Mindful Monday – Letting Things Go

Part of my journey to healthy living has been learning when to let things go.  I made a very specific plan a few weeks ago on the blog and then I ended up getting sick.  I’m back into a routine again, but I realized today that I had to let one of those things go.

It’s not easy though.

In many way, I feel like a failure.  I sat at work and thought about it for a good twenty minutes trying to figure out the new workout schedule and I finally realized that four days was good enough.  I didn’t have to do five days just because I made a plan and wrote it down.

I’m realizing that I need flexibility in my workouts; not only because I have kids who basically view me as a chauffeur when they’re here (that’s not to say that I don’t love doing things for them), but also because I have a job that requires late nights sometimes.  And there’s really no way to know when all those things will happen.  So, it makes it difficult to have a planned class at a certain time.  I thought going to the one on Saturday would work, I but I did that once and I didn’t like the time or the fact that it was at a gym farther away from my house.

Are all those just excuses?  Absolutely.  But when they continue to be excuses, you start to realize that maybe you need to make a change in order to eliminate the excuse.  It’s not like I’m not exercising, because I am.  The problem is this class.  And the only problem is the set schedule.

The sad part is that I really like the class.  I also really like the instructor.  I feel like I’m failing her because she was so supportive; but honestly, if I’ve learned anything from this exercise journey, it’s that you have to do what works for you.  And sometimes it doesn’t help to bull your way through an issue.  Many times that only makes it worse.

Note to self: That is also fabulous life advice…

So, I’m letting my exercise class go, but I’m still planning to run twice a week and lift weights twice a week.  I figured that will be good enough for now and I’m hoping it will eliminate the stress I’ve caused myself in trying to keep to the set class schedule.

I just had the thought that I obsess way too much about this stuff sometimes.  It should be easier than this, shouldn’t it?


 

 

This post is part of Mindful Monday hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading.  (I didn’t see a post today, so I am linking to last week’s.)

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Mindful Monday – Finding What Works

I’ve been so excited to write this post.  I’ve had so many amazing insights this week and while it wasn’t easy to keep motivated and to workout as much as I said I would, I did much better than I could have imagined.

If you didn’t already know, I am a person of routine and habit.  I go to the grocery store and follow the same path and buy pretty much the same things every other week.  If something comes up that is out of the ordinary, I can handle it as long as I have some kind of warning.

I think that’s why my exercise has been so random in the past six months.  I didn’t have a plan.  I was sort of enjoying what I was doing, but I didn’t feel like it was having an impact and it definitely wasn’t a habit.

Last week, I found an app that showed me some exercises on the workout machines at the gym.  Not only that, it actually walked me through how to do it so I didn’t have to guess.  Most times, I don’t use the machines because I have no idea what they do or how to use them.

I ended up doing “leg” day on Wednesday and honestly, that almost did me in.  I didn’t start walking normally again until yesterday… which means I completely overdid it.  I was thinking I was at a certain level, but your body has a way of letting you know that nope, you shouldn’t have lifted that much weight no matter who was looking at you or judging you.  But now I have a routine I can use to do leg day.  I ended up winging it for arm day because I’m not as concerned about my arms.  I did an assortment of machines that worked out a lot of my upper body and I’m happy with it.

So, my new routine is as follows:

  • Monday – Rest day
  • Tuesday – Leg day
  • Wednesday – Arms (and maybe the bike if my legs are okay, haha)
  • Thursday – Run
  • Friday – Rest day
  • Saturday – Combat class (An hour of high-intensity cardio)
  • Sunday – Run

I feel like this is something I can stick with and I’m actually excited that I figured out something that will work for me.

The other thing I realized this week was that exercise isn’t easy.  Every single day I struggled with that voice saying it was okay to skip the day because (insert lame excuse here).  I also learned that I need to be nice to myself.  I have a tendency to push myself farther than I should because I need to have a better time or I need to lift more.  I’m not here to win a competition, so it really doesn’t matter how fast I run that mile and a half or how much weight I lift.  The goal right now is to be consistent and to have fun!  There will be time for pushing myself once I’ve established a routine.

So there you have it.  Basically restating my goals, but finding new and better ways to accomplish what I set out to do.

Once again I have to thank my sister.  She is still the voice that keeps me going and I believe I wouldn’t have run yesterday if she hadn’t texted me and said, “I hope you go for that run.”


 

 

This post is part of Mindful Monday hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading.

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Mindful Monday – Goals and Whatnot

When I started following Mindful Monday, I don’t think I realized it would become my exercise platform, but here we are.  And today, I’d like to talk about my goals.  I’m not a huge goal person, meaning I don’t have a list on my wall of things I need to complete.  In fact, I try to avoid them; or at least, that’s what I tell myself.  I know they happen whether I want them to or not.

Two years ago, my sister and I set a goal to run the Tough Mudder and even though that didn’t happen, there were a few  things that did happen.

  1. I came to realize that I am stronger than I ever imagined, not just mentally and emotionally, but physically.
  2. I also realized that I am capable of committing to an exercise program for an extended period of time, but it helps to have someone walking the same path who is there to push you when you just don’t feel like it.
  3. That summer, I was in the best shape of my life and I felt fantastic.
  4. I found that I don’t necessarily like all exercise and while that doesn’t always matter, it helps to find things you like to do in order to sustain momentum.

Two years later, I am in a huge rut and trying to find what works for me.  Writing that list has helped me a lot.  Just knowing what I accomplished makes me feel like I can do it again.  I’m beating myself up that I let it go and fell into a rut, but I know I don’t have to stay here.

Today, I am making the decision to work out every single day in one form or another with Friday’s off.  The thing that happened the last time was that I didn’t let myself have excuses because I couldn’t let my sister beat me; and I knew she didn’t take days off unless absolutely necessary.

Now, I don’t have my sister pushing me to be a more healthy me.  In fact, most days she needs me to lift her up and keep her going.  But whether she realizes it or not, she has always been and still remains the voice in my head pushing me further.  She is honestly my hero in so many ways.  She can’t exercise hardly at all anymore, but that doesn’t stop her.  I know she walks her dog every single night, even when she can’t do it alone.

I know I’ve said it before and I am saying it again.  I’m going to exercise for both of us, just like she asked me to two years ago when she realized she no longer could. (I love you Sissy! )

Happy Monday everyone!


This post is part of Mindful Monday hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading.

Mindful Monday and #LoIsInDaBl Day 22 – Mindful Exercise

As I’ve mentioned, I started going to a gym in October of last year and they offer classes with my membership.  The only class I was truly interested in when I started was Yoga, but the only one I could go to was on Monday evenings at 7.  I went for about three or four weeks, but as luck would have it, they discontinued the class because they didn’t have enough people.

I went a few months in a bitter state but finally decided to look into some of the other classes they offered.  I really found that I didn’t like Zumba, so I took a chance and tried a class called Body Combat.  It’s basically fighting with music – punching, kicking, jabbing… it’s fun as hell, but I haven’t done much cardio in the past year and it’s a rough class.

I started following the instructor on Facebook and went a few weeks, then I had three weeks in a row where I missed the class.  Last week I received a message from the instructor asking me if I was okay.  I didn’t think I had gone to the class enough to have the instructor even notice me, but she did.  And I realized that it is easier to keep doing something as strenuous as this class when you have someone who either does it with you, or at least someone who motivates you to keep going (Thanks Marlo!).

I finally ended up going tonight despite a headache and feeling very off.  The one thing I realized afterwards is that I didn’t notice my headache while I was busy moving and following the instructor.  The only time I noticed it was when I actually thought about it.  Isn’t it amazing what our minds can do when we just let go?  It makes me wonder how much we, as a society, actually need all the medication we take (but that’s a subject for another day).

I love exercise!  How about you?


Love Is In Da Blog is hosted by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Our prompt today was “A mindful exercise”. We are also combining today’s post with Mindful Monday hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading.

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SoCS – Some Exercise and Some Inspiration

Not all of you have been following me since I began this journey, but last July I posted about a tragic event in my life and how much it shook me and changed plans I had made for the rest of the year. I didn’t go into much detail since it wasn’t my story to tell, but today was a milestone and I can’t help but write about it, even if I have to stretch the “some” in there to make it fit into SoCS.

My sister was diagnosed with a blood clot less than a year ago and while I’m more grateful than I can say that she survived and it didn’t turn into a stroke or anything worse, I’m amazed at the journey she has been on and how long it has taken to recover. She isn’t completely there yet, but she has come leaps and bounds from that three-day hospital stay and needing help just walking from one room to the next.

Last year, my sister and I were engaged in training for the Tough Mudder. That didn’t actually happen and won’t happen this year. It was a long-shot when we signed up for it and I’m not surprised I didn’t actually make it, but just the thought that I could do it and spent four to five months actively engaged in exercise and working towards it is something I’ll never forget. It helped me see what I’m actually capable of.

Just to put things into perspective, last year, my sister and I were clocking 30-33 minute 5Ks and our times were continually improving. Needless to say, she hasn’t been able to run since her diagnosis, but it’s a goal she has set for herself. She loves it way more than I can say I do.

I’ve watched her in her darkest moments when all she wanted to do was go home and I’ve watched and listened to her reach milestones and goals. I can tell you she has never lost hope and never given up. She has learned acceptance, and (probably the hardest thing for her and me) she has learned when to push herself and when to accept her pain. If only we could all deal with illness and setbacks with as much grace as she has shown in the past year.

Today, I’m not sure if she had an ultimate goal besides finishing 3 miles. She’s walked two miles in the past few months, but I think it took her 45 minutes or more. Today, we walked 3.2 miles in a little over 56 minutes. The last half mile was a test and I wasn’t honestly sure if she would make it. She had a moment when she slowed way down and I told her we were so close. She said her brain wasn’t communicating with her legs anymore, but instead of giving up, she started telling her legs to move forward, just put one foot in front of the other, and within a few moments, she was back on pace. When we could see the finish line, we started jogging. It was a slow jog, in fact slower than what we were walking, but she jogged across the finish line. I have no doubts that she will continue to push herself and will get herself back to her normal running pace and we will be all over the race scene by next year.

She inspires me every single day, but today I am overwhelmed with pride and joy and hope.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt was “some/sum.” Feel free to click the link and join in.

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SoCS – Picking at Bones

I have a bone to pick with myself and unfortunately for you, I’ve decided to do it here on my blog. Besides, once an idea hatches from a prompt, it’s difficult for me to try and find something else and usually leads to staring at a blank screen fighting with words.

I just looked up the origin of “a bone to pick” and it’s said the origin is around the 1600s in England and it has to do with two dogs fighting over a bone, or a dog picking a bone clean. I think it fits very well, even if I’m not fighting with someone else. It’s an internal battle that rages on and I’m having a hard time breaking free. At times, I wonder when the bone will ever be picked clean, but I think it’s one that continues to feed itself so there is no end.

I’m sure that all sounds pretty melodramatic, and I suppose I am at this point. The worst part is that I realize I am the only person who can decide to change. I am the only person who will set myself free, but it seems that there is always a reason to continue down this path I’ve found myself traveling.

I’ve blamed it mostly on my job. I’m more stressed than I used to be. I work harder than I used to. My hours are different. And I suppose those are all valid arguments for a time. But the two things that would probably help me the most are the two things that I’ve let slip over the past months.

I’ve completely stopped exercising which has led to an uncomfortable addition to certain parts of my body that makes it difficult to fit into my clothes. To make matters worse, I decided at the beginning of June that I needed a tiny break from blogging just to recharge since I had blogged every day for two months. The “tiny” break has turned into almost a full month and I’m missing my creative outlet and all the lovely folks I connect with through my blog.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve set my alarm to exercise in the morning and simply turned it off and went back to sleep. I can’t tell you how many different ideas I’ve had for blogging that I’ve simply let slip between my fingers. And the worst reason that I could have ever thought of to stop doing the two things that make me immeasurably happy is “the day job” that does hardly anything to fulfill me and only seems to make me unhappy of late.

When you read this, I will be hiking with my boyfriend and my son. I’m hoping this will be the kick-start I need to get my ass off the couch and back outside running or doing yoga. I need it. I need to do things that give me an outlet; otherwise, I feel like I will waste away into a deep black oblivion where all I see is work stress and all I feel is hopeless.

No more picking at bones that spin in spirals and have no end. It’s time to start again. Right now!

I appreciate all your patience, especially if you made it through this drivel. I think I needed the release and I’m feeling better. 🙂

I would love to hear how you’ve pulled yourself out of depressing slumps. You probably won’t give me any more insight than I’ve already had, but maybe it will make us both feel better – you in the venting and me for feeling not so alone.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. Today’s prompt was “bone.” Feel free to click on the link and join in. Perhaps others will have more upbeat things to share.

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Love Is In Da Blog – Running (Or the lack of it)

Bee gave us a great prompt for today. She said to post a picture showing something you love to do. I couldn’t stop thinking about my poor, lonely running shoes, sitting under the chair where I threw them the last time I went running.

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I miss them. I miss running.

I am sad to say that I haven’t been for quite some time. In fact, looking at Runtastic (the app I use to track my mileage and time), the last time I went was January 11th. That is just plain sad!

I can’t decide if I like or hate the part of Runtastic that sends me a notification every Sunday that looks something like, “staying active is good for your health, let Runtastic help track your activities,” or “get out and run today”. It hasn’t ever said that last one, but I usually feel like a huge glutton every time I get one of those notifications now. It only does it when I don’t log any activity, or when I only log one. If I’ve run more than one day, it will tell me how awesome I am.

I miss those notifications, a lot!

So, this is the kick in the butt to myself to figure out my scheduling issues and actually get out and run. “Scheduling Issues” is just an excuse anyway! I don’t know why I haven’t been on the weekend, except that I’ve been too full of excuses that sound a lot like “I’m too depressed to exercise”, when in fact, exercise would actually help my depression; something I’ve proven to myself over and over again.

Sometimes it’s just getting past the negativity in my own head that is the hardest part, because I really do love running!

What about you? Do you have something you love to do but have let other things get in the way?