Saturday, July 13, 2013

healthy living

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. 


De EspaƱa said...

Yes, I too love exercising! I just walk on the treadmill an hour a day but it makes me feel so much better when I get it done for the day, and then I feel so much more energy all day than on the days I don't do it. I walked daily through my whole pregnancy with Eli, and I dont' remember ever feeling overly tired like a lot of women say they feel during pregnancy. I always attributed my non-lack of energy to getting regular exercise. That's fun that you find YouTube videos to exercise to. Sometime I might have to try that.

Courtney said...

I love this post so much! It's exactly how I feel! :) I've also found a couple of great apps and pilates/yoga workout dvds that come in handy too! Keep up the good work! I love that you're loving the healthy aspect of it, rather than just loving the loosing weight part. You're so smart! :)

Heather said...

Thank you for this post! I loved it and it was just what I needed for a push to get back into exercising! I fell in love with exercising in Oregon when I had access to a free gym within walking distance and worked out all through my pregnancy with londyn, but since having her I have had the hardest time getting back into it. It's so hard to get to a gym when you have a baby and working out on my own at home is much harder for me, so reading about your success is giving me some good motivation! Thanks!

collette charles said...

Love it! Exercise is so addictive! Way to go. I'm glad you feel like you are in a good place body and health and self love -wise.

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