Now that the weather is getting warmer and slightly more settled, and the daylight hours are getting longer, Month Three of my year-long challenge is going to be all about exercise.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with sweat. When I’m exercising and in The Zone, I absolutely love the feeling of pushing my body to its physical limits, and the good muscle pain afterwards. But getting there is my biggest stumbling block. In the words of John Walker:
“The hardest part about running is putting your shoes on and getting out the door.”
That’s definitely true for me – I am the Queen of finding excuses not to exercise. Tall used to tease me about not going for the run I’d sworn I would. “Is it too windy? Too calm? Too hot? Too cold? Too sunny? Too dull? Too wet? Too dry? Too early? Too late?” Once upon a time, I asked him to push me and encourage me to run, because I thought that answering to someone else would get me motivated.
Thing is, up until about five years ago, running was My Thing. Every morning, bar Sundays, I’d get up at 5.50am, and be out the door by 6am. I’d run for an hour, come home, and do 20 or 30 minutes of resistance training. Six days a week, rain, hail or shine. I even ran in snow a couple of times, which was tricky and beautiful at the same time – making the first footprints in thick white powder is pretty amazing, even at 6am.
Every year (probably twice a year), I dust off my running shoes and proclaim, “I’m going to get back in to running”, but something always seems to stall me. Glandular fever, a pulled achilles, an aching back, pregnancy, sleep-deprivation, breast-feeding…but mostly, my own mental brick wall.
Now, I’m out of excuses. I’ve stopped breastfeeding and I’m not pregnant. My back is at a level of (dis)comfort that would benefit from more exercise, and I have new(ish) shoes which will support my achilles. I am physically well and feeling energetic, so the time is nigh to get off my backside and get fit and healthy.
My goals for this month are to:
- stop making excuses for not doing any exercise and just do it!;
- start practising yoga at home;
- spend less time worrying about my body shape and embrace the changes that age and motherhood have brought to it;
- drink more water!; and
- think about what I’m putting into my body, and make sensible snacking choices.
Inspired by the notes from my previous Active Mums sessions, and by the tips here, I’m going to write myself an exercise plan at the beginning of each week. I’m going to make a list….and we all know how much I live by, and love crossing things off, lists. I’m going to be sensible and ease myself in, and I’m going to make the most of living near the beach and having an easily-manoeuvred buggy.
I have notes from my favourite yoga teacher, and a mat gathering dust in the spare room. I know that doing yoga once a week is not enough. I love the time spent on my mat, and I have plenty of time and space to do more, especially now that Tiny is back to sleeping in his cot during the day (wheeeee!).
I have two water bottles that I plan on carrying with me everywhere, and I’m going to set myself a goal of finishing 750ml by a specific time each day, twice. I do need to work on Tiny not drinking from (and backwashing into) them though….
I’m going to model good eating habits for Tiny. I’m going to get out of my, “[insert name of a well-known fastfood joint here] once a week is fine. It’s fine – FINE – honestly” mindset. I’m going to make better choices for my little family, because eating better is not going to do Tall any harm, either.
And I’m going to enjoy being able to race around after my toddler, and I’m going to relish being physically able to chase him and get down on the floor to play with him. I’m going to be thankful that this body of mine gave him life, and that every little – or big – change has been worth it.
**Please note: this is NOT about me losing weight, but getting fit and healthy. I won’t be keeping an eye on the scales or counting calories, but I will be tracking my energy levels, whipping out the tape measure occasionally, and keeping a healthy food journal, just to keep myself focussed.