Monday, June 29, 2015

My Road to Healthy - Week One

A few weeks ago hubs and I took all five kids to North Carolina to visit his brother and sister-in-law. It was an amazing week full of pontoon boat rides, tubing, hiking, waterfalls, mountains and lots of great food.

While we were there I found myself being inspired by my sister-in-law. She was waking up early and going out for a run, then coming home and eating a healthy breakfast. She looked amazing. Being in a bathing suit on the pontoon boat made me greatly aware that, while I have lost the weight from my last baby, I still have a lot of work to do firming everything back up.

Not only that, but I suffer from depression and anxiety and am currently on medication for both. I don't want to be on drugs forever, but they have been a godsend in helping me keep my sanity over the last year and a half.

So a couple of days after we got back from our trip I set my alarm for 6:15 am and decided I was going to go for a jog. I told myself it would be a jog because, lets face it, I haven't worked out in a really long time, so I knew there wouldn't be any real running going on.

Waking up that morning was tough. All I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep. What the hell was I thinking waking up so early, when the rest of my family was snoozing peacefully. Somehow I managed to drag my arse out of bed and put on my workout gear and ten-year-old sneakers. I got the dog on the leash and off we went.

I had my phone in my hand and no music to help push me through. We started out walking for a few minutes to warm up and then I started jogging.

And then I stopped jogging. Oh my god, I must have jogged for at least three minutes. *Checks phone* Thirty seconds? What the hell? 

I was more out of shape than I thought. So I spent the next thirty minutes alternating jogging and walking, willing the time away. 

At one point, I turned to look behind me and saw the incredible sky and I had to snap a picture. It looked like pink and blue cotton candy. It started to occur to me that, other than the health benefits, this is why people find joy in early morning running jogging walking. It was so peaceful and beautiful. 

That was it, I was hooked. I made up my mind to replace my decade old sneakers with new running shoes and decided to look into an armband thing to keep my phone in so I could have music with me. 

I knew I was going to need a little more motivation though, so I downloaded the C25K running app. The idea behind that app is that it trains you for a 5K in eight weeks. It alternates jogging and walking, gradually increasing the jogging and decreasing the walking until the very end where you're expected to jog three miles (or as much as you can in 30 minutes).

Thursday rolled around and up I got again at 6:15, tied up my new shoes, stole my son's headphones and headed out the door with the dog. That second day (first day using the C25K app) was much tougher than I expected. I grunted through all the 60 seconds of jogging and let out a sigh of relief each time the app said "begin walking", signaling the start of 90 seconds of walking. 

But I made it through and managed to snap another beautiful morning photo.

The next day my armband and new headphones were scheduled to arrive, which made me really excited about running on Saturday morning. I purchased a couple of running playlists from the iTunes store and loaded them onto my phone. Saturday came, alarm went off, and away I went.

My running toys - armband for my phone 
and noise canceling headphones.

Then it happened. During the first 60 second jogging spurt I felt pain on the inside of my thighs, up high, near my lady parts. Holy crap did it hurt. But I pushed through and finished my workout. I went home and did my stretching, spending a lot more time in a butterfly stretch trying to work out the tightness in my legs. For the rest of that day I walked like I had been riding a horse for six weeks. Every step was painful. 

Great, three days of exercise and I had already injured myself. Thankfully when I woke up on Sunday the pain had gone and I was walking normally again.

I had only gone out three times, but I was already feeling better about myself. I noticed that the days I jogged, I didn't have nearly as much anxiety during the day. Anxiety and depression are two things I have struggled with for quite some time. I am on medication for both, but my goal is to get to a point where I no longer have to rely on chemicals to get me through the day. I was also eating breakfast, something I had fallen out of the habit of doing a long time ago. Oatmeal or Greek yogurt and granola, with flax, chia seeds, honey and fresh berries.

Every day hubs tells me how proud of me he is that I am getting up and doing something for myself. I really appreciate hearing that and it is a huge motivator, but you know what else motivates me?

I am proud of myself.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not the most athletically inclined person. Sure, I went through my phase in college where I was working out every day and talking aerobics classes. And leading up to my first wedding when I was going to the gym in an effort to have even more of my dress taken in. But I didn't like sports in school and did pretty much whatever I could to get out of playing them. (My high school track coach used to call me and a couple of my friends the "Country Club" as we walked around the track during practice.)

I've had a few snarky comments from people questioning my sudden enthusiasm for running. I just smile and tell them the truth; I'm trying to get healthier, tone up, and do something for myself.

My life, although I love it, is totally dedicated to raising children and being married. I am lucky to have a true partner to share my journey with, but the majority of the responsibilities involving the children falls on me. Hubs works full time and I've been privileged to have been able to stay home since our youngest was born in February of 2013. But that means that all the doctor and dentist appointments, sick days, grocery shopping and the majority of the cooking, cleaning and laundry falls on me. While I in no way claim to be Suzy Homemaker, and I know my floors could stand to be mopped more regularly, it still doesn't leave too much time for me.

So I will keep setting my alarm for 6:15 and I will continue on my journey to get healthy, and sane.

Who knows, maybe this couch potato will sign herself up for her first 5K in the future...

...On second thought, let's just take it one day at a time and see how it goes.

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