August Begins My New Year of Habits

I’m slowly figuring out what day of the week it is again after the long start to the week. I ingested something the other day that gave me horrible rashes and eczema, so there’s that fun, too.

Goodbye Running!

A few weeks ago I felt as though everything was helpless. Weight loss has been stagnant and running hasn’t been something I looked forward to. After stopping running for several weeks now (months maybe?) I told myself maybe that that was the end. I gave myself permission to never run again and move on from being a runner if I didn’t enjoy it anymore.

Once I made that decision it’s like a weight lifted. I started to track my caloric intake, I stopped feeling awful for skipping runs, and I organized my schedule to better support, umm running and weight lifting. I put my Garmin back on to track steps, heart rate, and push my goals.

While I have no ambitions anymore to do a marathon or any long distance races anytime soon, or any race for that matter, I am ready to run again and make it a regular habit. I read many beginner running websites for those who are overweight and found motivation to begin again and leave behind any expectations.

I have no expectation and will do my best not to compare the me of today to the one I was pre-children. If I ever see under 10:00 miles again, I’ll be thrilled. If not, this is who I am now. A plodder. A snail. A regular ol’ mother runner (not one of the speedy kind).

In addition, I feel a renewed sense of interest in physical activity in more ways than running. I’ve rode my bike more, I’ve gotten out to Standup Paddleboard quite a bit more, and I’ve been walking more.

Hello Doctor!

I went to the doctor about a month ago, had blood-work done, and found out I’m just overweight due to lifestyle habits I’ve fallen into. It’s not anything medically that I can easily point to with my recent weight gain, so no easy fixes either. No thyroid issues. No this or that. Just me eating too much and moving too little.

The doctor reminded me being healthy is all about habits. After seeing him and having that talk, I came across podcasts and books that kept mentioning habits, habit forming, and habit changing. It was like a sign, or so I’ll take it that way.

Time to change habits.

Long time readers will know that August is when I start my New Year.

I usually fall into a new routine, decide on new goals, and it’s always when I’ve been able to get into a good mindset. It all started in college, August 2002, before my junior year, I had changed my entire life from sedentary to active, changed all my my eating habits slowly and became a runner later that fall. It’s been 16 years now and I still look to August as a refresh and a renewal.

For this fall, I’ve come up with a routine that should stick well with our schedules:

I plan to lift weights on Tues/Thurs. I previously attempted to schedule runs (on the treadmill) when Chris was working at night these days and I hated the treadmill and knowing I was forced to run the two longest afternoons for me, indoors. Lifting weights is easy to enjoy either right before a shower for bedtime or while the kids can lift their little weights with me.

I plan to run Wed/Fri/Sun. Since I won’t be at my second job on Wednesday’s, this schedule will be great. I can run the days Chris won’t be home late or working, and he can be in charge of dinner two nights a week. This will give me a break with cooking, and also allow me to run outdoors every week.

Saturday’s I’ll look to do Yoga. I’ve rearranged our bedroom so I have room for my yoga mat and weights. I love the new layout, plus I can hide away for a little time of quiet while Chris can be with the kids. Previously, I’d attempt to workout in the family room which would end up more stressful than relaxing or enjoyable!

Starting Now

While this plan is for the fall, I’m actually starting it this week. I like to get into a good rhythm before back to school begins again. For weeks I’ve been searching for the right schedule or routine to start now and make work throughout the school year. I think I’ve finally found it.

Side note: we recently joined a local CSA. Great way to get healthy vegetables into your diet by sheer force of not wanting to waste money!

With tracking calories, adding more protein and fiber, as well as getting regular exercise I anticipate getting this weight off by mid-winter. My friend Liz, whom I’ll be working for as a virtual assistant will hopefully be coming to visit in the winter to take portraits! So, that adds a little extra motivation for me to keep going!

I’ve been disappointed in how I look in photos for several years now, so I’d like to get back to “my normal” and enjoy being in front of the lens again. The doctor said I could comfortably be around 150lbs, which is only a 30-40lb weight loss. I personally would prefer 140 or less, but he said with my muscular legs that might be too light. That gave me hope, and hope is all you need to start changing.

Habits is my word for the coming year. Focusing on new habits to upend the old and renew where my focus is.

What’s your new focus for the coming year? Or what’s left of this year? I love August as a time for change. It works with our schedules so flawlessly and gives me something to look forward to as we go back to work.