So a bit over a month ago, I wrote a post about how I wanted to start prioritising my health and my body, and putting more time into taking care of myself rather than everyone else. I am not trying to become a more selfish person, but I have started to see that for me to be in the best position to help others, I need to be taking care of myself first.
I have been sick on and off for the last 2-3 months, and this has definitely affected my ability to do certain things, but I had set myself a few goals last month, and so first up I thought I would reflect on how that went.
- Use that gym membership to get to the gym 3 times a week, even if its only for half an hour
So in the mindset of being honest here, I have been making it to the gym more like twice a week over the last month. Still finding my rhythm of making the gym work, and with things like the comedy festival on, I struggled to be home early enough to get there. Despite not quite meeting my goal, I have been already seeing such good changes from getting more exercise in, but I’ll talk more about that soon.
- Start having a proper breakfast with a protein fuelled smoothie (and occasionally try and make it green)
Another partial win. I have had maybe 2 green smoothies, and they were fine(ish) but I have managed to avoid making green smoothies since. The good news is that my weird, unhealthy eating habits of snacking during the day, or buying a pastry with my coffee, have been mostly replaced by drinking a smoothie pretty frequently in the mornings or grabbing a banana if I don’t have time. Its delicious, filling and has helped me avoid snacking before lunch. Definitely going to keep this up.
- Develop a better sleep cycle and aim for at least 7 hours a night (put your damn phone out of reach!)
With the aid of my fitbit, I can now track my sleep and see how restless I was. I don’t know if its just because I have something to record my sleep, but I seem to be sleeping far better than I was last month. Edd and I make a joint effort to watch less TV and go to sleep earlier, so that even when we do have an early start or a restless night, we get around 7 hours or more. The difference this more regular routine makes to my general attitude the next day is massive, and definitely worth the little bit of effort.
- Start utilising the stairs at work instead of making the elevator awkward by trying not to make eye or skin contact with anyone
I work on level 7 at work, and that won’t seem like much, but for my unfit self its a bit of a mission. After a fire drill, I get so red and puffed that I hide away in the bathrooms until I resemble something slightly less manic. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to work my way up. When I go to have a quick break from my desk I will try run up 4 flights and then have a quiet moment afterwards. Already, I can definitely see a difference in my fitness, but I’m still working towards going up the 7 flights easily. Work in progress, watch this space etc. etc. Its such an easy way to fit in a bit of extra exercise, and with my fitbit keeping track I aim to go up 10 flights every day (not all at once, yet), and most days this happens.
- Be more mindful of what I am using to fuel my body (chocolate is one source of fuel but perhaps consider some other options as well)
This last goal was a little hard to quantify, but I have definitely been paying more attention to what I eat. In general, Edd and I have been trying to up the vegie and legume intake, and decrease the white carbs like rice and bread. Simple things like choosing a soup from the Thai takeaways instead of a rich red curry with rice may not seem like much, but for me these small decisions are all important in just being more careful with my choices. This doesn’t mean I no longer eat crap, I just try to enjoy it as a treat, whereas before pizza would be a meal without a second thought.
Overall, its hard to tell which changes are caused by what, or whether everything is working together, but below are some of the things I have noticed that are different:
- I’ll deal with weight first, because it was the one I really wanted to see change and yet it stubbornly is not really doing much. I lost 4 kgs in the first three weeks, and then nothing since. Hopefully its muscle, or just the fact that I could be going to the gym more, but I’ll be honest in that I was hoping for a bit more.
- Fitness is already better, and every time I go to the gym or climb up the stairs i generally find that I can push myself harder and go further/longer. I also just feel stronger, especially in my legs.
- My asthma is almost non-existent at the moment, which is kind of a small miracle within itself (normally I have to take my inhaler at least once a day, as well as preventers – which I am still taking).
- My attitude to exercise has changed, in that I now relish a random long walk in the middle of the day, or a challenging hill to climb. Before, any exercise was a bit of an inconvenience, and one that I would avoid if possible. Now it is like with every step I take, and every burning muscle, I feel like I am doing something good for myself (at first this attitude was forced and did not come naturally, but now I don’t even register the thought pattern).
- Lastly, my outlook in general has improved. I think this is purely because when I take the time to give my body what it needs, whether its half an hour on the bike, or a relaxation session, or a delicious, wholesome meal, it puts me in a better place to face the rest of my day. I know that this will get better, but its amazing to already feel like I have a little more control over my life and the way I experience each day.
Before this post turns into a monster, I wanted to finish off with another few goals for the following month or so. Last months were all focused around physical health, and I am definitely still working on all of the above, but I wanted to add in a few goals relating more to my mental health:
- Do yoga 2x a week, as well as improving my gym routine.
- Keep a gratitude list each day of 3 things I am grateful for.
- Be more congruent, and honest with myself and others. Try not to be so afraid to say no or to ask for help. Say what I mean.
- Keep a food journal to keep track of my meals and intake and see where improvements can be made
Just four this month, seeing as I am still working on the others. I hope that over the next few weeks I can continue trying to prioritise my physical health, as well as my mental health, and continue to see some positive results.
Let me know what kind of goals you have set for yourself at the moment or what you will be working on!