If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know that it’s been a year since I remotely talked about fitness and health. Remember that time we went cardio-kickboxing? I stopped going altogether when I endured minor battle scars on my knuckles. Perhaps my hand-wrapping technique was poor and ineffective, or I’m simply a wimp. Want to hear something crazier? Not once did I go to our two-level gym last year—one of the amenities we’ve been paying for in our ridiculous monthly rent—and in hindsight, it’s not even funny.
I meant to add this update to my recent monthly round-up post, but realized that it deserves a space of its own. I also thought that it may be too soon to be sharing all these little details, but I believe in the power of accountability and support (from the right people), so here we are. Although it’s only been two months since I hit the reset button, I have a good feeling that I will follow through these changes for a longer period of time.
— Jӕ (@gorjaeous) July 30, 2017
On Quitting Sugar-loaded Drinks Cold Turkey
I don’t drink coffee because it either triggers migraines or palpitations that eventually lead to one, so I’d choose tea over coffee if I could. My go-to Starbucks drink since I discovered it had been their Mango Black Tea Lemonade (as long as it’s available). I haven’t had MBTL or any sugar-loaded drinks* (i.e., soda, juice, milk tea, etc.) since June. My realization? I only buy it out of habit, and that I could live without having one. I shouldn’t have trouble weaning off of it since this isn’t my first rodeo after all.
On Cooking (Again) and Meal-Prepping
I mentioned a while ago that I don’t think I’m made to work in the kitchen, but I did a complete 180 on this, too. I’m sure my weight-gain quickly escalated when we started eating out more than making home-cooked meals. I can hardly remember the last time I made a mess in the kitchen, trying to recreate a recipe I found online. I guess I’m lucky that Roan, in spite of trying different things out for both of us, hasn’t complained about having the same thing for lunch and dinner for consecutive days (because sometimes, our lunch and dinner are the same for the entire workweek).
Roan and I are mostly out on weekends, so we are a little lenient on these days; however, fast-food remains to be off of our choices. Sometimes, we have to remind ourselves why we should be concerned about how meals are prepared outside, so it’s important that we watch what we eat when we dine out.
I know it’s counterproductive, but I usually only shop for a week’s worth of grocery instead of stocking up to avoid spoilage (especially of meat/fish/poultry and fresh produce). Also, if I could, I’d do the grocery alone. It’s the only way to make sure that I only pick up things we need because Roan has a habit of adding stuff to our cart that are unnecessary.
On Moving More
I won’t deny that I’ve gained weight since I moved here in the US, and it’s taken a toll on my health in general. I wouldn’t say that Roan and I had an entirely sedentary lifestyle, but we were not as active as we used to be either. Working and “going” to school full-time sucked our time and energies dry. We’d been busy is the lamest excuse one could give.
In an effort to make this transition more realistic, I’ve decided to seek guidance from a professional personal trainer—CJ—for my overall health’s sake. I meet CJ at least once a week, and she provides me workouts to perform on my own in between our sessions. Personal trainers don’t come cheap, hence that motivates me to make it all worth it. I’d rather spend on them than on medications or hospital visits I could have avoided in the first place. I like to switch things up by either swimming laps, hiking/walking outdoors, jogging, cycling, or bodyboarding to avoid burnout and challenge myself, too. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the last time I embarked on a similar journey, it’s that recovery days are just as important as training days, thus I make it a point to listen to my body as needed.
CJ explicitly noted not to rely so much on the numbers I see on the scale when I weigh myself in because a pound of fat is not the same as a pound of muscle. She encouraged me to celebrate non-scale victories because those will make me feel better inside and out. You know what I think? I think it’s working because friends and family had pointed out that I looked like I lost some weight when we saw each other last weekend. Winning!
On Staying Focused and Setting Priorities Straight
I know I have a long ways to go, but I’m committed to making this lifestyle change consistent, if not entirely permanent. CJ made a very good point about doing this now than later in life, when everything is harder than it was a decade ago. Newsflash: Roan and I are both in our 30s! If we were to have kids soon, I want to be able to keep up with their active, playful nature without struggling to catch my breath; and live longer to watch them grow and bloom into wonderful adults.
This is no longer about looking a certain way, it’s more about feeling good on the inside and out. I think I owe it to myself to take care of my well-being first, so I could nurture other people. I have devised a plan, now all I have to do is execute it, and keep at it.