We're starting to see the first signs of spring in the Odawa area. The snow has melted, the grass is greening, and I can hear bullfrogs mating outside of my window (lovely, I know). When R.J. and I wake up every morning we greet the family of shishib (ducks) living in the pond in the backyard of our condo complex.
Medicine wheel teachings tell us that spring--represented by the east, the colour yellow and many other manifestations--is a time of birth or rebirth. As a self-professed "starter" (I have a bag full of beads and vehemently refuse to concede that I may not be crafty) it's one of my favourite times of year. I love the hope that fills me when I set goals, look for opportunities and imagine the future.
Inevitably, one of the areas I want to rejuvenate this spring is my physical health.
I started working out at the gym when I was about 17. My peak of physical fitness (thus far!) happened when I was about 21 and I ran 10k for the Terry Fox run - my first and only run, race, whatever you want to call it. About two years later it all started to go downhill when I began grad school and effectively had no time to do anything but read and write.
And to cut a long story short, I haven't been able to climb back on the horse since then. There was a gym in our last apartment building, and I had mild success there. We bought a treadmill last summer, and I tried the barefoot running fad recommended by a colleague who's a runner, but only ended up betraying my ankles with lack of support.
Worst of all, over the past 6 months I've been stuffing my mouth with wild abandon, not caring where it ends up in the end. I'm talking all-you-can-eat wings at Kelsey's and three plates of pad Thai in a week. Enough said.
So now, I am releasing into the universe...
3 Steps to a Healthy Mal
1. Skinny Chicks
I am presently on day 6 of the Skinny Chicks Kick Start meal plan. What's this, you might ask? Well, it is the one and only meal plan/diet/eating lifestyle I have ever been on and I love it.
I honestly think this book found me. I was just browsing through Chapters, not looking to make any huge changes to my eating habits at that time, when I came across it. I gave it a quick scan, and everything just seemed to make sense. The basic premise is to keep your blood sugar levels steady. It's not restrictive--all meals contain healthy portions of protein, carbs and fat--and it's designed for real women living in the real world. Today is day 6 and I feel AWESOME.
Of course, I have to return to my one tried and true cardio workout. I have all the equipment I need--sneakers, the fact that I live on a road and a treadmill--so there really is no excuse. Although it might be a little steep, my goal is to participate in the Terry Fox run again this September. That leaves me...4 months. Better get a move on!
Yoga is the one practice that has stuck in the face of bad eating habits and cardio falling to the wayside. And I think there's something to that. Could it be the fact that I truly enjoy it? What a novel idea! I first encountered yoga in Goodlife's "BodyFlow" class, which mixed yoga, tai chi and pilates. I now practice weekly for free at the Odawa Native Friendship Centre and I plan to keep going - maybe even increase my visits!
So, that's my commitment to my health. Now to think of a rewards system...