Tuesday, June 25, 2013

On The Move

As I've gotten older, I've developed the perfect ass...

...for "Mom Jeans".

You like that? That little line came to me in a dressing room as I was looking in those god-awful mirrors that allow you to see both your front and your back in what has to be THE brightest lighting in the world. It came to me as I was, shall we say, 'evaluating my backside'. Not that I ever had the perfect ass, but about seven years ago, it was definitely less...mom-like.

Before I even entertained the idea of having the kids, I was fairly athletic. When I say that, I mean that I was a willing participant in athletic activities, not that I was any good at them. I jogged a few mini-marathons and a variety of other races, played a few sports for fun. Going out and running three or four miles was nothing.  I remember that the night before I really got started with the IVF process, I ran four great miles, and that was it. Trust me, one doesn't feel like exercising when injecting oneself with all kind of fun drugs with even funner side effects. I didn't exercise again until well after the kids were born. I'd been on bed rest for about three months and I had absolutely no muscle anywhere. At first, walking a tenth of a mile was tough. And then there was getting up in the middle of the night, going back and forth to the NICU, blah blah blah.  Long story short:  there wasn't much exercising going on. At all.

The kids are four now. I can't use them as an excuse anymore. And yet, over the last three years, I still haven't gotten my groove back with exercising. I'd run consistently for a week or so, then stop because some life crisis would come up--sick kids, busy week at work, whatever. I wouldn't think about exercise again until months later, and of course I'd have to start over with what little endurance I might've built up. It's safe to say that I slipped into a bit of a depression over my lack of fitness. It had become part of my pre-child identity--much more than I'd realized at the time--and I missed the endorphin rush that always accompanies a good workout. Not to mention that the old body was changing. Things were...shifting a bit. My weight stayed pretty consistent, but I certainly didn't look the same. And my clothes definitely didn't fit the same. All of this added to the depression.

This spring, one of my co-workers suggested a little friendly competition. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am extremely, incredibly competitive. I'll say it--I like to win. I like it a lot. If anything was going to get me back into exercise, a competition would do it. Her suggestion was that we all try to do "20 in 30"--work out 20 days out of the 30 days in the month of June.  The only stipulation for counting a day as a workout day is that we exercise at least 30 minutes. We even agreed that on our busiest days, we could split the time up--15 minutes here, 15 there. I love this aspect of the challenge; it eliminates any possible excuses, because everyone can find two 15 minute blocks in their day for a little exercise.  I'm good at making excuses, and now I would have none.  We decided to use the honor system for keeping up with our workouts--but we agreed to text each other so that we could kind of keep up with who was doing what.  The reward at the end--all successful competitors will go get a pedicure and do a little shopping. Nothing big, but the reward is in the exercise, not the prize.

I am proud to say that it is June 25th, and I have only missed five days of working out this entire month. I've gotten more exercise in one month than I probably have in two years.  At first, I did a lot of long walks. I was recovering from a terrible sinus infection and I just didn't have it in me to do much more than that. However, walking in the evenings reminded me why I love exercise. I love the quiet me-time, where it's just me and my music.  Once I recovered, I started going to classes at the gym--Bootcamp classes, kickboxing classes, a few Zumba classes mixed in. At first, it was very, very hard. I had no stamina for working out. I did my best, but I had to stop a lot more than I like. Probably sometime the 2nd week, I started feeling better. I was stopping less, working harder. My muscles weren't painfully sore after every session. I started to have more energy. I decided to start back up with the Couch-to-5K program, with the goal of running a 5K race by the end of the summer.

I'm gonna be honest here. The scale hasn't changed much. I'm enjoying my summer, and by enjoying my summer I mean that I'm eating healthy more than half of the time and enjoying myself the rest. I've had Graeter's twice, gone out to eat with friends, enjoyed popsicles with my kids. The fit of my clothes has only changed a little since beginning all the exercising. BUT...I am getting fit. I can do an entire kickboxing class without stopping, and I work as hard as I can the entire time. I love being able to run without stopping or feeling like I might literally die. I realized that the feeling of being FIT--feeling capable of decent levels of cardiovascular exercise--might actually be more important to me than watching the scale. Of course, I'd be lying if I said I didn't care about the scale, or that I wasn't concerned about my mom jeans ass. Of course I want those things to change, too. But right now, I'm riding on the high of feeling like I'm getting in shape. I feel like those things will come (probably with watching my diet a bit more carefully, which I will do, eventually).  Now I just have to find a way to keep exercising when school starts up again...

1 comment:

  1. i love this post! keep going, wendy. keep going!