Who I Want To Be

I’m going to share something with my readers that I don’t usually talk about.

Generally speaking I am a very happy person. I consider myself to be positive and excited for my future most of the time, and while I may have certain fears or anxieties, I try to be honest with myself about what they are and how to deal with them. On the whole I am very pleased and proud with where I am in life – my physical, mental and spiritual health, my calling, my classes, my organizations and involvements, my work, my love life, my friends, my family. This is a fantastic place to find myself!

On a more specific level, though, there are certain things that I want to improve on. They’re never really huge things; they’re typically more along the lines of… how I would be if I took advantage of all my ambitions? What would I look like if I really went after all the little things I say I want to do? So I’ve made a list.

Some of the items are superficial, and include how I would dress if I had the money and how I would decorate my home if I could. Others are essentially sketches of how I am right now – for example, my art, literature, and music tastes.

And yet, some are rather personal: activities (religious studies, research and academia, interfaith activism and organizing, world travel and culture), talents (studying, teaching, writing, working, organizing, travel), and interests (pinup, tattoos, film, writing, fantasy, and computers).

Right up there with improving my mental and spiritual health (such as quitting Facebook and embracing my spirituality), the most personal of all refers to how I want to improve my physical life. It’s no secret that I’m learning to simultaneously love my body and stop ignoring it, and physical health is part of that. There are a number of ways I want to do this:

Nutrition

– I’m debating between: 1) switching to organic, farm-fresh, free-range meat at home (and going veg when I can’t be sure), and 2) going veg all the way. We’ll see.

– Increase the mixed veggies and mixed fruit

– Get some healthy snacks: veggies, fruit, trail mix, yogurt, or cheese are good!

– Eat a little breakfast in the morning, so I don’t pig out at lunch. Have a light snack in the afternoon so I don’t wolf down dinner.

– Eat in moderation. Don’t be afraid to leave food on your plate.

– Decrease the pastas and boxed/processed food.

– Avoid sweets. No more donuts and pastries, and no more handfuls of Hershey’s Kisses every meal.

– Avoid oils. Less butter!

Exercise

– Do some kind of exercise every day

– Go for a bike ride every day

– Work up to some cardio and resistance training

And… the announcement of the century:

I have actually been achieving some success!

I have begun to eat more healthfully, including more fruits and veggies and eating in moderation. I feel better, and I feel more fit! But most importantly, I have begun going on long walks at night, and last night…

… last night…

… Last night, I went for a run. It’s the first time in my LIFE that I have ever voluntarily gone for a run. Previous times it’s always been because I’m part of a group or a class that is forced to jog, and I always hated it. But it occurred to me last night: “It’s dark, it’s quiet, no one can see me… Why not?” So I threw on some shorts and a tank top and went out and did it.

I didn’t go far – only around about a block and a half – but I made it. I didn’t stop once! When I returned to the house, I slowed and walked around about a three block area, finally doing some stretches before going back inside. On the whole it didn’t take me more than fifteen to twenty minutes.

It’s not much, but it’s a start. It’s a big achievement for me, and I wanted to share it with all of you!

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5 Responses to “Who I Want To Be”

  1. That’s awesome! Congratulations!

    Running because you want to is weirdly freeing. I think when we’re too busy/sedentary/self-conscious to exercise, we tend to forget how much our bodies crave movement. If you find yourself getting interested in running as regular exercise, I recommend the Couch to 5k plan (doing it as-is or modifying it to fit your neds) – good way to work your way up to much longer runs.

  2. joshuaslane Says:

    April! I’m SO proud of you. This is an amazing step for you and anyone trying to get healthier! It seems like you’ve experienced maybe a “burst” of passion that made you want to run. That feeling had to be incredible. I know I enjoyed it every step of the way.

    As for your nutrition. I’m a huge believer that meat is your friend. However, in small quantities. I would recommend sticking with lean meats (chicken,turkey, fish, etc) and staying away from red meats (pig, cow, human, etc). Meat in a nutrition stand point is VERY healthy for you. I haven’t seen one vegetarian who was fit. They might be healthy so to speak, but I doubt they’re getting the energy they need to not stress their body to the max. Tell a vegetarian to run a mile. I’m sure they can, but compared to someone who has a healthy diet of meats, it will be much harder for the vegetarian.

    What you have is AWESOME and again, i’m really proud of you for wanting to live a healthy life.

    I would recommend++++:

    Small meals, spaced out at least two hours apart.

    Limit sugars, and fats. I say limit, because suprisingly a bit of fat is needed for a balanced diet. Look for omega 3 stuff. A great source is tuna. As for sugars, I’m more talking about glucose. So have some fruit as a snack. Just don’t go over board. Tons of fruit is just as bad as candy bars.

    No soda, or at least once a week/day. whatever works for you. Some people HAVE to have soda everyday, some people just want it once a week; maybe on a special night out.

    Lots of water. I promise you, the more water you drink, the better your body will feel.

    most importantly, don’t stress over ANY of this. If you get in a bad mood because you “have” to run later tonight, dont. Wait until you WANT to run later and will be happy about it. Same with foods. If you not eating X is going to frustrate the crap out of you and put you in a bad mood, eat a piece of it and walk away. The point is, you want your diet/exercise to be a positive part of your life, not something to dread.

    And of course, if you need any advice I’m always here 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    SO proud.

    • Josh! Thank you so much for posting 🙂 You are def. the best expert I personally know.

      Yeah, the meat thing is primarily an ethical decision more than a nutritional one; if I were to cut it out of my diet entirely I would work very hard to replace it with other sources of proteins. A lot of people do the vegetarian thing badly – pale folks with big, malnourished circles under their eyes – but that’s just not how I’d want to go about it, you know what I mean?

      I’m definitely trying to avoid eating, you know, doughnuts and stuff for breakfast all the time. I went through a stretch where I’d go to Superamerica every morning and get a doughnut for breakfast… that stuff is poison.

      Soda – luckily, I don’t drink it 😛

      I like what you say about not stressing out over it. I think you’re right… I think if you do something because you HAVE to and not because you WANT to, you’re going to fizzle out really quickly!

      Yay, thanks for the tips!!! 😀

  3. […] I mentioned in an earlier post, there a number of little things I want to reach out and work towards. Some are superficial, and […]

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