"silver lining" amid the gathering dark clouds in American politics this year. So I embarked on a path to try and improve my life. Any path always starts with small steps, but the right path must be set with realistic, achievable, and measureable goals that are within my control. Support from others always helps and may be the key to achieving the goals.
Approaching my 65th birthday late last year, I decided to work on my overall health and fitness. I joined Weight Watchers in November and am happy to say I have lost 25 pounds thus far with their support. In January, I joined a gym (a new benefit of turning 65 and getting a Medicare Advantage Plan with a fitness facility membership) and began to increase my level of physical activity (even on those cold, frozen days when walking in my neighborhood wasn't very inviting). In February, I got a personal fitness trainer and do two 30 minute personal training sessions per week. I also do cardio like treadmill, cycling and water aerobics several times a week. I got a Fitbit wristband and now try to walk 10,000 steps a day. I have averaged 9,785 steps a day for the past month. The Fitbit also helps monitor my sleep and I am now aware that I need to improve the quality and time of my sleep.
My eating habits have changed as I try to cook more vegetable and protein filled dishes. Reducing the carbohydrate, saturated fat, and sugar in my diet has benefited my overall health as measured in my late January lab tests. I use a lot of Weight Watcher recipes that skew toward a Mediterranean-type diet and have found most of the recipes are very tasty and I have lost a daily hunger for high-carb foods. I still eat a breakfast burrito with green chile sauce every once in a while, but I fix them with less saturated fat. A friend on Facebook shared a post about a farm fresh delivery service here in Albuquerque called Skarsgard Farms. They deliver a "Harvest Box" weekly and had just dropped their delivery charges to encourage new subscriptions. Ron and I now get a mini-Harvest Box every week delivered to our door and the fresh, organic produce, fruits, eggs, bread, goat cheese, and meats encourage me to cook healthy.
Besides Weight Watchers with a weekly support meeting and their great on-line e-tools, I also have friends and neighbors who I walk with. I join my neighbor (who just turned 80) and another neighbor who works on-line at home (like me) to walk several week days and Saturday mornings. The walking is, of course, a great physical activity, but I also find that the social benefit is very valuable to keep me connected with others and out of my own head. And I have a new hiking partner who I met at the weekly Weight Watchers' meeting who will join me tomorrow for hiking in the foothills of Albuquerque.
So, no matter what happens in the world today, I am working on being a happier and healthier person. Of course, I will vote, too! I also want to smile more and criticize less or, to say it in another way, "encourage more, complain less". That's my new motto along with "today is a day of infinite possibility".