I know the new year started weeks ago, and I’m a little late on this, but I felt like it would be good for my accountability to put this post on the blog. New Year’s resolutions have never really been my thing. Usually when I want to break a bad habit, I try to start then and there, whenever in the year I realize it. The past few months, though, I’ve found myself slacking in a few areas, so on the resolution bandwagon I jump.
I’ve always considered myself a healthy and fit person, even almost to the extreme at different times in my life. Last spring, between the end of law school exams, the beginning of studying for the bar exam, and moving to a different country, fitness seriously fell by the wayside. That’s not to say I gained weight..in fact the opposite. With the stress and anxiety surrounding the bar exam, I actually dropped weight without trying, namely because I couldn’t calm down or stop studying enough to eat actual food.
Since the end of the bar exam, my appetite returned, but my gym habits didn’t. Gyms in Israel are far more expensive than the gyms I always belonged to at home, but I have trouble motivating myself outside of the gym. Thankfully my diet has stayed pretty healthy, but I feel super out of shape with zero muscle tone.
That, plus the fact that my wedding is in 111 days (but who’s counting), is why I’ve decided to get healthier in the new year. For one thing, I’ve decided to cut meat (but not fish) and dairy completely out of my diet. This is partly for health reasons, partly for ethical reasons, and partly because I just rarely eat meat anymore and there’s a ton of great vegan and vegetarian options in Tel Aviv. I know vegetarian meals are not necessarily healthier and many people actually gain weight when they switch, so I’m trying to stick to whole, healthy foods, mostly vegetables, with minimal sweets and fried foods.
I’m not sure this switch away from meat will be permanent, and I really have my heart set on the filet mignon we’re serving at the wedding, so I may have to make an exception there. Because of the switch, though, I’m having fun trying out a lot of new vegetarian recipes, and I’m planning to share some of them here.
I’m also determined to get back into shape. I’m toying with the idea of joining a gym, and I may go try one out this week. It can be daunting for me to go to a gym alone, especially here when my Hebrew isn’t great, so I hope to get a workout group together. My other option is to go back to Kayla Itsines at home workouts, which I found super effective, but which are so difficult that it’s hard to motivate myself to do them, especially when I come home tired from work. Hopefully I’ll be posting some workouts (that I actually do) here soon!
This weekend, in honor of the new healthy year, we took an all day hike in the Carmel Mountains. The weather was fantastic, warm enough to wear just a tank top for most of it, and the view from the Druze village at the top was great.
It was also my first time talking with some Druze people (at least that I know of), asking them for directions because of course we were lost, and I found them to be really warm and helpful. If you don’t know who the Druze are (I didn’t before coming to Israel), they’re a unique community of Arabs who practice a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion separate from Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. Currently most Druze live in Israel, Syria and Lebanon. What I’ve read about their religion is interesting, especially their belief in reincarnation. Because they’re not Muslim, they’ve been under attack recently by Daesh in Syria. While most Israeli Arabs don’t join the army here, the Druze community does.
The many different communities living together in Israel is one thing that makes it so special, especially in the region. I recommend visiting some of them if you’re in the country. I’m excited to start hiking again with spring coming up, and I’m hoping to invest in some new hiking boots to avoid today’s throbbing ankles in the future.
If you find yourself in Israel, be sure to check out all the different hiking trails here. From green mountains to the Negev desert, Israel seriously has every kind of terrain you could want. Also, I’m happy for any fitness or vegetarian advice to help me with my resolution, either in the comments or through the contact page!