One year ago we celebrated my birthday on top of the Great Wall of China.
That momentous occasion also marked the beginning of our 60×60 journey – our quest to see 60 countries before I turned sixty.
It’s been one year and we checked 13 countries off our list. Way and I take a look back at the year here. With five more years to go, it feels good to say we are on track.
About a month ago, I began thinking about what I was going to do for this year. I mean it’s pretty hard to top the Great Wall. Spending two months in China is pretty epic, after all.
Well, I’ve had a front-row seat to my friend training for a bikini fitness competition, another friend dropped 12 sizes, another lost so much weight I almost didn’t recognize here, and then another dropped 25 lbs while taking care of his heart.
Flab to fab and ninja fit
When I work, I sometimes put on shows to deafen the silence. Shows I can “watch” without really watching. One of those shows just happens to be American Ninja Warrior. It was during one of those shows that I decided I wanted to get fit. And not just fit-ish – but super fit – ninja fit to match my ninja-like personality. Ha. Just kidding – sort of.
So that is this year’s quest. While we embark on year two of our 60×60 journey, I’m going to start my own, personal Flab to Fab Journey. And I started to test the waters two weeks ago by doing some walk/run intervals.
Let’s get one thing straight – I am not a runner! But my friend Lisa Scott over at Run. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. convinced me through her personal journey and her writing that I could maybe do this thing other people seem to enjoy.
Now, Lisa says her site is for Australian women who love to run. I’m not Australian, I don’t love to run, but I still found stuff here to help me on my way.
One thing you should know is that about ten years ago I was told I had diminished lung capacity so even if I loved running – which I don’t – it’s hard for me.
My lungs took a beating from chronic bronchitis and exposure to second-hand smoke that was all the rage in the late 60s and early 70s – not from my parents, mind you but from everyone else.
And yet here I am doing walk/run intervals before coffee. You read that right – before coffee.
Yeah – I’m still shocked about that one and I’m living it.
One day I might find the love of running so many of my friends experience. But today, I’ll settle for successfully getting through the daily torture.
Blogging my Flab to FAb journey
My plan is to blog my progress every two weeks to hold me accountable.
To be honest, at 55 I feel pretty good, but I’m way heavier than I want to be and I hate the way I look on camera. For someone who is always on camera that is a problem.
Since I am exactly at mid-life – yes, I plan to live to 110, I want to make sure I get every ounce of life out of the second half.
I’ve decided not to measure success by pounds on the scale for two reasons:
1. I’m obsessive and focusing on the numbers the way I most certainly would is not healthy
2. A scale is not always accessible while on the road
There is one place that scales seem to be everywhere and that is here on the beach in Durrës, Albania. Several locals come to beach and set up a scale and charge people to weight themselves. Seriously, they set up scales on the beach. I mean who wants to weigh themselves on the beach?
(Yes, that’s a scale – with a knitted hat on top, of course. The proprietor didn’t want to be featured but she has multiple revenue streams with charging people to weigh themselves and selling her knitted goods.)
Instead, I will measure success by:
1. Inches lost (and I will only measure only every two weeks)
2. How I sleep
3. How I feel
I’ve been doing my walk-run intervals for two weeks now and eating super clean – meaning no treat meals (even though I had some planned) and I’m proud to say I’ve lost five inches including 2 1/2 inches in my waist. YAY me.
I started with a 4-minute walk/ 1-minute run and I’m now at a 1:30 run and 3:30 walk. Still super slow but progress over perfection, right?
My flab to fab health and fitness goals
My year-long plan is roughly outlined into four phases:
1. Cardio with some light bodyweight resistance-strength training
2. Cardio & Strength
3. More focus on strength while maintaining cardio
4. Whatever I need to do to get a six-pack. Yeah, I’m not kidding
Then there’s nutrition. Everything I read gives a lot of weight to nutrition – again pun intended.
I know friends that have had great success with Keto and more power to them.
I’m just not a big meat eater. I am going with the Mediterranean diet approach. It is food I love and naturally gravitate to and that makes it sustainable. I’ve moved away from sugar and processed foods for a while now, so that’s an easy battle – well, mostly.
Of course, traveling puts so many amazing foods in front of me and my biggest downfalls are bread and cheese. As long as we try to keep to eating local, fresh foods we’ll be good.
But I also know life without bread and cheese is not a life I want to live. So, I will incorporate two treat meals a week. If I have a third, so be it, I won’t beat myself up, I’ll just make up for it another way.
Besides nutrition, I really want to get better at meditating and pay attention to flexibility and mobility. So I will be implementing those aspects along the way too. Not quite yet, the walk/run intervals are enough for me.
I’m tired of the excuses of menopause, thyroid or just getting old to explain away my weight gain.
I realize those are real issues and I’m not discounting them at all, but I really want to use food as medicine, exercise as an energy boost, sleep as healing, and meditation as rehab.
I might not always be able to accomplish that, but I think I can certainly start down that path.
I’m also tired of being less than my best self which comes when I am healthy and fit.
For now, I have a plan and I plan on sticking to it. I’ve done my research, but I am always open to hearing your stories and what’s worked for you.