Sunday, January 17, 2016

Find your fitness

When envisioning the future for my boys, I always say a little prayer they get their father's athletic ability.  The good Lord did not bless me with athletics.  Remember in elementary school when you had to dribble the basketball down to the other end and make a shot?  I was THAT kid who held up the class until the gym teacher eventually just put me out of my misery and let me go on without making a basket.  (Thank you gym teachers everywhere for recognizing when some of us just aren't going to make a shot!)

It's not to say I wasn't athletic at all.  In high school, I really enjoyed cheerleading and gymnastics. Several years after college, I decided I needed to find a way to start working out again.  Those cookies weren't going to work themselves off.  So, I started running.  I figured I was, at a bare minimum, coordinated enough to run.  I stayed with it for awhile, but eventually fell away.

Fast forward to having my second baby, and the baby weight wasn't coming off as easily and all I wanted to eat was junk.   My husband, also who I consider my accountability partner, started encouraging me to find something I would enjoy.  He saw I was down about my weight, lack of energy (in hindsight I had just had a baby, so it's to be expected), and I wanted to feel better about myself.  Not having run in *many* years, I signed up for a half marathon. When I started running again I was SO SLOW, my first run was 10 minutes, and I felt like I needed a sign that said, "I know I'm not fast, I had a baby 2 months ago, have pity."  However, I stuck with it and I found it was nice quiet time (read as: quiet time with my thoughts and without my kids).

Running started a snowball effect and I found myself weirdly wanting to workout more, I can never in my life say this has occurred. Oh, and I finished the half marathon, it wasn't a blazing time, but I did it.  To be very vulnerable with you all, below are my before and after race pictures.  The before picture got posted to social media, the after picture has never seen the light of day until now.  Whatever, I'm proud I finished, but my kids acted like they didn't know me.

Pre-race--the picture I didn't mind to show others
Post race--I pretended like these pictures didn't exist
You guys can we talk about something slightly off topic for a minute?  The other day I ran with a friend.  At the end, she looked like she had been casually perusing Target, while my face was beet red and I looked like I needed oxygen.  Ladies, those of you who glow (sweat) gracefully and still look good working out, the Lord has blessed you.  Say thanks daily.

Now, back to the point of this point...

Here are a few tips to getting moving and find your fitness:
  • Find activities that make you happy.  
  • Find a friend.  I quit running again for about two months, until someone asked to come running with me. Having a running buddy is keeping me motivated to start again, and holds me accountable for showing up and putting in the work.
  • Set goals each workout.
  • Have evolving goals.  The goals you set for your first workout is not the same as your goals 8 weeks later
  • Listen to your body. If you can't reach your daily goal don't get hurt, but push yourself further if you can.
  • Be active as a family.  Our family loves dance parties.  Seriously, we have dance parties several nights a week, and they are so FUN!  We are active as a family and building memories during this time.  Plus, my kids don't yet know their mama in uncoordinated. 
  • Find 30 minute workouts to get your heart rate up and put in the work! Seriously, it's 30 minutes, you have to work hard.  
  • Something is better than nothing.  Have your kids with you and can't go to the gym?  Take them for a walk.  
  • Prioritize your fitness
  • Morning dance party.  If you notice the light on the shelf, it usually comes out for full family dance parties.  

This post should not be read as, "I workout all the time and I love it!"  In reality, I have trouble finding time, even 30 minutes, so I workout usually two to three times a week. I often lack motivation, so I need accountability partners.  As cliche as it sounds, sometimes looking at my boys is my motivation.  I want as many days with them as I can, and I want to be a good example.

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