I’m staying true to my word. I’m now into exercising and eating healthier! A vast improvement over the past decade. Something must’ve given me the biggest kick in the butt and motivated me to do something about it. Whatever you want to call it, I call it an “eye-opening” experience.
I don’t know what took me so long to do this, but I’m doing it the right way. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Take baby steps. Get your body moving and start rewiring your brain.
One of the smartest things that I did was to examine my entire world and make a list of pros and cons in my life. Pro: working a full-time job, running a blog, paying important bills such as rent, car payments, and getting my butt out of bed. Cons: I need to be more active, more social, and thoroughly clean out my pantry and my car plus my house. It looks like I got my butt in gear when it comes to providing for myself, but nourishing myself needs a lot more attention. I’ve been in a bad funk for the last year (Thank you, Harvey!) and also to the violent stabbing that I witnessed earlier this year. (Again, thank you!). Instead of dealing with stressors like this in a healthy way, I just ate to numb the pain. But, no more.
- Clean out the pantry: Throw out all junk food and other naughty foods. Goodbye, cookies, chips and other fattening foods.
- Take care of yourself: Stress a little bit less, sleep more soundly, eat better and exercise regularly.
- Exercise and manage your weight and diet: Really weigh yourself and find out what your BMI is. And choose a diet and exercise plan for you.
- Set goals for yourself everyday: Set reachable and attainable goals for yourself and reward yourself for achieving them.
After the pantry was cleaned, I decided to start researching the American Heart Association and read up about dieting, exercising, and obesity. I follow and recommend their diet plan and exercise plan because it makes sense and isn’t a fad diet. It shows you what a healthy eating plate is: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and water consumption. Same thing goes with exercising, you choose what works for you!
If you decide to become a walker or power-walker like me, start slow. Download reliable and great apps to help count your steps (accurately), counts the calories burned off, and also tells you the distance of how far you walked and your goal for the day. I started at the minimum goal of 6,000 steps and quickly increased that goal in the span of 5 days, I surpassed every goal everyday. Two of those days, I forgot to turn on my pedometer app. Oops, I know that it was the same route and the same number of steps.
This is the Step Counter app by Leap Fitness that you can download to your phone.
This is the app that I use. My goal started at 6,000 steps and in three days, I surpassed it. So now it’s up to 7,000 steps. When you press start the steps start counting with each step you make. It also shows you how many miles you’re walking, counting the calories burned, and for how long your workout is. Then it shows you graphs and other statistics about your workout. Thankfully, this one cheers you on and doesn’t say: “Don’t stop now.” Once you’ve hit your goal, it will cheer for you. One fitness app I downloaded really offended me. I went in to put in my weight and height and it said: “You need to lose weight. You should be at this weight.” I was so mad that I uninstalled it really fast. I saw that other people said the same thing about that app. So choose reliable and motivating apps for you. Tip: when you’re walking choose a different route everyday and listen to your favorite music that pumps you up! Make working out fun!
This is an overview of week one. Of course I forgot to log in my steps for two days and what steps I take when I’m at work for 8-9 hours a day. But I will say that I’m impressed with what I’m seeing.
I started on Tuesday the day after I saw my doctor. And this is what happened.
- Tuesday walked 30 minutes, 2 miles, and burned 300 calories
- Wednesday walked 30 minutes, 2 miles, and burned 300 calories
- Thursday walked 5.04 miles, 1 hour 42 minutes, burned 702.6 calories
- Friday walked 2.3 miles, 45 minutes, burned 357.4 calories
- Saturday walked 2.89 miles, 1 hour, burned 401.7 calories
Overall in one week: I’ve walked 10.5 total miles with an average of 2.6 miles and burned close to 1461.7 calories for a weeks total of 3 hours and 38 minutes. This doesn’t include Tuesday and Wednesday.
Funny story, Thursday I was quite the overachiever and pretty much got my walking in for Monday. Since Thursday was a day off, I got in my car and drove a half hour to the nearest indoor mall. Before I started, I stopped at a nearby Starbucks to get a small iced nonfat latte with some sugar. My blood glucose levels were a little low so I need something sweet. After I started drinking my iced latte, I parked my car at the mall in the furthest spot away from the nearest entrance. I did that on purpose. For one, its great exercise and two, I needed time to drink my coffee. So I got out of my car and started walking. I walked a total of 3 miles (roughly 6 full laps around a huge indoor mall) for 1 hour. Earlier that day, I did 2.04 miles for 42 minutes. That coffee made me feel like an Energizer Bunny. I set my alarm clock on my phone for 1 hour and walked.
The only time that I got stopped was when indoor vendors were trying to sell me stuff. I said: “Nope, I’m just walking and getting my exercise. Thank you.” There are steps inside the mall and I walked all over them. Sixty minutes went by extremely fast and I was exhausted after that. Usually what happens is when you start working out, your body gets a little sore (you’re moving your muscles and warming them up!) and you start getting a little hot. But always carry a water bottle with you to stay hydrated. Friday, was another funny story. So I walked to my nearest Walgreens. By car, it’s only about 0.8 miles away. By foot, it’s a little bit longer. A five-minute car ride turned into a 45 minute walk (to and from!) to Walgreens. I walked from my neighborhood all the way to Walgreens. It didn’t help that I got honked by a few cars because some drivers are just cruel and don’t care about us pedestrians. That didn’t bother me too much because I kept moving. Once I made it to the store, I rested. The clerk there asked if I was Ok. Of course, I am. I was walking quite the distance for something that I needed here.
Yesterday, I ran a boat load of errands and got my goal in. While I was waiting for someone to get a haircut, I walked all the way to a nearby Target for some iced coffee and did a few laps around the store. And then walked back to the salon and to the car. Then at the post office, I did more laps around there. I could tell some thought that I was weird, but don’t mock ones that are exercising and staying active! When I got to the pet store, I did another six full laps around their entire store. The pet store is huge. After I reached my goal, then I was able to reward myself by checking out the dogs and cats. There was one dog that looked similar to my Chihuahuas, but this one was a mix. Still so cute and wanted to take it home. But I have enough bills and responsibilities on my plate.
Within the next couple of weeks, I will incorporate some dumbbells or weights that you can carry or there are some that attach to your wrist. 3lb weights are a good start for me. Not too heavy and not too light. It helps get your upper body moving. Did I mention that I also lift heavy boxes at work? Yes, when I put my inventory away some of those boxes are around 10-30lb boxes. My old job that I had for 12 years, I did a lot of lifting and moving heavy equipment around the store. So I have muscle and fat, too.
All in all, I’m eating better (Yes, I did cheat one day by eating a small hot fudge sundae, but I walked that off!), sleeping more soundly, and walking everyday. I’m starting small and gradually increasing it one day at a time. In the next posts, I will share my must haves of products that I use that I really recommend. Until then, I have to get my exercise in!