Friday, October 3, 2014
Day Three: Consistent Self-Care
In the last few years, as I've approached and reached 40, I have been more aware of how important it is to take care of my body. I feel my I have always been interested in fitness and nutrition. Exercise, especially, was a passion of mine since high school when I started doing The Firm VHS tapes in my living room (hello 1989). But I was not always consistent about it, and it kind of fell to the wayside when other things became more important: boys, tests, friends, etc. I seemed to be able to pick it up again whenever I felt like it, without feeling any consequences.
As an adult, I really enjoyed going to the gym, but it got really hard once I had children. Olivia absolutely hated going to the childcare and would scream so much that I was buzzed on my handy beeper after very short amounts of time. I often left the gym more stressed out than when I had arrived.
I did yoga for a long time but, again, found it hard to be consistent due to childcare. The yoga studio did not have a daycare (not that Olivia would have stayed there, anyway) and I felt guilty leaving John with the kids. The thought of a child hanging onto my leg crying, while John pried her off of me did not do much to motivate me to continue attending classes. Now that I think about it, that very fact, the negative reactions, no matter how small or imagined they might be (or how loud and overt, as they often were) really deterred me from going. Yes, if I absolutely had to go somewhere, I could walk away from a screaming child and a stressed-out husband. But, if I were already not really wanting to work out, this factor seemed to seal the deal.
I am starting to work out again. This time at home. I have traded in my Firm videos for YouTube or other online videos: fitness blender and Fit Moms for Life are my favorite. I find not even having a DVD to search for makes my workout time go more smoothly.
Sometimes I only can fit in 20 minutes before someone starts screaming. Sometimes I work out with Christopher and Ellie running around me. Its not ideal and that has to be okay for now.
In an ideal world I would probably join a gym or a Crossfit bootcamp-style fitness center. But, right now, this helps me avoid my kids' anxiety (and my anxiety about their anxiety!) when I leave the home. Also, I can't really spare the time of commuting to a gym. And, of course, there is the question of where the kids would go when I worked out at a gym. My older kids are too big for a daycare type setting, and would certainly stage a coup.
I started the Fit Moms for Life 6-week challenge this week. I really like Dustin Maher's approach to fitness. Its all about health and strength, rather than being skinny and looking a certain way. I love using weights and the cardio bursts are challenging but don't take a lot of time. So far (I've only done 2 workouts), the challenge is not very hard. But I am taking it slow because I don't want to get very sore and then stop exercising all together. I am focusing on consistency and on building habits more than on losing a certain amount of weight or gaining strength immediately.
Also, I wanted to share one thing that I have done to keep myself at a relatively good weight and feeling good despite by lack of fitness. I have used Isagenix products for 2 years now and it really helps me. I am not pushing the products, as I don't sell them. But, they really work for me because they are quick meals and supplements that don't take extra thought or planning on my part. The shakes are high in protein and low in sugar and give me energy throughout the day.
2 years ago I did the 30 Day Cleanse to a T and I lost 14 pounds. Now, I simply use the vitamins, the Ionix Supreme drink (like a vitamin and mineral drink) and drink one shake per day, usually for lunch. I feel best when I cleanse once a week also (no food except a cleansing juice and some approved snacks) but that seems to take more planning and diligence than I have available right now. I hope to get back to it soon.