Just to recap, I’m in the process of a year-long, month-by-month journey into a healthier lifestyle. It’s a little experiment of mine. If it takes nearly a month to form a habit, then why are ‘diets’ and ‘fads’ so abrupt in forcing you to do everything ‘right’ all at once? But for the record, this isn’t a diet anyway. It’s a lifestyle. 🙂 So maybe that’s where the difference comes in. Anyway, every month, I’ll be tackling two new goals, and I made my first month’s goals easy to help encourage me and my husband to stay on board.
August — The first food-related goal is to drink more water. The exercise-related goal is to be active for at least 20 minutes, three days a week.
Drinking More Water — I went cold-turkey on this one and immediately cut out all that extra fruit juice I was consuming. Between that and the iced coffee I’d drink every other day, I was easily consuming three hundred calories on beverages alone. At first, I missed the juice at meals, because — as I’ve said before — I’m in love with fruit juice. But I decided to just cut it out during the week, and I still allow myself a glass or two on the weekends. For the most part though, I’m trying to focus on fresh fruit that will actually help keep me full.
I also found the secret to making water fun. Buy a water bottle that you really like and bring it everywhere. I found a frosted, pink water-bottle at Walmart for only $3, and bringing it everywhere causes me to easily drink the water I should be consuming. (Everything is better in pink, don’t you think?). When I have water at my desk, instead of a calorie-loaded drink, I end up drinking the water. Also, it’s fun to add a splash of color or flavor by tossing in some fresh fruit (sliced lemons are my favorite, but even peaches are fun).
And by the end of the first week, it already felt easier… and I found myself actually craving water! And because I was drinking less sugary drinks, I found myself craving less sugary foods and actually enjoying fruits much more. Double score!
As for Nate, my husband, he is having absolutely no problem with this goal, because he drinks water as though it’s going out of style. He has turned it into a competition of sorts and never fails to remind me that he’s winning at this one. 🙂
Get Moving — I made my exercise goal for the month easy, because — right now — I’m all about turning fitness into a habit. After a busy day at work, I’d honestly prefer to curl up with a good book or a funny movie. The thought of moving is torture. I’d rather be lazy. But sitting down constantly only makes for a sluggish person, and God gave me two legs. So I’ve been forcing myself to move, whether it be for a bike-ride or even just a leisurely walk after dinner with the husband. I didn’t want to force myself to start too hard too fast. It was all about the baby steps.
Now, I’ll be honest with you, I did go jogging twice since I’ve started August’s goals. With work being so stressful, I felt as though I needed an exercise that released stress, which running does. I also learned that — when you haven’t run for a very long time — it can also cause stress. Or at least pain. I sounded like an asthmatic without an inhaler. But I didn’t have any knee pain, and I was able to make two miles. So I felt really encouraged, because I haven’t run without knee pain for a very long time! And my breathing was already more on track when I went the second time, so maybe it won’t take me too long to get back into the swing of things.
But I don’t want to push my knee too hard, so I’ll mainly be sticking to the low-impact exercises for now. (Like bike-riding and walking).
How it Started: