Thursday, January 19, 2017

Getting Fit. I Hope!

I had a visit with my doctor recently, to review some test results and discuss my meds and upcoming specialist needs.

My doctor really likes to refer me to specialists. I think that means she's thorough and caring. Either that or I'm in way worse shape than I thought.

Anyway, my bloodwork results were awesome, other than an elevated level of triglycerides. She is blaming my regular evening cocktail/glass of wine, and my lack of exercise. Well, the one adult bevvie daily isn't going anywhere, so I guess I have to get off my butt and start moving.

Many years ago, I was an active gal. I did weight training, walked everywhere, did aquafit classes 2 to 3 times a week, and went dancing at least one night a week. One summer I even did fixed seat rowing daily. Of course, I was also single and childless.

Now, I know that's not an excuse. Lots of married and parental people still make time for their workouts. I just fell out of the habit when I moved to Toronto. I've made half-hearted efforts at getting back into exercising over the years, but it hasn't stuck. I don't know why. It's too cold out, or I don't feel well, or I have to clean the house or meet a deadline or care for a sick child or man-child. Poor excuses all. I haven't been prioritising myself. For years.



I'm giving it another shot. I promised my doctor I'd find an aquafit class near me. It's a great option for me, because I have wonky knees and need something with little to no impact. Plus, I love being in the water. So, I did some poking around online, and I decided to grab a free 2 week trial membership for the YMCA. (If you are in the GTA, you can get yours here - TryTheY.ca)

Although I was a little nervous at first, I went for an initial aquafit class last Friday. I loved it. I knew I loved aquafit, but I'd forgotten just how good the classes make me feel. I even grabbed some time in the sauna afterwards. Divine! I've been back a couple of times since, and plan to fit in a minimum of 2 classes a week, plus do weights and treadmill on another day.

Check me out before my first day in the weight room this week! Naturally, I had to purchase some new workout gear if I'm going to be coming here regularly. Joe Fresh had a multi-buy sale on (40% off with the purchase of 3 or more pieces!), so it was meant to be. This is one of the two outfits I bought. And honestly, the new gear did help to motivate me. (Side note - I couldn't find my own sneakers, so those are Boo's!! Yep, we wear the same size shoe. And I was delighted to see his sneakers matched my new pants.)

A photo posted by Deb Coombs (@raisingmyboys) on

One of the reasons I love aquafit is that it is accessible to people of such a range of abilities and ages. My classes have had women (and some men too) of all shapes and sizes. Some use walkers when they're not supported by the water. Many of the older ladies wear shower caps to protect their hair-dos. No one is self-conscious, and everyone has fun.

Even in the weight room, I found a good variety of people. Young, old, in shape, or just trying to get there. Since I'm there during the 9-5 time, I suspect the population might be a little skewed to the retired crowd, and I am very comfortable with that. The Y is not the place the body builders go to show off. Thank goodness.

So, yesterday I dove in and paid for my full membership. I am excited to be on this journey, and look forward to strengthening my muscles, improving my cardio, and - yes - losing some weight. Maybe most importantly right now, exercise plays an important role in mood. Keeping active, releasing endorphins, being physically healthy will all help to improve and maintain my emotional health.

I'm hesitant to share my start weight here, not because I'm ashamed of it, but because I don't want this to be about pounds lost. For me this is about feeling good and energetic and strong again. And about getting out of the house and interacting in person with other grown-ups on a lot more regular basis. So, I'll keep my numbers quiet, for now at least. If I get really excited I imagine I'll break down and let you know :) I'm allowing myself to weigh in just once a week so that I don't obsess.

 Wish me luck keeping up my momentum.

Monday, January 16, 2017

2017 - My Year to Move Forward

It's a couple of weeks into the new calendar year, and I'm starting to think about how I want this year to look. 2016 was a horrible year, on both a personal and a global scale. My life was turned upside down, and now I am working on finding our new normal, and adjusting to my life as a widowed, single mom.

I gave up making new year's resolutions a long time ago (I was just going to break them anyway), but for the past few years I've decided to focus on a single word or theme that encompasses what I hope to accomplish in the next 12 months.  My word for 2017 - FORWARD.


Why "forward"?

Because I want to look forward, instead of back. Not that I intend to forget or distance myself, but that I fear it would be rather easy to dwell on the sadness of the past year, and our loss. I can't let myself do that. I need to look forward to the future with my boys and getting them set to go out in the world on their own. My husband, their dad, will always be with us, and we will treasure our memories, but we need to live in the now and look to the future.

Because I need to move forward with my business. I will move forward with plans to bring in new clients and to reach out to new brands I want to work with. I'll move myself forward professionally with attendance and learning at at least one conference. And I want to push myself forward with my photography, maybe take a few lessons, and put some effort into selling that work.

Because I think I need to be a bit more forward (although some friends may dispute that). And by that I mean, I need to be more vocal and willing to express what I need, when I need help or support, or when I want to get involved. I need to put myself out there and say, "Hey! I can help you with that. I have the skills you need for that project. Hire me!" And of course that's an important part of being able to move forward with my business.

So, forward it is. Onwards and upwards, as they say.

What do you think? Do you set a word or theme, or goals for the coming year? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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