Clearly, I was not what you would call a serious collegiate athlete.
Luckily, I've always been at a healthy weight (to the dismay of my "dieting" family members who would warned me of a slowing metabolism in my future as I stuffed my face with cheesecake and cookies at family parties. Disclaimer: I no longer eat cheesecake or glutenous cookies, but more on that in upcoming posts) without really having to try (knock on wood). When organized sports ended, with their scheduled practices and vigorous endurance training, so did any resemblance of fitness in my life. For a while.
After grad school, I moved out of state and started my first "real" job. Life was good, except I lived in Iowa (no offense... I do have fond memories of the place). A co-worker of mine started
I really liked it. That's actually not true. What I meant to say was I really liked crossing the finish line. I did one more race that summer, and then I was done. And when I say 'done,' I mean I stopped working out. Cold turkey. I like to blame this mostly on the fact that I moved back to Michigan and away from my co-worker who instigated the whole thing. But, if I'm going to be honest, I still never liked working out for the sake of working out. And no race t-shirt was going to change that.
Just as I was settling into my "I don't workout and I'm okay with that" lifestyle, I started really getting into wellness. Holistic health. The kind of thing that focuses on maximizing potential. The kind of health that says exercise is a crucial component for brain functioning. Oh man, this was about to ruin a good thing. At first I was able to explain away my aversion to a committed fitness program. It's not like I became a total couch potato- I still rode my bike on occasion, took my dog for walks on many occasion, went for hikes in the woods... that was plenty good enough. Not quite.
Turns out, exercise is the ONLY way to normally express our genes. It's an essential nutrient, like sleep, vitamins, or water. If you don't get enough, eventually your body can't handle it. Lack of exercise creates an abnormal gene expression.... or more specifically, your cells are sad. Sad cells = sick cells = sick you, or me. I don't know about you, but I personally do not want to walk around with 100 trillion sad little sick cells in my body. The question is, do I not want sad little sick cells bad enough to do something about it? No, seriously, that's the question. I haven't answered it yet, but time will tell.
I made a deal with myself.
It was time for a little extrinsic motivation. There's something that I really want to do, a class that I really want to take at the end of the summer. Its expensive, and not really necessary, but I still want to do it. So, here's my deal: Power Hour (and no, not the kind of power hour that your local college frat boy is fond of)- physical activity, real physical activity, a minimum of three days per week (seemed reasonable). This will be assessed later, but its a starting point for now. And when I say real physical activity, I don't mean walking. Not for me (although I encourage anyone to start wherever they need to. If putting on a pair of running shoes is a feat for you, then by all means do it, and love yourself for it). This is going to involve sweating. As if this wasn't enough, I'm going to up the ante and commit to (in addition to nurturing my physical self) nurturing my emotional and spiritual selves too. Every. Day.
Oh, and did I mention that I plan on doing it in the mornings. Yes, mornings. Before work. As in 5:00 AM. As in, before most of the world has rolled out of bed.
While Vega protein powder would be delicious all on its own, mixed with water, I like to jazz it up a little. Oh, and I don't measure really, but you can't screw it up. Promise.
Vega Smoothie Recipe
1. 1 fresh or frozen organic banana
2. 1 handful frozen organic strawberries
3. 1 handful frozen organic blueberries
4. One package Vega - Berry
5. One stick of fresh organic kale
6. About 1 (maybe more) Cup of Nut Milk
(I use homemade Cashew milk)
Put all ingredients in a blender (VitaMix) and blend on high until smooth. Enjoy! Makes 2 servings