In my opinion, Labor Day is the official start of fall. School is already in full swing some places, and if not, it will be back in session soon. And even if we still have warm days, the evenings and early mornings have already started developing a little chill. So whether we want it to or not, change is underway, and this year I am going to embrace it. I say, “Hello, beautiful fall!”
Some of you might be asking how I plan to embrace it, and that is a great question. I plan to consciously take advantage of and enjoy these weeks of transition. Here’s how.
1. ENJOY THE WEATHER.
For the most part, it is not still hot enough for air conditioning, but it is not cold enough to turn on the heat. As a result, my house was getting a little stale. I have been opening one window in each room of my house (sometimes just a crack), and letting the fresh fall air flow throughout my living space. The breeze makes it feel crisp and clean.
I have also been enjoying some outdoor exercise. I actually went running last week for the first time in a long time. It felt great to have fresh air fill my lungs (as I was huffing and puffing). I plan to take advantage of the cooler days before the rains come to fit in some walks and hopefully more runs.
(On a side note: If you’re interested in starting a running routine, Start Running is a great smartphone app. It aims to take you from the couch to running a 3K in four weeks by coaching you through walking and running sessions 3 days a week for 30 minutes each. It also tracks how far you travel each session, reveals your personal statistics, and provides fitness tips. I have used it before and really enjoy it.)
I also have made a commitment to myself to go outdoors for a while after work each day as long as the weather permits. It might include raking leaves, watching a soccer game, playing with my dogs, or just sitting and relaxing. The activity doesn’t matter so much as making an effort to savor the last bits of summer and the transition into fall.
2. WELCOME FALL’S BOUNTY.
While it is a little sad to see the fresh fruits and veggies of summer start to dwindle, I made a pledge to myself to try more of the fall’s bounty of vegetables. I recently bought a spiralizer (a slicer that turns zucchini, carrots, and other veggies into pasta-like ribbons). This past week we enjoyed spaghetti and “zoodles” – a plate full of zucchini noodles covered with spaghetti sauce, and it was delicious.
I have been scouring Pinterest and some of my favorite food blogs to collect more recipes that highlight fall produce, and I will share some of my favorites with you throughout the season. The old me enjoyed warming up the oven and filling the dinner table with comfort food. My goal this year is to focus more on vegetables and switch to healthier versions of my old favorites.
Here is a butternut squash soup I look forward to trying.
3. USE FALL FASHIONS AS REWARDS.
As I continue to work toward a healthier me, I am choosing some new fall-inspired items as rewards along the way. While I set the long-term goal of losing 80 pounds in 80 weeks, I never actually set short-term goals for myself.
So I changed that. I have now set a few new interim goals for myself (like completing 31 straight days of exercise, diligently measuring and tracking my food for an entire week, and losing 25 pounds) and have chosen appropriate rewards (a fall print scarf, new fall nail color, and a new pair of cords).
So despite my urge to hold tight onto summer, I am excited to experience fall and all of its treasures. I hope you join me!
What are your favorite parts of fall? And how do you plan to celebrate it this year?