I usually write my fitness/weight loss updates/new-and-healthier lifestyle posts on Mondays, but yesterday was Memorial Day and a lot of people were having parties and going off the rails or falling off the wagon and having a treat/cheat/whatever day, so I saved it for today.
Because today feels more like a Monday than yesterday did.
It’s also the unofficial beginning of summer.
And one of my goals is to inspire people to live a little bit healthier.
Last week was another good week for me.
I’m on a roll!
We had just gotten our power back after the storm and were back home after being at my parents for four days, and then we got internet back and the kids went back to school after being off for five days, and I was able to get back into sort of a routine.
And something pretty big happened. For me, anyway.
I’ll tell you what it was in a minute, but first, I want to share a story.
It’s no secret that my dad is my biggest role model when it comes to leading an active lifestyle. He is the best example I know of a senior citizen who is reaping the benefits of incorporating exercise his daily routine over the course of a lifetime.
I think so many of us look at exercise as a means to an end. As something we do to lose weight.
And that’s the paradigm shift I really hope to help people make.
To realize that exercise isn’t something you do until you get to a certain size.
It’s something you do to maintain a quality of life when you are older. For as long as possible.
Like my dad.
My dad is 73 years old.
He’s retired, but he cuts peoples’ lawns and shovels driveways in the winter and cleans up leaves and changes my oil (he’s a retired mechanic) and fixes my lawn mower whenever I run over a rock and knock the fan belt off.
He is our main babysitter for the kids, and he still plays baseball and kickball and hide-and-seek with them.
He’s able to enjoy every second of his retirement because he has always been active.
And that’s where I want to be when I’m in my seventies. And eighties.
And nineties, dammitt!
I’m anticipating a slew of grandchildren, and I wanna keep up with them.
So back to my story…
When we were staying at my parents’ (little, three-bedroom) house waiting for our power to be restored after the macroburst, Number 3 and 6 slept upstairs in one bedroom, Number 4, 5,and 7 slept upstairs in another bedroom, and I slept downstairs on the couch.
I get up early, and so does my dad. He doesn’t get up quite so early as I do anymore, but he was always the first one up every morning after me.
And he had a routine he went through every single morning.
My dad would come downstairs, get the coffee pot going, grab his little analog clock, and go through a series of stretches.
It wasn’t long. It was maybe five minutes total.
But every morning my dad does this without fail.
This stretching routine is a habit. Just like brushing your teeth, my dad gets up every morning and does this.
It’s a very small investment of time every day that pays big dividends and is enabling him to enjoy a quality of life that many (most even?) seventy-three year old men (or women) cannot enjoy.
This habit is keeping him younger than most people his age.
And it’s incorporating a whole bunch of small habits like this into your life that eventually leads to big changes.
So my dad was a big reminder to me last week that habits are what get you to either where you want to be or where you don’t want to be.
Okay. I told you something big happened for me this past week.
The big thing? For the first time in about a year…
I am back in the 160’s!!!!!
When I started making changes, I weighed 179, and now I’m down to 168!!!
(excuse my terrible feet)
I am down 11 pounds since I started making changes 7 weeks ago.
YES, YES, YEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!
That is a BIG milestone for me!!!
And I feel great.
I feel great because I’m proud of myself for actually sticking to something for more than a couple days, but I also feel great because I don’t feel out of control.
Exercise is already a habit for me.
Just like my dad, it’s just something I do every day. I don’t really even think twice about it.
But eight weeks ago I was completely out of control with regard to food.
As they say, you can’t outrun your fork. And my eating habits were terrible.
I never sat down to eat. I never ate with the kids. I often ate in the car or on the go. I wasn’t actually enjoying my food. And I was eating a lot of garbage.
So one of the habits I really wanted to work on and establish was sitting down at a table to eat my meals.
This was something I almost never did. Instead I was just grazing constantly all day long with at least one daily binge on something.
I felt so shitty at the end of every day. Shitty physically for filling my body with a bunch of junk, but also shitty emotionally for knowing that I was using food to numb myself and manage stress.
This new habit of sitting at a table to eat is improving my health and my life even more.
So it was another good week.
I still have room for improvement in the sitting down to eat department. So I’ll keep working on it.
And the next habit I want to develop is keeping my f ridge more organized.
Lack of organization in my fridge is affecting the way I eat, the way my family eats, and how much money I spend on food or time I spend preparing food.
In two weeks, I plan to have a new system totally in place.
But what do I need to do in order to do that?
I need to spend one minute at the end of each day making sure my fridge is in order.
I am certain a one minute investment of my time in this department will give me a huge return on the back end.
And I’m excited to show you the changes I make!
If you want to make some changes in your health/life/level of fitness, instead of doing a complete overhaul on your routines, maybe you can just focus on one small habit to begin incorporating into your life. This is much more manageable and much less overwhelming than a total lifestyle change overnight.
And if you are ready to make some changes or start working on a habit that will improve the quality of your life but you are the kind of person who really benefits from support, direction and accountability, Not Your Average Fitness Course may be just what you need. The next session begins on Monday, June 4th, and I’ll be participating right along with you.
I just finished the spring session, and it’s what helped me drop those 11 pounds!
Next stop, the 150’s!
(if you aren’t ready for an e-course but are looking for some added support in making healthy changes, join the Not Your Average Fitness Group (closed) Facebook Group!)