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Monday, July 11, 2016

Being Happy With Me

Seven years ago, I was heading to a wedding.  it was one of my first few big outings after having my daughter.  I bought a new dress, I mustered up the energy, after a sleepless night, to do my hair and makeup.  I was feeling pretty good.  Here is a picture of me at that time:



When we arrived at the wedding, my first interaction with another guest was the following:

Woman - Hi there!  I remember you from the wedding shower!  How are you?

Me - Great thanks.  Nice to see you.  How are you?

Woman -  Good!   So when is your baby due?

Me - *pause*  (feeling my face get red) - I just had her 3 months ago. 

Woman - Really?  I didn't think you had the baby yet.

Me - Yep, she's a good baby. 

At that point someone witnessing the conversation cut in to change the subject.

I felt awful.  I started to question whether I was working hard enough to get my baby weight off.  Then I remembered, I had a baby.... 3 months ago.... and a rough birth at that.  So I decided not to be so hard on myself.  I would be happy with where I was.

Now, 7 years later... I'm no longer happy with where I am.  I often struggle to motivate myself to take control of my health, even though much of the work I have done previously related to motivating others to live healthy lifestyles.

I have always been good at coming up with excuses: I have a busy job that often involves long hours, sometimes involving evenings and weekends; I am a part-time MBA student; I have a daughter who is busy with her own activities which often involves me.  Don't get me wrong... I have free time, but my free time is limited.  And I often feel tired so I spent those free hours in front of the computer or television.

Last night, I asked my daughter if she wanted to have a dance party with me.  I put on some dance aerobics videos and did them while my daughter did her own dancing.  I did a full hour of heart pumping exercise.  That may not sound like a big accomplishment, but for me it was.  I felt good afterwards.  Tired and sweaty, but good.  

I want to ride that feeling.  I hope to hang on to that feeling and continue on a good path... for me, for my health, and for my family.  

I don't need a gym membership, a personal trainer, or even time out of the house by myself in order to exercise.  It can happen in my home, when I would usually watch tv.  

So what's the point in me sharing this information?  Because I know many have been in the same situation I have been.  I want to say to those people.... I've been there... I am there.... you are not alone.

Having a workout buddy is a great thing to have... someone to say "hey, want to get out for a walk"?  But sometimes, schedules get in the way.  I have a few walking buddies, but in addition, I put a little reminder on my phone to remind me to try to get some activity every day.  

Want to share your own tips and stories?  Feel free to share in the comments below. 

4 comments:

  1. I am so sorry that happened to you! I have the worst feeling that it was my wedding that you were at! If so, I would like to formally apologize for anything any of my family members said. Seriously.

    Whether it was there or not, it would have been around the same time as my wedding, and I'd like to say that they were obviously blind! You looked fantastic! I remember thinking at my wedding how good you looked! After having C, and looking back at wedding pictures, I was even more impressed. Growing and giving birth to a baby is a really hard job - on mind and body. It completely changes you. I never understood that before having a baby, but it really does.

    I think you're feeling like any other mum, including me. It's hard to make time. Besides all the family demands, planning for exercise, meals, and keeping up with household work take up a lot of time. I don't really have any tips, because I'm struggling too, but if you're ever up for an evening walk, C goes to bed around 8, and I'm free!

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    1. Thanks Tiffany! And to put your mind at ease, no, it wasn't your wedding. We attended one a couple weeks after that.

      I know the woman didn't mean to hurt my feelings or anything, but I certainly didn't feel good after that conversation.

      The struggle for "me time" I think is a common one for parents. I'm trying to change my previous mindset that the only way for me to be healthy was to be at a gym or out for a run. I'm trying to find ways to exercise that I can do with or without a child in tow. :) Luckily, I've found some fun exercise videos for times that I'm stuck at the house, and I will definitely take you up on the offer for an evening walk!

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  2. If only you were closer! I need a friend to motivate me and lift me up to want to get out to exercise!

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    1. I know what you mean. I'm lucky to live around a lot of people, unfortunately we have very different schedules which makes it difficult to get out with a buddy sometimes. I also travel a lot for work, which means I'm in cities I'm unfamiliar with, and with no one I know. Sometimes I set reminders on my phone to push me to get up and get out. I also used to use an app that would send me reminders to get out. Or sometimes, if you have a long-distance friend, it's helpful to have them check-in with you to see if you got out that day, or are planning to. Not always ideal, but it's a workaround if you don't have a workout buddy close by.

      It's a struggle for many of us I think. Good luck to you and be sure to check back in to let me know how you're making out!

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