Today officially marks the end of WEEK 3 of my new self-improvement initiative.
OBJECTIVE: To fit into my skinny jeans again by my 25th birthday.
It’s only been three weeks and I can see huge improvements – maybe not in appearance, but certainly in how I feel. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and I’m starting to believe it – I’m already regaining control over my body!
^^Neighbor boys doing KUNG FU!!
I joined SparkPeople after weight was not only continuing to creep up on me – I mean, hey, who doesn't fluctuate a bit from time to time – but as I was beginning to feel helpless about it. I was constantly overeating, lethargic, and exercise was getting tougher and tougher. You see, I live alone and village life can be slow, so some days, meals are the only thing I have on the agenda. Crazy right?! My life here is oh-so-different from the one I left behind in the states, running from one thing to the next, where my biggest fitness obstacle was finding time to get to the gym (and sleep).
So now that I have the time, it seems I've lost the motivation.
When I first joined, I didn't necessarily believe that keeping a food log would help me, but I figured it couldn't hurt. What really got me was the number of people here that struggle with the same things I do… Just knowing this community exists is comforting! It was no surprise at all when, after a week of tracking what I ate, I was consistently around 500 calories above my recommended daily caloric intake. The graphs helped me visualize what I already knew: how unsustainable my eating habits were. The second week, I was determined to meet that goal (at least a couple of times)!
And those pie charts – you know, the ones on the daily feedback report – really do show how much mindless eating can add up. Who woulda thought?? It actually annoys me when one of the larger slices of pie turn out to be some snack I picked up on the street as opposed to an actual meal component… especially when it’s something I don’t even like very much. Gotta make those calories count!! So the fried dough balls made at the market? Yeah, not gonna cut it.
In a place where I’m completely on my own, I've found a way to be held accountable for my everyday choices… the good and the bad. It’s so encouraging to see all those exercise minutes add up!
^^Bike tour of Northern Benin!
Speaking of exercise, let me get back to the real reason I started writing this post: Today is my first official DAY OFF from my new workout plan! You might be thinking that this means that I work out every single day of my life without skipping a beat… and you would be wrong. Thing is, I've never really had a workout “plan” per-say, as I've “planned” to work out. Translation: I try to work out as often as possible, but on days when I don’t feel like getting out of bed to exercise, I don’t.
This doesn't work. Some days/weeks/months I’m all over it, and my workouts keep me in great shape and others, uhhh, not so much. It’s sporadic, at best, and leaves me feeling out of control. It leads to the inevitable feeling of guilt from that nagging voice in my head on days when I can’t find the drive (see my last post). No good.
Thus, with the month of April comes a new beginning: A workout plan! And today is my very first REST DAY. It felt amazing going to bed last night knowing that today would be filled with lying in bed, watching movies, blogging, etc etc etc.
So without further ado, I’m going to go make myself a MASSIVE stack of oatmeal pancakes and catch up on some reading.
Happy Sunday Funday