Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Getting healthy: bye bye Coke, hello gym!

Moving to the other end of the earth is a great opportunity to change your habits, get rid of what you don't like or is not good for you and do more of what you want to start. Right after we moved, there was always a good excuse to eat outside, not to get information about the local gym or make any of the changes we wanted to make. 

A month and a half after, I felt comfortable enough in my new life to get out of my comfort zone again and push the door of the gym. After visiting and talking membership, we subscribed for a two year period with the warranty to be able to stop it if we were to move back to France.

The first session with a trainer was a big eye opener. I knew I was not in good shape, but I thought I'd be healthier than I really was. I also thought I was bad at math and sports alike and that I disliked both. I discovered during Black Belt that my maths skills are actually decent, and I discovered during the past two weeks that if I put my mind to it and follow good guidance, working out is actually something I can enjoy (and eventually become decent at). We now have a session a week to learn new exercises focused on our needs.

When our trainer gave us our meal plan, I immediately rejected it in my head, thinking it'd be too hard, that I'd starve, that I'd been there before and that it wouldn't work for me. I actually had a hard time falling asleep that night, going over and over the rejection of that new diet. But then I tried it with a few extras for a week and quickly adopted it. I can live eating chicken everyday and the choice in veggies that I have is actually decent. The only thing I miss is fruits (except for apples that I can eat now).

While I was drinking at the very least a liter of Coke Zero everyday, I started drinking a gallon of water instead. The change happened overnight and without much frustration as water is preventing me to want to drink Coke. 

After two weeks of working out four days a week, I start to see changes on and in my body. I used to loose a lot of hair, I don't anymore. My nails are healthier and my skin looks better, even though I've got a skin allergy that I don't know the cause of. I have a lot more energy to accomplish chores and all that I didn't had the time to before. 

This new life style forces us to cook a lot more, and I enjoy spending time in the kitchen with my husband. Granted we can't cook like we were used to, we can at least use onions and spices to make our food taste delicious. Ironically, grocery shopping is a lot faster (if not cheaper) as we only visit half the supermarket. We also started to plan our meals for the week using our cook books and modifying the recipes (or changing the sides for instance). Cooking more also means cleaning more and keeping the house in better shape, which is a lot nicer to live in.

I had to change my hectic bedtime routine to make it more structured so it fits my gym oriented needs: thoroughly clean my face, hydrate my all body, drink more water, stretch and the most important: get a good night sleep. 

It's only been two weeks but I love it so far. I always look forward my next work out and improving my performances. Unlike the last time I visited a gym frequently, I understand that it is not an mean to an end but a way of life. I'll need to work out and drink lots of water all my life, especially if I want more flexibility with the food I eat. I now understand that healthy people exercise too, that you don't need to spend 15 min doing push ups but you should alternate several repetitions of each exercise, that you may not want to do a full body work out at once.

I'm no expert and it's going to be a while before I feel comfortable sharing tips that work for me, but I'd recommend getting the help of a trainer / someone who exercises regularly if like me you decide to take the path to health. It can be pricey, but a quick calculation tells me that what we pay today for the gym and trainer doesn't exceed what we use to spend in take-away (that we banned as much as possible).