Lately I have been thinking a lot about health and wellness. It may be due in part to some recent viewings of different documentaries. It may be due to the fact that I want to feel good. Or it may be due to the fact that I want to be around for a long time. But, really it’s due to all of those facts and more.
Shortly after the beginning of the year I really felt like I wanted to get a gym membership and start “running” (in quotes because I don’t run… nor generally enjoy doing so) and exercise regularly. Sure I run up and down stairs and get up and down and carry babies all day long, but I felt like it was not all that I wanted or needed. I really wanted to get my heart pumping.
So why a gym membership? Well, in much of Indianapolis there aren’t sidewalks or paths to run on nor even shoulders to the roads, so the idea of running or walking during the day with my girls seemed too great a risk, plus we don’t have a jogging stroller. And I tried exercise videos from the library a few months ago but never could find the motivation to do it (or the girls would cry for my attention), and our living room doesn’t have a lot of space to move around in.
So, thankfully Planet Fitness has come to Indianapolis with their $10 a month gym membership! And we have one not too far from where we live. So I signed up and have been working out in the evenings after the girls go to bed.
Since getting my gym membership about three weeks ago, I have gone to the gym about 8 or more times. I think that’s pretty good! I usually walk and jog on the treadmill for a mile or more. Thankfully this has helped me overcome my fear of falling on it for the most part (I took a spill on a treadmill once in the past and it has made me extra cautious ever since!). I have also been doing their 12-minute ab circuit and wowzers! For four days after I did it the first time I was sore. Really sore. But, it hasn’t hurt like that since. I’m hoping their 12-minute ab circuit will tighten up that flabby post-twin belly of mine. (Though I know I will never have the abs I used to). I also lift weights a couple of times a week as well.
I am feeling stronger and healthier and am actually enjoying going to the gym. It reminds me of the semester I took Weight Training at BYU, as well as my healthier days of walking to campus and marching in the band.
But, I know that hitting the gym alone won’t truly make me healthy. What I put into my body plays a great deal into how healthy I feel.
A few weeks ago I watched the documentary Fat Sick & Nearly Dead. It documents the 60-day juice fast of Joe Cross, an Australian who suffers from a rare autoimmune disease and is overweight. He comes to America for the 60 days and travels the country and drinks only freshly made juice of fruits and vegetables. By the end he gets down about 80 lbs and continues on a healthy diet afterwards and exercises daily. Along the way he met a truck driver (dear to my heart as my dad is one) who had the same rare autoimmune disease and was very overweight. He also does the 60-day juice fast and by the end of his journey he not only gets down to about 220 lbs, he helps many, many others do it too. The whole thing was so inspirational!
It was inspirational because it inspired me to want to eat better, to eat more fruits and vegetables, though it’s been a slow realization of that desire (I don’t love veggies). And it actually inspired Josh to do his very own juice fast, so bought a sweet juicer, the Breville Juice Fountain, from Macy’s at a great price. While he also wanted to do it for 60 days, he lasted 14 days, which is amazing! Josh lost 25lbs doing it. But, a juice-fast is still a fad-diet and without lasting changes or a “life-style change” as the popular phrase goes, he won’t keep losing or gain it all back. Josh has still been juiceing in the mornings and we are both trying to eat healthier, earlier dinners.
A while ago, groupon had a deal for the website emeals.com. For $29 we now have menu planning for a full year at our finger tips and can specify certain stores (like Kroger, Wal-mart, or Whole Foods), and it will give us meals based upon their weekly ads and give us a shopping list. Pretty cool huh? The average cost for dinners a week has been about $80. But, if you shop smart, or have items already on hand, or substitute a left-over night or “use up what’s in our cupboards” night in place of one of their meals, it can be much less. And planning out our meals ahead of time and all the ingredients we will need has saved us money because it means less trips to the store. We also have been printing out two weeks worth at a time and picking and choosing the meals we really want from them and combining them into our meal plan for the week.
Doing this has greatly added variety to our dinners and I have even been cooking much more lately, which is a good thing (though my girls might disagree as they scream for my attention the whole time I’m in the kitchen it seems…). But, for the first time (don’t laugh) I have actually breaded chicken, used a mallet to pound chicken flat, and made baked potatoes. While not all of the recipes have turned out great, it has been fun learning! And all of them include healthy sides.
While we still have a long road to go to be a healthy family, we have made some baby steps in our journey there.
What have you done to become healthier?