Well guys, I looked back through my ideas for fun this summer and… I totally failed to do maybe eighty percent of them.
C’est la vie though right?
I also increasingly realize that I have so many ideas that a certain percentage of them will always be left undone, which I suppose makes prioritization key.
One idea that I have decided not to leave undone this year is getting fit again and hitting a more ideal weight. As an asthmatic carrying extra weight is always a negative–fat is inflammatory and my lungs like to take any excuse to be inflammatory and run with it.
This is something that has been on my mind for years now. Even in high school, when I was lifeguarding and teaching swimming lessons it made me self-conscious to be as heavy as I was (probably about 175-185 lbs depending on the year). Riding horses as well, I always found myself worried about “the jiggle” at clinics with slim, long-legged fellow riders watching me bounce about on my horse.
Honestly, midway through junior high (right when puberty is kicking a person in the butt), I quit almost all the sports I was still participating in except horseback riding. The problem is, I was able to eat however I wanted when I was growing and playing sports but in junior high between hormones, quitting sports, and stalling out in the height department I was out-eating myself. At certain points in my life I even had a strange pride attached to being able to keep up with the boys eating wise and I have always had a self conscious thing about finishing my plate (if I served myself too much that’s my fault and I don’t want to throw out good food, or insult the cook).
Now, my mom is a nurse and when she was young she was in fabulous physical shape herself, meaning I know what eating right looks like and basically always have. The trouble was I had cash in my pocket and friends who hadn’t stopped growing and were always keen to go to the corner store or go out to eat because it was still a novelty at that point (to be independent). That plus the fact that we “never” had treats at home (we did, but not the kinds that came in plastic packaging like gushers and fruit by the foots etc.) meant I packed on a few pounds.
Even my mom, over the years has put on a few more pounds (and has a very similar build to me). That’s not to say she doesn’t eat healthy and exercise but deny thyself has never been a major motto for my family when it comes to food (exercise more is probably more our style but I’m the lazy one in the family on some fronts).
My sister has been on a fitness journey for years now, ever since she started university having come back from Bible college in Australia with the extra pounds she already had plus a few more, and is still working out quite a lot. For Sis, some of the journey was driven by health issues as well (junior rheumatoid arthritis, no longer junior but onset was early and painful). With her health stuff well controlled with medication and the extra pounds being more of a hinderance than ever she used the change of moving to University as a jump-off point for huge changes in her diet and exercise regimen.
Now, my sister is by far the more disciplined of us two but with all that said–I can drop ten pounds in two weeks if I’m not stressed out and nobody else is around to buy food and put it somewhere I can find it. Which only proves that not being at a good weight is shear laziness on my part.
This year I’ve decided to stop being ridiculous. I bought a new bike after my cheap one was stolen last year (plus locking skewers and a freaking amazing lock and cable set), I joined the masters swim club on campus (because I worry the least about being judged in the pool, compared to the gym), I walk to school if I’m not biking, and I am pushing myself to get up to running a non-stop 5km (this is slow going but I’m hopeful cross-training and giving myself until April to get up to that distance will do the trick). I’m also stretching five days a week for half an hour in the morning (good old o’six hundred, how I love…hate…love you).
I’m also cooking all my own food (which is pretty normal for me) and making time for it despite school (I’m squirrelling away leftovers into the freezer so I don’t have to cook when things go too nuts). The big change in my cooking this year is that I am emphasizing making sure I eat meat (protein is really important to my energy levels and concentration) because I have noticed I easily fall back on simple carbs when I’m stressed–or just eat gigantic, cheese and dried fruit happy salads and then carbs and candy when I still don’t feel satisfied–and don’t want to put in the effort (pasta or tortilla chips are just so easy).
Today, four weeks into school for me, I am down 9-10 lbs (sitting at 182). That might seem crazy considering I told you I can do that in two weeks but I’m super happy because it is a sustainable pace, I love what I’m eating, and I’m not hungry or feeling deprived. I also have never stuck to a consistent stretching routine for this long in my life!
Swim club starts on Friday and I am nervous (for all sorts of all-in-my-head reasons) but a little excited too! I’ll see you on the other side of that, but in the meantime here’s my favourite fast, high protein breakfast hack:
1/3 Cup Oatmeal
2-3 Tbsp. Hemp hearts (super high protein)
2 Tbsp. Chia seeds (also super high in protein)
1 Tbsp. Honey
Liquid as needed (for cool flavours steep your favourite tea ahead and use it, Chai or Jasmine Black Dragon is my favourite)
Season as you like (I love cinnamon, cardamom, or ground cloves, or make a sugarless gingerbread or pumpkin spice flavour. You can also omit the honey if you want to sweeten your spice mix)
Add frozen fruit (just a bit, raspberries are great and I freeze them from my Mom’s garden)
Just by adding the hemp hearts and chia seeds you pack in 15 extra grams of protein! Many cereals have 5 g protein or less in a serving! I find this keeps me full for my morning classes (from 0830-1230) and often the serving is almost too much (sometimes I cut it back or even in half if I have a morning snack planned).
Have you ever fallen off the fitness wagon? How did you get back to it? Or if you didn’t do you feel that was a choice that made you happier?