17 years ago I decided that I needed to start taking better care of myself, thus began my journey into fitness/working out. It would be many years before I found the right nutrition plan for my body, but more on that in a later post. The first two things I did was 1.) start walking and 2.) give up drinking soda.
Walking was a great stress relief. It got me outside in the fresh air, it got me moving and it made me feel better just knowing I was doing something beneficial for my body. The park I walk at has a trail around it and one side is all uphill. I can remember when I would be only a quarter of the way up the hill and start feeling winded I would count my steps in my head. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, 1- 2-3-4-5-6-7-8…almost to the intro tune of Laverne & Shirley, and I would count all the way up that hill, take a big breath at the top when I got there and start around the trail again. And when I got to that side I would again start counting in my head. It was almost meditative, and it was less cheesy in my mind at the time than a mantra similar to the little engine’s “I think I can, I think I can”, but most importantly it got me up that hill.
Shortly after I started walking, I found a website that would figure how many steps/miles/minutes of certain exercises you would have to do to burn off calories. It wasn’t so much to be a slave as in “if I drink this, then I have to workout this long”. That kind of thinking doesn’t get you anywhere. It was more out of curiosity, but I think then I knew I needed to quit drinking soda, I just needed a “reason” to quit if you will. I don’t even remember now the answer the website gave me, but it was enough for me to decide that I wasn’t going to drink pop anymore. So I quit. Of course it was hard at first, but after a while I just got used to ordering water. If it was a special occasion, I would occasionally order tea, but not often. I soon found that if I did take a drink of soda, the carbonation really bothered my throat and it tasted too sugary.
Just by doing these two actions, it made me feel infinitely better about my journey toward fit living.