Today marks three weeks of trying to be more intentional with my healthy habits. When I think back to how I was feeling 3 weeks ago I am shocked by the change I have gone through. Three weeks does not seem like a very long time in the grand scheme of things. Twenty one days seems like a piece of cake when you are discussing just about anything else on the planet. When you are discussing exercise and eating healthy it seems like a lifetime however.
My three initial goals were to get a handle on my sleep difficulties, my unhealthy eating, and my lack of exercise. After having to start a multitude of medications for various health issues it seemed like the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. Not that I have not turned over this very same leaf over and over again in the past. I seem to be the queen of losing weight and exercising....until faced with a life change. When faced with a move to a new state, or country, I always fall off the wagon and back to my previous ways. I seem to be a creature of habit. When my habit is changed by a significant break in my routine I fall back to my "baseline" brownies on the couch binge watching tv. I am taking comfort in the fact that I have learned that this is an issue and can then in turn face it head on in the future.
So how have I been doing this week? Pretty darn good if I do say so myself!
My sleeping has become routine. Which sounds weird I know. I however have been able to fall asleep by 10pm every night this week and wake up by 8am without issue. Considering when we started this journey I was not falling asleep till 2am and then wanting to sleep all day I am seeing this as a huge step forward. I am noticing that if I have a hard workout late in the day I tend to want to sleep a bit more in the mornings. Sore muscles are not an incentive to jump out of bed and get moving for the day.
My eating has also become routine. I am eating "clean" and avoiding all dairy products due to an intolerance. This has been a little difficult due to the fact that I had a freezer FULL of freezer meals that are not the healthiest things on the planet. I worked up the freezer meals to give myself some down time during the week while attempting to teach 5 children, keep the house running, and the baby of the family out of trouble. I however did this before starting my attempt to eat healthier. We have been able to alter just about all of the meals to be healthier however. If it is something blatantly full of calories I feed it to my underweight children or my active husband. I believe we are down to just 2 freezer meals. I went shopping this week and purchased ingredients to make "clean" dinners this entire week. I am not sure how I will do with adding in meal prep again while doing everything I need to do during a day. We will see how week 4 goes.
I think my favorite part of this journey has been the exercise. I know that sounds nuts. I dug my fitbit out of a drawer a few weeks ago and have been challenging myself to reach 10,000 steps per day. The first week that was a HUGE challenge. I went from 2,000 steps per day to 10,000 and felt like I was climbing a mountain each day. By week 2 it became easier and I had to think about it less and less as the week went on. Last week it was actually EASY. I was hitting the 10,000 step mark by 1 in the afternoon. I found that if I hit my goal early in the day I was more likely to slack off and just lay around later in the day instead of pushing myself to get more steps. For week 4 I have adjusted the step goal up to 12,000 steps per day. My hope is that by upping my goal a little bit each time it gets easier I can continue to push myself to do more.
I have recently found several hiking trails near my home that I love. Getting to get out of the house alone and explore the forests near my home has been very relaxing for me. I really need this time away to recenter and relax. I recently did my longest hike in years. I completed 6.25 miles! I will be honest that last mile was an exercise in mental toughness more than physical. My body felt fine but my brain wanted to quit so badly. I am so proud of myself for sticking with it and pushing through. I am attempting to share my love of hiking with my children. We recently found a local children's hiking club. Who knew this was a thing? They have hikes scheduled for every day of the week at different local trails. We attended one this week and loved it. I can see us doing a lot more of that through the summer and fall.
So what were the results of this weeks work? I have lost 3 pounds, my shorts from last summer are fitting perfectly, and I am a great deal stronger. Even better than the outward signs of my progress are my mental signs. I am happy. Not content but HAPPY. Two months ago I had to go on medication for depression. I scored so badly on the depression checklist that the tech that took my information looked nervous to leave me alone in the room. Even with the medication had taken affect I was still scoring as mildly depressed on the check list. With the addition of my healthy habits and time spent working towards my goals I am happy to say that things are amazing. I am scoring a great big ZERO on the depression checklist! I know it has a great deal to do with the changes I have made over the last 3 weeks and I am determined to maintain my progress and push towards my new goals for the new week.
My goals for the next week are simple:
*Maintain sleep schedule
*Eat "clean" for every meal
*Reach 12,000 steps per day
Nothing earth shattering there but life changing never the less. I would love to hear about your healthy journey! Care to share?