In my previous post My Body My Temple…Or My Body My Minimally Maintained Shelter??? I talked about how my quest for Joy would be futile if I did not take care of my body. If I’m tired, out of shape, and malnourished I’ll never be able to grasp joy. If I’m only doing the minimum instead of treating my body as a temple I will not have the energy to spend time with friends or work on my goals nor the confidence to try new things because I’ll know I’m not at my best.
I already laid out my blueprints – regular exercise, fruit, veggies, whole grains, low fat protein, water, sleep, and support/ inspiration. Now I have started to build my foundation. The foundation of my future temple consists of four basics – fitness, food, sleep, and support.
Fitness – I am working on being more active in general. At work I make sure I get up from my desk every few hours and take a walk through the building. When the weather is nice I take a little walk at lunch. I’m also going to the gym. I make sure I get in some jogging and weight training every week. The most exciting part of my fitness routine is Zumba. Zumba is floor aerobics to Latin music with Latin dance moves mixed in. It is challenging but also really fun. This is the first exercise that I have actually liked.
Food – It has been said that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I believe this is true in my case. I have always worked out but I’ve also always been overweight and always struggled with my eating. I have 30 years of eating habits that need to change. I grew up eating three big meals and snacks. I’m trying to change this to smaller meals and snacks. My plate almost always had a green veggie on it growing up, but the veggie was the smallest portion and the meat the largest. I’d like to keep the green veggies but make them the biggest portion and make meat and carbs smaller. I grew up eating snack cakes and candy daily. I want these to be rare treats. So I have quite a few changes to make. Now I plan my meals and snacks ahead of time. I eat way more fruit and veggies now than ever before. I am drinking lots of water and only diet soda. I also am challenging myself to give up pastries and candy for a few months to break that habit. More than anything all of these changes with food require me to change the way I think about it. To think about how the food is really making me feel and decide I deserve to feel better and that requires better fuel.
Support – This is where it helps to be open. I hate the Food Police. I get real annoyed real quick when someone says “should you eat that” or “I thought you were on a diet”. I never like being told what to do anyway and this just pushes my buttons. So in the past I have shied away from telling people that I was watching my weight or trying to change habits. However, lately I’ve been more open and I have realized that more people will actually be supportive than try to be food police. Many people have stopped offering me unhealthy treats and make a point of telling me about good healthy recipes. I also get a lot of support and inspiration on the internet. There are so many resources – articles, diet and exercise groups and personal blogs dedicated to health and fitness. The groups can be especially helpful they often allow you to be open about your feelings in an anonymous way and get real feedback from people going through similar things. You can also find all kinds of interesting workouts and menus online.
Sleep – This is the big crack in my foundation. It is common knowledge that the average adult needs 6 to 8 hours of sleep (really closer to 8). I’m only averaging 5 during the week. This is not good. I suffer every morning when the alarm goes off. I know my body is not working at the optimal level because it is tired. I also know I would not get so sleepy in the afternoon at work if I had enough sleep at night. As a kid I never wanted to go to bed and I’ve obviously not matured in this area. I always feel there is one more show to watch, chapter to read, Facebook status to update, website to visit, etc, etc, etc…. Even as I write this I realize how silly it is. All of these things will be there in the morning. I have been working on this foundation flaw. I realize how this crack can spread to the other areas. Sleepy people do not work out, at least not with intensity, and they also tend to make poor choices opting to grab anything that will give them an instant energy (sugar) boost. I will seal up this crack in time and find a way to do all I need/want to do and still get my 8 hours beauty rest. Sleepy people are not joyful.
Like any construction project I have a schedule. Here is what my next 12 weeks of foundation building look like:
w 1 – say good bye to the vending machine
w 2 – drink a gallon of water a day
w 3 – go to bed by 12:00 during the week
w 4 – do fasted cardio once a week
w 5 – 2 salads a week
w 6 – clean/organize house 15 min every day (for time management and getting to bed earlier)
w 7 – walk/jog outside at least 1 time a week
w 8 – jog, weight train, zumba, and wii fit every week
w 9 – write down everything I eat
w 10 – track in spark people
w 11 – focus on calories – less than 2000
w 12 -3 veggies a day
I am excited to put my blueprints into action and build a healthy foundation for Joy.