Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Back to the UHG's Roots - 2nd Anniversary

It's the Urban Hiker Girl's
Two Year Anniversary!

December 2013, when the journey began.
Two years ago I began this journey to better health, not knowing that I would have a blog with followers and be inspiring others. I began this journey so that they way I felt on the inside would be reflected on the outside. I began this journey to get back the person I wanted to be but had lost. I began this journey because I knew I needed to change so that I wouldn't end up with the health problems of other, older members of my family; I wanted to choose a different path.

So one night while I was dog-sitting, after getting back from a walk with Rudy and Casey, I was thinking about how easy it was to fit a little walk into my day. And I wondered why I didn't do that more often since it was so simple. Like a snowball rolling down the hill collects moment and mass, my idea transformed as I grabbed a piece of scratch paper and started a timeline.

I knew I needed to lose close to 100 pounds. I thought about 5 pounds a month sounded like a reasonable weight loss goal, so I believed I could reach my goal by the same time the next year. I drew out a timeline and marked out my end goal, and all the months between now and then. I started adding in my weight loss goals along the timeline.

But I knew I would need to do more than just want to lose the weight, I needed a plan for how to get there. And I also needed to improve some other areas of my life- flexibility and strength (because muscle helps burn fat and toning and firming will help my shape. Little by little I thought about small changes I could make to the way I ate and my physical activity each day. I had done Weight Watchers off and on since high school, taken sports medicine classes, and worked with a personal trainer in the past, so a lot of the basics I already knew - I just had to apply them.

December 2014
And so my journey began. Eating better breakfasts in January. Adding more fresh fruits and vegetables in the spring and summer. Trying new soup and stew recipes in the winter. Stretching. Yoga videos for some stretching. Wall push-ups. Then increasing the angle of the wall push-ups. Then moving to floor push-ups on my knees. Walking longer. Walking faster. Walking hillier routes. Every month I tweaked everything a little.

And the weight started to come off. I started to feel more vibrant and alive. I started to feel more my age, younger even. My shape was changing and I felt great.

When I moved to Salt Lake City a year and a half ago, the apartment complex had a fitness center I could start using. Before everything had been walking outside and body weight or 2# dumbbells. Now I could increase the weights because the fitness center had variety, and I could walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical machine. And my shape kept changing and my fitness continued to improve. I met my weight loss goal, but more importantly, I improved my quality of life because I could now do again the things I loved- chase my niece and nephew around the yard playing football at Thanksgiving, wear age-appropriate clothes that flattered my figure, and come out of my shell and get involved in my community again.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2nd Anniversary!
December 2015
This past summer, I joined a "real" gym so I could attend classes like yoga and kickboxing. And, because I had become a runner, run on a treadmill in the summer heat and winter cold. I don't like to run in extreme temperatures - yuck! I completed my first ever 5k race in July, and then two more later this summer. Setting my sights a little loftier, I completed 10k training, but haven't done a race yet (the running outside in extreme temperatures thing), and am now moving on to half-marathon training with the help of a personal trainer.

On vacation at my grandparent's house in Denver, it's too cold to run outside, so I'm back to my roots - walking outside. And a yoga video (per my trainer's instructions!). I feel vibrant, healthy, beautiful, and comfortable in my own skin. My body isn't perfect, but my body is pretty amazing. It's come so far on this journey and all the awful things I'd put it through in the past. I'm now taking better care of it and thanking it for carrying me this far. I need it for the next 60-70 years! Happy 2nd anniversary to me, the Urban Hiker Girl!

Today's yoga video (loved it!):

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