New Point of View

As I mentioned in my last post, I am currently living in Southern California. I am enjoying the lifestyle out here very much. One of my favorite parts of the lifestyle is how health and fitness is a high priority. You all know I am on a mission to take back my health and this new environment is definitely helping me.

This is what I have learned so far:

  1. Do not try and mimic someone else. I love to keep up with different lifestyle and health bloggers as well as fitness experts, but at times I just wanted to copy their workouts and meals verbatim. I learned that part of what has motivated me to keep working out is adding my own creative touches as well as paying attention to my body and how it is reacting to my daily routines. I recommend using these people and their healthy habits as inspiration and guides, but pay attention to your body and don’t be afraid to draw the line on some things that are just not for you.
  2. Feeling great leads to looking great. Of course I want to look great, but I learned in the past that when I focused on every calorie and jumped on the scale everyday it did not seem that healthy. I have really been working on changing my way of viewing health and fitness. I now celebrate each day that I take the time to workout and don’t shame myself when I feel that I need a break.  I know how hard I am working on changing my habits which is positively affecting me both physically and emotionally.

    New Point of View — PC Kaitlin Marron

  3. Mix it up. I mentioned this briefly in The Slide. After writing that post I have found that mixing up my workouts has really been helping me. I have made sure to take advantage of what Southern California offers. Lately, in a typical week, I go to two yoga classes, go the gym twice, hike one day, go on a walk, and go for a run. I have even tried paddle boarding, which I will discuss in the future. This mix has been working for me. I no longer try and avoid working out, because I am not sick of a certain workout or location due to the mix-up.
  4. Set short and long term goals with incentives. Incentives are always great and I personally love having things to look forward to. That is why I make sure to set short and long-term goals. For a more short-term goal I have a deal with my friend Lindsey that if we work out 7 hours a week for two months we will reward ourselves with a lulu lemon outfit. We have decided to make it a long-term goal as well that extends until new years to make sure that our short term goal does not lead us to stopping our good habits. We have not decided our long-term incentive yet, but we figure we have two months to come to a consensus! I have also signed up for a half marathon (more info to come), which is another long term goal of mine.
  5. Shout, shout, let it all out. I may be copying Tears for Fears, but why not?!? Don’t be afraid to let people know of your choice to focus on your health. This blog is one of the ways I am doing so. It allows me to make sure I keep on it. If you let your friends and family know of your plans, they will support you and it really does help with staying on track, if not I am always here to offer advice. I am not an expert, but I once was in your shoes! We all have to start somewhere.

The Slide

Let’s talk about the “Slide”, and I’m not referring to the main attraction of a playground. To be honest, I just recently started calling it the Slide because I was pretty much in a state of denial and originally didn’t even realize it was happening for a while. Okay I’m done building suspense. So what is this Slide I’m speaking of? It’s the health slide. In my case I like to think of it as my college health slide, but it can occur at different points in people’s lives.

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Think of a playground slide:

First you have to get up to the top of the slide before you can even slide down. You may have fun climbing up, but you still have to exert more energy than, lets say, watching a marathon of Lizzie McGuire (side note: you’ll soon learn about my LM obsession. I’m not embarrassed at all to say I will binge watch this show for the rest of my life).

Getting up to the top of the slide still was pretty easy though, like working out when you’re younger when everyone is trying out a new sport and gym is forced upon you or eating healthy because your parents were there making sure you didn’t eat ice cream for breakfast.

But then you’re up on the top of that slide and no one is around you and you have two choices. You can slide down and run around the playground and climb back up again or you can slide down and decide you’ve had enough and go back to that comfy couch waiting around the block. That was college for me! I was on top of that slide, I felt on top of the world, and I had so much to look forward to. But unfortunately when it came to my health I started down that slide and it took me 4 years (give or take a few weeks each year) to realize I never climbed back up. I left that playground behind and became best friends with my sofa.

Now I’m a little bit older and have to exert a lot more energy to climb back up. I’m working on reversing the effects of the slide and I hope to help others not get stuck on the slide like I did!

Oh So…What have I learned from my college slide?

I shouldn’t have pushed away my sporty side! I grew up playing sports and running. I am very competitive. Once I was in college, I started looking at exercising as a chore, because I had forgotten how much fun it was. If a gym workout or a 3 mile run on the treadmill isn’t for you, just remind yourself that playing soccer or volleyball doesn’t have to end at high school graduation. I told myself only the best players continued playing in college, but it isn’t true. There are intramural or community teams and I wish I would have taken advantage of that. I am currently taking my advice by getting back into playing tennis with my friends. I am having a great time and my arms are starting to look like their old selves again…maybe I’ll be passing out some tickets to the gun show soon 😉

Taking back my health

There are a few reasons why I decided to get back into blogging. One huge reason is my health. But I knew I didn’t want to just focus on my health, since I have so many exciting and somewhat scary things going on in my life right now. That’s why Oh So Apropos as my blog name felt, well, appropriate.

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Oh So Fitness Selfie

So what do I mean when I say I’m taking back my health? Well it can mean many things! I’m taking back my health from: fried food monsters, laziness, cold Chicago winters, insecurities, procrastination, 12 hour Netflix binge sessions, and so much more. Pretty much, graduation got me thinking. The couple months after school ending are definitely a time of reflection and I realized that college was amazing, but I didn’t pay enough attention to my health. Unfortunately, I used weight gain as an indicator of being unhealthy, but there is so much more involved. Yes, I gained 30 lbs over the past four years, which I am trying to undo, but I want to focus on being happy, and happiness and healthiness are intertwined. It’s not about weight to me, it’s about being fit and feeling good. I want to focus on moderation and fighting back against complacency.

I always heard parents talk about how college students are so busy that many times their health suffers. It may be a little late for me to fix during college, but I hope my journey of taking back my health can offer bits of insight to anyone who is putting off that workout or relaxation day to that future “tomorrow”.

One thing I have decided to do is have a workout spreadsheet. It may be because I majored in information systems and love organization, but spreadsheets help me feel comfortable and motivated. This is what mine looks like (I just looked up templates on google docs). It is really helping me to not skip too many days and leave excuses in the past.

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Have you recently taken back your health? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Love my sports bra in my “Oh So Fitness Selfie”? Click on the image to find out where I got it from!