Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Health Challenge: What I'm learning

Things have continued to go well for me with my health goals.  I've been fortunate to have several "aha" moments along the way - most of which I already knew but have been great as a refresher.

1. I'm thriving off of inspiration around me.
I'm someone who loves moments when I'm inspired by someone else - usually people I don't even know, such as a stranger running down my street or a trainer at the gym.  Today I was at the gym and was watching the Swimming World Championships.  As I watched these amazing, healthy athletes sprint through the water, knowing how hard they've worked to be at the event, I thought "If they can do that, then I can give the stair climber at least 20 more minutes!"

2. There's nothing wrong with a little celebrity inspiration.
The other day I was reading a book and it said that for some people, having visual reminders of in shape celebrities is proven to motivate you to meet your fitness goals.  While it may sound bogus to some people, I find that it actually works for me.  Today I was watching In Her Shoes (one of my long time favorites) and was "wow-ing" over Cameron Diaz's arms and legs.  It reminded me that sticking to my push ups and lunges is totally worth it! (Photo Source)

3. Watch the salt!
I've always been someone who retains water fairly easy.  The past few days I've had really salty dinners and it's definitely shown.  Although it's temporary, being bloated isn't fun, especially during swimsuit season :).  I've learned I'd like to be more conscientious about this part of my diet.

4.  Starting my day with a workout is really powerful.
This week my biggest celebration was that I worked out every morning - 7 days in a row.  I was proud of myself for getting out of bed to start my day with a workout, and making it a priority.  The greatest benefit from my morning workouts is that it sets the tone for my day.  I always leave my workouts feeling so happy, calm, and accomplished, and that positive energy runs through my work day, helping me better combat stress.  I also love the feeling of leaving work knowing that the evening is wide open for me to fill with any activities I'd like, without feeling the guilt or burden of getting to the gym.  It's so liberating to feel that confidence and freedom.

5.  Small routines are awesome!
This month I've stuck to what I call "small routines" - routines in small doses that are realistic, achievable, and have a nice ROI in the end.  Two examples of this have been my Monday night outdoor yoga class, and my Saturday morning run.  Saying that I want to run and do yoga 4 days per week has never worked for me and I feel disappointed in the end.  I've felt proud of myself that I've been able to stick to my routines - collectively, these healthy habits add up!

6.  Getting rid of stuff really can quiet the mind.
On my plane ride home from Minnesota last week, I read a book called The Power of Less in one sitting.  It was SO great - I'll definitely be sharing more about it later.  One of my main take-a-ways was the idea of limiting your possessions in your work and home space, and getting rid of things that don't have a strong purpose or value in your life.  I have been spending the last few days going through drawers, recycling piles of mail and magazines, and more.  The author claims that having a cleaner and less cluttered space can bring you peace and thus keep you focused on your health and other priorities.  I believe it!

What are lessons you've learned through achieving your health goals?

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