The morning after raucous New Year’s toasts and yuletide celebrations, I habitually find myself making familiar resolutions involving losing weight and getting fit. And, each year, I have a bit of trouble staying focused on my goal, as most of us do. This is why we try to "reboot" our mindset on January 1st, as it is a powerful symbol of new beginnings.
In 2010 I managed to shed 50 lbs through healthier eating and exercise, and I felt great. But over the last year I managed to gain back about 20lbs. To reach my ideal weight of 140lbs I now need to lose almost 90lbs. There are many of us who fall into this overweight category of “obese”, most of whom also suffer from health complications. But taking it one step at a time, we can each reach our goals.
This year I'm going to try to take advantage of some of the great resources available around Huntington, including the Healthy Huntington Revolution's "90 Day Challenge". The EMO Huntington Kitchen helps to host this effort, and you can download the challenge materials here. This year, their 5K run is on Saturday, April 14th. I hope to be able to run this 5k by then.
Since starting the 90 Day Challenge on January 1st, I've kept to the Diet goal by drinking only Tea (unsweetened) and Water. The other two daily goals for this week, Exercise at least 30 minutes, and 5 minutes of quiet Spiritual time, have been more difficult than anticipated. Jim and I just purchased a treadmill yesterday, so exercising should soon be easier. However, making myself set aside time to be quiet and thoughtful, not spaced-out on TV or the computer, has been a challenge. I will endeavor to start building that healthy meditative habit tonight.
Never satisfied to do things simply, I made sure to add a few more personal goals to the Challenge list. 2011 was way less healthy than 2010, with all the Bronchitis, flu's, colds, Fibromyalgia, asthma, reflux and allergy issues taking their bite out of my energy and productivity. With more "down days" than "good days", you can see why I gained weight.
So, I've started doing some simple things to improve my overall health.
- For Chronic Sinusitis issues, I've started a daily saline rinse, which made a noticeable difference immediately. By rinsing once to twice a day, airflow should improve and infection should reduce, both leading to an overall improvement in health and energy, plus a reduction in headaches and Bronchitis.
- For Reflux, I made sure to eat nothing within 4 hours of going to bed, drinking just water, and taking a Ranitidine antacid tablet. This has helped tremendously, but it will take several weeks before my body remembers to not produce so much acid. By reducing by reflux symptoms, I should breath better at night, giving my brain and body the oxygen it needs to heal and strengthen.
- For brain health, I do a word game before bed. This helps "drain off" those stray stressful end-of-day thoughts so that I think of almost nothing when going to sleep, while at the same time stimulating my mind. These "work-outs" in combination with improved breathing should improve brain activity while I sleep. This should result in less "brain fog" mornings, leading to an increase in cognition and productivity.
- Cooking more at home means better control over the nutrition to calories ratio in our meals, as well as things like eliminating certain preservatives and gmo ingredients. It should also save us a few dollars. Our last two dinners and today's lunch were prepared in our kitchen with simple healthy ingredients.
- Scheduling time for everything can be difficult, but building habits always is. When making time to cook at home, exercise, and other healthful habits, we often forget to make time for those things that bring us joy. This can "take the fun out" of our self-improvement efforts, making it harder to "stick with it". So, make time for fun the fun stuff, too. Personally, I want to make time each day for reading, learning, writing and singing. Picking the right time of day for each effort is important, too. For instance, I learn and write better in the morning, but read and sing better in the evening.
Today I've some solid personal challenges, all involving reorganizing and cleaning. So far I've cleaned a bit in the kitchen, the living room, back porch, bedroom, and laundry room. Next is the basement office, to make room for the Treadmill we will be setting up this evening. I'm definitely getting in my 30 minutes of exercise today.