After a little blogging hiatus for Advent/Christmas, I’m baaaaaaack!
January marks 9 months of the Year of Me. I look back at my original post and remember how I felt. While I was so grateful for the life I had, I knew I could make some changes to make it even better. Specifically, I knew I wanted to change things in the areas of: fitness, nutrition, rest, prayer, marriage, friendship, and me time.
So, where am I now? Today, let’s tackle Fitness:
Instead of throwing things out of whack, Christmas vacation made me firmer in my resolve to stick with things. I knew the New Year was approaching, and I was so excited to finally start a New Year as one of those people who already exercised! Instead of starting something new, I was continuing on with the work I had begun.
Unless I am sick or injured, it is my goal to exercise right after my morning prayer and breakfast Monday through Saturday. On the weekdays, I get my exercise in before the kids wake up. On Saturdays, I’ll exercise at some point in the morning. Here’s what I’m doing now:
- M/W/F: Treadmill. 3 – 3.5 miles
- 5 minute warm-up walk at 3.2 speed
- 30 minute run at 5.5 speed
- 5 minute cool-down walk at 3.2 speed
- T/TR/SAT: Workout Video
- 21-Day Fix DVD
- T-25 DVD
On the days that I run on the treadmill, I listen to my favorite podcasts. I look back at the pictures I took of the treadmill screen when I was starting Couch 2 5K, and I’m so glad I did. I had forgotten that I couldn’t run for 1 minute! Now, I’m regularly running for 30 minutes at a time without prompting from an app.
I love our fitness DVDs! A friend loaned me her copies of 21-Day Fix, and I ended up getting my own. I got Philip T-25 for Christmas, and we’ve been doing the videos together. It has been fun to have a variety of workouts to choose from, and they all target different areas.
We still use our gym membership, especially on the weekends, but I have been successful exercising from home. Our crammed home office/gym is now exclusively our gym. We’re still in the process of converting things, but it is so nice to have a dedicated space and not have to look at a cluttered desk while I run.
I imagine we will be getting a lot more use out of the gym in the long dog days of summer. I never made an appointment with a personal trainer, but I’m happy without one for now. Now that I’ve lost my shell of all of that extra weight, I’m focusing on maintaining a healthy weight while building muscle. When I started the Year of Me, I wish I had taken my measurements and an official before picture instead of just recording my weight. My body is completely different from when I began.
Since I started moving in May, I’ve lost 50+ pounds. I set an “ideal weight” goal, and I reached that number a few months ago. Once I reached that number, I was very pleased, but I did a little soul searching and had to admit to myself that a doctor would tell that my ideal weight would be even lower. Truth be told, I think I was afraid to aim for a truly healthy weight. I think my target was still settling. My thought was, “Well, THAT number is never happening on the scale again, so let’s just shoot for this.” I think it’s healthy for me to keep adjusting what the “ideal” is as I take into account my muscle gains and fat loss. While I’m happy about the weight loss, I am *MUCH* more pleased about my increased energy, improved mood, and strength. I was a good wife and mom before The Year of Me, but I think my family would tell you that I am even better now that I have the strength and energy to take on the demands of my vocation. The kids will also tell you that I’m a much more fun mom. I regularly get down on the ground and play instead of sitting on the sidelines and watching. This summer, I’m determined to be the mom who puts on the swimsuit, gets in the pool, runs through the sprinklers, etc. I’m done missing out on the fun because I don’t like my body or feel too tired.
Yesterday, Jane came into our bedroom while I was getting dressed. It had been awhile since she had seen my bare stomach. She pointed to the stretch marks and loose skin. With her sweet, concerned 6-year-old voice, she said, “Ohhhhhhhh, Mommy, what happened?!”
“Well, my tummy is kind of like a balloon. Every time it has a baby inside of it, it streeeeeeeeeeeetches out really far. Do you remember how big my tummy was when Dorothy was inside?”
“Well, it has done that every time all of you were in there, and each time, I got these stretch marks on my tummy. After Dorothy was born, I had this extra skin. But I don’t mind. These marks and extra skin remind me of all of you.”
Oh. My. Goodness. I wish you could have seen how she beamed! “Really?! So, is this one (pointing to a stretch mark on my tummy) from me, and is this one (pointing to another) from Walt? And even Thérèse? And Harry and Dorothy?”
“Yup! Pretty cool, huh?”
And you know what she did? She gave me a hug and traced her little fingers over the stretch marks. I love that little girl. I pray that she is learning a few things about how I view my body. I want her to know that I love and cherish being a mother but that there are real, physical challenges that I face because of it. Those stretch marks and loose skin don’t embarrass me, but they do remind me that motherhood demands a lot of my body. Because I want to continue to be a strong mama, I choose to exercise and build up my strength. I want her to know that I’m not concerned about being skinny; I’m concerned about taking care of myself so that I can pour myself out. I was a good mom before I exercised on a regular basis, but I like mom-ing better now that I have the mental AND physical reserves for the job.
I’ll share more about the areas of nutrition, marriage, friendship, me time, rest, and prayer another time!
Questions for you:
What changes are you making in the New Year? How are you taking care of yourself better? How do you communicate to your children that you need to and do take care of yourself? How do you show them that you love your body?