It’s Monday morning again. Oh, no, time to face another week of ______. You fill in the blank. Is this how you face Monday mornings? It’s definitely how Monday mornings looked to me before I began my current routine.
Now I get up on Monday mornings and am excited to get to the gym to warm up on the elliptical and then head into a 60 minute weight training session. So what’s wrong with me you ask? What’s wrong with me is that I have worked for 11 years on healing my relationship with food, my relationships with others and my relationship with myself and my body image.
I put on my workout pants and feel trim and fit in them, even with large, jiggly, cottage cheese ridden thighs. They are mine, they fit into size small Nike pants and now into size 8 LuLu Lemon pants. This means I have two pair of overpriced LuLu pants that are too big…ugh…what a horrible fate to deal with. The pants, not the thighs…
I have also needed to get new workout tops and have resorted to a good workout bra and a loose fitting tank since my body just isn’t shaped right for the built in yoga tops any more. My current fave is the front closing workout bra from Victoria’s Secret…..when they are on sale AND I have a $10 off coupon.
When I put on my exercise gear I no longer lament that I can’t have pretty, bright, colorful ladies sneaks because my feet are too wide and they all hurt. I put on my New Balance men’s size 10 ½ EEEE and just don’t really care. My feet do not hurt and I can get my 5K in on the elliptical without a lot of pain. That’s what matters to me. Getting it done.
And it is just that – getting it done – that has created this new, more compact, muscled version of me. I like it. I look in the mirror and check out my arms, my back, my shoulders, my tummy, my waist, my thighs and my calves. I am happy with the me I am creating, with the help of my personal trainer, twice a week.
That’s what I LOVE about Monday’s. It is one of the two days I work with my trainer. She pushes me far outside my comfort zone when we work. She watches my form so I do not cause myself neck or back injury since my scoliosis is not a pretty thing. She has modified leg exercises so I have been building my calves, my quads and my hamstrings little by little and making gains every single day. I have not attempted this on my own for several reasons:
- I am afraid of injury
- When I begin to get tired my form degenerates and I need verbal and sometimes physical intervention (a light touch) to keep my body even due to my scoliosis
- I do not have the background or training (yet) to know how to do all of the above.
- I can do my aerobics and my lap swimming on my own to supplement the weight lifting
- It is FUN to see just how far I can go
- I need the encouragement of another, and I do not enjoy classes
I started my exercise routine about a year after I had surgery. I did walk farther and more often for the first year which, along with the changes in my eating behaviors, helped me lose the first 100+ pounds. Then I slowly added swimming laps to the mix. After a few years of swimming 45-60 minutes 5-7 days a week it was time to get courageous again and try something new.
I got on the treadmill for a while but couldn’t get my heart rate up without running or putting so much incline into the machine that I was hurting my arthritic knee. I tried the elliptical. Five minutes of that strange movement and I knew I was going to die. Now, it’s my go-to for almost stress free aerobic activity. I go, further, faster, and keep besting myself on speed and endurance. I sweat. I hate to sweat – still.
I’ve added yoga occasionally to the mix. I go outside my gym to a Yoga studio for this because I need to know that I will receive the assistance necessary to modify the moves to work within my physical limitations.
I tried Zumba. It was fun (even though it was a class) but my knee hated me painfully for a week after. I can ride my bicycle on some beautiful trails.
I keep trying new things that look interesting. I use heavy ropes, I use the TRX, I use bands. I can actually do crunches on the mat, and bicycle crunches on the mat properly without hurting my neck. I do pushups, I’m working on doing chin-ups lifting my own weight (I am 75% of the way there on the machine). I play with kettle bells without knocking out a tooth or myself. Even when I’m in the water I change up the order of strokes as I do my laps. I do planks, squats, you name it and I have at least probably tried it. Is it hard? YES. Is it impossible? NO. Do I always want to do it? – Only on Mondays. Do I ever regret doing it? NOPE!
This is not about how awesome I am, although… This ladies and gentlemen is about how awesome you can choose to be. None of this was easy. Every day it’s work, hard work. I have to stay present in the moment as I choose my food, drink my water, get to the gym to swim or work out, and look in the mirror and LOVE the woman who wakes up excited to start each day, especially Mondays because they are weight training days.
Am I ever perfect about my choices of food, my water, my fitness? NO. Do I let one bad day rule me? NO. What I do is surround myself with people who support me and my way of life. People who teach me HOW TO and encourage me to continue. I’ve been doing this for 11 years and it seems to be working. I’m still doing the work and still reaping the benefits.
Start by looking in the mirror and smiling at the reflection. Then tell that person you see in the mirror – I am worthy of it all. I deserve to be happy. Make your next choice based on being worthy, being happy, being healthy, being fit and see what happens. Create a positive vision of yourself in your mind and find the steps you need to take to make that vision into reality. Then GET IT!
I say, do the work, reach your “golden years” fit, happy, in love with life, and yourself. All it takes is one choice at a time and the belief in;
I CAN, I WILL, I AM.
Now I am taking these 67 year old bones and jiggly thighs out of this chair and for a little walk. If I sit for too long everything gets stiff and THAT is not on my agenda.