Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Today Is the First Day of the Rest of My Life

"Today Is the First Day of the Rest of My Life". This was written on a little sticker that had been stuck to our mirror when I was growing up. And for whatever reason it has been dancing around in my head for about a week now.

I am not someone you would necessarily call a healthy person -- not unhealthy, but not healthy either. I have never been particularly interested in health or fitness. I played competitive sports in high school, but was only as good as I could be without really putting forth any extra effort. I have never been thin, but throughout my 20s I could maintain my weight without giving it much thought. In my 30s, I began to see a bit of weight gain. Blaming it on moving to a city where I drove more and walked less, I joined a gym. For the next three years I forked out money for a membership and for a time a personal trainer. I sporadically showed up and never committed.

So I sit here now as I do most nights, comfy on the couch with the tv on, and well after I should be in bed. I find myself just past 40, out of shape, overweight and unhealthy. But that is all about to change. I have a plan... sort of.

Tomorrow I will have a physical. Tomorrow I will begin the healthiest year of my life and I plan to blog about it right here. Not so much because I think it will be terribly interesting reading, but more so that I am accountable to it. I hope readers will give me advice, encouragement, perhaps even criticism.

I have been preparing for about a month. Now let's remember that the unhealthy me is the one who has been preparing. So I have eaten all the fast food I believe I love, telling myself that after tomorrow I won't be allowed to have it anymore. I have had cookies for breakfast. I haven't exercised a bit. This should show you what an uphill battle this might be.

I feel I need a format to all this change. And to remind myself that this year isn't about losing weight. It is about being healthy, which right now translates to being able to walk two flights of steps without being winded. There are three main areas that I think need attention.

AREA 1: My Eating Habits
My eating habits need to improve, but as they say "baby steps". So for the first month I am just going to attempt to make the best food choices available to me and be more conscious about my eating. I don't want to overanalyze this area yet and frankly I am not educated enough yet to go too deep. Also, if you know me, you know I have a wicked diet soda habit. I know it needs to go and I have a plan for that too, but remember... baby steps.

AREA 2: Exercise
I am going to start off basic here also. The goal for the first month is to do some sort of exercise for 30 minutes every other day. And it will most likely involve the treadmill and other exercise I can do at home. In future months I would like to try some different types of exercise, hoping to find something I love.

AREA 3: Stress
As I thought about the my sources of stress, they fall into four categories: disorganization, procrastination, lack of sleep and money. The most important of these, I believe is lack of sleep, so the goal is 7 hours every night.

Month 1's goals:
1.) Conscious eating
2.) Exercise for 30 minutes every other day
3.) 7 hours of sleep

I am going to try and set small weekly goals also. Perhaps a habit I wish to develop, a resolve to accomplish some task, just not sure yet. I also haven't quite worked out how much disclosure in terms of weight, etc. I am comfortable with. So all I can promise is that all of my posts will not be this long and I will attempt to be as honest as possible.

So tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.

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