Approximately how excited am I about this strong initial push to healthier long term habits? John Travolta was hired to demonstrate this for your benefit:
Though I have a long road ahead towards solidifying these healthy habits of exercising consistently, eating right all the time, and making sure enough sleep is the highest priority on my schedule, the fact of the matter remains: I have implemented these habits with enough consistency over this summer to lose a solid 30 lbs! It was instrumental for me, at least, to finally make the mental shift from considering the reduction of weight as the key problem to realizing that being out of shape was merely a symptom; the entrenched bad habits were the core problems. Focusing on fixing those were much better suited to 1) get me thinking about this as a long term shift in behaviors anyways; and 2) freed me from the trap of the vagaries of water weight (even my super-accurate scale couldn’t deal with those shifts) and instead focusing on month-by-month changes to weight. This paid off huge; paired with my tendency to carefully escalate all the different healthier habits slowly to make sure they not only showed me they COULD work, but actually get entrenched as the NEW habits was invaluable. Some of the most important facets of this was simple walking: I started off the summer walking home 5 days per week from the Law School, approximately 2 miles over the Divinity School hill. Over time, that got upgraded to hiking home via East Rock every other day, approximately 5 miles. A few weeks later that hike became a daily affair; at this point I have shifted my walking pattern to make it a daily 7 mile hike home (a solid 2 hour hike, which I insist on doing without music of any sort – amazing how excellent meditative prayer is when accompanied by physical exertion and gorgeous scenery!). This was paired with some SERIOUS weekend hikes as we were able, in the Appalachians and at Sleeping Giant, and this all built up into a GREAT many calories burned. At the same time, my
iron titanium-fisted rule that I log ALL food on the MyFitnessPal app on my phone, no matter if it wasn’t healthy or if it went above my calorie goal for the day. That habit at this point is so deeply-entrenched that I actually feel slightly anxious when I don’t have the data logged by the end of the day, and this is fairly conducive to mindfulness about what is in the food(s) I want to eat. Additionally, huge aspect of all of this was the assistance and accountability provided by some close friends, some housemates, and some from myself – only in tandem did these all add up to significant foundational assistance. Deciding not to try to take Koine Greek language courses over the summer (against all odds as I usually EXCEL at overloading myself to toxic levels) and only working a full-time job was highly conducive to 1) sleeping enough and 2) having enough time to rest, relax, and have fun with my good friends and housemates in town. All of these habits are pointing the way to this semester’s intended upgrade to the exercise regimen, but that is hopefully the subject of a future post(s)!
To close, I would make use of a quote I found today (from a fellow Hungarian!) that really appeals to me after a couple of rough-and-tumble years: this summer has been an excellent start to excellent habits and therefore excellent health, but I see this as foundational to additional healthy habits and proper patterns of living for this fall, “so that one may walk in peace.” I have hiked in peace (and heat and humidity!) plenty of times this summer; here’s to many fall and winter hikes to come this semester!