Although the Power Up Challenge is coming to a close, it’s been impossible for me to get into the ‘Power Down’ mindset since, from the beginning, my personal goal date has been June 20th.
But as a not-quite-endpoint report I will share how this journey has been for me.
Going into this back in January I had several goals, among them:
1) Make it to the top of Valley Library without stopping and without needing a paramedic with an oxygen tank at the top!
2) Learn to cook healthy ethnic foods- something beyond the standard comfort foods that I enjoy.
3) Get a handle on stress
4) Lose weight and gain strength/endurance
I’ve been preparing for the library climb and have successfully tromped from the main floor to the top without stopping but there’s still that basement level so tomorrow (Monday) that’s on my list of things to do. I’ll have my Rocky Balboa attitude on for sure.
Spicing up mealtimes with healthy ethnic foods has been a fun challenge and one I will enjoy for the rest of my life. I picked up a thick, hardbound book of Chinese recipes that will take me a couple of years to get through (think Julie & Julia- only in slow motion…) and I’m looking forward to THAT journey, for sure!
Making time for ‘balance’ in my daily life is something I have never focused on, or if I did it wasn’t for very long! Having this be a weekly challenge has gotten me into the habit of looking for that balance and as a result I feel it immediately when things are off kilter and need to be centered again.
One goal that I didn’t know I needed to focus on was getting adequate sleep. Keeping track of the days I did, and did not, get enough sleep gave me a surprising reality check on just how crucial those 7 hours really are for me and how much it really affects my performance and mood during the day.
Now, for losing weight- this has frustrated me more than anything else. I walked, rode my (stationary) bike like a madwoman, did pushups, situps, physioball exercises, tried to eat right…but the pounds just weren’t coming off like I thought they should.
Here’s the kicker, though. In January I took a full set of measurements and yesterday, after four months, took those same measurements again. In spite of only losing a handful of pounds I actually got rid of 1.75 inches in my waist, 2.25 inches off my abdomen, 1/2” from my upper arm, and 1/2” from my thigh. Not huge numbers to be sure, but this is where the difference I was looking for came through! I’ve definitely got the ‘stronger’ part of my goal down pat! Unfortunately, I actually gained a 1/2” in my calves from all the walking and keeping the tension on the bike up high, but I’ll take toned over flabby any day of the week, even if it means gaining a little size.
So, the scale? It’s going back out in the garage where it belongs. I actually considered going all “Office Space” on it but didn’t want to frighten the neighbors…
And this journey? Far, FAR from over. I feel healthier and stronger both physically and mentally and this challenge has given me the leg-up I needed to get this life-long party started!
Thanks to *everyone* that has helped and encouraged me along the way: my family, The Fire Breathing Beaver Squad, Kerry, Tiari, Theresa and Teresa, and the whole Power Up Challenge team. This has been FUN!