39 and LIVING – Age, Like Weight, is Just a Number!
The past year has been a roller coaster with commitment to health and fitness on the journey to turning 39. The one thing that remained a constant during that year was my commitment to running and improving my distance and cardiovascular health. Though 2012 was filled with running, I still struggled to find my healthy niche with food and exercise combined. In December, as many readers know, I decided to give a stricter eating regimen a try for the beginning of 2013 and read the book It Starts with Food which single-handedly made my focus on a healthier me not only a dream but an all out reality that unfolded in front of my bedroom dressing mirror.
Here are a few things that I learned and changed approaching my 39th birthday ~
I Run to Eat – Often times I find myself completely famished through the day, not for lack of food intake, but because I have ramped up my metabolism to feed my developing muscles. Nothing feels as good as healthy looks EXCEPT indulging in the foods you love sometimes. I’m not talking fast-food binge eating, I’m talking bigger portions of healthy food options that leave you full longer and you don’t feel guilty about eating because you have torched so many calories on your run(s). Yes, I still try to steer clear of junk and adhere to the basic rules of the Whole30, but these days I don’t beat myself up for the occasional sandwich or slice of toast, maybe some brown rice or potatoes every now and again. Healthy food is good food and it does the body GOOD!
Just because your Irish doesn’t mean you have to drink like one – On December 31st I committed to not drinking for the entire month of January. Though in the first week I did occasionally think about it, I never found myself overwhelmed or tempted to cheat. At the end of my challenge I decided that I would continue on my path of no alcohol and see where it led me. Today, I find myself on day 65 of no alcohol and I honestly have never felt better. Even though a drink-a-night is not socially unacceptable, it does leave you (most women) with that stubborn muffin top that you just can’t seem to shed. Hmmm, yeah, I’m shedding that breakfast food one day at a time! While my Irish-German roots do push me to want to indulge in the occasional cocktail, I am never tempted these days to partake in my Vodka Tonic drink of choice.
Be happy with you, everything else will fall in place – Often times, it seems, we find ourselves looking to others for acceptance, whether it be on the social level or the image level. This past year I decided to throw by the wayside what everyone else thought about me or better, what they thought they knew about me, and to start my journey to self-healing by learning to be happy with myself and not allow any outside influence dictate what I would do or limit what I would accomplish. I may not always look super fit in my running skirt, but I’ll be damned if anyone else is going to put me down since I at least get out there and work for a better me while I’m wearing it! Over the past three months I have seen more changes due to commitment to myself and only what my self-image is, and not empowering others to influence my mental focus and it feels amazing!
Take time to be kind to yourself – Busy schedules often prevent us from taking time to ourselves to recover from all the emotional and physical stress we put on ourselves. I strive these days to take at least an hour to myself to recover from workouts either with time on the foam roller or an occasional massage session. Those little moments that you steal away help heal you not only physically but mentally.
Be kind to others even in times of adversity – Often times it is very hard to keep the Be Kind to Others way of living in your wheel-house, but by sitting back and staying on your course of the high road, it’s not totally undoable and completely worth it. This is something that I have worked so very hard on as one of my self-improvement goals, which are ever-growing, and it really feels nice to offer a kind word to those that may not be so kind to you. Shrugging off negativity is never easy, but it’s really not worth an extra second of energy dwelling on why or what you can do about it other than to kill ’em with kindness.
Make exercise and healthy living a lifestyle not this months fad – Taking the approach that something new for a better healthier you is not just something you will commit to for the next 30 days but for a longer time period is often difficult to accomplish. Yes, committing in small time-frames does make it less daunting, but after attaining each goal make a concerted effort to set a new goal and add to what you have already accomplished. This is something I think about in the week leading to a new month. This month for me the goal is getting stronger legs.
Promote what you believe in – Getting on a brand bandwagon is simple and there is so much readily available to promote that whether it be a vitamin/supplement brand, a fitness group, a specific exercise like running, a specific blog or a celebrity trainer program. Commit with your belief in that and what it has done for you and don’t allow anyone to sway your thinking. Products and programs that work for one person may not, I’VE LEARNED, work for everyone. Finding what works for you is a trial and error process that I’ve worked on for months. I have a good regime down now and it is really working for a better me and I stand behind the products I promote based on that experience.
Inspire others – Use your power for good! Take time to inspire others and congratulate those that have made large strides in their journey to good health. It speaks volumes for who you are not only as a human being but what kind of character others perceive you to have. Someone asked me last week who inspired me and here is my answer to that question as posted on my Facebook Fan page – Q: “Since you have people who you have inspired, may I ask who inspires you?” A: “Each and every person that follows me on my blog and that are on my personal friend’s list that push hard each and every day to make it something positive for themselves. Whether the obstacle is big or small and even if people fall down, the inspiration to me is that people have the COURAGE to be themselves, to get back up, to brush themselves off and keep on trying”
Age, like weight, is just a number – PERIOD!
What’s in store for me on my #365to40 journey? I will commit the next 12 months (and beyond) to continuing to be healthy. What will you commit to either short-term or long-term for a healthier you?