YES that title is cheesy, and NO I won’t be apologizing for it!!!
(This post took a long time to write because I really didn’t want it to come across as super diet/weightloss industry-ish. It’s about the mental AND physical changes I’ve made in the last three months, but if you are sensitive to talk of diets or weight-loss or fitness etc then please bow out now.)
I recently did one of those foot-peeling masks and my feet are tender and soft as newborn babies right now, and not great for exercising on (with?). I’m reminded of a time when I went for a pedicure at a fancy spa. Instead of individual chairs with built-in foot baths all the pedicure clients sat on the long upholstered bench against one wall of a large room and the estheticians had to carry over large bowls of hot soapy water to soak our feet. The woman sitting closest to me told her esthetician “Don’t scrape all the calluses off my feet, I’m a runner so I need them” at which point my esthetician said to me “oh, are you a runner too?” OUCH.
So I wanna start by saying I didn’t begin this journey as a New Years resolution as I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, I started in the week between Christmas and New Year’s and it had more to do with Taylor and myself both being off work thereby allowing me the time to get into a routine and any new year-new me business.
I also didn’t start with a goal beyond a sort of nebulous ~feel better in my body~ Like I’m not trying to lose weight or be able to run a certain distance or be able to touch my toes* or sign up for a marathon. That sorry if goal setting just doesn’t work for me, and anyway I don’t think of this as something with an end goal, it’s more like a lifelong commitment. Like a pet, only the pet… is me (real ones will get this reference). In the last eight years I’ve had two pregnancies, two bouts with an autoimmune disease that made me weak and exhausted, and a traumatic emergency invasive surgery that I never got over. All these things changed not just my body but also the way I felt inside it. I did not feel comfortable in here and I haven’t for a long time, and I just wanted to feel like myself, and connected to myself. Oh also I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money, and running outside and doing YouTube yoga is free(ish). Also with all the gyms and pools and fitness centers closing I feel PRETTY smart in my choice of exercise regimen.
I’ve tried running before, I think it was when Nicky was a baby there was one week in the summer when I woke up early for no reason and decided to go for runs but that was also right when my Graves’ disease recurred so I couldn’t keep it up. I’ve been doing yoga videos on and off for a couple years but it was always hard to fit them into my day. I’m not a morning person so I’d try to do it during afternoon quiet time but there’d always be someone crying or needing attention. So it took until this past winter break before I was able to really form a habit.
Now, I get up at 6 or 6:30 practically every day. Two or three of these days I go for a run (it’s about one kilometer running up and down the long sides of my block five times, walking the short sides, which I don’t count) and I do yoga (with Adriene) almost every single day. I started with the 30 Days of Yoga in January and then just continued with her monthly playlists. I allow myself some grace and take a break for a day or two when I’m sick (like from that cold sore!) or have cramps, but I try not to skip a day because I’m “just not in the mood” or “feeing lazy” because I think that opens the door to skipping more and more days and then what was the point???? of doing all this??? in the first place???
So what has changed? I mean I’m specifically not doing this to lose weight and I haven’t, not really. Like maybe a handful of pounds in 3+ months. I haven’t actually really changed my diet at all (I mean I did get Taylor on board with changing our weekly take-out from our favorite poutine restaurant to bi-monthly and having a very nutritious salad the other weeks, but since this pandemic has been happening we’ve switched back to getting takeout to try and support the restaurant) so that’s not surprising, and anyway it’s not the point! But like I tweeted a little while ago, since I started running & doing yoga regularly my legs feel strong and like… connected to the earth (that sounds weird but it’s the most accurate description!). Considering one of my major symptoms of Graves’ disease was weakness in my large muscles, particularly my thighs, that is huge for me. Oh, and speaking of my thighs, and my butt, which we weren’t speaking of but whatever… they are rock hard. Like I would perhaps not go so far as to say I have thighs and buns of steel but maybe also I would say that? My arms and chest (my pectoral muscles you PERVS) are also developing. It’s kind of amazing! ANYWAY. The real change is how positively I feel about myself in all of this, how I can feel myself becoming stronger and more comfortable in my body. It feels good. It feels like home.
*I can touch my toes now though, for the first time in my whole life, turns out the problem was tight hamstrings lol.