Friday, October 18, 2013

Healthy Go: Two Steps Back

Last week's view, from the top of the Building E stairs.
I am either consistent or consistently inconsistent with this journal (and with My Year of Health).

I was steadily moving forward and building up my healthier habits up until around July when I stopped exercising for the most part. Since around September, I have been snacking on bad stuff and not being so mindful of what I was eating. I was still eating healthy things but I threw in some potato chips and such.

I have also had one soda. It happened because our fridge broke down and I was desperate for a drink, our water filter also being broken, and someone brought me a soda, so I drank it. I am not tempted to have more.

And, I’ve been feeling the weight of it all, a little literally and mostly figuratively.

I haven’t gone up a size but my gray shorts are feeling snug again.

I usually don’t write about things that are trending but this one is related to Healthy Go. From around the beginning of 2013, I have been following Maria Kang’s blog. She has been labeled as the “No Excuse Fitness Mom.” Maybe you have seen the controversial image: a lean and young-looking woman in a sports outfit with three boys ages 3 and under, with the phrase “What’s your excuse?”

The picture has caused a storm of comments. People are either in support of and inspired by Maria, or they are offended by the image. From what I understand, the picture gained attention in her local area several months ago and now has gained national attention.

I am on the side of being inspired by Maria. It’s fairly difficult to offend me in general, and since I’ve been reading her blog and seeing her other candid photos, I do not find anything offensive about Maria or her No Excuse photo. She seems sincerely moved to inspire others to choose a healthier lifestyle. She posted the photo on her own sites. In some of the other photos on her sites, in more close up shots, she shows and points out her stretch marks. She has been very open about her health journey.

Maria also reminds me of one of my good friends, Shayna. Shayna’s been into fitness for most (if not all) her life. She also has three young boys – she is a wonderful mother – and her physique is similar to Maria’s (which makes me want to say, to those making comments that a woman with that physique cannot be a good mother, “Shove it”). Fitness is a part of her lifestyle. When I used to work out with Shayna, she did not let me off easy – and I loved it!

The fact is that people make excuses, not just in the area of health but in other areas of life as well. Why I won’t get that job. Why I can’t go back to school. Why I can’t leave this unhealthy relationship. Why it’s okay to steal this small thing, or that I told that little white lie. Why I haven’t approached my friend in reconciliation. Why I shouldn’t share this on my site. Sometimes, we’re not even aware that we’re making excuses.

I made excuses all the time about my health, which led me to this point where it is more difficult to change vectors and more urgent that I do change, and I am still making excuses. I have to fight the excuses before I can move forward in any actual change.

This past week, someone on a personality type forum posted Maria’s No Excuse photo asking for opinions about the message being received, not about type. The comments were mostly negative, which irritated and saddened me, comments which were definitely fit-shaming. The next day, the photo had made national news, and in the same forum it was posted again to note it.

I decided to read what others outside of the forum were saying, looking mainly for the positive, supportive thoughts. I came across people who definitely had reason not to be fit but who also made the changes in their lifestyle anyway and are more fit now – people whom are physically limited or disabled in some way, people probably with certain genes which limits them in some way, people who are in their 60s. They had excuses they could rest on and people wouldn’t fault them if they did, and yet they pressed on to do whatever it was they could do.

To do whatever it is one can do, in order to achieve what they want, killing off the excuses – I believe this is what Maria intended to inspire.

If it doesn’t inspire you to action, then find something that does inspire you in what you want.

After all of that, yesterday, I was inspired to fight back my excuses. I packed up my devices and set out for the stairways. The week before, I had done only 5 flights of stairs, up and down. Yesterday, I did 13 flights. My backpack added about 10 pounds.

I don’t know if I will be doing stairs every week, but it is something and I can build back up from there.

Here’s to the next step forward!

Last week: view from Building E.
Last week: view from Building E.

Last week: more artichokes,
my best results yet!
This week: Honey Ginger Salmon.

Yesterday: view from Building E
5 flights of stairs.
Yesterday: view from Building D.
5 flights of stairs.

Yesterday: view from Building ?
3 flights of stairs.