I think that it was Fergie who once said, “I be up in the gym just workin’ on my fitness”. It is not exactly my grammatical style and I am actually working out at home because I am too poor to afford a gym membership, but I have been trying to improve my overall health. In my efforts, I do my best to avoid using the word diet – it feels like a punishment and positivity is the key to success.
My efforts have come to include:
* Increasing exercise levels gradually *
Sometimes this is just doing fifty high knees while waiting for my egg to cook. I have come to believe that every little bit counts. Moving someplace where it is easy to be a pedestrian has also been an exciting change. As my mother would say, “I get lots of steps in”. However, I do not really get my heart rate up unless I am running to catch the train.
I do, however, get my heart pumping when working in the garden. It can be from digging holes, weeding, moving bricks or any of the other random tasks that come with tending a piece of land. But, I like doing these things, though. This makes it fun and the work does not seem like a chore.
In the past week or so since I have been at my parents’, I have been using the elliptical machine and enjoying the beautiful walking trails. It is so nice not to worry about herds of mothers with strollers, dog s@#$ or cars! It is also not nice to worry about being shot. Luckily, hunting season is over this week and I brought several warm sweaters to wear underneath my winter jacket.
Now if only I could get in the habit of exercising every day. I read about people who run several miles daily. It is insane (if you are one of those people, more power to you!) and I am little bit jealous. I am sure there are people who would take that as motivation to complete this task. I just don’t like running. The running dialogue (no pun intended) in my head is always, “I-HATE-THIS,” to the rhythm of my gait.
If I had more money I would go to Pilates or yoga courses, but I don’t. I keep reading about the importance of weight training, too. I would like to give it a try, but I am worried about having poor form and injuring myself. This will have to stay on the list of things to do.
* Adding healthy grains, fruits and vegetables *
Fortunately, I love doing this because I am trying to decrease my overall consumption of meat after reading too much information about the sick practices in the mass production of meat products (And no, I am not preaching. Others are more than welcome to eat the meat-eating herbivores!). I also like cutting out processed foods. This one is also easy. After all, who wants to line the pockets of the huge corporations that care little about our health, abuse the environment and manipulate government monies to funnel taxpayer monies to board members and not farmers? (I will give you a hint – it’s not me!)
* Drinking less alcohol and soda *
This task is much easier in the US. In Germany, I have a mild Coke addiction. It’s made with ‘real’ sugar and tastes amazing. (Sorry, people in India!) Then there is alcohol which is the foundation of practically every social function. Of course, I could always not imbibe. However, after than I often feel like the odd-man-out and it sometimes takes a drink or two to get the German language juices flowin’. That statement sounds really pathetic, but sometimes I get so jittery when I need to speak in German.
Since making these relatively small changes, I have lost approximately 5.5 kilos/12 pounds in the past year. It is slow, but steady. Although I have recently decided to kick it up a notch (the last time I had worked out for an hour straight may have been in high school 10 years ago). I feel great wearing smaller clothing and I like seeing defined muscles. I can’t really say that my energy levels are increasing like they say it should, but that may just be the weather. I would still like to lose another 3.5 kilos, but we will have to see how that goes. I am not crazy about some of the weight loss in my face – it makes me look older (and the days of wanting that are behind me!).