Hey mama! You can do hard things. Easy to master in a meme, so much more difficult to do in real life. I think we can all agree that this is truly a season of hard times, and sometimes it is hard to know when to give in and when to keep on going.
Especially when it is so much easier to quit.
Like most of us in the beginning of quarantine, I developed some habits that were not very healthy. For starters, I drank far to many energy drinks. I just felt like I needed the energy not only to work but to help 3 very energetic boys navigate the waters that were strange to all of us. I wasn’t sleeping and my anxiety was through the roof. I had no idea what I could do to through the day some days – I know I am far from alone.
In July of this year I thought, enough is enough. I need to get all of this under control. In a year where nothing seemed controllable, I was going to take something I could control and stick to it. I started working out. I know, I know that doesn’t seem like a huge thing to cling to in terms of control – but I stuck to it – even when I didn’t see results.
In my younger years, I was a professional athlete and even though logically I knew that my body was in capable of performing like it used to, somewhere my subconscious expected changes overnight. When they didn’t come, I was devastated. I really wanted to quit. In my teens, I trained daily. I was a figure skater, which meant on days that I did not have school I skated 3 times a day every day and days when I did usually twice a day. Yes, even Christmas. Yes, even any other day you can imagine. I had ice shows every Friday and often several a day on the Holidays – Christmas, New Year’s, etc. I was used to following a program and getting results. I wasn’t used to a forty something year old body telling me to slow down and listen to it. I am very lucky to have trainer’s that listened to me and we came up with an approach that works for me, and the fact that I am now pretty much at home with the boys all day every day.
I drink half of my body weight in water every day – or a gallon – sometimes a little more. It depends on the intensity of my workout and the temps, humidity etc. I have not only found that the water helps me feel energized, but it also helps me have less breakouts – which of course are prevalent right now with the amount of mask wearing we are all doing. I also never realized how dehydrated I really was until I started drinking more water. I find myself craving water – I mean what? Water is far, far from being a favorite beverage of mine.
See your Doctor
I thought I was doing everything right. I was eating Keto, I was working out, I was drinking water – why wasn’t I getting the results that I wanted. I went to my doctor to find out, and when the first one brushed me off, I went to another one. She dug deep and I got answers. For someone who is relatively bigger, I am pretty healthy. I have low cholesterol, I have a good A1C, I have great blood pressure and a great resting Heart Rate – all the things that you worry about with a person my size. I even have turned the tides on the anemia that I have lived with for the last 11 years and my blood is finally doing what it is supposed to do. Amazing right? So, what gives – I wasn’t eating right for me. My doctor has hooked me up with a nutritionist and things are now headed in the direction I am looking to go. If you aren’t getting the answers you are looking for, keep asking until someone listens to you. It may be hard and you may want to give up, but keep going until you get the answers you need to make the decisions about your health that you are looking for.
Get a trainer.
For me, this was a crucial piece of the puzzle. As an athlete, I thought I pretty much knew everything there was to know about training. Except I’m not a figure skater any more, and the exercises are also ridiculously impractical – I mean I am pretty sure that while stretching is great, I no longer need my foot over my head – in fact years of stretching in that manner could create other injuries if I am not careful. Having a trainer has helped me learn the exercises for my body the right way – not the get ‘er done way, but the way they are supposed to be done to prevent injury. While skating my seem graceful, there are so many ungraceful attempts at a move before you even come close to getting it right – and a lot of injuries. I am happy to stay injury free thank you and I am glad my trainer is there to guide me. Working with a coach comes naturally to me, and they have expertise that I certainly don’t have and can see what I can’t in a workout.
My trainer also listened to me. When I first began training, I was sore all the time and I mean all the time. I thought this was normal – I mean I am getting older after all. While some soreness is common, it is not the norm. Had I not discussed this with her, I may have given up. I wasn’t seeing results; I was sore all the time and I was eating a restrictive diet. No fun.
We sat down and not only looked at my ability level, but my level of strength, endurance and agility and the most important thing…
How would this fit into my daily life?
It is important to keep any change sustainable. Could I legitimately keep up workouts if I were constantly sore and tired? Of course not. What works for me is mini workouts. Everyday I walk 20 mins and do 2 to 4 exercises that will build my strength and endurance. The exercises that my trainer crafted for me were based on my current skill level and the equipment I already have at home – no need to buy anything special.
For me, the goal was fitness.
Your goal could be whatever you make it.