Less than a month ago, the hubby and I were well on our way to growing roots and being couch-bound for the rest of our lives. We were on a fast road to nowhere, and considering we were only in our twenties, our sedentary lifestyle was becoming something of a joke.
Something had to give…and if anything, it needed to be our guts.
For a long time, I had a somewhat reckless view of my own eating and exercise habits. I was of the opinion that life was too short to diet and exercise. Basically, I thought to myself, “Self, I could die tomorrow, and if I do, I want to enjoy my last few meals to the fullest!”
With that attitude, I really could die tomorrow.
Y’all, I wasn’t just eating badly; no, I took eating badly to a whole new level.
Junk food for breakfast. Junk food for lunch. Rich, greasy food for dinner. Beer, wine, or soft drinks with many of our meals. I’m ashamed to say that it had gotten a bit out of hand.
Growing up, I wasn’t a big fan of food. I could take it or leave it, and more often than not, my parents had to beg me to eat anything at all. My food of choice was junk food then, too.
Most of that changed when I met my husband. He loved food and introduced me to things like sandwiches and pot roast, and because of his influence, this long-time picky eater finally fell in love with food. Head over heals, in fact, and my normally fit figure fell with me. Since I met him back in 2006, due to our eating habits and our couch potato ways, I’ve gained nearly 30 pounds.
My extra weight hadn’t really bothered me until…it happened.
Back in February, I attended an event for work. Nothing major, a career day for a bunch of middle schoolers. My primary goal was to not scar them for life.
Mission probably accomplished.
Scarred children aside, a local newspaper photographer was also at the event, snapping candids and then taking a posed group shot at the end of the day.
I'm not the biggest fan of having my picture taken, but at the time, I thought nothing of it. Then one happy April day, a co-worker brought in a newspaper clipping with that spectacular group photo on it in all its black and white glory.
I usually hate pictures of myself. I'm possibly the most un-photogenic person on the planet, but this was bad even for my standards.
Slouchy. Paunchy. Icky. Those are the three words that came to mind when I saw myself.
That photo was officially my wake-up call. It was time to get healthy.
Luckily, I have another couch potato joining me in my endeavors: my husband. During our month of eating better and working out (and by "working out" I mean walking around our neighborhood instead of sitting on our couch), we've learned a few things we thought we should share with our fellow couch potatoes who may be thinking about pulling up their roots:
2) You can get a stitch in your side just from walking. I never would have thought that I was so out of shape that I could be in physical pain after strolling around our neighborhood. I was wrong. After a few weeks of walking, the stitch doesn't come quite as often, but man, when it does...
3) You shouldn't try to jog after only three nights of walking. There's a natural order to these things. Don't try to speed that order up...you may end up coughing up a lung.
4) Your iPod is your friend. The Glee soundtrack that is on permanent loop on my iPod is an excellent walking partner. The upbeat tracks pump me up and give me just the right dose of energy to keep me from giving up too soon. Of course, they also make me want to dance...which for the person walking with me may or may not be a good thing.
5) Fashion is everything. On our first few nights of walking, Jeremy and I were totally unprepared fashion-wise. We walked in jeans. Jeans. What were we thinking? Since then, we've realized the important of proper exercise clothing. It really does make a huge difference.
And that's true. It could be worse....worse being where we were a month ago with our poor eating habits and days spent sitting around doing nothing. I'm loving our new active, healthier lifestyle so far...despite the gnats, stitches, coughed-up lungs, and that overwhelming urge to dance.
Hanging out with the fabulous folks at yeah write!