I have no idea where it went.
Of course, part of the reason it flew by so quickly is that we had a really nice summer; we took a cruise (courtesy of my father’s Big Birthday Celebration), we did quite a bit of camping, the kids had time with their dad and time with their friends here, and for the first time since my husband and I joined households, we did not decide it would be a “great idea” to do some sort of major house project over the summer. We just… had a relaxing summer. And it was great.
As I take stock in “where I’m at” with all this fitness-y stuff, I find myself very much wanting to excuse myself with things like “I’m doing okay!” and “I kept most of the weight off!” But I also want to smack myself, a little, because I had gotten to a place where I was exercising five days a week and not really hating it as much as I used to, and I thought I’d broken the exercise-hatred barrier, finally. Turns out that was only temporary.
So it’s true that my weight is fine. It’s true that after a brief week of “what if I go back to eating whatever I want” and feeling crappy and my skin going haywire, I’ve (happily!) gone back to eating a South Beach-esque menu that leans heavily on fruits and veggies. It’s also true that for the first time in my life, I’ve gotten multiple compliments on my arms, of all things. (Apparently months of wearing weighted gloves while riding the elliptical does help sculpt the muscles.) But the other true—and more concerning—thing is that by June I had pretty much stopped exercising altogether, and I’m back in my old sit-at-my-desk-all-day rut whenever I’m not needed elsewhere.
We’ve picked berries. We’ve spent a fair amount of time swimming. We’ve gone to the Farmer’s Market and school Open Houses and here and there and everywhere, true. But the simple, daily commitment to exercising my body has been overpowered by excuses like, “Oh, I lost all day yesterday to [insert family activity here]. Today I just need to sit down and work.”
On Monday we’re back on schedule. And I need to be back in motion.
Resolved: To start, I will either walk my son to school or get on the elliptical a minimum of three days a week. Three days out of seven; that’s less than half. Anyone can fit that in, no matter how much work waits on the desk. Right? Right.
I got an email from a reader this week, gently chiding me for the way I sometimes talk about my body image and my fitness “shoulds.” She said (among other things):
If you love ice cream and think that exercise is stupid, why do you refrain from eating ice cream and (force yourself to) exercise? Perhaps I am secretly Vulcan, but that seem highly illogical.
This comment made me giggle (she had me at Vulcan, people), but it also made me think. I don’t want to buy in to “having” to look or be a certain way, of course. And—as I told her in a reply—I do view my personal blog as a bit of a hyperbolic dumping ground when it comes to venting about anything that displeases me, so we do have to take me with a grain or fifty of salt when I whine, please.
But the bottom line is this: I want to be healthy. Sure, sometimes I want to look a certain way, but more importantly, I want to see my kids grow up, and I want to see their kids grow up. That means I cannot sit at a desk all day, every day, and expect to reach a ripe old age. I do hate exercise-for-the-sake-of-exercise, but as long as my job is to sit on my butt in front of my computer, I need to learn to tolerate it, because it’s not good for me to do nothing but sit around. I don’t need to be model-skinny, nor do I need to run a marathon. But I need to find balance in my life, and part of that balance is incorporating enough exercise that I am not secretly worried about hidden heart disease or falling down the next time we go hiking.
It starts on Monday, with walking. I’m sorry, Desk, but I need to see others. I hear there’s a whole world out there, and I don’t want to miss it.