Thursday, August 30, 2012

WELLNESS: 20 WEEKS INTO THE JOURNEY

I can't believe it's been 5 months since I started my health and wellness journey! I've been learning so much and I'm thrilled about the way I feel and the things I've accomplished. When I first started my resolution in April, I kicked it off with a health assessment to see where I was at and where I needed to improve. Luckily, my 9-5 has a stellar gym with lots of great resources, so I signed up for a health assessment and scheduled time with a personal trainer once a week.

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The assessment I took measures your cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility and body composition in order to produce a "body age". This age is based on your chronological age, as well as the results of the above categories. At the end of the assessment you are given your chronilogical age, your body age, and your obtainable body age. Here's a preview of the results of my first assessment in April:

BODY AGE ASSESSMENT IN APRIL 
* Cardiovascular Fitness ---> Ranking: MAX VO2 41.0 = Moderate
* Strength ---> Ranking: Poor
* Flexibility (sit and reach ranking) ---> Ranking: 12.5" = Poor
* Body Composition (measuring lean body mass and fat mass) ---> Ranking: Moderate
RESULTS: My Age: 23  |  Body Age: 27  |  Obtainable Body Age: 18

Yikes! My results really helped open my eyes to the fact that you can appear healthy on the outside but be terribly unhealthy on the inside. These results at first made me sad and then gave me a huge boost of motivation and encouragement that I was doing the right thing by making these changes in my life.

Starting in April, everything changed. I started working out with my trainer 1 time each week and then doing weights and cardio on my own 2-3 times each week. I changed my diet to include more veggies, fruit, and protein, and LESS processed foods, saturated fats, and sodas! My starting goals was to (1) eat breakfast (2) drink soda ONLY on the weekend or special occasion if I want to and (3) only have cheese at one meal rather than both. I started eating three meals each day plus snacks and educating myself on health and what's truly good for me to consume. It's been an amazing learning experience and I'm so excited to continue making new health resolutions and discover new good foods I can add to my diet.

My Biggest Learnings So Far:
1. If you make exercise and eating healthy a priority and a promise to yourself, you can do it. You're the only one holding yourself back.
2. Being healthy is not just for me, it's for my husband, my one-day children, and my future.
3. There are endless resources to equip you on knowledge about health. Along with making the commitment, it's important to seek education. My favorites have been this site, this book and this blog.
4. It's a lifestyle change, not a temporary goal.
5. It's ok to treat yourself, but make sure it's something you really want and you'll really enjoy...Don't eat unhealthy food out of convenience.

Goals Moving Forward:
1. Learn more about being gluten-free. I just found out that my husband is allergic to wheat! This would make such a difference in how he feels day-to-day and would be a great change for our home.
2. Read up more on incorporating more superfoods into our daily diet.
3. Look into juicing.
4. Try more healthy recipes. I've pinned a couple I'm dying to try!
5. Take yoga.

And SO, this week I took another assessment to see my progress since April. I was nervous, but confident, because I knew that my body has made some major changes and I've been feeling great. Here's a preview of my most recent results!

BODY AGE ASSESSMENT IN AUGUST
* Cardiovascular Fitness ---> Ranking: MAX VO2 41.0 = Moderate 
* Strength ---> Ranking: High Good
* Flexibility (sit and reach ranking) ---> Ranking: 13.5" = Fair
* Body Composition (measuring lean body mass and fat mass) ---> Ranking: Optimal 
RESULTS: My Age: 24  |  Body Age: 21  |  Obtainable Body Age: 18

Yeahhoo! Great results! It was so exciting to see how I've improved in my strength and body comp especially! I've gone from barely being able to push out 10 push ups to doing 34 in a row! I'm starting to see a lot more tone to my muscles and even though the progress is small, I still improved my flexibility. AND I went from a body age of 27 to 21!! 

Things to Improve:
* Cardio: I didn't see much progress in this area. I'm planning to add some more intense cardio to my workout to exercise my heart. This one is a big priority for me. 
* Flexibility: I used to be very flexible way back in my gymnastics days. I'd like to take more yoga classes and work on stretching. 

So excited to see progress and continue to feel motivation to improve and move forward with this lifestyle! I'm also always looking for great health resources, if you have any recommendations, I'd love it if you'd share! :)


8 comments:

  1. While it will be great for your husband to not eat gluten or wheat, you have to proceed with caution - cutting out any food group can lead to deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. I am gluten free and have been for years but the key is to eat more whole, natural foods. Substituting gluten free processed foods for regular foods isn't going to help your health goals. Goodluck on this new adventure! I'd love to suggest tips and recipes - I think it's so incredibly sweet of you to learn about this because of your husbands allergy! Having friends and family who supported my health-required diet is so important to me :)

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    1. I appreciate your advice!! -- I'm cautious not to make any health related decisions without doing lots of research! --- I'd love to hear what you've learned and get some recipes from you. :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing your results! I love seeing progress like this, so encouraging! And I love your new goals, I want to juice! And do more yoga. I did hot yoga last spring and it felt so good when it was cold outside.

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  3. You should definitely try yoga! I love it! Xoxo

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  4. That's amazing! I'm 18... I bet my body age is 25 :S
    I should exercice more! I love that you're doing this. It's very inspirational.

    Thank you!

    Val
    http://valentinaduracinsky.blogspot.com/

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  5. Very inspiring post, would love to hear how you get on!

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  6. GO YOU!!! Excellent job, lady! Jen and I have been working on our Wii Fit, which has been helping us a lot.

    By the way, thank you for linking to MindBodyGreen - it's amazing! Bookmarking instantly.

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  7. Yay lady this is so awesome! I'm a first-time visitor so I opened up pages for your health/wellness stuff and your post on starting it all. I've gotta catch up now!

    I actually wanted to start incorporating more wellness posts into my blog last month, but never made it happen due to a move and starting school again (yikes--it had been 4 years!) and a new job. Maybe I'll get around to it this month. So glad you are sharing your story!

    heart, My Billie

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