True to form, my brain seems to keep gravitating to the 12-week model for writing/updating on the battle front for better body image. The good news is, lately it feels a whole lot less like a battle and that phrase is really only fitting in this post because I can’t help myself, sometimes, when it comes to alliteration.
In all seriousness, especially when considering illness and surgery recovery that kept me from a physical yoga practice through most of December and January, finding peace with my body post-baby has been a much easier experience than last time. Perhaps that is because for over two years now, including throughout Truman’s pregnancy, I’ve been doing the hard work at therapy and at home of changing the negative self-talk and constant comparisons between my body and those of other women/mamas.
Although I still have my thoughts-go-down-the-rabbit-hole moments, I find my general OK-ness almost shocking at times because it’s been since early high school that I’ve been this oblivious/unconcerned about my weight and appearance. I told some friends last month that I can’t decide if I have landed in acceptance or complacency, but we agreed that somewhere in between is probably best for now. It’s OK to not be 100% satisfied with my current physical condition, so long as the reasons I want to change it are for health and strength purposes. And not caring if I still have some squish 5 months post-baby does not mean I’ve given up and will be eating Doritos all the rest of my days (confession: total favorite indulgence junk besides chocolate) is OK, too. See – somewhere in the middle is where I am with my middle.
Because I hit this happy medium place in January, I decided shortly before the end of the month to try a little program to increase my fitness level. My ears creep up to my shoulders big time when I think about diets or about exercising for all the wrong reasons (been there – done that, never again, thanks), but when I stumbled upon a 30-Day workout challenge on Facebook the only thing that appealed to me was strength – not jean size or appearance, so I figured I was in a good enough mindset to give it a try.
The program is 15 minutes a day for 30 days and can be found at this link; I happened to see it because several of my friends on Facebook like Betty Rocker’s FB page. P.S. Isn’t it bizarre and eerie how you see what you see online? Big Brother is ridiculous, but in this case – finding a fun and free video series doesn’t bother me at all. What helps, beyond the cost, is that BR’s approach to working out and eating are all very inline with what I believe (all things in moderation) and need to be hearing (a.k.a. – even though the challenge is called “make fat cry,” her message in the workouts doesn’t really reflect that – this is not just about being skinny). So thank you creeper Facebook gods for sending this my way – for once, I appreciate your intervention/invasion!
Also, I love it because I can do 15 minutes a day, especially since they are all varied and don’t require me to leave my house at a certain time or be gone for an hour+. Totally spot-on for this busy mama. If you try it, just, um, take some of her yoga advice with a grain of salt (and don’t put your foot on your knee in tree), OK?
Interestingly enough, the 30 days aligned quite nicely with my quarterly check-in here that I established last year, and now that I am just past the halfway mark, here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- It is nice to get back into some cardio. Since my back injury post-HD’s birth, I haven’t been able to do anything fast – no running, no cardio classes – nada. Since this program has all kinds of modifications included, I feel good about trying the moves at my own ability level. Plus I know it’s only 15 minutes, not 45 or 60, so I don’t have to worry about sustaining for too too long.
- To piggy back off the previous note – I forgot how much I used to love kickboxing in college and before that TaeBo tapes (yes. TaeBo. TAPES.) in my living room. I will never be a CrossFit kid, but I love me some air-punches and bopping around my house a bit as I work out.
- She’s totally right – 15 minutes a day really does something for the body! I’m sure she’s also right that if I bought her food plan, I’d see even more results, but hello, nursing. I am not going to follow any sort of diet or nutrition plan unless my baby mandates it, and right now so long as I give us both some leafy greens, we’re good to go (thank goodness!). But seriously – my body feels tighter and stronger already which is great because TJ is getting super wiggly which means I’ve got to get ready to start chasing him here soon.
- This has been an excellent way to model a healthy lifestyle and mindset for my kids. Often one, two, or even three of them are around when I’m doing my workout (RL loves to see the day get crossed off at the end of the video) and they see me breathing and working hard but also respecting my body by modifying moves when needed. There is no talk of fat or trying to lose weight. Just an effort to get some strength in my muscles. I love that they also try to do some of the moves with me; Raegan has been the most interested in doing so and is also a good coach/encourager when she’s just watching.
As I said, not all is suddenly sunshine and roses with all aspects of self-love and acceptance, but it feels so good to continue to move my mind and now my body in a positive direction.
Progress, never perfection. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Happy socks for happy feet that feel good to be on the move again!