I feel it fitting that I should be writing this post the day before my birthday. Also fitting that it should be written about two and a half months after what is now “Part 1” of this story. Anyways, onward.
After coming to grips with the fact that I am, in fact, getting older and that such an inexorable process necessitates I begin to take more care with this consumable meatsack that houses my essential self, I started getting serious about Fitness™. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
I joined Fitocracy, an online community where you can track your workouts for points and “level up.” The site has been invaluable to me for the people there, all of whom are very body-positive and encouraging no matter what type of exercise you’re into, as well as for the game system. It can be discouraging to see no physical results from all the work you put in, whether it be in the mirror or on the scale. Fitocracy enables me to get that feeling of accomplishment with every day I log a workout, watching my point total creep ever higher and that green progress bar grow towards my next level-up.
I got back into yoga—big-time. I started going to a class a week at a local studio. Initially I was going for a teacher I’d taken with at NYU whom I love, but her schedule shifted and the class has been led by a parade of subs. Luckily, I’ve still gotten quite a lot out of it, and I really enjoy the experience of being in a class. I’ve also started a much more robust home practice. I started with quick 20-minute practices from a free podcast, but I’ve since signed up for an account on YogaGlo.com where you can stream classes of all sorts of lengths and levels from a wealth of amazing teachers. It isn’t free, but if $18 a month means I can take a class every day, it’s well worth it. I still plan to take a class at a studio every other week or so just because it’s a good idea to make sure you’re not forming bad habits in your practice, but the online classes have definitely become the root of my practice. I even used my tax refund “fun money” to invest in a new mat and some actual props. The difference I feel in my body has been immediate.
I’ve been walking a lot. The bike has been sidelined for the moment partly because walking is worth more points on Fitocracy (heh heh) and partly due to the weather. Once spring is fully sprung I plan to begin riding more to take some stress off my knees and feet from the impact, but for now? I love walking. I love it even when it’s frigid and my nose runs the whole time. It’s great for letting my mind wander all sorts of places and to get my blood moving.
I’ve been taking more care with my diet. Specifically, I’ve been trying to cut carbs after 4 pm and I’ve put a lot of emphasis on getting my 64 oz. of water and my 6-8 fruits and veg a day.
So what does it all mean, Alfie? Or more aptly, what’s the point?
I sleep better. It’s easier to get up in the morning. I have more energy during the day and fewer periods where my brain feels like a slug. My posture is better. I breathe better. I feel stronger. My knees hurt less. My feet hurt less, and my arches seem to be returning to their normal arch-y state. The wrinkles on my face are less apparent (for real. I attribute this mostly to the water intake).
And believe it or not, you know what things haven’t changed one whit? The numbers on the scale, on the tape measure, or in my clothes. I take up the exact same amount of space that I did before I started. I’m not too worried about this, as it was never my main goal to begin with and I know it will eventually start to happen if I continue the track on which I’ve started, but it’s interesting nonetheless: that I can feel so much better with so little visible physical change.
The other happy side effect of this regimen is that I find myself thinking about getting more exercise constantly. My mind is always looking for ways to get moving, and looking forward to the time I’ve set aside for yoga or a walk. I don’t know what’s different about this than all the myriad other times I’ve tried to start exercising, but luckily this go appears to be habit-forming.
So that’s really all I have to say about it at the moment. But I feel this post deserves a “to be continued…”