Studies conducted by “they,” once upon a time, and probably in a galaxy far, far away, show that writing things down makes us very much more likely to do whatever it is we write down. I agree. At least I have found this to be true in my own case. So, whether or not the 12-13 of you who may stumble upon and read this blog post hold me accountable, I am hoping I will at least be more accountable to myself.
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I truly hate getting caught up in the beginning of the year hype of resolutions and such, but I have been on a similar cycle the last few years, and this is where the pattern brings me. Every January or February my husband and I do a 21 day fat flush diet and then keep fairly decent habits for the rest of the year, or until the holidays roll around. It’s not some crazy diet where it’s all about cramming in weird chemicals that will “cleanse” our insides. It really is a diet plan that has us eating a lot more fruits, veggies, and fiber. Nature takes care of the rest. Good food, high in vitamins and minerals go in, and the bad stuff comes out. Our bodies do need a good internal deep clean once in a while. We use this as our kick start to better eating, though we don’t commit as hard core after that initial phase.
Then there’s the workout cycle. I usually set a race goal sometime early in the year to train for, and then I give it my all until I actually achieve it, or I injure myself, get depressed and give up. It’s good to have a goal, but I’m such a goal oriented person that this can actually be a huge stressor in my life, sort of canceling out any of the good I otherwise achieve. If the weather (which I cannot control anyway) is bad and I cannot get out to run, I panic. “Oh, no! I’m missing one workout. Now I’ll have to make it up. But when? Maybe I will just skip that fun thing I was going to do or get up another hour earlier…” Yeah, it’s not good. By the time I either injure myself or accomplish the goal, I’m a frazzled mess and so burned out that I just stop completely. Usually this is somewhere between my birthday and Thanksgiving.
So… between November and the next calendar year, I binge junk food and sit around not burning any more calories than necessary to breathe or walk slowly…to the fridge. This is an unhealthy cycle. I’m not doing it again.
There. I wrote it. It shall be as I say. I have reflected on my failures in food and fitness, and I will do better this year.
Tomorrow is the start of the 21 day fat flush. Every time I do this, I become more tolerable of foods that used to terrify me, like asparagus. I still refuse to eat broccoli though. The mushrooms are pushing it. But once I get started, things change quickly. I find I have more energy, my immune system gets stronger, and my clothes fit like they’re supposed to again. I even find I like some of the dishes, and my jaw gets stronger because I have to chew so much.
Last year my goal was to get back to my early 20’s weight, which I was certain would happen when I was in half marathon training. Thing is…I injured myself. Yep. I was doing 4-5 workouts a week, on top of the mileage I had to run each week. I was feeling great, and then all of the sudden, I just felt old. I overdid it. I know older people than I who are in way better shape than I’ve ever been, but my body had reached its limit, and I flailed after that. When this happens, I get depressed. Then I make excuses.
So this year, as I begin the fat flush, I am only going to start with 3-4 morning workouts per week, and not crazy hard ones either. When the flush ends, I’ll go full on P90X, lean or classic, I haven’t decided. We will continue on a basic 40-30-30 eating schedule (I found a great site to help us with meal planning, etc. FormulaZone), because that really does seem to be scientifically the best all-around plan for truly being healthy in food choices, rather than extreme diets that cut out one part or another that your body actually needs to function best. Once I get through the 12 week workout plan, I’ll incorporate running into my life again, but with a balance of strengthening and cardio. If it rains, I won’t stress. I live in Florida- it’s going to rain! If I want to sleep in one day, I will. I won’t beat myself up or run myself ragged.
My goal is not to train for anything other than enjoying being healthy and fit. I refuse to add the stress. This way, when my birthday rolls around this year, I will be a fit and happy 42 year old, still on track with my workouts and diet. I may never get down to my 20 year old weight, but then again, I was on the scrawny side then and not as strong. The Bible says my body should be a temple, and I need to treat mine better. Also, my life expectancy looks pretty high, so I might as well be healthy for all those years to come. There’s a lot of this beautiful planet I still want to see and so much I still want to do. When other 60 year olds are putting around Walmart on the electric carts, or shuffling around complaining about whatever ailment they have that was avoidable by lifestyle choice and diet, I want to be hiking an autumn trail, building houses in Guatemala, riding roller coasters, or any number of things I don’t even know about yet in places I’ve never been.
It’s super cliche, but true: If you take care of your body, it will take care of you. Oh, and I plan to keep my brain sharp too. People laugh at me because I read all the time. I also love puzzles, and thinking games. A good diet and exercise helps brain functionality. I want to be that person that is way older than anyone realizes.