First off - THANK YOU for your comments in my "Reset" post - I appreciate each of them. I try not to complain on here, since that gets old fast... but I like to be real. I genuinely try looking for the positive side of most things, but there are those times when it/life gets tough. For whatever reason. It's always helpful to relate to & hear from others in similar situations. To those who wrote something - it made me smile & tear up. I really appreciate reading your thoughts. Thanks for taking the time to help a fellow sista out ;)
I've never been one to broadcast my weight/exercising/eating habits with the world... but for some reason, I just want to write this down & share these thoughts today.
So, as I said, I've become a firm believer in exercising! There was a time in my life [9th-10th grade?] when I was very aware of my weight. I would step on the scale and feel super down if it went up a couple numbers. I'd eat less at meals and obsess over the scale. It never got way out of hand, but at some point, I realized it was unhealthy to let a dumb scale govern my moods. I could just eat healthy & try to stay "active." That was my new game-plan. So, I basically stopped weighing myself -- I knew roughly what I weighed & was okay with it [wasn't my ideal weight, necessarily, but I was content]. I rarely stepped on a scale for probably 7 or 8 years. I didn't care - I was what I was. I didn't exercise regularly, but I counted walking around during my lunch breaks as exercise. Or walking up the stairs [rather than taking the elevator] good enough. I would go for a jog sometimes... I got a gym pass once or twice [and was your typical New Year's Eve exerciser-dropout]. I was just never able to consistently workout. Plus, I worked full-time for a lot of those years & "didn't have time to work out." I tried to eat relatively healthy foods, would exercise when I got around to it [once or twice a month sometimes, if that] and was fine with things.
Welp. Pregnancy happened, and my philosophy carried on -- just eat a balanced diet and walk around. :) But I also figured I needed to be sure I was healthy for my baby. I remember asking my doc if I needed to exercise... he was like, "Well... It's HEALTHY to exercise - everyone should exercise 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes or so." I was thinking, "Uh-huh... like walking around - that counts, right?" just seeking for the easy way out. I barely exercised throughout my entire pregnancy. On top of that, I have no idea how much I weighed throughout it all. The doc knew & would tell me everything was fine and that I was healthy... but I didn't care to know the exact number.
The day after Jaden was born, the doc came into my room and was giving me the run-down of the next few weeks. He said, "You don't strike me as someone who's anxious to get back to the gym... but don't exercise for 6 weeks." I laughed and thought, "You're right, I'm not!!" ...but those words stayed with me, and a few weeks later, I was thinking, "Wait a sec - what did he mean by that? I don't want to be viewed at as lazy! I can exercise!!" Another part of me thought, "I don't want to be 'content' with staying pudgy. I CAN exercise and get back in shape." And - maybe the most important motivator - I thought, "I want my kids to see that exercising is important."
I started with some situps/pushups/lunges/jumping jacks. I did that before the 6 weeks postpartum were up, though, and caused myself to bleed even more. :/ So I rested a little bit longer, then decided to try exercising. I didn't want to go running outside. We couldn't afford a gym membership. So, I looked up "ab workouts" on our Blu-ray player/YouTube channel and found some. I started doing that a couple times a week. I'd find videos and "trainers" I liked and search/do their videos. Some days, I only did one 10-minute video... but at least I did SOMETHING. If I didn't do anything else that day, at least I got in a little exercise.
I decided to just see how much I weighed one day, and was okay with the number... but I wanted to be less than that. It motivated me to keep trying harder. I made a valiant effort to work out at LEAST 3 times a week - in my living room - for at least 20-30 minutes. I'd weigh myself more frequently - not obsessively - and would feel so proud of myself when the number kept going down and down. I no longer felt like I needed to avoid the scale. I didn't want to be ruled by it, but I could also face up to it.
I still believe that the number isn't everything -- especially since everyone has a different build/height. I do think there's an ideal weight [area] for each person, though, and I want to be in my ideal weight-range. Sure, I could give the excuse that I've had a baby - extra chub just comes with it! Or I could exercise. I can choose to eat healthy foods. I can set aside just 30ish minutes a day [M-F] and workout. It's not even about size or weight - it's about taking care of myself and showing my body that I'm aware of it, and that I want it to be active and feeling well as long as it can.
One thing I keep hearing in my videos - which makes complete sense - is that you can't JUST exercise or JUST eat healthily. You have to do both. That's why I don't believe in "diets." I believe in living a healthy LIFESTYLE. And it requires exercising. If the goal is to lose weight, you can't just do it through dieting.. at least not in a safe, healthy way. You've gotta get up & move around. I definitely still have my share of treats & snacks - I just eat them in moderation. I don't snack a ton throughout the day, and if I do, I try to make it a fruit or something healthy. Then I have a treat later on.
It's so interesting to me, because now I love exercising! I have a PASSION for it! For living HEALTHY! Eating well! I've learned so much this past year - just from doing YOUTUBES. I mean, seriously!? YouTubes? It's awesome! I love working out - just me and the screen - each day. I love that I don't have to commute anywhere. I love that I can do arms/legs/abs/cardio/pilates/yoga/kickboxing -- one, two, three videos -- any combo I want, for however long, each day. I love that Jaden watches me and can start learning that it's just what we do... we exercise. I love that my husband is an Exercise-Science Major, and is also motivated to live healthy.
I'm not saying I'm a pro, by any means, but I love continually learning how to improve my body, so that it can be at its best. I'm not doing this for anyone else - it's for me. Sure, it helps that I weigh less than I did pre-pregnancy // in high school... or that I can fit into smaller sizes now. But - more than anything - it's about keeping my heart going, feeding my body with good foods so that I can eliminate potential health-problems, being a good example to my kid [and future children]... it's about feeling GOOD about myself & taking care of the body God's given me. I can't believe I went so long in my life without realizing it! ANYONE CAN EXERCISE! You just gotta decide to do it. And then do it.