Have you heard of the show, 30 Days? It’s Morgan Spurlock’s brain child. (He’s the guy that did Supersize Me). The premise: someone who believes a certain way (example: a meat-eater who likes to hunt) has to live with a family who are vegans and are huge supporters of PETA (this was an actual episode) for 30 days. It’s about gaining a new perspective, and most of the time, the individuals glean from one another. It’s a great show.
I decided to immerse myself in my own 30 days. For the entire month of December, I took a break from eating healthy. I ate a lot of greasy, fried foods. A lot. I didn’t worry about my fruits and vegetables. Exercise was a thing of the past, and although I still managed to squeak out 1-2 days/week, it was the bare minimum. I’d do a few crunches and push-ups and call it good.
So, what made me steer away from the fitness track? I had nothing to train for. I knew I’d go at it again in January, so I decided to take a break and relax the rest of the year. Christmas is my favorite holiday. The food is irresistible. I wanted to see how I’d feel, and if the lack of exercise and not eating healthy would do much to me. It’s only 30 days, right?
Although I enjoyed the extra time I had to myself, (early mornings were spent in bed, and not dragging ass, attempting to motivate myself to get into the workout mode) I started to really feel the effects of inactivity entering the 2nd week of December. As I mentioned earlier, I still worked out, but not often, not consistently, and not at all at the level my body was used to. Combine that with a total disregard for what I put into my body, is it any wonder I’ve had side effects? Here they are, and forgive me if this is TMI, but I want to give you an accurate picture:
Lethargy: I lack energy. I am tired all the time, especially later in the day.
Mood swings: I’ve been bitchy. Really bitchy.
Greasier skin/hair: It’s like I wash my face with grease. My hair looks like a grease pit towards the end of the day, too.
Canker sores: Used to get these bad boys a lot in my youth, but haven’t in years, not since my early 20’s. The entire month of December, I’ve been recovering from, or developing a new canker sore. My mouth has been in agony for 30 days.
Swollen, tender breasts: Used to also experience this one, too, with PMS and haven’t in years. Not since I started eating healthier and exercising more. On the plus side: They look nice. Very nice. Just wish they didn’t hurt when you touched them. Total hormonal thing.
Constipation: Guess it’s true what they say. When you eat roughage, it tends to aide in digestion. I’m all backed up.
Sore muscles/joints: Every morning, I wake up with aches and pains.
General stench: I smell weird. Not stinky, just… weird. I’m sure it’s my body, trying to sweat out the crap I’ve been putting into my body.
See, none of these issues are prevalent with age. In fact, I recall having these issues in my 20’s, before I decided to get my health on track. The days where youth can rebound after a drinking bender or an everlasting buffet line, my body never fit in that category. It couldn’t cope. I would always wake up with back aches, stomach bloat, and I just never felt healthy. I feel better now in my 30’s, than I ever did in my younger years, and that’s the truth. I don’t think it’s normal to feel terrible. After the past 30 days, I really feel, at least for me, that what I eat and getting enough exercise plays a significant role on my health. This started out as a way for me to “take a break”, but in the end, I feel entirely worse than I did going in. Diet and exercise play a huge role where my health is concerned.
So, where do I go from here? I’ll go back to eating healthier. I don’t believe in diets, and I don’t like depriving myself, but I do work on eating whole foods, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Cutting back on the fat and grease. I’ll get back into daily workouts, so early mornings are going to be rough, but it’s worth it. Those early morning workouts give me energy that lasts all day.
An even better question: Where do YOU go from here? Millions of people plan on starting a new diet and exercise plan the first of the year. Are you one of them? And if so, what is your plan? The thing is, there is strength in numbers. If we can rely on each other, to hold one another accountable, the more we’ll stick with it. It’s not your size, or how much you weigh. It’s not how firm or toned you are, or how flat those abs are. Those are nice attributes to have, but being healthy is an experience that comes from the inside, and lends itself outward. It’s about a lifestyle change towards feeling better, and you will see those changes manifest itself in the way your body looks, and feels. I don’t want to have aches and pains, or canker sores anymore. I want to feel good again, and that’s what being healthy does. You feel better- emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Please share with me your goals, your aspirations while you are on your journey. I will share what I do, the workouts, the websites I go to, tips and pointers I learn along the way, but I want your advice, too. You might know something I don’t, you might have some tricks up your sleeve I’ve never even heard of, and for me, health is a fantastic journey and I want to continue to learn and grow from it. Join me on the journey, or let me ride along on yours. Let’s do this, together!
So, what are your goals for the new year? Here’s one of mine. A friend of mine has started up a plank workout for January- here’s a link, if you’d like to join along. Be sure to check out my workout page, and you’ll see what I’m doing. I’ll also post it here on my main page.
Here’s to 2014, and a lifetime of health and happiness!