Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shifting into Gear

     Well, it has been nine days since my last post.  This should be sufficient time to have accumulate enough content worth writing.  This morning, even after having over a liter of water and a banana and a nut bar, I stepped onto the trusty Swedish scale.

     Three pounds are gone.  Sure, I slipped up this week when handed Starbucks pastries for free and also with caramel-flavored, vodka-infused whipped cream on Bailey's... Judge me all you like, but it's getting there.  The only "fast food" consumed this week came from Chipotle and Panera.  At the former, I opted for the brown rice and had them load on the fresh salsa and guac.  If anyone feels that this should be justified in some way, I ran out of time to make my own food, due to the worst snowstorm since this time last year.  Also, I had not had Chipotle since November.  The Panera was a tomato-basil panini with an apple on the side.  This feels like progress.

     Goals, in my mind, should not be like a light at the end of a tunnel.  Those are dreams, and as much as we all can reach for them, none of us (thankfully) is Stretch Armstrong.  In case you have forgotten:
Yikes.
Achieving one's dreams takes a lifetime, as those dreams evolve and mature.  As Americans, we're even reminded of this fact in the Constitution.  The pursuit of happiness is and always shall be ongoing.  If we stop looking ahead and pushing ourselves, we die; however, assuming that dreams are to be realized in the near term is naive.  With this in mind, I prefer to think of goals as highway mile-markers.  They can seem insignificant, and there are thousands of them... but little successes will add up to one hell of a road trip.

     That said, my goal for last week and this has been to adjust to both working out again and to a different schedule and way of eating.  There are some things that don't need to be kept in my cabinets and fridge, so I've been consuming the healthier ones and discarding the worst.  My body took FOUR days to fully recover from a 2-hour work out last Wednesday.  This week, though, I'm not noticing that kind of fatigue or pain.  Better food will help my body perform in the gym, while making double portions of a meal at home  provides a healthy and cheaper option for meals at work.  This coming weekend heralds the end of my re-acclimation and my first-ever entry into developing and logging my own fitness plan progress.  I think I'll need a notebook.

     Each week, I plan to discuss the little goals, the pitfalls, the triumphs, and the overall progress.  Last night, a friend recommended the Jillian Michaels in-home DVD work out.  My best friend has, in the past, also affirmed that it "kicks your ass."  Even if my ass gets kicked just one or two nights a week at home, that's more exercise than going to the gym on its own.  Plus, getting used to working out in-home will be a good habit to construct.  Look for more on that in a few weeks.

     We all have out own passions - one of mine is biking.  I love to go out riding for hours.  One medium term goal I have set in stone now is to, by the end of this spring semester (the 2nd week of May, 2012), have strengthened myself enough to complete a bike ride from the Metra station in downtown Highland Park, IL all the way out to my apartment here in DeKalb, IL.  I estimate the distance to be between 70 and 80 miles.  This will be completed in one day, while it is light outside.  Sure, there will be nothing in it except to congratulate myself (and maybe relax in a hot tub afterwards?), but it's something healthy that I want to do.  Once that's done, a new goal will present itself.

     SO, that is my challenge to anyone who reads this.  Let your mind wander and settle on something noteworthy and wholly doable that you can work on alongside me - something you can do within about six months, now that you've got yourself set on it!  We should all have something to be very proud of now and then!!

-Chris

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