It's Friday I think, which means it's time to blog. Yes I've become a Wednesday/Friday blogger. Hubs loves to read here, but says lately he's giving it just two stars. Sadly I cannot argue.
We're still at my mom's, still in limbo, still anxious to move on to the next thing, but trying to make the best of our current thing. One way we're doing that is we're walking for miles. Miles and miles and miles. Guess what? I'm enjoying it a lot.
Yes, even nature's stair master.
Two years ago I would not have said such a thing was possible, that I could truly enjoy and look forward to a good power walk, but turns out it is very possible. I've always liked to hike, but this is different. This is exercise for all the right reasons, and I owe my change of heart and mindset to a little big thing called boot camp.
Which I miss a lot. Go figure.
Dragging myself out of bed in the cold (oftentimes ridiculously cold) dark of night to make a 6 AM workout every Monday-Wednesday-Friday changed me, and I like the new me better. I still get my daily email from the trainer and love opening the message knowing it's going to be something positive, encouraging, and helpful. Somedays it's a motivational quote or story, somedays a reminder to stay on track or drink more water or maybe it's a healthy recipe to try. Some days it's a good old fashioned pep talk.
I first heard about boot camp from two people I knew through two completely different avenues (my hairdresser and my dental hygienist), but they both raved about it at almost the same time. Coincidence? They both looked great, really fit and healthy, and they both also shared with me about their very noticeable change in energy level since they started making time for boot camp every week.
That definitely peaked my interest because do you know what you miss a lot when you hit middle age? A whole lot of things actually, but near the top of my list is the energy I had before my hormones ran amok.
True confession here-I have never been an athlete. Boot camp sounded like something for athletes or exercise hounds or people who live on rice cakes, the plain unsalted kind. Both women assured me this was different. That it wasn't a room full of athletes, although some certainly are. For the record I am not one of the some, but still it was a very mixed group. Men and women. Young and not so young. Some weighing more than they'd like and some just looking to feel better about their health and nutrition and daily habits.
I told hubs I was going to try it for three months, and he always encourages me to find something I love, but he might have also rolled his eyes a little knowing my level of co-ordination. ahem. I thought I'd sign up for three months because I know myself, and when it comes to exercise regimens the three month mark is about where I lose interest. Not this time. At three months I discovered I really liked it.
You're never too old people!
I was feeling stronger, had more energy and less jiggle (if you're over 50 you know what I'm talkin' about), and the biggest and maybe most unexpected benefit, I felt more clear headed than I had in a long time, definitely since hitting the M word.
The trainers who run the program are a perfect team. A little good cop/bad cop, but most of us need a little of both so it works. Plus the bad cop wasn't bad, just honest-ha! When it comes to addressing habits that need changing a little honesty is both good and necessary. And here the honesty always came with a huge smile, a word of encouragement, a reminder that you're not defined by a number on the scale. Most importantly, always a practical plan for how to get back on track and plenty of support in your efforts to do so.
Last week hubs and I were on one of our five-milers in the stinkin' heat and the high humidity, and as we powered on I thought to myself, 'I feel good. I'm glad I'm out here walking.' Now maybe you're one of those people who've always loved to exercise, someone who needs to run like they need oxygen, but that's never been me so these kinds of thoughts still surprise me.
I've learned a lot about myself this last year and a half, and I can't say enough about the trainers who run boot camp and the other programs they've put in place to help us replace poor habits with healthy ones.
I'm physically stronger than I ever imagined I could be. I'm not going to challenge anyone to an arm wrestle or anything, but I am strong and I have never in my life been physically strong. It feels great.
I know what I need to eat and how much, in order to feel good in my clothes. Not saying I always manage this, but I'm definitely on the 80/20 track as opposed to the 40/60. I don't beat myself up over the 20 either. Our health is more about our daily habits and the choices we make regularly over time as opposed to a single day.
You cannot out train poor nutrition. Truth. This is the boot camp mantra and while we'd like to think we can eat whatever we want as long as we work out, we can't. Habits are formed in our youth, so it's best to develop some good ones that don't need breaking when your metabolism slows to a crawl. Ask me how I know.
You can't out train poor nutrition. I think they'd want me to say that twice-ha!
One thing I also adopted thanks to boot camp, was more realistic goal setting. The trainers suggest you try something called 3 in 30, which basically means setting three goals to accomplish in the next thirty days. They usually checked in around day 15 which was a reminder to re-visit those goals and take stock or make adjustments. This was so do-able. Much more so than five big huge ginormous impossible things you say you want to master in a year the way so many of us do come January 1.
I like to look back at this short journey and take note of the timing. It was perfect. Perfect in that I had enough time to develop some brand new skills, make changes to my menu planning, gain confidence and actual enjoyment out of exercise all while in a truly supportive environment.
I try to imagine how this season of in-between we're currently living would play out without the benefit of new habits established last year. Instead of feeling capable I'd feel overwhelmed. Instead of feeling disciplined I'd feel guilty for not doing what I know I need to do, which is eating right and exercising more.
So I'm grateful. Grateful that we're never too old or too clumsy to do something positive for our health. I'm especially grateful for people who live up to their business name-Inspire. Grateful for people who use their gifts to encourage, uplift, and 'inspire' others to do the same.