A family's story

Posts tagged ‘exercise’

I never would have guessed…

During the boys’ first week of school, I got a text from my neighbor at about 8 pm on Wednesday night.

Ms. Neighbor #1: I’m thinking of walking before going to work in the mornings. Want to join me?

Me: Sure. When do you want to start?

MN#1: Tomorrow? 

Me: Sign me up! When?

MN#1: Sorry so early, but 5:45?

Me: I’ll likely be up anyway, so sure.

We walked that Thursday at 5:45. It was a good, fast, 30-minute walk. As much as I grumbled about getting up, it was nice to get out and get some exercise in before the chaos of the day began. We didn’t walk the next day, because she had to prep for going out of town. I did my usual exercise video. (I have been doing at least 5 days of exercise a week since July!!)

When MN#1 got back from her Labor Day weekend excursion, she texted me again, asking about walking regularly that week. She also asked if we could move it up, as she was running late after the 5:45 walk. I agreed. We walked for two mornings at 5:30, and then that Wednesday morning, as I snuck into the bathroom to get changed, I noticed I had a text. Two of her kids were sick, and she had been up all night. I was up and dressed, so I went for the walk by myself. At 5:30 in the morning. Yup. I did!

During the remainder of that week, I not only walked with her for a half hour before most of our neighborhood was awake, I came home and did my 30-Day Shred workout once the kids were in school. I felt pretty pumped. I mean, that was almost an hour of exercise a day, yo!

Last week I walked every day with my neighbor at 5:30. It was ridiculously hot for most of the week, so walking at 5:30 wasn’t so bad. I had meetings almost every day, so doing anything but my walk wasn’t possible. At least I got that in. I considered it a win.

This past Sunday I got a text in the afternoon. My neighbor had to be to work early on Monday and Tuesday, so she wasn’t going to be able to walk with me. Guess what? I set my alarm and got up those two mornings and walked all.by.myself. For serious. I checked with her last night. She said she wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t be joining me today. So, I got up, even after being up a couple of times with a coughing Cole, and walked at 5:30 this morning. (While walking by myself, I may or may not have cut a minute off of my walking mile…it’s amazing what walking by one’s self in the dark will do to one’s pace! Oh..and I may have downloaded a flashlight app on my phone…you know, to keep an eye out for any unsavory predators….or skunks. Dang, there are a LOT of skunks out in the wee hours of the morning!!!)

A month ago if you had told me that I would willingly drag myself out of bed at 5:20 in order to exercise, I would have chuckled. That’s what nights were for. A year ago, I would have laughed at you maniacally. Now, though, I have realized how much better I feel after exercising. Even just that short amount of time helps. (Oh, and I have been able to get in some video, as well, this week.) I have more energy..and I am not nearly as achy or winded after playing with my kids. I just feel more…more balanced.

It feels good to get up and pound the pavement. I still am not the biggest fan of exercise. I don’t like “the burn”. Nor do I like “the sweat”. Holy gross. But. BUT. I do like feeling better in general…and not having as much muffin in my top. And seeing the scale dip instead of rise. Sooooo, I’ll keep on keeping on. And when it gets too cold to walk outside–and it will–I will drag my (not-so) flabby butt out of bed and do the treadmill. 

I truly never would have guessed that this would be my lifestyle….ever.

Editor’s Note: I do have a fabulous reinforcer for my behavior. 90% of the time, as I walk up my driveway, I see Tate’s smiling face peering out of our front window. His megawatt smile and “Hi, Mommy!!” make it all worth my while–even if I’m sweaty, gross, and feeling the burn.

My “Helper”

I have a confession….my “get healthy” resolve crumbled in January. I maintained my 30 minutes per day of movement (which I’ve been doing since the end of November, thank-you-very-much), but my eating and tracking fell to pieces. As the stress of dealing with med changes, behavior escalation, and insurance plan changes and deadlines wore me down, I turned to my bestest friends in the whole world: carbs. Mmmm…they are so comforting, are they not?? They make me feel good, they taste good, and they fill me up on a cold, dreary day.

However, a couple of months of carb-loading is NOT a good plan when one has decided it’s time to get active and healthy. So unfair!! Wishing that my clothes had shrunk in a freakish laundering incident or something, I jumped on the scale on Monday. As much as I hoped that it was a laundry issue, it was not. I just gained weight. I was just about back at the weight that prompted me to start getting healthy again in November. Drat!

Knowing that I was back where I started, and that shorts and bathing suits were closer than I would like, I walked on Monday, pushing myself to go a little faster than I had been on the treadmill. I worked up a little sweat. On Tuesday I attended my barre class at the Y. She made us do lunges. I think she was punishing us for not coming over spring break…ye-ouch! Last night, I started Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred.  Oh, great googly moogly!! It hurt.

I did Day 1, Level 1. And I was sweating. And huffing. I wanted to shut the darned DVD off midway….and that’s when Tate came upstairs.

“Hi, Mom. I work with you.”

“Er. (huff,puff) Oh…(deep breath) kay.” (I am not in good shape. Yes, I have walked 30 minutes a day on our treadmill since November, but um, yeah…..)

I was at a point in the video where  Jillian Michaels demands that everyone do a butt-kicking run in place. There is a “modified” version where one doesn’t have to kick all the way to the butt. The full-effects version calls for getting your heel to your rear. Ow. I clearly was doing the “modified” version. Tate started to run in place next to me, giggling as JM encouraged us to kick our butts. “She said butt.”

We had to do jumping jacks, next. I started to do them, huffing and puffing along. Tate did his version of a jumping jack. It wasn’t as coordinated as the trainers’ on the video, but he held his own. This was fun for him. Gaah! “You do it, Mommy!!” Yay…great. But I did. I kept up. At the end of this particular circuit, we were instructed to lay on our back, and criss-cross crunch. Tate was trying to contort his body into the position on the screen. He looked like he was trying to do a new yoga move or something. After a few attempts he just laid down and commanded, “Go, Mommy! Do the crunch!” Awesome…was he in cahoots with JM????? Brat.

The next circuit had “jump-roping”. Tate loved it. He was jumping and laughing and shouting, “poop”. (Poop is his newest stim word. Age appropriate, yes. Incredibly annoying and somewhat maddening?? Totally.) Anyway, he jumped along. Then we had to “box”. As JM shouted encouragement to punch as hard and as fast as we could, Tate kept going and going. He was good at it. He kept me going, too. He did all of the cardio and strength stuff with me, even though he didn’t have hand-weights. His push-ups are a riot. He decided to sit out the crunches/ab workouts. (Smart kid.)

I made it through the video. I was sweating. I was flushed. I knew my muscles were going to be mad at me later (they were), but I felt good. Day one to a better me. And thanks to Tate, I kept going. As I looked over at him during one of the cardio sessions, and I saw his smiling face as he tried his best to keep up, I realized….if he can do it…I totally can. I mean, I just have to overcome inertia. My son has to overcome a lot more than that every day.

So, yeah, Tate’s my helper. This morning he asked if he could “work” with me again. I told him we could do it after school. That made him smile. So, hopefully in 30 days I’ll be more toned, um, “shredded”, if you will. And Tate will get me through.

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