Last year I was on my way back to being physically fit after getting a knee replacement in January. I was injured in a car accident in September and was mostly immobile for about 3 months. I spent the winter cleaning every drawer, closet, and cabinet in my home. This was inspired by watching the Netfilx series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”. It was wonderful. I now fold underwear and socks very methodically!
After COVID restrictions were enacted in March, I had already done a lot of things people were doing to keep themselves busy. It became very difficult for me NOT to eat my feelings (frustration, anger, some sadness). I started doing my usual laps in my pool in April for exercise. However, as anyone who has tried and failed knows, you CANNOT out-exercise poor eating. The realization of how little exercise I was getting outside of the swimming became apparent.
Why are my clothes “shrinking”?
My clothes didn’t fit the way they did before. Then they became snug. I also noticed more aches in my legs (from lack of use, probably). I decided I needed to get back on my treadmill, or as I should call it, my DREADmill. It’s very unpleasant to walk outside for exercise in Texas in the summer so I started to analyze (that’s what I do), why I dread the treadmill.
Environment is IMPORTANT!
My workout equipment (treadmill & elliptical) is in the room in the front of the house (should be office) with a large picture window and French door entry. I picked this room because I thought it would be lovely to look out that window as I work out. My husband had also installed a TV in the upper corner of the room (I lovingly call it “hospital TV” ) so we can watch TV while we work out. The problem is, that is the HOTTEST room in the house, even with central air conditioning. It has a ceiling fan, we have 2 fans in the room plus the treadmill has a built-in fan and the room always feels warm regardless. That’s a big problem.
Décor for the New Workout Area
After deciding to move the workout room “next door” to the formal dining room that we never use for that function, we decided to paint and make it visually pleasing for its new functionality. We painted the room a lovely teal color. I purchased BEAUTIFUL sheer curtains with a floral pattern to go over the shades for the large picture window in that room. I selected a dragonfly picture and a damselfly picture for my workout room as I love the beauty of both.
I have not missed a single day on the treadmill since we completed the equipment move. It is cool, comfortable and beautiful. I also did something practical that I never before attempted. I have EASED into using the treadmill instead of going full force and burning myself out or injuring myself. One of the injuries from my car accident was a broken left ankle that required a steel plate. I started with 5 minutes, every single day for the first week, 10 minutes every single day of the second week, and 5 minutes each subsequent week until I reached the goal of 30 minutes every single day. When that becomes too easy, I will either increase the speed or the incline to increase my fitness.
I must not forget to mention that I love music and my husband subscribes to Amazon Music Unlimited (https://www.amazon.com/music) which has been a huge plus for my NEW treadmill (no longer DREADmill) time. I like to just pick a “station” like 70’s rock, 80’s rock, 90’s alternative and just enjoy my time listening to music and getting fitter as I do it!
Getting my Eating under Control
Please notice that I’m not using the word DIET for a reason. This is not a diet. It is the way I MUST eat for the rest of my life to be healthy. This is not a temporary fix but what I must do to age WELL. I am back to my IF (intermittent fasting) of 18/6 where I fast 18 hours and eat in a 6 hour window. This means I eat my two meals between 11am to 5pm. I also count my calories using the myfitnesspal app to keep track of my food. I do NOT fast or count calories on Saturday. That is précisely why I can eat this way indefinitely. If I have a special occasion like Thanksgiving or some gathering where I know it will be difficult, I enjoy myself and I don’t stress about it.
Emotional Eating is my Enemy
What I have learned during COVID is that I cannot let myself eat because I am sad, or mad or bored, or frustrated. It is not healthy and it DOES NOT MAKE ME FEEL BETTER. I can delay until Saturday if I want to eat crap. Finding something constructive to do until whatever crappy feeling I’m having passes is essential. I need to do a better job of reminding myself how blessed I am and that stuffing my face to deaden whatever I’m feeling at the moment is NEVER going to make me feel better for longer than it takes to consume it.