Tuesday, September 13, 2016
I am not really sure where to begin. Summertime, and the lack of a consistent schedule, left me unmotivated to stay on track. I was still exercising 3-5 days a week, but my nutrition goals went out the window! I have been indulging in far too many treats....and yes, they DO add up. School started back up a month ago, and got me back on a schedule. I home school my kids, and this year it proving to be a challenge with our schedule and fitting in time with each of my kids for school work. I think though we have finally found a rhythm that works for us. Fortunately for me, my daughter is taking a PE course this semester, and is required to do regular exercise (hello motivation). So, over the past month, I have been on a pretty strict exercise schedule of about 60 minutes a day 6-7 days a week. That has been a tremendous help in getting my fitness on a good schedule again. Although 60 minutes a day is more that I am used to, it is working out well. My daughter and I often do a 30 minute workout video during the day, and then take a 30 minute walk/run in the evening (an excellent activity for you mental health too). We aren't following a program because her class requires more variety than any one program can provide. It has been a hodge podge of workouts, but we are having fun. We have been enjoying Body Beast (much to her surprise, my daughter loves lifting), Country Heat (the newest Beachbody program...lots of dancing fun), T25, Brazil Butt Lift, Hammer and Chisel, 22 Minute Hard Corps, 3 Week Yoga Retreat (a Beachbody on Demand EXCLUSIVE), Slim in 6, and 21 Day Fix. I am happy to report some increased muscle definition again, and my endurance is back!
On the nutrition side.... As I have mentioned in previous posts, when I don't stick with a clean eating plan, my body knows! I get very bloated from intestinal inflammation and swelling, and my digestion is noticeably slower. I get cramps, and I am gassy, and constipated. Yup, I know TMI, but it is what it is. All of the inflammation is caused by foods that kick my autoimmune disease into high gear. Things that are high in fat, sugar, and even lots of gluten and dairy are problems. Other foods, like corn and potatoes have negative affects on my digestive system too....however, when I have my eating under control, my body can sometimes tolerate these foods in some forms. My body attacks my trigger foods as if they are an illness. You might equate the bloating from a food intolerance to a fever, when you have the flu. It's the body's natural response to an intruder. I know all this, and yet I have still been off my game. I finally made the decision to get strict this week. I am following the 21 Day Fix meal plan, and in just 3 days, I am seeing FAR LESS bloat!!! That is HUGE. It is motivation to keep going.
Something else that I want to touch upon that has been affecting my progress and motivation, is anxiety and depression. Everyone has struggles with both on occasion, especially when stress levels are high. For others, it is a more serious problem. My issues with anxiety and depression ebb and flow. Most of the time it is very much under control, and simply maintaining a regular exercise routine helps keep everything in check. However, sometimes, my stress levels kick up and my anxiety and depression (they always seem to come at the same time for me, never just one or the other). I have been lucky enough to know that changing up my diet, and adding in a special regimen of supplements will help me to get back to normal. I wanted to bring this up because it is important to recognize that mental health can have a huge affect on one's physical health. If you are struggling with anxiety and depression, try adding in some regular exercise. It WILL help. If you still feel like you are not "getting back to normal", please talk to your doctor!! Anxiety and depression happen to all of us at one time or another, and it is OK to admit that you need help when it gets out of hand. It is NOT a sign of weakness, but instead a recognition that your brain chemistry is off. If you felt your heart rate was off, or if your breathing is off, you would likely get that checked out. Don't let your brain be any different!! I would be happy to share what has worked for me, but everyone is different, and your doctor is the best place to start for a plan of action.
So what will the rest of 2016 bring for me? Well, my goal is to drop 15 pounds by the end of the year...yup, even over the holidays. I want my clothes to feel comfortable all winter long. Now that I FINALLY have my energy levels under control (thank you vitamin D), I just need to get my mind focused back on keeping the rest of me healthy.