For January 2021, I planned on hula hooping 5 minutes a day. That ended up not working as planned because the weight hula hoop hurt my abs after 15 seconds, and I couldn’t imagine continuing with that pain. So, I attempted to build up to 5 minutes a day. Though, I didn’t hula hoop every day. I hooped maybe 3-4 times a week. By the end of the month, the most I could hoop at once was 2 minutes before the pain would set in.

Then, I thought maybe I could make use of the set of dumbbells I had. I thought I could alternate days of hooping with reps of exercising with dumbbells, maybe even do squats, every day for 30 days starting February 1st. And, I could start with just 1 minute a day for the first week. Week 2 would be 2 minutes a day. Week 3 would be 3 minutes a day. You get the idea.

So today, I hooped for 1 minute with the weight hula hoop while watching a 1-minute timer video on YouTube. I hope to keep up the momentum. I tried to make it as simple and as easy as possible for myself. It’s a small start, but it’s more than what I’ve been doing. You have to start somewhere.

The hula hoop and dumbbells are in plain sight in my office room, where I go every day. And with COVID-19 still raging on, I doubt there will be a day that I will miss going to my office room. I have no travel plans. I’m in this room every day. And, one minute is not hard. You know, even if it seems hard, it’s doable. I can talk myself into doing it, like rationalize, “Well, it’s only one minute!”

I decided to do these activities because I stopped going for walks outside ever since the weather dipped in temperature. I’m still not motivated to go out for a walk, especially today when snow is still fresh on the ground.

I haven’t gone to the gym in over two years. And, I don’t intend to during this pandemic. Though, I will consider going back when times are better.

I considered other options such as planking, pushups, or yoga. But, I feel like I have to push myself to do those things. I wanted to do something that I could do with little willpower. I kind of enjoy hooping, and lifting dumbbells doesn’t seem so hard when it’s right there and it only takes a minute of my time.

It’s quiet sad because of how bad my fitness level is. I mean, I’m not crippled or anything, but I barely have arm strength. My abs are pretty much non-existent. I guess the only thing I have going is that it can only go up from here, right? 😂

In the past, I got frustrated because I would go to the gym frequently and feel tired or gain weight. I couldn’t even tell if I was gaining muscle. It seemed like fat to me since my body pretty much looked the same, with my round tummy going nowhere. I hope I don’t coincidentally gain weight and think that it’s related to this. I talked about it in a previous post, but I really don’t want to reach a situation where I’m over 160 lbs. That would be my breaking point. I would truly wonder where I went wrong. I mean, I wouldn’t complain if I had a toned belly and weighed more. But if I still have a round belly and somehow push beyond 160 lbs, I would feel so angry, confused, and betrayed. Like, somehow my body turned against me and decided, “Welp, now you’re going to be officially overweight according to BMI!”

Technically where I stand now, I’m in the upper normal range for my BMI. But, I definitely feel as if I’m already overweight. My stomach is not toned at all. I honestly wouldn’t care about the number on the scale if I had a toned belly. But if I want that, I know, I have to actually take steps to get there considering where I am now. And my first step is getting into the habit of being active, no matter how little it is!

In November, I did a 30-day book reading challenge (20 pages or more). In December, I learned a new word every day. This January, I was planning to hula hoop 5 minutes a day. But unfortunately on Day 1, I realized that this goal was too ambitious for my level of fitness. 😅

You see, I haven’t hula hooped for three years or so. So when I first attempted to hula hoop on January 1st, I could only get through 15 seconds before the sore stomach pains really got to me. So instead of doing 5 minutes a day, I thought it would be nice if I could work up to 5 minutes gradually over time.

Well, today I was able to do 2 minutes straight without stopping! That’s progress. It’s not even halfway to 5 minutes, but considering how I would only hula hoop 3-4 times a week, that’s something. I felt a little soreness towards the end of the 2 minutes. I thought I could keep going, though I wouldn’t have a timer. (I was watching a 2-minute timer YouTube video with music, so I didn’t have my actual start time from the clock to follow.)

I was planning on buying a regular hula hoop so that I could comfortably go through 5 minutes a day. Plus apparently, you can burn as many or even more calories with a regular hoop versus a weighted hoop. So I thought, what’s the point of extra pain when you can burn extra calories anyway with something less intense?

I thought you could find regular hula hoops for cheap in places like the dollar store or Walmart or even Amazon. But, a lot of hoops go for $20 or more, and they tend to be weighted. Or, they’re in bulk. Or, they’re kid sizes. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to find a cheap basic adult hula hoop.

So, then I thought maybe I should just continue with my weighted hula hoop. I don’t have to do any 30-day trial or anything, but just gradually work my way up to 5 minutes by hooping 3-4 days a week like I’ve been doing. I mean, I can already do 2 minutes, and I think I could have pushed for another 30 seconds or so. So, it’s possible.

I’m curious to know what long-term hula hooping would do for me. I’m talking about hula hooping every day for 10 minutes or more a day. Would my belly tone up? Would my abs be stronger?

Aside from hula hooping, I thought about also trying to jump rope again. Though, I don’t really have much space at home to do so. If I did jump rope, it’d be easier to do it outside. I’m not really motivated to work out in the cold. I know you can warm up by working out, but I tend to avoid the cold whenever I can. 😅 I think when it gets warmer, like during the springtime, then I will buy a jump rope and time myself doing that. Maybe I’ll even do a 30-day experiment with jump roping.

I wanted to get into some sort of physical activity that’s fun. That’s why I decided to try hula hooping again. We had a hula hoop for a while, but I didn’t know where it would fit in the house. I ended up being able to make space for it.

I eventually want to join a gym again and try some classes, probably zumba. And if I do take classes, I’ll make sure to only do as much as I can handle. If the class is an hour long and I can only handle 20 minutes in the beginning, I’ll do that. I don’t want to burn myself out like I did in the past when I would attend intense workout classes.

Anyway, I still have a prominent belly. My body is not toned at all. Some people think I look skinny, just because of the way I dress. Like obviously if I were wearing a crop top or a tight shirt, you’d see my round belly. I mean, I don’t have the most overweight body or anything. It’s just obviously, I could be healthier and do better.

I don’t really watch what I eat. I’m trying to cut down on sugar though. I usually have breakfast and dinner, unintentionally intermittently fasting out of convenience. I used to eat cereal every day, which is funny considering I used to condemn cereal, again out of convenience. And then, I tried having healthier breakfasts with vegetables or fruits for the past month or so. I didn’t realize how much sugar was in the cereal, or how much sugar I’d consume outside of breakfast and dinner if I just felt like having a snack. If it’s fruit, it’s fine. But, it’s usually not fruit, so that’s no bueno.

I know people have been gaining weight during the pandemic. But, to see my weight constantly going up for years was so frustrating to me. I remember when my goal was to be less than 120 lbs, and now I’d just be satisfied with being less than 150 lbs. I’m scared that it will somehow go beyond 160 lbs. It’d be one thing if my belly were toned and it’s just muscle weight, but to reach that weight and still be out of shape, that’s just my limit. I’d be so angry.

I don’t really believe in dieting unless it’s part of a lifestyle. For example, eating vegan makes sense because it’s about not exploiting animals. And, cutting out foods that you’re allergic to makes sense. But otherwise, I don’t think restricting calories is the way to live. Or only eating green foods.

Aside from eating vegan or vegetarian during parts of my life in the past, I’ve never considered dieting. I’ve always eaten as much as I felt like eating. And before, that worked fine. I was generally around 120 lbs or so. Sometimes, even less. And then after I had been put on meds, I consistently gained weight. It didn’t matter the dosage. I’m actually at the lowest dosage, but pretty much at my highest weight. So if it’s not the meds, I don’t know what else it could be, because my weight in the past was not really an issue.

I thought about returning to a vegan lifestyle one day, for ethics and for health. Like honestly, there’s no reason for me not to be vegan. I’m not lacking any nutrients, and it might even help me to lower my bad cholesterol.

Anyway, I’m thinking about what I should do for my next 30-day trial, if I should do one at all. It’d be nice if it were health or fitness related. I just don’t know what. I want it to be simple so that I will actually do it every day. Even if it’s not health or fitness related, that’s okay too. Maybe I could try a songwriting challenge, or a journaling challenge, or even another blogging challenge. We’ll see…