I've been following challenges for the last two months over on the Outdoor People Team. We had "Muscle March", and "Agile April", and will shortly be "Moving into Balance in May". I'm happy with how it's turned out so far; doable goals, and tangible results. My team members are in the same boat
To be honest, it isn't just about weight loss. I would like to also work more on the mental health aspect. Jacques is rather surprised that I am doing so much physically. I told him it's partially a choice to try to avoid medication for stress etc. Cos let's face it, we are all under a lot of stress. Some big, some little, but all add up. And exercise, especially outdoor exercise, is one of the well-known areas to help in this area.
Last year during the first lockdown in France, I was so lucky to be able to walk in the trails near the house. With fabulous views.
And I found my way back to the first of the exercises that suits me best. Nordic walking.
This photo was taken some time ago, in Scotland. The hair colour has changed since!
Within a few weeks, the difference was startling. Not so much in my weight, but in my fitness level. Where I'd been huffing and puffing up the slopes, I was managing much better.
And my mental health. I was trying to do my best to teach online, so I spent hours on the computer, learning as I went along. We also had Jacques's daughter and young family staying, and it gave me just a little bit of me-time. Jacques and I also followed some yoga videos, a common activity, to help us both.
We came out of lockdown, and somehow, I wasn't walking quite as much. As for the yoga? Well, that got left behind in the flurry of life outside the house, teaching in the classroom, no longer online, travelling to see family, and just things. Then back into lockdown, but this time I just didn't seem to be able to get back into the groove as it were.
Fast forward to March. Strength training is something that I have not been very good at. So when the idea for the challenge came up, I jumped at the chance. One of my teammates introduced me to the Jessica Smith videos, and they suit me fine. Not too long, varied, and fun. Those of us following the challenge are not, shall we say, in the first flush of youth, and we all remarked that we weren't as limber as we might like, so Agile April, working on flexibility, etc. And also mental agility. Reading, sudoku, crosswords, card games, again, it was for each of us to find what suited us best.
And I also started walking agin.
And we all have multiple demands on our time. Finding balance is important. So Move into Balance in May was the next step.
What I have been aware of these last two months is in a sense the whole Spark philosophy being put into practice. Small steps adding up, having a support group to cheer me on, results encouraging me to continue, allowing myself some days off, having fun...... Finding what works for me. One size doesn't fit all. As for my "diet", I'm following an adapted IF, adapted Fast 800. The important thing for me is logging, and thus being more aware of what I'm eating. Mind you, Spark does nag me that on my "fasting" days I'm not eating enough!
For me, as I said, the next step is to build on what I've achieved so far over the last two months. My physical fitness is a lot better, my weight is heading in the right direction.
Now to let that percolate out into my mental health, and add on whatever exercises that might help with that.
And occasional blogging might be one of them.