It’s the end of my second year of living the healthy coastal lifestyle, and I’ve met all but one of my goals. I had a weight goal that I’m still striving towards, but considering it wasn’t my primary goal, that’s OK.
In the last year, I’ve added high/low impact aerobics and yoga to my previous routine. I’ve hit plateaus (OMGosh, how annoying are those!?) and reduced my daily calorie intake a bit more each time. I learned that I have anxiety and have added routines (not just yoga) to my life to help reduce that. In May I had a complete physical, including full blood panel, which gave me some additional insights in how well I was doing in taking care of my body. In short, it’s been a very health-ful year.
In year one of my HCLS, I went on a mission trip and the knee I’d rehabbed the previous year did great. This past spring, I went back to Washington, DC and put even more steps on my pedometer, and it was as if my knees had never hurt at all. A couple of weeks after that trip, I wore the black velvet choker to our anniversary dinner I’d striven to wear again.
I’ve noticed some incredible changes in my body over the past two years!
- I’ve lost over half my targeted weight. This isn’t a gross loss; while I’ve burned fat I’ve also built muscle. It’s frankly disgusting to think about the mass of fat cells I’ve lost – we’re talking the weight equivalent of 3 gallons of milk! And those fat cells took up a lot of space (fat has a great deal of volume). I’ve replaced some of those pounds with muscle, which has less volume. Think of the difference between a pound of feathers and a one-pound brick; they weigh the same, but the feathers take up considerably more space than the brick.
- I have greatly reduced my reliance on NSAID pain-relievers. With the advent of yoga in my life came increased calm, increased mindfulness, increased flexibility, and decreased pain. Before starting yoga, I would have to take two tablets before aerobics to prevent pain (hopefully) and three more at bedtime to help control pain and swelling overnight. I haven’t had to take NSAIDs at all, either prior to or following my high/low impact aerobics classes.
- I enjoy greater strength. While I still do and enjoy weight training and toning, yoga builds strength in different ways. To the casual observer, it seems wimpy – holding poses, balancing, etc. However, to the yogi, yoga requires a great deal of strength. Core strength (the power in the back, sides, and abdominals) is essential to the balancing poses of yoga. Arm and upper body strength are necessary for poses such as downward facing dog, tabletop, and plank.
- My clothes (very annoyingly) don’t fit well anymore. They’re loose and I’ve had to start wearing belts to prevent public embarrassment. While I’ve replaced some of my too-big clothes, it seems pointless to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe when I’ll have to buy still more clothes after I hit my goal.
- Can we talk stamina? I have more energy than I used to. Part of it is from losing the weight, but another part is from building up my cardiovascular health. I’ve walked at stiff paces for 3.1 miles and barely felt it. Yet, my heart was beating at a robust, fat-burning 150+ bpm. That stamina and energy have also translated into other parts of my life. I’m more active during the days, no matter what’s going on.
What healthy steps have you taken to meet your fitness and health goals? Drop a comment below and share what goals you’ve met so we can celebrate with you.