taking the first steps to healthy

I might have posted something about this before… but pastors, in general, and in the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, in particular, (did I use my commas correctly there?) are pretty unhealthy.  There was some outstanding (and not in a good way) statistic a year ago at conference that said that our group for health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield has like 2x the rate of cancer and 3x the rate of diabetes as any other group that Wellmark covers.  Insanity.

Now, I’m a young woman, relatively healthy, but I admit to myself that I have room for improvement on this front.  It would be great if I could look back on this time of my life and say that I was in the best physical and mental and spiritual shape that I could have been. 

To try to coax pastors in our conference to be more F.I.T. (remember that challenge from a few posts ago), we are signed up with this program through Virgin Healthmiles.  Virgin as in the company… not Mary…

We can get a pedometer and set up an account, and depending on how many miles we walk in a year’s time, we can actually earn money!  The thought is that if we are encouraging people to be healthy and rewarding them for their work, they will actually save money in the long run by decreasing health care costs. 

So, I got my pedometer in the mail.  And I’ve been using it pretty faithfully for a week now – although I forgot to wear it over the weekend.  My goal is 10,000 steps a day… and I’ve only hit that goal twice (well, three times if I had worn it yesterday).  It is a reminder that I really do need to get out there and exercise, and this morning, I made the extra effort and went for a run. 

It had been such a long time and my lungs screamed at me, but I did it.  And I’m going to keep doing it. Because the extra cash would be nice to have… and if I keep on track I’ll need it to buy some new clothes… but most of all, because I deserve to be healthy and fit.

So – first step is actually getting off my hiney and getting out there and moving. 
Step two is following that up with some healthy eating.  I started off today with a fruit smoothie – inspired by Alton Brown.  He measures his fruit and juice in oz’s and then dumps it all in… I guess I’m following technique more than anything else.  Mine this morning included blueberries (which I bought on super sale and then froze myself), frozen peaches, fresh strawberries (the remainder or which were frozen for the future), blueberry/pomegranate juice, and 1/2 a scoop of whey protein.
Step three is trying to gracefully avoid and limit what I eat at the church.  There are homemade cakes and casseroles and snacks everywhere. And you feel bad if you say no, because people are being gracious hosts.  But you know what… that’s probably the number one reason pastor’s are so unhealthy.  We Methodists have too many good cooks!!!!

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