I created this blog to talk about different ways to increase the joy and happiness in our lives. For me, that mission started out with figuring out some of my psychological hold backs and focusing on self-care and loving myself as I am. I’ve made tremendous progress in those areas and will continue to work on and share about those experiences.
So, what’s next? For me, physical well being!
I am one of those people who seems to always have some ailment. I’ve struggled since I was a young teenager with kidney stones, migraines, more than a fair share of colds, strep throat, ear and sinus infections. I have had meningitis, cysts, enlarged lymph nodes surgically removed. I’ve even broken my back! The list goes on, but it’s daunting to look at all of that fill up space on the page. Let’s just say I’ve never been eligible to be a poster child for physical well being.
Ever since I started my “kick ass at life” journey, I’ve been been reading all sorts of books, watching Ted Talks, following bloggers, and engaging with the people in my tribe who really hit the physical stuff out of the park. I wanted to know, what’s common between these folks who seemingly never get sick, or they rebound extremely fast. Those who, at any age, have been in great physical shape, how did they get started in the first place? How do they keep the momentum going? It’s been eye opening and it’s given me a lot of content to keep thinking on, using to improve my life, and keep sharing with you!
There are many topics that are involved on the road to top notch physical well being, just like there are on the road to mental and emotional wellness. I thought I’d start with exercise!
Many of you who know me have probably heard me say, “I’m allergic to exercise!” Kidding of course, but we haven’t exactly been friends over the years. Looking at me, I am 5’6″, usually around 135-140 pounds, and fairly slender. At a glance, I look like I’m in “good” shape. Friends, I’m not! I mean, I’m not obese and I don’t have any physical ailments caused by ignoring myself, but I am not treating my body like a temple and giving it every chance to function at it’s optimal potential.
Here are my complaints:
- I lack energy, I often feel run down and “out of gas” so to speak. Like my mind wants to get going, but my body doesn’t have the to follow along and participate.
- I come up with EVERY SINGLE EXCUSE known to man about why I can’t exercise today.
- I do have young children and a fairly active lifestyle, so when I finally do get going I have very little endurance.
- I don’t love my body when I look in the mirror. There was a time when I literally didn’t like the person I see in the mirror, but that has changed. Now it’s solely focused on the physical, I get frustrated at myself because I quit on myself. If I would have persisted with my group spinning class, or not excused myself out of the gym or that run with my gal pals, then I would be happier with what I see. I get “mad” at myself for not investing in myself, for quitting on me!
- Last, but not least, I believe wholeheartedly that I would be a healthier person if I was physically active and making exercise part of my daily life. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!
And here’s what I’m doing about it:
STEP 1: Don’t delay your start. Let’s face it, if you’re like me and you’re forcing yourself into this, there is never going to be a time that is really terrific to start. The beginning is going to be hard no matter when you get going. You’re going to have to force yourself through a few painful weeks (probably somewhere in the neighborhood of a month from what I understand) to make this stick and become something you feel inclined to want to do for yourself.
I’ve been “thinking” about getting started on making exercise part of my daily life for a few weeks. That’s right, thinking. Folks, that’s several weeks that I could have already started, been over the hard part of starting, and on to the growth part by now. BUT I DIDN’T.
STEP 2: Plan it. No really, schedule time on your calendar to make this happen.
This week is kicking it off for me! I have scheduled time into my week to knock this out. That’s right, actually planning it on my calendar with all of my other important to-dos. I have set this up for the next four weeks and will NOT let myself off the hook.
STEP 3: Build in accountability. Remove excuses, be excited to report your progress!
I belong to a gym that offers a variety of group exercise classes, they have varying levels of participants and everyone is incredibly welcoming and supportive. They’ve been where I am, they know what it’s like to try to get into this groove, they want me to succeed. It’s also nice that it is in my community, so I run into women that I know from my kiddo’s school, gals I went to school with myself, a few of my neighbors, old co-workers, etc. And honestly, I’ve made a few new connections too! If that weren’t the case, because there have surely been times I couldn’t have imagined affording a gym membership, I’d be seeking workouts on an app or even via Pinterest. If that were the case, I’d socialize my endeavor with a couple of close girlfriends, my mom, and Ricardo. I need someone to help keep me accountable. If tell those other gym members I’ll be at the next class, I’m telling you, if I don’t make it I do the walk of shame at the next one. Who wants that? Similarly, who wants to have their bestie call them up, excited to hear about the progress, and have to report that you didn’t go.
STEP 4: Don’t be afraid to start small.
If you’re like me, the last time you exercised was… hmm, who knows! I know the last several times I had stepped foot in my gym was to sit in the steam room. I thought, Self, at least I was at the gym today. Ha… it doesn’t count, come on! With that in mind, be careful with yourself. I know that if I go all out this week, I will end up hating it. I’ll be so sore I won’t be able to move and I’ll dread even having to get dressed, let alone work out. It’s okay to incorporate a few things to ease yourself into it. Hit it hard (hard for a beginner I mean) one day, but the next stretch and take a brisk walk or a slow jog (yes, with walking and breaks mixed in!). I’m targeting three days of classes this week, which are each an hour with warm up and cool down built in, and on the other days 30 minutes of activity. Moving for 30 minutes, could be weights, a walk, rowing machine, swimming, etc. Next week, I’m ramping it up to another day of 60 minutes!
STEP 5: It’s okay for it to be fun! Play soccer with your kids, go for that bike ride, hit the cross country ski trail, walk with your neighbors around the neighborhood and chat, you do you and enjoy that your body is able to move and that you will ultimately get something beautiful out of this!
I know I’ve been going on and on about how hard this can be to get going. I’m just being transparent with you, it’s hard for me to commit to having this as part of my every day. However, there are a lot of things that are great exercise that I already do and enjoy. I love to snowboard with my kids. When it’s not a blizzard here in Michigan, walking the dogs is fun. Ricardo and I like to bike or walk trails in the woods. I’ve been to hot yoga in the past with one of my gal pals and we laughed until it hurt! Make it your mission to seek out stuff that is enjoyable for you. There’s no reason you have to go spinning if being on a bike seat makes you want to die. If getting water in your face sucks, then swimming or aqua aerobics aren’t for you. Keep on trying new things, trial and error, until you find your groove!
I’m committed to making this part of my life! I want to be one of those people who can inspire others, who can tell their story and honestly say that this was how they got healthy! One small step at a time, but always pushing forward. Join me!
If you need someone to keep you accountable, reach out. My email address is on this site, comment on Facebook, comment here, private message me. If you are in need, we can do it together! Let’s get going!!!