Try, Try Again

There’s a big part of me that wants to wipe out this blog and try again. But I won’t, because as silly as I feel looking back at where this all started, it’s all a part of my journey. And the journey continues.

Not that long ago, I turned 30. On my 30th birthday, I hiked to my favorite place – a summit overlooking the place I call home. At that point, I forced myself to acknowledge that I am stronger than I have ever been physically, but weaker than I have ever been mentally.

It’s been a tough realization, but one that has really got me thinking. Being a badass isn’t limited to muscle definition, the number on the scale, or the size clothes you wear. At least, it certainly isn’t for me.

For me, it means being physically and mentally strong, consistently making decisions that are good for my body and mind.

I’ve been trying to take care of my mind by keeping a journal. It’s something I’ve done most of my life, actually. But lately, it’s caused me to be so trapped in my head that it seems to have done more harm than good, and it’s cut into my normal morning workout time. Talk about a lose-lose situation.

So instead, I’m dusting off this blog and will use it to track my physical progress in a way that is also mentally healthy for me. It’s just a digital journal, after all. And it will encourage me to focus on the positive, which is huge for me.

Honestly, it’s not what I originally started this blog for. Yes, it’s always been for my fitness and health journey, but it was also intended to be something that others would learn from. Now, it’s not about teaching others. It’s not about offering advice. It’s about being as real as I can be about my failures and successes so that I can get to a place that is truly, honestly healthy and well. It’s going to be pretty uncomfortable for me, actually – to expose myself in this way.

I’m still coping with the mental challenges, but suffice it to say, I’ve struggled with depression most of my life. It’s something that seems to be getting worse over time instead of better. I’ve been on medication for it for several years, but it doesn’t help much. And realistically, I don’t want to be reliant on medication to be happy when there’s already so much in my life to be happy about.

Here’s where I know I struggle:

  • Too much time in my head
  • Inactivity
  • Poor diet / fast food
  • Alcohol
  • Lack of rest
  • Having fun (for real)

So here’s the plan:

  • Counseling
  • Journaling / blogging
  • Drink water, not alcohol
  • Yoga/meditation
  • Consistent, progressive exercise
  • Healthier eating
  • Better/more sleep
  • Make fun a priority

It’s a lofty goal, and it’s not going to happen all at once. But here are the things I’m going to track:

  • Happiness: In the morning, around lunch time, and before bed, gauge my happiness level on a scale of 1-10.
  • Overall health: On a scale of 1-10, how good do I really feel? One will be I feel shitty, 10 will be I feel amazing. This will include energy level, gut, and general wellness.
  • Food: This one is tough for me because it can be time-consuming. But it’s critical. Not only is it critical to track what I eat, but make improvements as I go.
  • Weight: This one isn’t huge, since I base success on a lot of other things, but it’s still a progress indicator. I’ll track this ever day, maybe every other day, depending on how things go.
  • Body fat: This is actually more important to me than weight. Muscle is sexy, after all! I’ll track this once a week to start out and go from there, adjusting if needed.
  • Alcohol and fast food: On this one, it’s more about tracking what I don’t consume. Since these are some of my biggest downfalls, there’s a reward system built into this one.

Yes, a reward system. For every time I want alcohol or fast food – and would normally go for it – if I refrain, I tuck $3 – $5 into a reward savings account. At the end of each week, I can either buy myself a reward, or I can continue to save it until the end of the next week for a greater reward.

Rewards can be things like workout gear, equipment, music, magazine or program subscriptions, clothes, trips, etc. They can’t be food, sweets, alcohol, or anything that would otherwise interfere with my progress toward health and happiness.

So. That’s a lot for me to wrap my head around right now. Over the next couple of days, I will start tracking and getting some baselines, and work out a food and exercise plan for the coming week.

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