Today is April 1 – I really couldn’t let this day go by without some sort of acknowledgement. I think I will always remember April 1 in my life. This is the 2-year anniversary of my healthiness journey. Or whatever you want to call it. Changing my life and priorities around really. I recapped year one at this time last year. For me, that was really a crowning achievement as I felt mostly done with losing weight and was well into making fitness and healthy eating routine. In all actuality, I am learning this is an on-going ever-evolving process with new goals, ideas and thoughts. While my first year was marked mostly with losing weight and gradually getting better at fitness, this past year I have stayed at about the same weight. I am at a healthy weight and feel mostly comfortable where I am at. I feel good in clothes and even feel OK going in public in a swimsuit. This past year I have seen more strides in my personal physical fitness limits and some small muscle growth. I have learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of accomplishing. Heck – I even did a sprint triathlon and a marathon relay! I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish this year.
At home workouts and meal prepping have become standards for me to keep up with my fitness and health.
I’ve heard 2 sayings in particular this past year that were really hammered into my head, certainly in the past few months. (A lot of these goals and ideas tie in closely to my quarterly annual goals that I will recap next week. What can I say? I really believe in setting goals for yourself. I think it works!)
You can’t out exercise a bad diet
It’s so true. I have asked myself a few times in the past couple of months why I am exercising when I am eating all my hard work away.
It’s funny, but it really is that simple. I really get discouraged when I see people taking shakes or pills or whatever. I love protein shakes, don’t get me wrong, but you have to put in the work and you have to change your eating. You can’t eat pills or shakes for the rest of your life.
Losing weight is easier than maintaining weight
I like to think of food as fuel. I want to fuel up with whole foods and not a ton of things with heavy, fake ingredients.
This graphic accurately describes how I feel when I eat healthy and when I eat junk. I might not physically look different, but my body feels different. The longer I eat healthy, the more I realize how good it makes me feel.
I typically exercise 5-6 times a week. It’s my hobby, my stress release and my way to have fun. You’d think I would have exercised down to twig size now, right? Well, not so much. Ha! In fact, for the past few months I had been gaining weight, although quite slowly. I know I cannot out exercise a bad diet and I cannot justify having junk food as a reward for exercising. I feel and perform better when I fuel properly and healthily. I know this, but it is a hard and slippery slope. I think the reason a majority of Americans have issues with weight is because we are constantly surrounded by cheap, easy, fast food. This food tastes really good too. But it really makes me feel like junk within an hour of two of eating it, let alone the next day. Don’t get me wrong, I still indulge and I always will. But the food really should be worth it to me. Often times, when I indulge it is when I am under the influence of drinking. I love my beer! Food and alcohol are easily mixed. I’m working on improving that area and have made small strides in the past month.
Losing weight is easier than maintaining in my opinion. Once I got going with my weight loss, got focused in and found what worked, I was a woman on a mission. The pounds certainly didn’t peel off super easy, but the process to keep working was easy. I felt rewarded by having clothes that were getting too big and with compliments from people noticing my weight loss. I’m not losing weight anymore and I miss those things! It is so easy to get complacent. It’s also so easy to see other (seemingly in shape or slim friends) indulge and have fun when I feel like maybe I should cut back? The thing is I am still finding what works for me and when I should or should not indulge. I’m hoping to get better at those things in the upcoming year.
I have found a few strange things that have come to me as a result of losing and maintaining a healthy weight. They are a little offbeat but I thought they’d be fun to share.
- Improved teeth – I’ve had the most excellent dental exams in the past couple of years. My gums used to bleed and now they never do. The dentist always gives me a glowing review and I had read that healthy teeth and indicative of a healthy body in many aspects.
- Improved digestion – gross but true. When I drink a lot of water and eat whole, healthy foods things operate smoothly and like clockwork. No upset tummy ever.
- Improved sleep – I can fall asleep fairly quickly and I sleep well throughout the night for 7-8 hours per night.
- Happy – I’m happy. I feel great and so much more comfortable in my body.
- Willing to try new things – exhibit A would be skydiving. I’m willing and now able to try almost anything. Nothing is holding me back.
- Not being afraid of diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. – by maintaining a healthy diet and weight the risk factors for so many diseases are slashed. Diabetes runs in my family and I am determined to never have to fight that battle.
- Smaller boobs – some people might view this as a negative, but now I can exercise in just a tank with the shelf bra instead of adding a sports bra to the mix. It just makes it easier when they aren’t in the way.
Moving forward, I hope to see a few things happen when I check in next year. I don’t plan on quitting exercising or eating healthy anytime soon. It has most definitely become a way of my life. I can honestly and truly say if I don’t exercise, I miss it and feel my day is incomplete. While it’s true I don’t have any kids (so some people accuse me of having all the spare time in the world), I still struggle with fitting my workout in some days. I really think all you need is one half hour a day. If you make it a priority in your life, you can do it. I see plenty of successful and fit parents out there crushing goals daily. I’m trying to be my own motivation and compete with myself. I’m not a super athlete or anything special but I try to improve each month whether it be further, faster or stronger in my fitness. I want to feel confident and proud that I push myself to achieve what I set my mind to. Here’s to another successful year!