Thursday, January 31, 2019

Fitness Bloggin'

One of the things I promised to talk about in this blog is my fitness... journey? Let's be real, I hate the language that the #fitspo people use on social media. In fact, I had fitness Instagram, but it became way too cumbersome to keep up. I hardly take care of my personal social media accounts. Right now, between Snapchat and and Instagram, that's where my fitness posts end up. I also re-post to Twitter from Instagram since it's super easy to do so.

So, back to the meet of this post, fittin' this blog in. Like so much social media, we tend to only post the good so it looks like things are rolling. Now, I don't intentionally do that, but if people are taking motivation from our fitness pages, of course we want to only show when we're rocking it. But there's a real-life side to it we try (or maybe it's unintentional) to hide.

I am confident in saying I'm in the best shape I've ever been in. I'm 38. It's been a conscious and sometimes very difficult choice. My cardiovascular health is not as good as it's been recently, but I hate treadmills and when the temperature is below freezing, I make the choice not to run. I secretly have come to really like running.

Right now, I have the chance to lift after school in Dorchester's weight room. It's awesome. I generally have it all to myself or only another teacher in there. It's kinda peaceful and it's definitely making a difference.

My Fitbit daily steps goal is 12,000. At this point I'm entirely unsure why I boosted it from the 10,000 that's preset, but I did, and it's something I try to hit daily. If I don't make it, I at least push to make sure that I average 12,000 per day. That's attainable.

A big part of fitness is diet. I know this. I basically haven't had soda in over a year. Do I still drink them from time-to-time? Yes. When I say I haven't had soda in over a year, what I mean is drink it once or twice a month, if that. It's not something I choose. I don't buy from the machine in the teacher's lounge. I don't keep it at home.

I'm not perfect when it comes to my diet. We still eat a lot of prepackaged stuff in our house, but we're getting better. The biggest change I've made is portion. I don't know where I got the notion that "men should eat big", but I'd always upsize my meal at fast food joints. I'd always get the biggest option at ice cream places. I've stopped doing that. I do much better with fruit or granola bars for snacks, things that fill me up, but have other nutrition in them (yes, I know it's not perfect either) so I stay full longer. I drink a LOT of water.

This is more background than I'd originally meant, but all of this is to say that fitness is not a straight line, at least not for me. I'm still a little fluffy in places, but I'm working on it. As I type this, I'm coming off one of the laziest, cheatiest days I've had in awhile. I was just over 4,000 steps. It won't throw me off of my trajectory. We had a "Cold Day" off of school as the temperature barely broke zero and the wind chill was between 15 and 20 below. Oh, and Everett had a double ear infection so the fever the day before dictated that he was home from daycare, so I got a full day of playing with a healthy kiddo (no fever yesterday).

One of the things that I feel like is lost in so many fitness discussions is grace and forgiveness. There will be days. My goodness will there be days. Days when you just don't feel like it. Days when life suddenly gets in the way. Days when you just. Can't. Work out. Holiday season days (ya know, when the calorie count for everything somehow suddenly doubles). You have to forgive those days, or they'll knock you completely off your path.

I've been there. I've been knocked off this path many times before. In fact, I've started this more times than I can count.

I'll always remember the day in December my second year teaching. I picked my kids up from PE and the PE teacher told me that I'd be doing the January healthy eating challenge with my kiddos. What came out of my mouth was, "Okay," but what was in my head was, "Why?". I then took another pull of my Cherry Coke and looked at my watch. It was 9:30 AM. The why was answered for me. I was 235 pounds that Christmas. By the BolderBoulder that May, I was down to 205. I'd done well.

That didn't really stick, though. I mean, I tried, but the walk to the fitness center in my community was, like, almost a full block, and mostly I had other things I wanted to do. Then I moved to Nebraska and the list of reasons grew. I mean, I sorta tried to. My weight never again broke 215, but I never got in to a real routine.

Then I met Keya. Keya makes fitness a priority. I realized if this woman was going to commit her life to me, that my committing mine to her meant more than saying I'd be faithful and all those other wedding vows. I had to commit to her lifestyle. To say that there have been speed bumps in that process is an understatement, but now we own three major pieces of fitness equipment. Neither of us ever lets two days pass without a workout, even if it's a small one. I hope that the example we set shows Everett and any future kids that fitness is fun and a priority.

When people ask me why I workout my answer's almost always the same, "To get less fat." They usually respond with, "You're not fat." That's not what I said. I know I'm not. 205 pounds spread out over a 6'7" frame isn't fat. Not even close. In fact, even in losing those 30 pounds, it was hard to tell because of my height. But there are places I'd like to clean up, and that means being less fat.

I suppose I've reached my goal of being less fat, but I'm not as less fat as I'd like to be. My lazy/cheat days tend to be fairly epic with me thinking eff it, I've already taken today off, let's really make it count, but I can refocus the next day and get back after it. I, gasp, LOOK FORWARD to working out. My story isn't anyone else's. You can't compare your fitness to another person's, that's a great way to get discouraged and knocked down.

However, I do hope that if you're taking time to read this and are some point on your, sigh, "fitness journey," that you can take some solace in knowing it's far from a straight line. Sometimes it looks more like a topo map of the Colorado mountains and there are precipitous drops. You can get there. I did.

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