Like many others, some of my goals for 2017 include: eating healthier, becoming fitter and build muscle. When creating art, it’s all too easy to eat whatever’s closest and not get up from your seat for hours on end whilst blissfully drawing away at your desk.
The benefits are great though, endorphin release after a good training session makes you happier. You have more energy, increase your brain functioning and hopefully increase your lifespan too! It boosts your confidence over time and could even make you more creative (Here’s a link! www.fastcompany.com/1783263/cr…).
I think art and exercise are related for that reason. Happiness and energy increases the drive to do things, the drive to draw, to create. And if it makes you slightly more creative to boot... sounds like an art elixir that’s worth the effort! I do feel like I get great ideas whilst showering of walking home after a good workout.
So, here’s a plan of attack to reach these goals this year!
~ What you eat ~
The easiest thing to change when you’re always sitting behind your desk is probably the diet. I mean, it doesn’t require you to spend time elsewhere. You can still sit behind your computer and draw, but you’re just eating something else. The number one rule for me is to not buy any snacks, and if I do, eat them right away and not keep them in the house, ever. That way, if I get a craving... it’s not there to be eaten. I buy snacks sometimes to celebrate something, or to treat myself when I trained a lot during the week. If it’s hard to create a food schedule for yourself, try to ask a professional. I did this a while back, and it was well worth the money.
But there is always cheat day! Oh yes. Every weekend, either on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, I can have a cheat meal (yes, ONE cheat meal, not a whole day of eating whatever!). Since I love hamburgers... guess what I’m eating xD I did notice however that on days where I celebrate something and eat sugar, I feel more cravings than I did when I didn’t eat sugar for a while. Try to cut refined sugars as much as possible, it really makes handling the cravings easier after a while.
Another thing that ties into this is cooking meals beforehand. Since I now create my portions beforehand, I’m less likely to overeat. I weigh my breakfast portions in the evenings, so I just add water to my oatmeal in the morning and eat whatever I put in the bowl the day before. Saves time, and helps sticking to a diet!
~ What you train ~
Training is tougher. It requires you to go somewhere, do something you probably don’t enjoy, and feel sore afterwards. Yay.
So, first things first! Find something you enjoy, and don’t be shy to try it. Art isn’t just on paper, to dance is an art as well, and I’ve found my passion there. There are many different styles too: Hip hop, Jazz Funk, Ballet, Vogue, Pole dancing, Aerial Hoop, etc. My boyfriend hates dance, but found his passion in the martial arts instead. Then there are ball sports, archery, horseback riding, surfing... Just try anything, you never know if you really like it or not if you don’t try. For me, I always really wanted to try pole dancing, and when I did, I was –terrible- at it. Like a stiff brick trying to hang above the ground. I thought I wasn’t made for it, that I should quit, but a month later, I went back and tried again. And from then on, I stayed and fell in love. Don’t give up on something you actually like, because you think you can’t do it. You can do it! You just need a little more time to figure it out.
But if you train, there’s less time to hang out with friends, right? Right. So I started combining the two. Why not train with friends? Body Pump classes are really boring, but I’ve found them to be way more fun when I catch up with some friends there that I otherwise wouldn’t see! I’ve actually been inviting anyone to go there and train with me. That way it doesn’t depend on one friend not going: there’ll always be someone going. It’s become more fun to discuss the moves and pull agonized faces to each other during the class too!
Schedule it in! For example: on Tuesday and Wednesday, I’m going training there and there with my friends. Always! Scheduling helps building a habit. I’ve started to get used to going training straight after work now, and have been building it up from training twice a week to five or six times a week. At first, I felt sore all the time, but your body adjusts, and it gets easier. It’s actually becoming my favorite part of the day!
If you live in a country with nice weather (aka not enormous mountains of snow like me) try to bike or walk to wherever you have to go! Maybe grocery shopping, or to work! Whether i’ll take you 45 minutes to walk there, and 45 minutes to walk back, it’s a good way to get your body moving and spend some daily time exercising! I’m hoping to pick this up when summer is here again.
Mix it up! I get bored quite easily by always exercising the same thing, so I’m training at three different places, that offer many different things without being too expensive. A pole dance place often also offers other aerial dances, and I found a student who is teaching a new dance style every month for a very low price. In one week, I do body pump, yoga, pole dance, back bending, jazz funk, stretching and can add to that with chair dance, aerial silks and aerial hoop if I’d like to. Try to offer a martial arts or a dance place your artistic ability in return for tree training to make it more affordable! And of course, keep your eyes open for free sessions of anything and just give it a try! Who knows what can happen from there, right?
Bottom line, however, is to feel good. Life is a journey, and in the end we do these things to make our time here more fun. It’s okay to be afraid, ashamed (I know I am every time I see my legs in the mirror at pole dance class), or hesitant. But don’t let these feelings keep you from experiencing what’s out there. From finding YOUR move. Sugar is addictive, but so are endorphins. Let’s get active this year!