05 July 2009
In 2008 and about a year after my divorce, I decided to de-clutter about 75% of the contents of my house. Early on in the process, I found out about an interesting statistic: We spend about 6 weeks worth of time looking for "things" we can't find in our homes. That's a lot of wasted time. When I heard that statistic, and when I had searched endlessly to find that "thing" I was looking for, I quickly realized that I no longer wanted to waste my valuable time again. On garbage day, I would hide behind the curtains, peeking out, wondering if the garbage men would get annoyed about the amount of garbage I put out. It's all gone now!! Whew!
I have to admit though that it can be quite fun when you are eagerly searching to find that "something" and you stumble upon "something else." This morning during one of my manic searches, I found (as I do a few times a year) one of my JOURNALS. I know, they should all be together. Well, I am a work in progress. It was my 1996 fitness journal. I have been keeping journals for about 20 years now. I started to keep them when I became very serious about my health and fitness. My motivation to keep a journal came from the fact that I just loved to write all sorts of things down on paper. I realized when I was very young that the more I wrote things down, the more clearer those things became for me.
Having kept my many fitness journals for all these years made it easy for me to have a reference point on where I want to be now as I grow older. I am able to see what I was doing, and how I was managing my fitness in those years and this is very meaningful to me because it allows me to see the truth and the changes I have gone through throughout the years.
Can you imagine that my first journals were pre-children? I had no cares in the world and I was able to workout as much and as hard as I wanted to. I truly had no one to blame for not being in shape. I had no one to blame for not working out. I did not use company dinners and late night outings as an excuse for not getting up the next morning for my workouts. Yes, I was always a "morning" workout person and I still do this today.
I remember being teased and picked on because of what I would order at those company dinners, things like, salmon, broccoli rape, spinach, and berries for dessert. People would get annoyed that I would order such "healthy" food. Let me say that I also knew one thing they did not know. I knew that though I was ordering those "healthy" foods that tasted so delicious in those lovely restaurants, they too were laced with "extras" and I was so thankful for my dedication to exercise to ward off those "extra" calories.
I have journals for post-baby, get back into shape days too!!! I remember those years when I was on a mission to get back down to size. I used to post (that's funny) goals in my journals in increments of inches, or even 1/4 inches or 1/2 inches, and pounds. There is truth in what they say about setting goals and being accountable to yourself when you do this on paper. I highly recommend it. Write it in ink and you can't erase it.
Though I can say I have been consistent in keeping a journal for years, I can say that I have learned that one must be receptive to change. We have learned so much in the past few decades and there is no way that one can be ideally healthy and fit if they are not willing to learn and roll with changes.
Yesterday I was reading Dr. Mom's (hi Colleen ! :) ~ aka Dr. Colleen Trombley) health tip and she talked about how lengthy hours of cardio will not help you to be fit and lose weight, and I chuckled because in those journals dating back to 1989, I used to be the "aerobics" queen. I had my leotards, legwarmers, aerobics music from Collage Video, and I would jump around for 2 hours or more almost everyday, hardly lifting a weight because I believed the myth that was popular then that I would become muscular. Today we know that strength training is the key ingredient to being fit, burning calories, strengthening the bones, and slowing down the aging process just for starters!
For these reasons and more, I am so very thankful that I started keeping journals way back when because I am able to see where I was and where I want to be now. It's not just idle chit chat when I utter the words, "I used to," because I have the proof on paper and I have the ability to keep me......being me!!! I also have the ability to learn over time what was truly good and what was not good.
It will be very interesting to open these journals again in another 10 years to see the changes that have taken place with me and with the health, nutrition and fitness industry. I am sure we will all be amazed when we see that certain things we do, or eat now, will turn out to be "not so good" in the future. No need to get raged about it. Just be thankful that we are an ever learning society of people who seek to be healthy and well.
I can say that I feel great and I anticipate that in 10 more years, I will still say the same with some adjustments to my journal !!!!
Write it down! Set your goals!!! Check yourself!!!