I’ve got a whole lot of “do the same thing every day, all day” in my life right now. And it’s OK — really, it’s OK, and here’s why…
About 7 weeks ago I made a personal commitment to work out more. I mean, we live in Los Angeles where the average daily temperature is like 75*, I can totally do this, I told myself! I’ve always taken Bauer for a daily walk with Max, but since Natalie joined our family in October it was getting harder & harder to load up my crew and head outside for some exercise. Especially if we didn’t go shortly after breakfast. Especially since it takes 30 literal minutes to walk out the door. Especially.
Rewind a few more weeks prior. I saw a photo of myself and thought, “noooooo, no no no”. I didn’t like the woman I saw in the photo because I knew it wasn’t the best version of me. For days all I could think about was how “unlike me” I looked, which meant I couldn’t stop thinking about the photo.
Zack and I are on a journey to becoming debt-free and are practicing minimal spending, so I took the resources I had (a Britax B-Ready double stroller and 2 sets of workout clothes) and began a fool-proof interval workout routine. The only things I’ve bought since starting are a new pair of running shoes and a Fitbit for personal encouragement.
Each morning I take both kids and our pup for a 90-minute walk/run workout, and I push myself to run just a little bit longer than the previous day. As the weeks pass I take the running momentum I’ve gained to work even harder. About halfway through my run we stop at a grassy park so Max can play in the water fountains and run around. (Natalie usually sleeps the entire time.) These park breaks are just as rewarding for me as they are for Max, I love watching him be a little boy and dirty his feet :)
When I was about 3-1/2 weeks into my new journey I had Zack measure me (arms, bust, waist, hips, thighs, calves). Two weeks later he re-measured and I had lost 5.25″ overall. Awesome, I thought. Two weeks later he measured me again and another 2.25″ had been lost, totaling 7.5″ overall. Encouraging!
Monday is another re-measure day and any progress I make is great progress, for sure. But, it’s not just about the numbers I’m recording. It’s about feeling confident and happy and healthy.
The hardest part of this journey? Pushing through once I got bad shin splints on both legs. That was a painful 10 days and I made little progress with running, but I didn’t quit. For the most part it’s been a breeze to continue running week after week, which has me wondering, WHY DIDN’T I BEGIN THIS NEW JOURNEY MONTHS AGO? ;)
I’ve never been a runner. Like, get out the megaphone: I’ve never been a runner. The fact that my body now thrives on running is a bit strange but, I’m not going to fight it. My “pro” column is overflowing with reasons, and my “con” column is absolutely empty.
Having a consistent workout routine has been beyond amazing. Here are my best “yeses” for running:
* my patience has increased
* I’m sleeping way better at night
* I feel way more motivated to tackle projects around our apartment (yeow!)
* many of my (constant) unhealthy cravings have gone away (double yeow!)
* my general outlook is more positive
* there’s so much natural beauty to see in our neighborhood (an abundance of color & texture)
* I enjoy the clothes in my closet more, even though I still wear the same five outfits (ha, ha)
* I feel way more intimately connected with my husband. (This one is a huge PLUS for me. It is hard to sift through the many emotions/needs/postpartum-ness (right?) and seek intimacy with my husband. So like I said, getting outside for a long run each day has been a huge plus:)
When I began my personal challenge I was walking about 2 miles/day, and slowly I’ve transitioned to running close to 5 miles/day. We’re gone for about two hours each morning, returning home just in time for lunch and naps. One huge saving grace with all of this is having easy/healthy lunches ready to serve. I almost always have tuna or chicken salad in the fridge (I make it on Sundays), along with sliced cheese, fruit, pretzels, and yogurt. Once lunch and naps are over the afternoons fly by and suddenly Zack’s on his way home from work.
I miss having hours of morning time at home to play and paint and read books (and lazy around, let’s be honest), but right now this personal journey is well worth the schedule changes. I can’t think of an area in my life that hasn’t benefited immensely from my morning run.
What inspired all of this? Many things. First, my mom visited mid-February and was hugely motivating in me increasing my daily activity. Then I saw Lydia’s Instagram post. And lastly, I saw “that one photo” that confirmed I looked as blahhhhhh as I felt on the inside. (Or so I thought.)
Honestly though, it’s not at all about a specific number of miles or inches lost or pounds shed — we don’t even own a scale (and I’m unsure of my weight).
It is about these three things: 1.) I want to be fit so I can be active with my family, 2.) I want to stop feeling self-conscious over how my clothes fit, and 3.) I want to feel absolutely amazing about myself so there are no intimacy walls between my husband and I.
So, here is where things stand: working out 2 hours/day (includes park playtime), running 4+ miles, gone 6 days/week = 7.5″ lost.
Basically, I set a realistic workout goal and I stuck to it. I began by walking fast with super light jogging. Then I increased my jogging time. Then I began to mix running into my super fast walk. I was all, Girl, get up and run! You can do this! You totally can! And when I got home from my first workout and I felt all, Yeahhhh! Yeahhhh!, I knew I had found a routine that was going to work. Success!
PS. there’s also this: #watchMaggierun.