Sorry in advance, I have a lot to share, plus it's been awhile! The last time I posted, I made a few goals for the month of August. Some of them I met, some of them I didn't. I meant to meet all of them though!... time just flies by way too fast. My goals were to get a rock climbing membership, try a local table tennis club, and run twice a week.
I did buy a 3 day rock climbing pass from Groupon to try out a new gym near our house. Haven't gone yet, but I'm financially committed at this point. I found 2 table tennis clubs in the Pittsburgh area (thought there would be more), and they're both over 30 minute drive from our house, so not sure if I want to commit to that. And I ran 0 times for a total of 0 minutes and 0 miles!
So August didn't turn out the way I expected... but I'm not going to leave you empty handed. There has been some progress and achievements I'd like to share!
|Selma is not a very good trainer|
Diet ChangesNot sure if Gretchen told you all, but I have also been vegan for almost two months now. NEVER thought I would see the day. I was all about the bacon, hot pockets, 2% milk, turkey sandwiches, chicken wings... but not anymore! It honestly hasn't been that hard (easy to say when Gretchen meal plans. I'd still be pumping bacon grease through my veins if it weren't for her). I've tried the Whole30 diet before and to me, being vegan isn't nearly as hard. Similar to Whole30, it forces you to eat more fresh produce, which is incredibly healthy and supports local farmers. But there are also alternatives for most of your favorite foods if you can't live without it. For example: I LOVE milk. It's so freaking good. But do you know what's even better? Vanilla almond milk! No dairy, but still has a creamy taste. Plus, it's a healthy alternative for a smoothie base.
|So much good food- especially the almond milk!|
Getting back to making your own rules, I personally wouldn't mind eating wild caught fish. To me, that is a more sustainable industry than the animal agriculture industry where animals take up land space and are bred for the sole purpose of ending up on your plate. I also would not swear off animal products if we're invited out to dinner by friends or family and there aren't many, if any, vegan options on the menu. If I am non-vegan once or twice a month, that's still a thousand times better than my old lifestyle. Veganism rules can get very specific. I do not follow these rules, but for example:
- No eating fruits picked from a tree. This disturbs nature's cycle. Only eat fallen fruit.
- No eating vegetables. This kills the entire plant, whereas a fruit tree gets to live on.
- Shellfish are okay because they don't have a central nervous system capable of feeling pain. This one's still a big debate!
More achievementsAnother August achievement: I got a physical exam and preventive blood work done. This is the first time I've been to the doctor since 2011. My company gives me a pretty sizable contribution to my Health Savings Account if I get the physical and blood work by the end of September every year. So if your company offers a similar incentive, you should definitely act on it! Same with 401K match. It's free money! I probably wouldn't have gone to the doctor if it wasn't for this incentive through work. Got the test results back and everything about my blood is healthy, and I wonder if this has anything to do with being vegan. I wish I had blood work done last year to compare.
I still play on my work's ice hockey team, and other than that, I run around with Selma in the backyard as much as I can. So although I'm not logging miles, I'm logging moments of pure happiness. She loves to run! She'll go into hyper modes where she'll zig zag back and forth like a cheetah is chasing her. Sometimes before bed she has too much energy and I'll just do this with her for 10 minutes and then when she comes back in, she just passes out. One of the reasons why I wanted a decent sized backyard was for her to run around, and it was worth every penny! We're thinking about getting a second dog, but it'll be a hard decision. 1) no dog can be as great as Selma. 2) Selma is protective of her house and it would be tough for her to share it. 3) it would be tough for her to share us with another dog too.
Lessons LearnedSince I'm new to being healthy, I'm going to start a Lessons Learned section at the end of each post. I think it'll be a good way to document what I've learned and to share that newfound knowledge with all of you! What do you think?
Lesson 1: Don't buy more than what you need.
I mentioned that I bought a 3 day rock climbing membership through Groupon. I could have bought a 1 month pass for twice the cost instead. Going by the numbers, the 1 month pass looks like the better deal. You could go 30 times in a month for only twice the cost! But realistically, I'm probably only going to go once a week and something will come up that will keep me from going one week. So if I got a 1 month pass, I probably would've only gone 3 times anyway... for twice the cost.
I get suckered into this type of thinking all the time. This is how I end up with bottles of Advil with 500 tablets.... because it's cheaper per tablet! But... realistically I only end up using less than 50 or 100 tablets by the time they expire in a year or two. This isn't a problem with items that you need that don't expire though. That's what I try to tell Gretchen about my bulk pack of deodarant. She thinks I'm smelly, I just think I'm being economical.
Lesson 2: Create incentives for achieving your goals.
Even though I do a "daily" exercise routine now.. it hasn't been as daily as it sounds. It's easy to forget to do it, and I probably missed 10-15 days out of the whole month. Not a good success rate! The issue is there's no consequence for not meeting my goal. Sure, you could say my poor health is a consequence, but we naturally tend to think short-term only. I need to trick myself into working towards my goals by giving myself incentives. Look how extra money from my company convinced me to go to the doctor for the first time in 5 years and agree to let them poke a large needle in my arm.
So for my daily exercises, I'm going to put a list of my exercises in a chart form and hang it on the fridge. I'll mark a star for each day I do my exercises and if I get more than 6 stars in a week, then I'll treat myself to something special (vegan ice cream!). Yes, I'm going to treat myself the way my parents did when I was 9 to get me to do chores. Whatever it takes! I'll let you know how this new system works.
Do you think we should get a second dog? Do you have a jealous pet?
What's the most distance/time you're willing to travel out of your way to participate in a weekly activity/club?
Even if you're not vegan, some of your favorite meals might be. What's your favorite for me and Gretchen to try?
Thanks and see you next time!