About a year ago, I started on this Healthier Me journey. Many of you have been cheering me along.
The thing about this kind of journey is that it has to be ongoing. This hasn't ever been about getting to a certain weight or size. While I have definitely enjoyed and appreciated watching my body change, it wasn't ever my goal.
My goal was to run a 5K. I've since done multiple 5K events and am now training to run a half marathon. I'm running a 10K this coming Saturday.
I did lose weight. And in losing weight, I dropped 2-3 clothing sizes. Luckily, I had 2 friends who had also been working on getting fit and they had clothes to pass on to me.
I've gained back a chunk of the weight I lost. Part of that is because I picked up more strength training. Part of that is because I slacked off, especially on my food choices. I've kept off 20 pounds since a year ago and am happy with that.
I have a feeling I'm about to start my next downward trend. And my hope is that I will drop some weight and that lightening will help improve my running.
There are a few reasons why I can feel this change creeping back into my life.
1. The seasons are changing. Spring is creeping in and I feel the itch to be outside, to be more active, and to consume a lot more fruits and veggies. I wonder if I snack more in the wintertime because of that sense of hibernation or protection against the elements? I don't know. I'm glad I kept up with working out over the winter and I think I did an average job of keeping up with good food choices.
2. The healthy living challenge at work is starting up next week. I'm not really competitive in that sort of environment but I do feel the pressure to succeed for the sake of my team. I'm also a great motivator and love to encourage people and I think living the example is a great way to encourage and support others. The challenge lasts for 10 weeks and it was a big part of my success last year.
3. There's a new healthy living group starting at church- and I'm co-leading it. A friend I've known for a couple of years now, thanks to church, and I have been talking for a little while now about starting up a fitness group at church. Our original idea was a Saturday morning meet up at church with Ginger- a certified personal trainer- leading an hour long workout. However, when we met to actually discuss details, we discovered that we each had very packed weekends for the next 2 months and that Saturday mornings weren't really going to work.
I very much believe that God brought us together and hatched this little idea in our heads. Because as we talked and hit obstacles and talked more and continued to seek out a way to make our idea a reality, we ended up creating a plan that is different than first intended but that I think will have the potential for a bigger impact.
We figured out that our best option would be to work with people at times they are already at church instead of trying to squeeze in a new time for people to commit to- after all, we couldn't make it work in our busy mom/school/work/spouse schedules so it might be tough for others to do the same. Our church currently has a Wednesday night event called Weds Connexion. Dinner made at church at 6:15, sharing of joys and concerns, then meet up in small groups that have various planned Bible studies going on (variety of topics happen in these groups- upcoming is a favorite of our Pastor that he leads on Andy Griffith). We are about to start a new session this coming Weds.
Makes sense to meet on Wednesday evenings. But what about the people who want to attend one of the other groups or who have committed to leading one of those groups? How about meeting after church on Sundays, too? That way, people can come to one group or both.
We're going about this organically- no purchased curriculum. Ginger has experience in leading groups in exercise programs. I know a lot about food and nutrition. We're going to have journals to write down long and short term goals, struggles and successes in terms of healthy living over the week, and the journal can be used to write down what is consumed each day. I've got some Bible study plans from when I led a briefly lived walking group back in the fall. Each meet up will be an hour- we will spend 20 minute or so sharing from journals, sharing the Bible focus for that week, a tip or goal or challenge for healthy living for the week ahead and then we'll do a light workout. Walk for 30-40 minutes, strength training, resistance training, yoga/stretching.
There's the potential for groups to meet up independently to workout together with or without us. We're planning an online component. We are confident in our ability to work with all levels of fitness.
What I love most of all is that there is something for me to get excited about in regards to fitness. I think part of why I fall off the proverbial wagon is that I get bored when it all becomes overly routine.
I like change, I like things being different, I like a new challenge. And I love motivating people. I love watching people start making changes. I love being a support and encouraging others. I'm a pretty great cheerleader, I must say.
One year later. I'm still running. I'm still maintaining a mostly healthy lifestyle. And now I'm going to end up in a leadership role where I get to do what I love most- sharing my passion with others and getting them excited about fitness and vegetables and fruit and non-processed foods.
I'm back, baby. And I'm ready to rock it!!