One of the things I promised myself during this trip, besides having amazing adventures with the man who I love in interesting new places, was so finally put some focus into things I want but tend to put on the back burner because I have been “too busy” with work/school/et cetera.
One of the biggest things I have pushed to the back burner is my health. These last couple of years of inactivity (due to sitting and school and then sitting at work) have allowed me to accumulate more fat and have aided in the atrophy of what muscles I once had. This, as we all know, compounds other health issues – higher risk of getting various illnesses, feeling low energy and poor self-image. It is ridiculous that I can be awarded a medal for being the top graduate in my college for 2012, but still feel as though I’m not doing everything I want to do.
So I have formed a plan. I have a pedometre, which up until the beginning of this trip was barely breaking 3000 steps a day due to how tied to my desk I had to be during working hours. I have made it my mission, at least for the first leg of this trip, to try to do an average of 10,000 steps every day. These first couple of weeks haven’t been complete successes (sleeping for 17 hours straight after contracting some illness shortly after arriving didn’t help) but I am working my way up. I’m keeping track of my steps in a spreadsheet, and will adjust my goals as I become more able.
Another fantastic item to add to this fitness agenda is how the accommodation that we have booked for our 29 days in Portugal has a gym, a pool and is right on the ocean. I further plan to hit that gym every day to try to put some more oomph into my fitness regime. Ultimately, I would love all the extra weight I have been carrying around before I return to Canada in April for my brother’s wedding. If we were just talking about removing the fat cells, that would be about 50lbs. Since I am very aware that that is not how it works (and muscle, which I should be building, weights more than fat), I don’t think that using a “goal weight” is the be all and end all of this journey (That number, according to my height, should be somewhere between 115 and 134 lbs – I am currently sitting at 170lbs).
I would much rather measure my fitness success in the following ways:
– family and friends being awestruck at my progress when we get home
– realizing how healthy and energetic I am
– whole-heartedly looking forward to going to the gym without annoyance at how “stupid” I look in the mirror during Zumba classes
– toning, tightening and an ability to purchase clothing in sizes that I haven’t bothered in think of as attainable in years
Of course, for this new lifestyle to really take shape, it cannot be all about how many steps I take each day. I also have to pay much more attention (and actually use some smarts) when it comes to what I eat. I’m not very good at eating 3-6 meals a day, and when I do, I don’t always make the healthiest choices. I have been toying with the idea of going vegan for a while (skipping out the vegetarian stage as I am lactose intolerant anyway), but I think I need to fully commit to the idea somehow, instead of continually pondering and reading about it. I get perplexed by reading sample meal plans, as they always have food in them that is not easy to locate, or seems expensive. Part of me recognizes that eating healthy is one of the best investments I can make, but the other part of me screams that I need money for other things (bills, travelling) and that I don’t want to alienate Chad when making meals, or make it harder for him when he makes our meals. It is hard to imagine making two different meals every time the two of us eat, on top of figuring out what I should eat and when I should eat it.
I might be over thinking this; that does happen on every once in a while. I just want to be healthy, and now that time is not an issue (at least until April), I am putting focus on that goal.