My last post was a quick review of the spa at Travaasa - which was a wonderful pre-vacation experience! It was only a few days later that I boarded a plane to Edinburgh, Scotland - my husband's hometown, to enjoy a few weeks of long-anticipated vacation.
After all of my hard work focusing on fitness and having lost more than 30 pounds, I was determined not to let the trip impede my progress too much. I had my 5K training app loaded on my iPhone, packed my tennis shoes and workout gear, and was resolved to stick with my healthy living regimen so that I'd enjoy the holiday even more and not regret a thing when I returned.
It is so beautiful there - cool and green, unlike Texas in the summertime. I loved walking and jogging out of doors more than ever. I found myself wanting to do it more and more just to be in the cool climate and beautiful scenery. I was encouraged and kept up my daily 5K training almost every day.
I will admit though that I quickly realized how challenging it is for me to resist certain foods -especially under a vacation scenario! Scotland is not only the land of the best salmon on the planet, it's also the home of Angus beef and full cream dairy products like like you just don't find in Austin. When you look at the typical dietary pattern it is not unlike the Standard American Diet - a lot of fried, a lot of dairy, a lot of pastry, not a lot of green. No wonder, like many of our health issues here at home, Scotland is a world leader in heart disease. Take a look of this shot of the deli case at a local supermarket:
Anyway, I frequently told myself "I'm on my holidays" - so in addition to those few extra glasses of wine every once in a while, I also allowed myself to stray from my diet regimen too far. I thought that the additional activity walking/jogging every day would be all I needed to maintain my weight and I was comfortable with that. Until...
One day climbing Arthur's seat - an 823 foot natural wonder right in the heart of Edinburgh - I tweaked my ankle pretty badly. The next few days it was difficult to walk on - I was worried about aggravating the injury so I stopped my 5K training. This was close to the end of the trip and to be honest with you I just never really got it back together. The hustle and bustle of souvenir shopping and packing and goodbye-saying just superseded anything else.
Then upon our return I got busy - big surprise - back to school with the kids, new programs ramping up at work, and oh yeah, my ankle was doing just fine at this stage but boy did I have plenty of other excuses for not resuming my training. And it's soooo very challenging to get back on a diet under those circumstances, isn't it? Never has this study about how it takes an hour a day of exercise just to maintain your weight if you're a woman over 40 hit home as hard as it does now.
But the new Leadership Austin Essential class was ramping up along with our "Healthy Living for Leaders" initiative getting ready to start again. I knew I had to walk my talk yet again so after far too long of a hiatus I went back to see my trainer and guide Brian Johnson of CorpFit USA who did the math for me. And the cold hard facts spoke volumes.
The damage assessment was pretty darn clear - 10 pounds up almost to the ounce. But I know I'm not supposed to be worried too much about weight ... it's body fat percentage that matters more. The good news is thanks to my activity level I maintained my lean muscle mass. But the flip side is obvious ... the gain is 10 pounds of pure F.A.T.
So, I am rebooting and today is day one! I'm going back to my original strategy more than a year ago ... getting myself back into the habit of daily exercise by committing to 30 consecutive days of cardio. This time I posted on Facebook in advance and have several friends joining in, which is great. We'll all support and hold each other accountable along the way.
The resources are all lined up and my commitment is renewed. I will be post on Facebook daily to keep my own self accountable-as well as use my fitbit and fitbook to track progress. I feel ready to get back to where I was and better. I'll post here weekly with updates. Wish me luck!
Heather McKissick is a self-proclaimed fitness wannabe and a true novice at being "intentional" about her health and well being. She is particularly interested in the idea of resilience … how to bounce back from difficult circumstances or just plain keep going during her busy working life. She is 45, a non-profit CEO, a community leader, happily married for 15 years, and mother to two small and very energetic children, ages 5 and 10. "I just want to be the best I can be in all areas of my life," said McKissick. "The older I get, the more I realize that energy is everything, and I want more!"
Heather can be reached via Leadership Austin at www.leadershipaustin.org.