health review (?)

January 8, 2011

Around the time I started this blog I posted about my New Years General Resolutions.  You can go back and re-read it if you so desire, but I can summarize it for you with ease- I wanted to be healthier.  I think I’ve achieved this.  Not to suggest that I’m a picture of health and fitness- if you know me in real life (which, I think, pretty much everyone that reads this blog does) you know I’m not- and as with anyone, it will always be a work in progress.  But I’ve definitely succeeded in changing my attitude towards my health in the past year and I live a generally healthier existence than I did one year ago.

I started out drinking smoothies… until I broke the blender.  (Literally.)  (And have yet to purchase a new one.  But I have my eye on a blender/ food processor combo that’s really impressive… and would fit so much better in my tiny new kitchen… and we’ll save that for another post because I don’t have it yet and I can get rather caught up and off track with things that I’m very enthusiastic about.  Like kitchen gadgets.)  I’ve been reading labels and (trying) to purchase products that have only ingredients I can pronounce.  I now make an effort to not purchase items that are made with high fructose corn syrup- even if they’re less expensive than the alternative (specifically?  Wegmans english muffins vs. Thomas’.  Quite a difference in price.  Surprised?  Read the labels!)  I’m living with ease without a microwave.  (One kitchen gadget I’m happy to discover I can go without!  Again, a discussion for another time.)  I cook with simple ingredients and have significantly increased my produce intake.  It’s even become easy for me to bring different salads to work everyday (yes, while working in a restaurant,) and now some coworkers have said, “Wow, you always eat so healthy, Kyle!”,  (which cracks me up every time because I’ll follow that up by making them share a couple french fries.  Need I remind you-

The important part is that I have changed the way I look at and think about food- and this in turn affects the way I eat.  I love to cook, and I’m enchanted by specialty recipes- raw, vegan, gluten free and the like- not only by how fabulous they look and how wonderful it must be to prepare them (anything that involves kitchen gadgets is primo in my book) but also how they can affect me on an organic level (not talking growing practices here, people, more on the physiological plane.)

In addition, I’ve moved in a different direction with my preferences for exercise for fitness.  After years of honing my exercise avoidance tactics, early last year I attempted (and almost completed) both P90x and Insanity, (although not particularly liking either one of them).  As much as I’d love the fit and toned looks they promote on the exercise videos, I take absolutely no pleasure in the participation.  I was also attending Anusara yoga classes with regularity.  I discovered (a not-so-new discovery for the world, but I was starting to get it-) yoga isn’t just an exercise regimen, it also fosters a mind-body connection.  I liked this, but had difficulty over time maintaining my attendance (because of the location, and, as most people know, yoga classes are expensive.)

After all the hoopla and excitement I’ve had over the past week surrounding getting an ounce of attention from a certain well-known supermarket chain (should I feel pathetic for being so excited about it?  Because I don’t…) you might think I’ve been trying to take the focus off the other half of the post where it all started, 30:30 and a local letdown.  But I assure you that’s not the case.  In fact, I’ve successfully completed the first 5 days of the 30 day challenge, tallying up a little over an impressive (in my book) 5 hours of yoga.  This is on top of a 50 hour work week (including 2 doubles where I was on my feet for around 14 hours or so), an impending chest cold and various other day to day life activities that have a bad habit of getting in they way of good intentions.  The access that Yogaglo has given me to engaging teachers and interesting classes (with varying class lengths) has far surpassed my expectations considering the cost is really that of attending a single live class in person.  Making it to a live class every day this week would have been out of the question- the only reason I managed is because I’ve been able to choose a class to do at home on my own schedule; and since it’s not just exercise it’s been easier to pull myself out of bed early to practice on some days.  Furthermore, even though I only got the idea for the 30:30 from Yogaglo (they did it back in October) and I intended to go it alone for the new year, they actually started another challenge on January 1st and now technically I’m behind the game.  But it works for me, because I know I began when it was practical for me to make the commitment, thus increasing my chances for success.

Originally when I sat down to write this post I intended for it to go in a different direction; I expected to outline a list of things I wanted to accomplish over time (a semi-bucket list, if you will) but that appears more appropriate for another post.  The list is in lieu of another “general” resolution, because I’ve discovered I do better by pointing my intentions in a direction and allowing the path to appear, rather than setting specific goals with checkboxes next to dates.  I guess I needed to remind myself first of what changes and improvements I really did make in the past year before I allowed myself to move forward with new ambitions.  Thanks to my friend Pilar for most likely planting that seed in my brain with this post, and to my friend Lisa who really does inspire me to make the effort overall.

  • Pilar Carrillo

    Check out Kathryn Budig’s classes on yogaglo. She is amazing! I used to take her class in LA and she is one of my biggest yoga inspirations.

  • Kyle

    I’ve done a few short tutorials she’s had on the Yoga Journal website… but now I’ll definitely try one of her classes! Thanks, Pilar!

  • Lisakthrives

    It was a good year for you in a lot of ways! Next time we get together, let’s do something active (for real this time) instead of eating and drinking…

  • Kyle

    Ha ha, I agree… we need to plan ahead with specifics, so that we don’t decide to eat (and drink) out on a whim.

  • Julie the Alkaline Sister

    Good on you for following thru with what I think is the most important element of life- conscious nourishment. Thanks too, for the link on your blog to our site. We really appreciate it as we grow our readership:) A green smoothie cheer to you for a continually healthy 2011!

  • Kyle

    Julie, thank you! I just read your post on green smoothies and plan to give your recipe a shot as soon as I (finally) replace my blender!

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