Small steps, literally.

“June 1st marks the one year anniversary of my amazing job that I’m very grateful for…but it also marks the one year anniversary of the most sedentary and inactive lifestyle I have ever lived. It marks the slow gain of 10 pounds, it marks increased body fat percentage, it marks poor circulation from sitting in front of a computer all day, it marks the widening of my mid-section, and it marks late nights of working and eating poorly, sleeping less. It also marks stress, panic, desperate fad and yoyo dieting and worse, guilt and low self-esteem when they don’t work. June 1st has sparked something completely new and invigorating in me and I’m using this date as true, solid motivation towards health. I’m using this date to find strength from deep within. I am going to simplify my fitness plan, eat well and stay active, no matter what. That is a promise to myself. Whatever motivates you, find it and trust in yourself fully that you can accomplish anything.”

This was a blurb I wrote for myself lying in bed after a long, late-night jog outside in the amazing, mind-clearing summer breeze on the eve on my one year anniversary at Fossil. Reflecting on the year that had passed, I was truly grateful for the opportunities that had been presented to me professionally, the material goals I had been able to accomplish due to this job, and the solid financial footing I had to pursue a life of travel and philanthropy. But with that financial and material focus came a shift in balance in the other aspects of my life. Spirituality had taken a back seat as had my health. Eating whatever I could get my hands on for lunch at my desk, or going home and taking a nap after work instead of working out because I was up late the night before working. Sitting on a chair all day staring at an artificial screen instead of being outside and moving, being in nature and sunlight – all of these things had of course taken their toll physically, but more so I was mentally defeated by my poor habits.

Since then I have become somewhat obsessed about using the pedometer on my Samsung Galaxy S4. I take my phone everywhere so I can track how many steps I have taken, even short trips to refill my water bottle. 10,000 steps a day is what it takes to be considered active and that number has been incredibly motivating to me. Someone with a sedentary lifestyle will take 3000 steps or less per day just walking around the house, to and from work from the parking lot, or walking around the grocery store. That is a little over a mile walked. In order to meet the daily requirements of physical activity required to live a healthy lifestyle, one should be burning 200-300 calories through physical activity, and walking 10,000 steps (depending on your weight) would do just that. If by lunch I haven’t taken 3,000 steps, I walk to our parking garage and back until I get there. It keeps work engaging for me, I stay energized and get a change of scenery, my eyes get a chance to rest from the harsh glare of my computer screen, and the work day goes by much quicker.

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While walking may seem like a tiny dent in the sorts of changes one may think they need to make in order to lose weight or get in shape, I have learned after a lot of money spent, time wasted, and confidence lost that small steps are exactly the KEY to major life style changes. Literally one step at a time is the way to stay consistent and balanced. Not extreme dieting, or 2 hours of hot yoga every day. Trust me I have tried it all. Starting with small goals like 10,000 steps a day is leading me to a better place mentally and with that comes the rest – better food choices, increased energy and confidence to take on more physical activity, and most importantly, a sense of balance.

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