At the end of June, we had our family photos done … we purchased the shoot for my husband’s parents back in December as an anniversary gift. Their two sons have both married, and in the last seven-and-a-half years their quaint family of four has expanded to a family of 12 (13 come October).
A week or so ago, after finally getting some of my favourite shots printed, I sat down and studied the pictures. I marvelled at my daughters’ beauty, but found myself getting hung up on my own imperfections, especially as I compared myself to the Leanne of three years ago (our last family photo shoot). My jawline is “rounder” than it used to be, and my arms and legs certainly aren’t as toned as they once were. Ugh! I looked fat. And, with the exception of my pregnancies and perhaps the few months after each, I’ve never really felt fat. It is most definitely an oddity to me, and one that seems determined to stick around (for the last 11+ months anyway).
Three years ago, my daughters were four and two (there were only two of them then). I was working full time (though off for the summer), and commuting over an hour a day. Early that summer, I did the 21 Day Fix (read about that here), and in mid-July, I ran the 5K Colour Run in my hometown. I was VERY toned, and VERY fit at the time.
Now, in 2018, we have expanded our family by one more, and as we approach her first birthday in less than a month (and my 35th in two months), I am certainly less than happy with the condition of my body. Despite writing “Do SOMETHING” just a few short months ago and having big aspirations to train and complete the 5K Colour Run again, I haven’t been doing much of anything lately. And it shows … I have held onto an extra ten pounds for close to a year now.
Before our “major” summer adventures began, I was still faithfully working on repairing my diastasis recti (the gap between my two core muscles as a result of my last pregnancy) upon the recommendations of my physiotherapist … but that’s about it. I’ve been going on random bike rides or random walks or doing a random workout in the living room or on the screen deck. But, clearly, my lack of consistency is not serving me.
Diet-wise, I generally do fairly well. I really try to watch my sugar intake, and I save my “treats” for weekends. I do have weak moments though, especially when it comes to Jalapeño Pringles or those new Cracked Pepper Triscuits. It’s also best if I just keep the dark chocolate pumpkin seed Bark Thins or the Coconut Clusters from Costco out of the house. There’s just no self-control when it comes to those two gems.
I’ve always yearned to be one of those people who “did something” physical every day, and despite my intentions over the years, I can’t seem to stick with anything.
Lamenting to my physiotherapist about these last stubborn pounds, she assured me that focusing on other things, like keeping small humans alive or my writing projects or managing a household is perfectly okay, but to lose those pounds, I am going to have to step up my exercise regimen.
The truth is, exercise really hasn’t been a priority for me lately, even though I am totally convinced of its mental and physical benefits, and I certainly want to solidify its importance to my daughters by making it a part of my life every day … but I just can’t, it seems. I appear to be unwilling (or unable) to make it a priority at this point in time. And, of course, there’s oodles of guilt associated with that, and a healthy dose of disgust when I REALLY look at my body or try on certain clothes.
Yeah, yeah, I know all that stuff about respecting ourselves and appreciating our bodies more for all that they do for us. I also know there are women who only dream of having that extra ten pounds as a result of a pregnancy and a precious baby to love. There’s also probably women out there who would give anything to be able to go for a 20 minute walk on a treadmill or complete a lower body workout (two things that I can easily accomplish).
Any “free” time I have in recent times is absorbed trying to write posts like this or trying to read something or packing and unpacking from one of our recent excursions or volunteering or planning an event or organizing a class … with the exception of the packing and unpacking, I really do LOVE these things. I love writing (and I would really love for this whole gig to take off). I love reading. I love learning. I love using my talents for good. I love creating. I love planning and organizing. I love publishing. I love helping. But, I don’t REALLY love exercise.
The truth is, I don’t really WANT to invest the time that it will take RIGHT NOW to lose those pounds … there, I said it. Exercise is NOT a priority right now. Actually putting that on the page … is … just … so … bizarre … because exercise is SUPPOSED to be a priority, right? After all, it’s SO closely tied with good health (which is crucial for EVERYTHING), but still, for August anyway, for me, exercise is NOT a priority.
I am physically able to do what I’ve got to do in a day.
I am eating relatively well (“treat weeks” are over).
I am trying to drink six cups of water a day.
I am cutting out sugar again (with a few of the same exceptions I made during my last sugar strike).
I will start doing my daily core workout again.
I will revisit “Do Something” and respond to my exercise urges as they come (even if it’s crazy erratic and ridiculously long between them).
I will also try to cut back on my bedtime snacks (maybe a couple of times per week, instead of EVERY night).
And I think that’s all for now.
In a month, when things settle down a bit and the kids are back in school, I may give this whole exercise thing some more thought again.
But, for now, rather than setting a whole bunch of goals I have no desire to work on or accomplish (and essentially lying to all of you), I’m letting exercise go.