I had this great plan for the blog for 2017. I was finally going to commit to getting healthy again, getting fully back in shape, engaging in the outdoor activities that I love such as camping and hiking and really living life. I wanted healthy living with my dogs to become a significant part of the blog so I could, hopefully inspire others to get out there and get healthy with their dogs while reducing my own “squish factor”.
I kicked off 2017 doing the Whole30 diet. It was extreme and I definitely didn’t love it (UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE CENTURY) but I lost 11.5 pounds that month and I was STOKED!! What an awesome jumpstart to my year of healthy living, I thought.
Then along came February and out of nowhere I was completely sidelined by my first (and, hopefully last!!) kidney stone. When I say that I have never experienced pain like this before, please know that I am not exaggerating. In comparison, after 38 hours of labor, I gave birth to a child with a head in the 95th percentile with NO DRUGS so I know some pain. The kidney stone was exponentially worse. Seriously! Like, so bad that if I ever get another one, I would seriously consider removing my own kidney with a spork!
I was down for the count for two whole weeks, which is like six months in dog years, so I fell WAY behind with client work, on the blog and, most noticeably and importantly, with self care. Getting caught up became my main focus and, as a result I would justify not getting outside regularly, skimping on the dog’s walks, eating poorly (it’s much easier to grab prepared foods than prepare healthy meals from scratch) and generally taking care of everything but myself. For the record, this is not a great life plan.When your fitness routine gets derailed by a kidney stone, you launch another health challenge, of course! Click To Tweet
All this is to say that I have gained back all of the weight I lost in January (and, sadly a little more). I am currently at my heaviest I’ve been since being pregnant and that was 21 years ago so I really can’t call it “baby weight” anymore (right?). On top of that, my blood pressure, which has always been on the low side, was elevated at my most recent physical exam (Where, by the way, I was told it was time for my first baseline colonoscopy – something, along with the bifocals now being recommended by my ophthalmologist, I put in the “Active Denial” category) and I have lost muscle tone. Basically, I’m out of shape and I’m feeling it. It is time for getting healthy again!
So, what to do? What to do?
While I am a certified health coach, I am not a nutritionist, personal trainer, doctor, healer or in any way a health care professional. However, I can tell you this (of course, you should always check with your health care practitioner before significantly changing your diet or exercise routine):
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Seriously! This is probably the number one thing you can do to support your overall health (and to ward off kidney stones, FYI). Check out the Mayo Clinic guidelines for adequate intake to make sure you are getting enough hydration throughout the day.
Move your tushie.
As long as your doctor gives you the green light, get out there every day for a brisk walk at a minimum. Throw in a few crunches or pushups or even a couple of correct form squats or lunges. If you live near trails, start with a short hike and work your way up to longer and harder trails. Grab a friend and hold one another accountable by setting achievable goals and cracking the whip for each other.
Cut out sugar.
Yeah. This one’s a bummer but there are SO many reports about how incredibly damaging processed sugar is on our immune systems. If you commit to making one significant change in your health routine, start with cutting out the sugar. Sadly, this means that processed foods, sweetened beverages, alcohol and things like bread and pasta are not ideal. I went hard core on the Whole30, cutting out pretty much everything except for protein, fruits and veggies and it did work. I lost weight and my energy improved (after that first 10 days of hell) and I could really feel a difference when I had no processed sugar running through my veins.
It’s never too late.
It’s so easy to get discouraged, especially when life gets in the way or you are feeling like you’ve lost a lot of ground in the health and wellness department. But, there’s no point in looking back. Start where you are. Go at a pace that works for you and commit to making even small changes and working up to the bigger challenges.
Seriously, this year’s challenge kicks off on Sunday June 4th. It’s a TOTALLY FREE 30-day challenge designed to get you out there with your dogs in an effort to get healthy! Join anytime during the challenge. Read about the challenge details, the amazing sponsors, this year’s fundraising initiative for Best Friend’s Animal Sanctuary and more and sign up today!
What is your main health and wellness goal for 2017? How do you and your dog stay fit?