Saturday, August 6, 2016

Working Out. Again.

One of the things about living in a small town without a car (read about why I am car free here) is that it limits the things to do in the evenings after work. Since moving here last April and my car acting up shortly after that, I noticed that I started gaining some weight and just all around not feeling all that good about myself. Moving three thousand miles away from everyone and everything you've known for the past 13 years is a challenge, to say the least. There's a lot of adjustments to make, a lot of loneliness to sit through and a lot of homesickness to experience. So, I didn't do much physically other than walk to and from work and I didn't eat very well.

This past April I decided I should get another physical. Thankfully, I am generally healthy. I have the normal aches and pains for a 46 year old who's played a lot of sports in her life. The knee I injured playing women's full tackle football still makes a grinding noise when I bend it but I'm told it's in fairly decent shape. (I still don't fully trust that diagnoses, but I'm going with it for now.)

Surprisingly, I hadn't put on as many pounds as I thought, according to the doctor's scale. But, I really wasn't feeling very good in my body and my mind. At the time of the physical I had been debating with myself about spending the money to join the local YMCA and that debate rang louder in my ear that day as I walked past the YMCA to get to my physician's office.

On my way back from the appointment I decided to stop and check out the facilities. I really wanted to see the pool. The idea of swimming again felt really good every time I thought about it. Just seeing the pool again pretty much ended the debate that had been going on in my head. Enough was enough. It was time to spend the money on myself. My health and well being deserved it. I haven't regretted it. I feel a million times better today than I did all those months ago.

I started off swimming three times a week. Nothing major. Just 600 yards for the first couple weeks then worked my way up to 800. Mostly free style (or crawl stroke as they like to call it sometimes) mixed in with breast stroke and back stroke on occasion. It felt amazing to be back in the water. Not all that amazing to be back in a swim suit that was a wee bit tight in some areas, but I powered through knowing I was on the right track.

After returning from my two week West coast vacation this past June, I decided to put the swimming aside for a bit and hit the gym. It had been a while since I'd been in that space. Over the course of the last 7 weeks or so, I've vastly improved my strength and cardio. My visits have been pretty constant. About every other day. Sometimes I'll skip two days but it's usually because I'm taking myself on an adventure somewhere and on those days I end up walking quite a bit anyway.

The only thing I've changed about my eating is I've tried to eliminate as many processed foods as possible. Being a pescatarian, I do still eat tofu and tempeh but for the most part I'm all about the fruits and veggies. I only on occasion eat fish or seafood.

This week I decided to add pea protein drinks to the mix to get a bit more protein onboard. Specially on gym days. I chose pea protein because it's easily digestible. Mistakenly, I bought a jar of the unflavored kind, but it's ok as far as taste goes. I tend to chug those drinks anyway because of the grittiness of them.  So, we'll see how it goes.

My goal with all of this is to just continue to feel better. I have an idea of what I'd like my body to eventually look like, but I also want to keep things very simple. I don't want to diet. Dieting just feels yucky and it's not a long term solution. I want a long term solution. Something that helps with my physical well being as well as my mental well being. So far, this path is working pretty well. I'm happy. I feel healthy. I feel strong. I feel more connected with my body and that, in itself, is pretty amazing.

I haven't been able to fit into these jeans since before the end of last year. Last week I put them on and not only do they fit, I have room! Feels pretty good.

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