love, life, and the pursuit of liberation
A few months ago I did two sets of 30 day challenges born of a desire to reconnect to my body in an emotionally and physically healthy way. One of the side effects of infertility was this disconnect with my body as a spiritual house and all the trying to conceive activity caused me to see it as purely functional. Then when none of my tries or pregnancies worked, I developed a really unhealthy relationship with my body. The first challenge, a juicing one, was rather successful. I was gentle with myself, didn’t create too many rules, and was able to complete it, as well as lose some pounds. The next month, I attempted a 30 day physical challenge. I failed miserably. I may have gotten through one or two days before I gave up. I My same gentle approach didn’t work and life became an overwhelming excuse to avoid exercise. Besides, I have never been a physically active person save one year of gym fitness and random athletic attempts as a kid. Failure with exercise didn’t quite feel like failure because it was something that I never was good at. Instead, it felt like a return to my normal*; since I have a decent body shape, almost normal body weight, and am no longer trying to conceive, I didn’t have much reason to be concerned about my physical health.
Then the dreaded moment happened. About a month ago, I was at the playground with A and LA. They were on the swings, and I waved. My hand stopped, but my triceps didn’t. I was mortified. This had never happened before. A said she saw my whole moment in slow motion—the wide and cheery smile, the enthusiastic wave, my eyes staring at my hand as I processed its inertia but pondered where the sensation of movement was coming from, my slow glance traveling down my arm, and the look of sheer terror as I discovered the hammock that used to be triceps swaying in the wind.
I vowed at that moment to stop justifying my lack of activity and get in shape. PRONTO.
To do that, I had to take stock about what works for me and what doesn’t. I can’t be gentle with myself about exercise. I need drill sergeant accountability. I need routine. I need results. I need consequences. I need routine.
So with all that said, I’m embarking on a physical challenge again, this time with a plan and rules. Here they go:
1- I shall work out in the early mornings. That way there are no wife, mama, working duties to interrupt. In the evenings I’m exhausted. In the mornings, I’m super focused and aware.
2- I shall have a workout buddy. I have enlisted the help of J to harass the piss out of me. I’m afraid. Very afraid.
3- I shall have consequences. I will not be allowed on my iPhone, Facebook, twitter, or blog until I have worked out. This is terrifying for me because I HATE my work BlackBerry, but I’ll be forced to use it as my primary phone if I don’t get the workout done.
4- I shall have rewards. For the first month, I will be able to choose weekly rewards from the list I’ve generated. For the second month, I will be able to choose a reward biweekly. For the third month, I’ll be able to choose a big prize at the end. I’m excited.
5- I shall focus on endurance and strength training via Insanity. Yes, I’m bringing out the big guns. I will feel like I have conquered the world if I can get through this. It will shatter my mindset about not being athletic or fit.
So this is it. When I get home, I will take my before picture. Maybe I’ll post it. Maybe I won’t. But 90 days from now, my body is going to be the SHIT and that’s because it’s the BOMB now and is ready to do that. (Okay even if I don’t 100% believe that about where I am right now, I can fake it until I make it J )
*I’ll write another post at another time about how I came to believe that I was not good at physical exercise and the roots of my body image.