I'm not sure why I haven't written about this, but I've been slowly forcing all of my worst lifestyle habits to the curb and making an effort to be healthier and leaner. I'm not saying there hasn't been some backsliding from time to time, but I believe I'm seeing and feeling results.
Here's some of what it all entails:
Exercise - I'm still taking yoga classes (I shoot for at least one per week) and I've put a mat, blocks and a belt in my living room where I can easily get at them when I feel the need to practice or stretch something.
I've also found a route through my neighborhood that's just a teensy bit more than 5k long and takes about an hour to walk at a moderately brisk pace. Earlier in the summer I was walking a couple of mornings each week with my friend LuAnn. Now I'm walking with A Librarian on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, even though it means getting up at the ghastly hour of 5:30 a.m.
Nutrition - After a couple of years of breakfasting on Power Bars, I've switched to meal replacement shakes. Not only are they nice and filling (in part because it usually takes me more than an hour to drink one), but the opportunities for variety are pretty much unlimited. My blender is getting a workout and I'm getting a lot more fruit and dairy protein now. It makes me feel noticeably more energetic.
I've also started taking multivitamins. Yes, I know that nutritionists say they aren't as good as eating nutrient-packed food, but I figure they can't hurt.
Finally, there is now only one kind of snack in the house: fresh fruit. At this point, I seriously think I would turn down a piece of chocolate cake in favor of a handful of cherries or a nectarine. It's amazing how quickly you can lose your taste for sweets.
Bad Habits - First of all, I quit drinking caffeine again. It was exacerbating a medical condition and I'd been reading a lot about how drinking coffee really only quells the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal and doesn't provide a true energy boost. It seemed kind of silly to spend so much to feed an addiction.
Second, it finally started to sink in that when I drink alcohol (which is, after all, poison), I almost always get a headache and feel kind of icky in general. Beer was the first to go and since then I've cut back on almost all alcoholic drinks. I'm still good with a glass of wine or a mixed drink from time to time, but most of the time I'd just as soon pass. Heck, I even gave away two of my four BlogHer conference drink tickets!
At the Office - I recently invested in a Gaiam Balance Ball Chair. My regular office chair is a high-quality Steelcase ergonomic chair, but I can still manage to slump and make myself thoroughly uncomfortable when I'm sitting in it. The balance ball chair forces me to have good posture, sit upright with both feet flat on the floor, and engage my core muscles. I think its true secret is that it forces me to regularly get up and walk around because I can only sit on it so long before I need to take a break and stretch a bit.
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I still have a ways to go before I start seeing significant changes, but I can see that I'm slowly melting off some of the excess fat that I've been building up over the past few years. My wardrobe might not be a lost cause after all.
Does anyone have any tips to share? I'm willing to entertain any healthy idea as long as it's free.