When you have friends like fitness professional Sandra Wickham it’s pretty hard to keep ignoring your fitness or lack thereof. (Also hard to ignore is when one’s clothing no longer fits. Since I started working from home a year and a half ago I have “grown” two full dress sizes.) A lot of my friends are currently working on their fitness levels, some of them directly with Sandra using her Virtual Bootcamp program, others on their own.
In the past year I’ve been slowly working out what does and doesn’t work for me. Big changes that require a lot of will power don’t, so a sudden change in what I eat results in disaster after a week or two. I’m a good sprinter, but a lousy long-distance runner (metaphorically speaking. Literally speaking I’m lousy at both.) I’ve slowly honed my diet so that I know what my caloric intake is, I avoid fats, eat a lot of vegetables, and don’t eat a lot of processed anything.
That’s been a step in the right direction, but obviously I needed exercise, too. Again, slow changes: I got the 100 Pushups and 200 Situps apps for my iPhone. I do “modified” pushups–the ones where I’m on my knees instead of toes. Right now I can do 65 pretty comfortably (in five sets, which the app calculates for me.) Once I get to 100 I want to start the program over with real pushups.
So Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I do my pushups and situps followed by twenty minutes of cardio, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I do thirty to forty minutes of cardio. (I just pushed past the thirty minute mark this week. Took me a while.)
I certainly feel better having made those changes, but it’s not enough. I started reading about how bad sitting all day is (and I was sitting roughly 15 hours a day) and how it slows a person’s metabolism waaaaay down. It also puts us at higher risk for heart disease and all manner of horrible things. So today I made the switch to a standing desk.
I had read that the first three days or so are pretty hard, and it’s true. I made the change at 2:00 p.m. today and by 5:00 my feet and legs were definitely ready for me to get the hell off them, thank you very much.
But I immediately discovered benefits that I didn’t expect. I was able to focus better. I put on some music and caught myself dancing. I wasn’t cold–and I am always cold. Normally I sit with my space heater on all day, but not today. I felt like getting out of my sweats and into, you know, grownup clothes. My whole attitude was different.
I imagine that tomorrow I’ll be hurting by the end of the day, but it should start to improve after that. My writing desk (in a different part of the house) will remain a sitting desk, but I don’t spend much time here (sadly.)
I’m really hopeful that I will see changes in how I feel and how I look. I know other people are thinking about making the change, so I’ll be sure to report back on any progress or setbacks.