August 27, 2015

The Time is Now

Despite my intentions otherwise, basically the moment we began the whole moving process back in February, I put all my fitness goals on hold. I may have made it to the gym to run a few times and to a couple of yoga classes before we left Seattle, and I think I went to the gym in the hotel we were living in here while we worked on our house once to use the treadmill. But that's it. My baseline poor posture, bad mattresses in the hotel and our inability thus far to find a mattress for our new bed here at home that is supportive enough without being too firm, carrying around a healthy tot day in and day out, and just lots and lots of emotional stress with no exercise to counter any of it have left my body weak and in knots. (Well, weak except for my arms. Mom arms are a real thing.) 
I mentioned before that I found a wonderful online community Healthy Habits for Happy Moms (HHHM) earlier this year. And that group has changed the way I look at my own body and think about food and exercise. I can honestly say now that I am completely comfortable in my own skin. I have let go of the idea that there are things wrong with my body that need to be fixed. I will never again believe I should eliminate anything completely from my diet for any length of time, I accept that I know how to nourish myself and that as long as I pay attention to what my body needs, it's all ok. I am not coming back to exercise with any end goal. I want to be strong and have stamina for life. I have also learned that taking care of myself means a lot more than a balanced diet and regular exercise. I know I have to work at my mental and emotional health too, as I just discussed a couple of posts ago. Period. And that's all pretty amazing. EVERY WOMAN should join this group. 
But post-move after finally getting into our house we were still in survival mode with so much to do before we could even begin to function in our new space that regaining control over my diet and working out were distant dreams. So I decided to start with the most basic of measures just to be doing something to take care of myself. I set the goals of drinking four twenty ounce bottles of water each day and going to bed by midnight. I decided that once I had made those two things habits, it would be a good indication that I might be ready to move on to bigger things. And with these two most basic of self care measures, I struggled. At times mightily. In the meantime we did get our kitchen together and found a good, easy source for our groceries and were finally able to stop eating (so much) take out and start preparing our own food. But not succeeding at drinking the quantity of water or getting to sleep as prescribed made getting back to exercising feel like something I couldn't handle/didn't deserve. Even though overall I was making a conscious effort and doing better, I'd sort of set myself up to really feel my failures by making these things preconditions to move on to the next bit of self-care I wanted to tackle which was getting back to working out.   
Furthermore, I really, really wanted to get back into moving my body by going regularly to a yoga class. I've never really tried to have an at home practice because I love that sense of community that comes with going to a studio, that's just how I like to do yoga. And there is a nice-looking studio down the road that does the Ashtanga/vinyasa/power style of yoga that I love. My plan was to do a combination of yoga and running (some day weight training too), but my body was so sore and stiff, that jumping into running without spending a few weeks stretching it out first and then continuing to do so, seemed like I would just be asking for trouble. I had heard about a free online program, 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene via HHHM, that I was even willing to try in lieu of making it to a class. But every time I would consider moving forward, ounces of water or bedtime be damned, getting to the class wouldn't work out with Greg's work schedule (unfortunately the studio doesn't offer daycare or have any parent/baby classes) or there was some project that I needed to be working on rather than find time in the day to start the 30 Days program. So for the last couple of months, I've just kept being the martyr, either to my own causes or others', sacrificing any attempt at exercise to circumstances that just felt impossible. 

Until this week. Greg was traveling for work this week and I didn't want to end up feeling completely drained by the time he came home again (see link to post above for more on that). So to combat that feeling, I decided to make it a point to do a few specific things to take care of myself and resuming exercise was one of the things I decided to do. I am not a fan of the "No Excuses" thing. I think there are plenty of really damn good excuses for not exercising. A person has to be ready and able to come to it. They have to find a way around the things standing between them and working out. And sometimes that's truly impossible. But this week I let go of all my expectations and preconceived notions. For some reason I was craving running so badly that I decided not to worry about the "yoga first" mandate I'd given myself and started c25k at the beginning. I also started 30 Days (which I love so far). And right now I feel… sore and exhausted, though I do feel some unwinding happening. I started on Tuesday so I have two runs and three days of yoga under my belt. I had just come off a weekend that included some hard physical work in the yard. On top of the physical demands of single parenting a toddler for a few days (not sure if I mentioned, but baby became a crawler about a month ago), it's been a lot. But I know that if I also make sure to allow myself time to rest it will start to get easier. Of course that will be a whole other challenge. Making time for exercise has been hard enough, making time for doing nothing sounds like the next impossibility. :)

Pictured above are glimpses of the Maumee River (they don't call it River Road for nothing) on our (of course Ida has been my running partner) runs . And savasana and reclined pigeon (my favorite).

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