Health and Motivation

On Monday, I ran into a colleague at boxing. I didn’t know her terribly well, but it was exciting to have someone I know at the workout with me. We took a photo afterwards (I still need to get this from her), which is the only photo I have of me in my awesome boxing gloves.

Today, I ran into her at work and we started talking about health and exercise and boxing. Coming into this conversation, I was feeling a little unmotivated. I definitely didn’t pay any attention to what I was eating on my birthday (had three different kinds of cake and also flan that day. Probably that’s 1500 calories of just cake!)  I didn’t care what I was eating the next day either- it was my birthday party. Whenever I take a day (or two) “off” like that, it’s always hard to get started again, and this time wasn’t any different. I gained a half a pound over the weekend that I haven’t lost yet. August is almost over too, and I had hoped to make slightly more progress.

Talking to my colleague, though, was inspiring! She shared how hard the boxing workout had been for her and her own experiences with health, exercise, and weight. She had a similar story- a scary number on the scale prompted her to start being healthier. The similarities end there though, because now she runs marathons! That is especially impressive to me, because I hate running. Partly it’s hard and it’s boring- but partly I bet it’s an artifact of my younger days in gym class when I was super chubby and out of shape. I told my colleague how impressive I found it, which she sort of shrugged off saying she also hated running and it took about a year and a half before she found it fun.

This didn’t necessarily make me want to start running, but it does make me inspired to keep going with my health goals! Keep boxing, maybe even work out on the side, and keep eating healthy.

I am going to continue my 1500 calories a day (+500 on boxing days) for at least the next month as well. It’s not necessarily the best diet plan, but it’s one that works for me. I love being healthy- the feeling I have after my boxing workout is incredible. The feeling I have when I see the scale after a successful week of eating is incredible. Knowing that I am fit and active is a feeling that I haven’t experienced that much in my life and I’m really enjoying it. I want to be healthy so that I can feel good about myself and my body.

Find your own motivation to do whatever it is you want to do. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it!

Being A Nerd

I got back from GenCon two days ago and it was amazing! For those of you who don’t know what GenCon is, it’s essentially a giant nerd convention (http://www.gencon.com/) that focuses on board games, but also has RPGs, LARPs, art, crafts, nerd celebrities, and more. It’s probably the biggest nerd convention too, with around 75k people in attendance this year.

Last year was my first year there and I went with my ex and his college friends. It was okay, but I wasn’t terribly impressed. I almost skipped this year, but I ended up getting into an event I just couldn’t miss and decided to go. (For those of you who are curious, I got to play an RPG based on the books of one of my favorite authors- Brian McClellan- with Brian! It was pretty much the coolest thing I’ve ever done.)

I forgot how incredible it is to be among fellow nerds.  I spent most of my life feeling like I needed to hide my love of fantasy books and later of role-playing games and wishing I had more socially acceptable hobbies. I’ve recently become a lot more open about this which has, much to my surprise, been an incredibly freeing feeling. But nevertheless, there’s a difference between acceptance (people who appreciate my nerdiness but aren’t fellow nerds) and passion.

On the second to last day of the convention, I impulse bought a really awesome hat (I’ll link a photo of it when I get home). It’s basically a steampunk pilot hat that’s soft and fuzzy. Of course, I wore it the rest of the convention. I actually got a lot of compliments about my hat and was very pleased- I thought I looked pretty cool. I wore it home and my parents were visiting when I arrived. One of the first things they did was look at my hat quizzically and ask me what it was. My dad, trying to be cool, said “Wow, you really love Captain America!” (It’s not at all related to Captain America).

I love my parents- they actually spent most of that day helping out around my house, which was AMAZINGLY appreciated- but they really don’t get my nerdy side. It was a jolting realization that I was back to normal life.

At GenCon though, my hat made me cool. My flexible dragon that I wore around my neck made me cool. My purple d20 earrings with matching d20 dragon necklace made me cool. There’s no better feeling than being among “your people.” I love my non-nerdy friends too, but once in awhile it’s really incredible to be appreciated and admired for the stuff you love- the stuff that most people tease you for.

Don’t ever let anyone stop you from doing the things you love or being among the people you love!

Health and Happiness

I’m amazed at how well this month’s goal is going so far. I’ve managed to stick to my calorie budget almost perfectly every day. If I do go over, it’s typically only on days that I box (theoretically I have extra calories to spare on these days) and not by very much.

I was especially proud yesterday when I went to the Cheesecake Factory (one of my favorite restaurants) with a friend. I had decided to skip boxing that morning- actually a healthy choice, because I needed the sleep (my dog has been waking me up at night to go to the bathroom the last few nights) and was still sore from kickboxing on Thursday night. I had upped my boxing from 3 times a week to every other day pretty fast, and wasn’t sure my body was quite up for that yet. I had thought of going to boxing anyway- so I could have the extra calories to eat cheesecake- but decided that my health should be the focus of my eating month, not just getting extra calories to eat sweets. I did eat cheesecake yesterday, but I managed to stay within my calorie budget! This was even with the added temptation of all the food at the county fair we went to afterwards.

What I like best about this month is how good I feel about myself. Sometimes I’m hungry or frustrated that I can’t eat whatever I want, but overall I feel empowered. No longer am I sitting around whining about the weight I’ve gained and feeling like a victim. Instead, I’m doing something about it. I’m eating healthier and being healthier. The boxing helps too- I haven’t been this fit since high school. Sure, I am still overweight, but I am healthy and I am tackling these issues in a healthy way. I no longer feel ashamed of my body. Instead, I marvel at the changes. I haven’t seen some of these muscles in a long time!

My dad has been working out lately too and when we were talking about it the other day, he mentioned a similar reaction he had had, “What is that? Could it be- yes, it’s an ab!”

It feels good to tackle an issue head on, especially one that’s been bothering me for some time. Don’t be afraid to face even your most challenging obstacles. Even if you fail, you will feel so much better about making the attempt.

I feel cliche ending on this quote, but I always think of it in these types of situations:

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”

 

Happiness in August

A new month, a new goal! This month was intended to be the physical health/exercise month, but I think I’m going to do a last-minute swap to food. Part of the reason why this post is late is because I was trying to think of what I wanted my physical health/exercise goals to be. I’m already regularly boxing 3 times a week and loving it. I don’t need additional motivation (somehow). I even kept up with the physical activity when visiting Michigan this past weekend- joining my best friend in ultimate frisbee and badminton for 2 hour each. I wanted to exercise, and believe me no one is more surprised about that than me.

I want these goals to be a bit challenging and I want them to not just be things I already do. There’s no “read more books” goal for example, because I just do that already (I’m on 55 so far this year!) I also have been struggling a lot with eating recently and I want to tackle it head on.

So, this month is going to be food. Here are the goals I am thinking:

-Make a public commitment to this month’s goals and ask for social support

-Weigh myself every day

-Track everything I eat (no skipping snacks or samples)

-Eat 1500 calories/day or fewer (+500 on the days I box- also good motivation for boxing!)

-Buy and eat more fruits and veggies

-Discover my triggers/motivations for eating poorly and figure out how to combat them

-Make an appointment with a nutritionist

This will probably be the hardest month for me. I have struggled with this for a long time and especially recently. But I know working on these goals will make me happier in the long run. Hard work pays off.