Saturday, December 29, 2012
In Manhattan, just before Christmas, my husband and I were walking as much as 160 blocks per day, never taking taxis, seldom taking the bus. One of my biggest treats was trying a vegan Korean restaurant called Hangawi where I had the most fantastic organic mushroom dish and even shared a blueberry coconut dessert eaten with tiny forks.
The new Asics 2170 running shoes I bought right before the trip were a lifesaver as I had to do keep up with so much walking, going all over the place. And I found that the Turbofire kickboxing not only gave me more confidence, but it also increased my stamina, endurance, and even flexibility.
No, I am not a Turbofire superstar who can do every move with great ease. In fact, I am always low impact, never high impact, even when I do the 20-minute HIITs (high-intensity interval training) which supposedly burn up as much as a traditional 90-minute workout.
I've learned to create my own program, suited to me, by adding extra kickboxing, since I once took kickboxing classes. I have to push myself to get in the core workouts but do it. Surprisingly, the stretches (yoga) can be the toughest part for me at times, as I am still less limber.
I've become leaner again, much quicker than the pounds have dropped, but the weight loss is coming, too. People have really noticed this change, but most important to me is what I myself notice--like being able to do more, expand my horizons.
Not that was I wasn't totally done in by the end of those long walking days in Manhattan or tired when I and a friend saw the Al Weiwei exhibit at the Hirshhorn in D.C. I'm still getting there.
These days I'm working toward an adventure in early spring, and another later in the year. The first adventure especially involves a lot of hiking and range of motion, not to mention other feats of athleticism.
I'm still into green smoothies, raw cacao smoothies, and creating new recipes that I have to remember to write into my notebook. The decluttering continues, too, as do the long walks. I journal, deepen meditation, and work on my warrior pose for yoga.
It is so important to reward ourselves and recognize what we do right. I rewarded myself with new Asics sneakers and a new sports bra, both very much needed when I got into Turbofire HIIT. But I also used my L.L. Bean gift card to get a gorgeous ski jacket (good for other outdoor sports, too) which is good for 20 below zero. The moment I put that jacket on, like so many women, I felt transformed, as if I was 20 years younger. Suddenly I just knew that coat in deep fuschia and jeans was me. It fit so well, including plenty of arm space for driving and other activities.
I used to wear a down jacket all the time, until I continued to bake, the sweat just pouring off me. So I'm excited to have a winter jacket that has the white safety stripes all over it to keep me safe in the dark winter weather but also is made for people going on long winter adventures. It is a light coat, not heavy or bulky, yet it is keeps a person warm, even including a face guard for those who ski.
So that L.L. Bean jacket coming soon is my next reward. Yes, I may have lost so much weight by this time next year that it won't even fit, but it is my reward--and my incentive. I'm going to want to get out more in the winter weather, hike about the city, go more places, perhaps getting in some walk/runs, too.
One thing I have dropped for this new year is the "should" and the "could" syndrome. "I should" get a more practical color for a jacket was dropped, and I went with the one my heart told me to get. I should do this, I could have done that, or what is know as the shoulda, coulda, woulda syndrome is something I want to drop from my life for this new year.
I love to reflect on what went right, what went wrong. And I also see that I have made progress getting to my goals, even if it wasn't always in the way I imagined. I'm still on my way, and I'm really looking forward to the year 2013.
Last night I got to try out a restaurant with a lot of vegan offerings and that was such a refreshing change. I've decided to go back as a reward for pounds off several weeks from now. I'm setting goals and incentives, although the bigger ones might include ensuring my jacket fits well and that I can capable of hiking in beautiful places.
This is day 2 back to Turbofire since returning, and I'm still recovering from that core workout with bands. (I got a great deal on Turbofire not long ago.) I'm about to head into Phase 2/Month 2 of Turbofire, but already I do the 55-minute kickboxing workout several days per week. Just because.
Each time I can do something I couldn't do the time before, it rocks. Such a great feeling. Like seeing the new World Trade Center building gleaming in the sky or the Empire State Building lit up in red and green in the distance. Like walking into a vegan restaurant that looks like a Korean tea house or finding out that an inexpensive vegetarian cafe has amazing food. Like walking into a Little Eatery where I can find the best pizza anywhere--and be brave enough to walk away for now, even as I enjoy the atmosphere, the sight of panetone bread and paninis, fresh pasta and the works. Like being in Central Park, sitting on a bench while a musician plays holiday music when I need it most. Like looking at my list of vegan restaurants and know I'll be back.
Like going to Maine and knowing that being fitter means I can enjoy the winter weather more, including all that white snow falling from the sky, how everything looks white, pure, and new. Like being in a place where the air smells sweet because it is so clean and where I can remember my winter wonderland outings as a child. And yes, I can find some places now offer vegan food there, too.
Like walking around D.C. like I'm a tourist after all these years, seeing it with fresh eyes. I can marvel at seeing an art exhibit that few will get to see by an artist who is totally devoted to his art, even when he is detained. It is seeing old friends and seeing the world a new, all at the same time, cherishing the time I get to spend with my husband of nearly 27 years.
It is creating a new vegan creation from scratch, only to find out that the simplest concoctions are the best, just sublime. It's delighting over learning to make an awesome guacamole that rocks anything that can be purchased in the store and biting into a ripe Riveria pear, a Florida orange from the St. John River, or an incredibly juicy apple. And let's not forget the mangoes.
Not everything is wonderland, like having a dental checkup where a tooth basically comes out of my mouth when the crown lets go, realizing I might even lose a tooth. Even though all my other teeth are healthy and I seemed to have done everything right.
But I also realized that I am healthy enough that I haven't seen my doctor all year. When my check-up was cancelled and moved to nearly April, I got a chance to make a plan to lose more weight and get an even better outcome. I've been so much healthier in so many different ways.
Now I'm looking forward to reflecting on this past year, what I felt went right, not as well, what I would like to focus on for this coming year.
Wishing everyone a very happy and joyful, healthy new year!
BTW, I should note that one way I celebrated December was by replacing all kinds of filters for my hepa filter, chlorine shower filter, filter for the tap, and even the car cabin filter to make air cleaner for those long trips. It has made a big difference for me.