I lost 20 pounds between August 1 and February 1 this year. Without a diet. Without a gym membership. Without a pyramid scheme. And it's been fun. It's made me happier. It's deepened my relationships. Although it started as a plan to get healthy and fit, it has become so much more than that to me. Now, it's about having a balance between my job and the rest of my life and being intentional in both.
Scheduling Time to Run
The time I spend running is the time in my life where I feel accountable to no one. For 30-90 minutes, I'm able to shut off my brain and its struggle for perfection and just be. This summer we moved a half-mile from a county park with mountains on three sides; the trail within it reminds me to focus on the beauty around me. This August I started putting time on my calendar to run three to four days a week. This appointment forces me to leave school and come home and run. This time, it turns out, is way more restful for me than shopping or Twittering or cleaning my house.
Taking Time to Cook
When I first started teaching I ate pasta with marinara almost every night because it was cheap and easy, and I liked it. My love of food and cooking has greatly increased over the past seven years, and I've learned to eat much more nutritious food. And is it turns out, when you do so, you actually need to eat a lot less of it. When we decided to get healthy back in August we counted calories for about two weeks. In that time, we discovered that most Americans eat at least twice as much food for every meal as they should, and even more when going out. Therefore, I started being even more intentional with my meal planning. I switched to a half sandwich (with lots of avocado... yum) instead of a whole. We started sharing a chicken breast instead of having our own. When going out, we always split. And we use a lot of good ingredients. I swear by my produce box, cookbook for two, and I'm now a huge fan of Epicurious after trying their #cook90. And all of that doesn't even mention all of the joy and depth of relationships in gathering around the table together each night.
Being Outside Together
I've almost completely given up working on the weekends in favor of adventuring. Living in San Jose makes this pretty easy. We have an amazing county park system and bike routes galore. Oh, and it's 75 degrees and sunny in the middle of February. Last January we started hiking with the Santa Clara County #pixinparks challenge, and it's now just become a part of who we are. On Saturday and Sunday we generally spend three hours outside together hiking or biking and chatting. We've found adventurous friends who love doing these things with us, and it fills my quality time bucket so much (not to mention the endorphins and vitamin D). Getting outside and away from our devices and work has been so freeing and life-giving as individuals and in community.
Our focus is no longer on weight loss or "getting healthy." This has become who we are, and it's so fun and life-giving. Although I love working hard at my job, the balance and pursuit of life-giving activities has made me a healthier and happier person. I don't think I'll ever go back.
As a side note, I have found some products in which I believe greatly. Check them out: