Time to take my life back! I’ve neglected myself for the past five years (or more) and it’s time to change that.
It hasn’t been a dramatic shift. It’s been more of a gradual decline in putting importance on myself. When I was young and couldn’t afford a gym membership, I had my own fitness routine that worked well for me. I grew up eating well, so continued what I knew. Later, when I could afford it, I was at the gym, and/or Jazzercise (remember that?!!), an average of 5 times a week. All my life. I loved working out, feeling strong and fit. And being able to wear whatever I wanted was a bonus. Clothes shopping is depressing right now. I REFUSE to buy a larger size, but it’s getting close.
So why did things start going downhill??
How did I get to be so unhappy with my weight? Don’t even get me started on those biometric numbers that are creeping in the wrong direction! How did this happen??
Life. Physical injuries. Surgeries. Hormones. Gravity. Fatigue. Ok let’s be honest, maybe it’s really laziness instead of fatigue.
I never had a problem with my weight, even after having babies, until about 10 years ago. The body changes with age, that’s a proven fact. Everything slows down and we have to work harder to maintain our health.
Or, maybe we just give up and give in to eating whatever we want, whenever we want, and doing less physically.
I’m claiming all of the above. I’m owning it.
A few weeks ago I was talking with my friend, Fae, about my frustrations. Here’s the irony. When I was a dedicated health and fitness mama, she would say, “Good for you. I just don’t like to sweat.” Over the years she started changing, getting more active. Now that she’s retired, she’s at the gym 4 days a week. She looks great and feels amazing. Our positions are now reversed.
Step One of the Recovery
I was telling her about my frustration with myself. I want to be around to attend my grandkids’ graduations, dance at their weddings, to hold their babies, spend quality time with my family as a whole. And never be a burden because I can’t take care of myself.
At this rate, that won’t happen. I need to rebuild my health in all aspects, I need to recover myself. I don’t expect to look like I did years ago. I just want a healthier and fitter version of myself again.
Fae invited me, as she has many times before, to go to her Saturday morning yoga class with her. This time I said I would. You have to take that first step sometime!
Now, 10:00 Saturday morning isn’t bad. Since we moved out of that old neighborhood where she still lives, though, I have to drive 35 minutes to get there, so it’s basically a 2-3 hour commitment for a one hour class. But I had to start somewhere.
I’d gotten rid of most of my workout clothes. That’s how much I had given up on myself. Sooooo – off to buy some cheap Danskins to get me started. And a yoga mat.
First class, I’m really looking forward to it. But wait… holy cow! (pun intended) Getting into those yoga clothes was a workout in itself! Now I remember why I don’t like sports bras!! But I’m finally squished in, with everything properly compressed. At least that would avoid any wardrobe malfunctions!
Oh wait. Spoke too soon on that last point.
When I went into the restroom before class, I saw that I had the stinkin’ yoga pants on backwards! And the horrifying part is that it felt right!! Kim Kardashian was not the first one to have a big tush … and mine ain’t getting any smaller. Wow. The fact that the backside felt like it fit just fine on the front side was a depressing – and extremely effective – reminder of why I’m here.
Off to class. The instructor was lovely. I believe we were some of the younger people in the class…. there were only a couple younger than us. Good! I wouldn’t feel so bad about not keeping up.
Oh boy…. I have never ever felt as awkward and clumsy as I did in that class! Having no strength to do all those poses was no surprise. But my terrible balance was somewhat of a surprise. Aside from the metal in my ankle that requires modifiers for a lot of activities in general, my whole body was out of whack. Daaannnnnnggg! In my younger years I would have been very embarrassed. All those older ladies in the class were doing just fine. But at this point I was just very annoyed with myself for letting things get so bad.
A few weeks went by, one or both of us couldn’t make the class but, I really didn’t make any progress the first time, so nothing lost. What I realized though, is that, while the yoga feels really good (the parts I can manage to do without damaging myself), it isn’t enough to accomplish the monumental feat ahead.
I ordered a new workout program I saw advertised, one that I think I can actually do. Unlike the several others I’ve tried and given away. This one comes with a nutrition guide that’s actually useful. I’m knowledgeable about healthy eating and following a proper diet plan, I’ve done it right most of my life. I’m not talking about a fad diet, but one that is well balanced in every way. I simply stopped doing it. But, I’m not a nutritionist, (and clearly out of practice!) so I’ll take all the help I can get.
The program arrived yesterday, a slim package full of great stuff. Kind of how I want to be in a few months….
This morning I opened it and read the materials. I like the information the program provides that helps guide me through what I need to be eating, in what quantities – that are relevant now, where I am today.
I didn’t give myself time to chicken out, I started taking measurements. Wow. Ignorance really is bliss! But hey, I have boobs now! That’s probably the only good thing about carrying extra weight. Well, that and puffing out the wrinkles, but that’s another story.
Tomorrow I’ll start the video workouts.
Today I also went to my second yoga class (which is why I didn’t start the video workout yet). I was surprised that basic moves felt a little easier. Alright, I can do this!!
Wait, you want me to do what with my leg? Seriously??! Can it really bend that way? Oh hell no! Nope, it can’t. So I find a modifier that works.
That’s pretty much how the entire class went today. At the end, with a little less wobbling and tipping over than in the first class, I felt really good. I came home feeling better physically and mentally.
I ate a properly balanced lunch, and liked it. I’ve now documented two meals, wondering how on earth I’ll be able to eat everything they’re saying I should eat. That’s always been an issue for me with recommended diets, even from my doctors. I’m not a big eater, I can’t eat large quantities, even spread out through the day. I will have to focus on getting a balance. And keep a log to keep me honest
After doing all; I’m trying to figure out how to stick to the plan tonight when we go out for dinner with Fae and her husband. I think I have a plan. But here’s the reality, you just can’t do everything at once. It’s gradual. It has to be realistic. It’s ok to eat what you want, or miss a workout, occasionally, as long as you get back on track for the next meal or workout.
Healthy Living is Like Eating Sugar
What? Yes. Eating sugar creates an addiction for sugar. The more you eat, the more you want. Your body craves it, needs it.
Feeling good, really good, is addictive, too. I know because I’ve felt it before. The exercise and healthy eating (most of the time, at least), creates a feeling you begin to crave. You need to workout, you need to eat healthy. Pretty soon, your emotional health improves, your brain works a little better. And you start liking to shop for clothes again. (A much better alternative to public nudity, which would be good for no one at this point.)
That’s my goal.
Not a specific number. No, my goal is to feel good and be healthier than I am now. Especially when I have to go for my next physical…..
I’ve had most of my age-appropriate preventive screenings done, my 6-month dental checkup and cleaning, my new glasses have been ordered. Just a couple more things I need to do this year that I’ve been putting off. It’s all part of the recovery.
So why share all this?
Why share indeed? Why share anything I do on this blog, for that matter? Well, this time, it’s another form of commitment. I used to have ironclad willpower. Not so much anymore. I’m publicly stating that I’m doing this which, I hope, will guilt me into sticking with it beyond day three!
I’m not going to include a before picture yet. I really do not like the way I look right now. I’ll wait a little while, until I have some progress to show. It’s another motivator.
Wish me luck!