In January, I blogged that on turning 50, I wanted to get healthier. I enlisted the aid of several of my close friends, and even more signed on to the journey, not only to encourage me, but to help themselves stay focused as well. We all use an app called MyFitnessPal (MFP) to track food, water and exercise. You can share as much or as little information as you want. Most of us share our food and exercise logs; you get a lot of ideas on healthier choices this way.
The record-keeping is an exercise in mindfulness– a state of being aware of where you are each moment. I, sadly, haven’t cultivated this very well within myself. I’m usually thinking of at least a dozen things I have or want to do; I’m amazed I don’t burn anything when I’m cooking or baking. However, my logging and paying attention to my meals have decreased over time because they drop to “To-Do Item #101.”
Fortunately, there’s also a FB-like feature on MFP for posting updates; we cheer when we’re up and encourage when we’re down. It’s great to have my HealthBuddies there to nudge me back in the game. When I’ve totally blown it, there’s Kimberly saying “tomorrow is your bounce back day!” Just today, when I was feeling totally unmotivated, I took up my gal pal Jacki’s recommendation to take our dog Stella for a walk. It was a beautiful day and both Stella and I enjoyed it. If I were trying to do this on my own, I would probably have stopped because the time is just not right; these ladies remind me that “the time is now.”
From the food diary, I’ve realized that even with all I cook for the family, I can manage my own meals if I plan ahead– including how much I’m going to eat. so that has been a good lesson to learn, and I’m getting better at planning for me as well as for the guys and my mom. My outstanding issue, however, is making the time to exercise. It’s gotten so bad that I am logging “housecleaning” as activity on MFP! (Yes, it is a programmed cardiovascular selection).
Today that has changed. I read an article that was reposted on one of the blogs I follow. You can find the article here. It has completely shifted my perspective on exercise from “I really should to do this so I can lose weight” to “I want to do this because I want to take care of myself.” In fact, it’s shifted my perspective from “weight loss” to “wellness.” Of course, I’m not going to run a marathon anytime soon (if ever with my crappy knees), but I’m not going to feel it’s an epic fail when I get tired sooner than I expected or find that I’m not as strong as I once was. If you need a boost to keep up your routine or if you’re just starting to be more active, read the article and encourage yourself!