Tomorrow is a big kickoff day for a challenge that Julia and I have decided to take on that will last 30 days. We were originally going to start November 1st, but then decided to bump it up a few days in order to have it wrapped up in time for Thanksgiving. It’s not the kind of thing I usually talk about here, but given that my other post idea involves editing photos, and I don’t feel like doing that right now, I’m going with Plan B.
Last week I mentioned that, according to experts, I could die at any moment. I can make jokes about that, but the reality is it’s true, and it’s something I’m keenly aware of, especially when I’m huffing up a trail in 25 minutes that three years ago I could do in 14. At that time I was in pretty good shape but I still ate like shit. As I slacked off on getting out and being active, it caught up in a hurry, and now I’m trying to win back that lost ground. I dedicated much of the last few months with trying to get healthier again, mostly for myself and how I like to live and the things I like to do, but also for the people around me. Last summer, somewhere in late July, Julia and I did 30 days where we (mostly) didn’t eat sugar, wheat, legumes, or dairy. Sort of a paleo diet thing, in a way, but based mostly on this book I picked up called Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind From the Afflictions of Civilization. Here’s what it’s about from the press copy:
The scientific evidence behind why maintaining a lifestyle more like that of our ancestors will restore our health and well-being.
In GO WILD, Harvard Medical School Professor John Ratey, MD, and journalist Richard Manning reveal that although civilization has rapidly evolved, our bodies have not kept pace. This mismatch affects every area of our lives, from our general physical health to our emotional wellbeing. Investigating the power of living according to our genes in the areas of diet, exercise, sleep, nature, mindfulness and more, GO WILD examines how tapping into our core DNA combats modern disease and psychological afflictions, from Autism and Depression to Diabetes and Heart Disease. By focusing on the ways of the past, it is possible to secure a healthier and happier future, and GO WILD will show you how.
It isn’t really some crazy diet so much as it is a lifestyle change. We still ate a lot of what we like, just not the shitty stuff. And I’ll tell you what, get away from the shitty stuff — fast food, convenience store food, middle-aisle grocery store food, etc. — and if you have it again, you really notice it. We followed that plan right up until our little vacation to Polebridge, MT, where like bears fattening up for winter we gorged on huckleberries. To be exact, huckleberry bear claws, a kind of decadent pastry that is half the reason we like to visit that friggin’ place.
Anyway, we’ve tried to maintain that method of eating with up and down levels of success. So we are going to do it again. Only this time we are also going to do 30 days of Bikram Yoga. We’ll go every day . . . mostly. Their class schedule on Sunday isn’t workable for us, so we will actually go 26 times in 30 days. That’s the plan anyway. Julia has done it before, and while it kicked her ass she loved it. I’ve only ever done yoga at all a handful of times, and never this variety. I expect to long for death, but I’ve been saying for over a year that I would do it with her, so I’m doing it. As well as hoping to maintain the amount of hiking I’ve been doing. There are a few other aspects to this that maybe I’ll mention along the way, I don’t know. I’m feeling a little intimidated by the yoga part, but what the hell. Yoga is a huge part of more and more healthy lives these days, so I’m all in for giving it a try. I’ll be in touch. . . .