers, I thought I'd share in how I'm working out, what I'm eating, and progress along the way. And lucky for you, I got a head start on the new year and started my health challenge last week, so let's jump into the first check-in!
I eased into the week with yoga, light weight-training, walk/jogs, and stretching.
I'm a big fan of group challenges and programs I can follow, so Tone It Up is a go-to for me. They release a week's worth of work outs every Sunday and I love jotting them down in my planner because I'm one of those people who loves to physically cross things out. It's cool knowing that thousands of girls around the world are doing the same work-outs as me, and I love how so you're getting cardio, weight training, and stretching all during the week. I'm also really excited about yoga these days, and Yoga With Adrienne is my go-to. She started a 30-day yoga camp on January 1 and I'm excited to fit these in.
Since I've been off the workout wagon for a bit, my lower back was hurting this week. I found one of Adrienne's "Yoga for Back Pain" videos and I've been doing extra stretches when I can. I'm also making sure to keep good form when I exercise and better posture when I'm working on the computer or in the kitchen.
I started a food diary to get a better look at what I'm eating. Matty and I are pretty healthy, but we have our indulgences. We're both on board to get rid of our occasional gluten, dairy, and sugar treats. We've had the most amazing meals this week - I made a big batch of chicken salad for lunch (two chicken breasts, 2 celery stalks, 1 green apple, 1/8 onion, all chopped small and mixed with Sir Kensington's Mayo, salt, pepper, and cranberries), venison burgers, bacon meatloaf, spaghetti squash pie, lots of steamed and raw veggies and THIS PALEO WAFFLE MIX (I found it at Sprouts and Target) topped with berries and honey.
I'm also eating a grapefruit almost every day. My grandma sent our family a big box full for Christmas and they are so sweet and juicy - plus they jumpstart your metabolism and are full of Vitamin C. Instead of dessert I'm drinking peppermint tea. It's nice to have something after dinner and the peppermint helps kill any sugar cravings.
Definitely going for a run/walk at 7:45 AM on New Year's Day! Matty and I stayed in the night before, but I was still pretty exhausted. He had to work at 7:30 so I dropped him off then went straight to the trail. It was dang cold and hardly anyone was out, so my creeped-out factor was super high (also due to the fact that we've been watching Making A Murderer). I conquered a lot of fears that morning.
Aside from diet and exercise, I'm taking care of my spirit and mind. For me, this means making the bed every day, tidying up the kitchen at night, flossing, and taking time to read, pray, and free write in the morning. It helps to find those simple things that are an easy way to pamper yourself, creating a space where you're motivated to take on challenges.
Week 1 Motivation: High days 1-5, not so high 6 and 7
Week 1 Mood: Happy!
Week 1 Energy: High, except for Friday and Saturday, when every moment was a struggle to stay awake. This is a normal part of detoxing (low energy, bad moods), so I'm choosing to look at it as a positive - I'm going something right!
Like I've said before, the best part about jumping on a bandwagon is all the friends you meet there :) Did you start a health challenge for 2016? Let me know what you're up to in the comments and let's cheer each other on!