Starting a new routine can be a challenge. In my case I'm attempting to get back to my old healthy habits that I know work, and the most effective way I find to do so, is to publicly challenge myself. It's accountability, and motivation. I tell everyone I can what I'm doing, so if they catch me slipping they can call me out, and cheer me on when I nail it. My partner thankfully does exactly that, as do many of my friends and family back home. So anyways, that's why I let everyone know about it. The reason for the challenge though, is repeating these actions daily for any decent length of time helps me to incorporate them into my everyday life- long term. If I've managed to take my ten thousand steps every day for thirty days in a row, then I know surely this can be an everyday thing. I do the same thing with my diet, if I'm doing a juice fast, I let everyone know I'm doing it [and why].
My utter lack of fitness really hit me when my partner had his kids come to visit. The kids wanted to bike down the road while we followed on foot. I realized how winded I was and we hadn't even made it to the end of the road.. it was almost a breakdown moment considering I used to hike miles of rugged terrain carrying a pack from 30 to 60 pounds depending on the season for days or weeks on end. Right now, I don't think I could even hike the smallest one of these hills out here without collapsing in pain and exhaustion.
When I first moved out west I'd lucked out on having a place to crash in East Van. No matter where you walk in that city, you're on a hill and in a matter of time, you get used to it. I did a lot of walking in Vancouver, and thankfully I was still carrying my fitbit at the time to reflect that. 25-40 thousand steps a day wasn't uncommon, and without even thinking about it. Even after my roof collapsed and I lived in a pickup truck for half a year [and on a couch for the other half ] I still managed to get enough exercise whether I was collecting firewood or working in the city. Now that I have a home again and in the country this time, driving to get places.. my step count had dropped drastically. But I didn't notice without my step counter, eventually the scale tipped me off.
Day 1: it was effing cold. Winter winds were whipping through the valley, but I strapped on my shoes and got out there. My face was a little frozen but I loved it, it felt good to be out there moving. It's pretty easy to get cooped up inside in colder months and stagnate, especially outside the city. I had found my fitbit in my basket of stuff that I haven't touched for a couple of years. I had been wearing it for a week before I started this challenge to observe what my patterns are like now... I was horrified to see that my average for that week was maybe 6 thousand steps a day, my lowest being just over three thousand. No wonder I was winded trying to walk briskly to the end of my road.
Day 3: I was really lucky that I had started on a long weekend because I could get into a step routine during daylight hours before having to get out there in the dark. This time of year there's only 8 good hours of daylight which can be demotivating at times. By day 3 I was out of bed and ready to get stepping before the sun. I felt excited to get out there and make it down to the creek [at the end of the road] so that I could adventure around in the woods before my walk back. I had been brisk walking that way every day, and also 'slow running' to the other end [a shorter distance] and back daily to make my quota.
Day 5: by the fifth day, I'm starting to get tired. I'm back to work and making time to get the rest of my steps in after, and keeping house and making it happen... but I'm tired. No above and beyond, but I did complete my goal.
Day 7: still tired, but starting to get my second wind. I only have Sunday off this weekend as opposed to the long weekend I started with. I got up early this morning to get my steppin' on before doing a half day at work, and it was a beautiful morning to get outside.
It's now the morning of day 9, and I'm sitting here writing while I wait for the rain to slow down. I've been pulling out the scale every couple of days to check if my weight has changed, and I have seen my weight go down 2 pounds and back up one. That's far better than a steady increase, like what has been happening this past year. I have only made minimal changes to my diet in the past week, doing my best to avoid breads and pasta, margarine and cheese, and chips and sweets. I've been brewing my own tea with honey and almond milk instead of grabbing Timmies, and having a smoothie with fruits and Vega to get me going and keep me satiated all morning. I'm hoping to squeeze in a 2 day juice fast the next time I have two days off, so I'm preparing myself for that as well.
That's about all I have to say for today, I'm going to do some kitchen calisthenics while I wait out the rain. Thanks for reading! And a huge thank you for cheering me on. I will get there, one step at a time. Cheers back at ya!