Health & Fitness - Part One

I have a confession to make: I hate going to the gym. I know it’s good for me, reduces stress, increases heart health, blah blah blah. But running on the treadmill makes me feel like a hamster on a wheel. And I’d much rather feel like a hamster in one of those really cool tube mazes.

Which is probably why I like hiking so much. Give me a mountain and a trail map and I’m the happiest person in the world. Especially with my pup Leroy by my side.

Even when I’m exhausted after hours of climbing uphill, scrambling over boulders and clambering up rope ladders, it doesn’t feel like a workout. What it does feel like is a really good excuse to hit the hot tub.

Take that, hamster wheel.

I hate exercise and I love chocolate croissants. This is how I would like to live my life, eating chocolate filled pastries while lying down and watching television. I tried this lifestyle for a while and although my pants did in fact get tighter (this went against my theory), I pretty much felt like crap. Now that is an overgeneralization, I didn't just eat chocolate croissants -- there was a lot more fast food and junk food than that involved. But I'm serious about the exercise, I hate it. Walking to the kitchen and back to get ketchup for my french fries was about all my body could handle.

I quickly learned that this is the way my 17 year old body could live, but not my 24 year old body. I didn't feel good, I was tired, and cranky. (My husband can attest to that). And most of all I never felt comfortable in my own skin, let alone the clothes I put on to cover my discomfort up. Once I realized "hey Kendi, why don't you eat like a real person?" I started discovering that I actually liked to eat healthy. I became a vegetarian and starting cooking meatless meals at home. It turns out -- I am a good cook! Who knew this was even possible? Then my husband and I decided that we wanted to be runners. So we decided to train for a marathon. Two years later and we still haven't signed up for a marathon, but we still run and laugh about how we one day will run a 5k, even if we come in last.

All of that to say, I made a few small changes over a matter of 2 and half years and I no longer feel lethargic or cranky. I can run a mile without vomiting or crying or swearing that I saw "the light". I can wear clothes (my favorite thing ever) and feel comfortable in my own skin. I don't worry about my weight or diet because I simply take care of my body. The minute I stopped worrying about the words skinny or size, was the minute I became a healthy person. And guess what? I still hate exercise and I still love chocolate croissants.

"A Haute Mess" on health and fitness is like Stacy and Clinton talking fashion on TLC -- what NOT to do. Or to take what I do and do the opposite! I'm a classic work-aholic: I'm often (an understatement) on my computer from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed -- making no time for exercise. I'm also a major junk food aficionado and have never met a sauce or cheese covered carb I didn't like. I blame this on my Italian genes but seem to be the only one in my family with a disdain for veggies (how curious...). But I digress. I find it hard to motivate myself to work out during these colder months; I love getting exercise in the summer time because you can be outdoors when the weather is nice, enjoy the sun and get some fresh air. But sadly, working out this inconsistently or not for months at a time isn't doing much for my health and/or fitness level! So my New Year's resolution is to work out consistently. I don't mean chugging protein shakes and making the gym my second home, but I just want to make an effort to step AWAY from my work and do something active, if not every day but at least a few times a week. And if this fails, it's going to get sunny soon, right?