Saturday, August 31, 2013

Countdown to TTC: Week 48

Stair masters

Getting Fit:  Stairs!

Now that the first month of prep has passed and I have gotten myself into the right mindset and set the backdrop, it is time to get serious about getting healthy for a potential pregnancy in 11 months.  Over the last couple of years I've made significant improvements to the kinds of foods that are in my diet and have increased my physical activity substantially, but I could still benefit from fairly substantial weight loss and fitness training.  I am not obsessed with getting to a specific weight or strength level before I get pregnant, but the healthier I can be the better.  So my plan is to continue the good things I've been doing but also add on some additional strategies throughout the year to boost my wellness.  

Although I intend to slowly build up to new goals like target amounts of weekly strength training, it's important to me to begin with stuff I can stick with and add to throughout the remaining months.  I already boosted my water intake to try to meet the target 8 glasses a day (I am still struggling with that but tend to hover closer to 7 now, rather than 6), and this week I added another challenge that takes advantage of my natural environment and activities:  stairs.  Every time I have to go somewhere on a different floor, I am now challenging myself to walk up at least one flight, if not all of them.  

Why not commit to taking advantage of all the stairs I come across?  Admittedly, it is a combination of my lack of fitness and embarrassment.  One of the buildings I spend a lot of time in has 5 floors, and for my current fitness level it is a bit challenging to walk up more than 2 flights of stairs at once, so I think I'm more likely to stick with it if I say I at least have to do one floor and then just plan to add on if it's not too daunting.  Also, I get pretty winded after 2 or more flights and often other people I know will see me and talk to me in the stairwell.  I find it embarrassing to have this happen and then be unable to keep up talking because I am out of breath, so I will get off at a different floor just to avoid that situation.  Hopefully, once I commit to going up more stairs every day and week, I will have more endurance for climbing and won't have this motive to avoid stairs anymore.  

I started the challenge this week and already the first day I found myself cheating and using the elevator, although admittedly it was because I was carrying a bunch of things that I was at risk of dropping.  But I think it will be a good challenge to keep my mind set on the idea of fitness and a healthy lifestyle.  I also think it would be even more motivating if I could see exactly how many steps I'm adding to my day and how many more calories I'm burning, so I think sometime in the near future I will buy a simple pedometer to start taking with me (I'm considering the Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer, which gets very positive reviews).  A handy, inexpensive gadget seems like a good way to add a sense of accomplishment to what might otherwise be a fairly thankless process.  Although maybe just being able to walk up a couple flights of stairs without getting winded will be reward enough!

What about you?  What steps are you (or did you) take to get fit before pregnancy?  What do you wish you were doing (or had done) more of?  How do you stay motivated, especially if you aren't the type of person who easily loses weight or develops lean muscle?   

For more in this countdown series, see last week's challenge about Meeting Parents. 

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