Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Summer Health Challenge - join me!

This month I've been thinking about my overall health.  I realized that while I feel good about myself and consider myself a "healthy person" (generally speaking), that I have not been living as healthy of a lifestyle as I'd like to.  One area in particular is exercise and body (fat) composition.  I've been an athlete my whole life and have always felt proud of being a strong woman who enjoys fitness and pushes my body hard during workouts.  When I am exercising regularly, I feel stronger, more confident, and healthier overall. 

My problem: over the past few months I've lost a lot of muscle mass and don't have the strength I used to.  I don't FEEL or look fit (to me).  In thinking about this Summer, I realized that now is the perfect opportunity for me to make my health a priority.  For me, there is never a better time to get my body moving than during the Summer.  I spend a lot more time outside than normal and always end up feeling healthier in the end.

In an effort to hold myself accountable, I decided to get a small journal at Target.  For the past week I've spent some time brainstorming ideas for my health plan.   Examples include more grocery shopping, going on morning walks with Lucy, booking friend + exercise dates, using my fitness Groupons, and more.

What I am NOT doing:

I am scratching things like: "go for a run 3x a week; no eating after dinner; give up sweets; do yoga weekly."  These are all parameters I've set in the past that have caused me to fail and wind up feeling disappointed.

In the past I've always said things like "lose 5 pounds before my trip to Phoenix" and let me tell you - it doesn't work.  While it helps some people to have a target date for added motivation, I have found it puts too much pressure on me and when I don't meet the exact goal, I beat myself up instead of celebrating how far I've come.  Thus, my only time related goal is to make my health a priority this Summer.

What I AM doing:

In addition to brainstorming a healthy list, I am going to track my progress (no matter how long it takes) at the beginning by taking a few measurements.  How my pants fit and having decent muscle mass is much more important to me than what the scale says.  I am also already at a healthy weight and BMI, so weight is not as much of a concern for me.   This week I'll be taking measurements of my arms, waist, butt, thighs, and bust to see if there's any change by the end of the Summer (which I'm hoping there will be!).

Lastly, I am going to keep my health journal going by recording daily entries that answer the question "what have a done for my health today?"  Yesterday, my entry included a walk with my friend Marianne and cooking a healthy dinner.  Today,  my entry already includes a morning walk, 3 mile run at Discovery Park, and getting things done around the home!  My hope is that by the end of Summer, I will be able to look back at all of the effort I have put into exercising and making my health a priority, and celebrate!

What will health mean to you this Summer?

This week my challenge to you is to think about your health and one area of your health that you'd like to focus on this Summer.  This could be anything from getting more sleep, walking more often, cooking healthy dinners at home, or trying out a new exercise.   Join me in making health a priority!

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