It’s hard to believe, but three years ago, I ran a 5K and weighed 40 lbs. less. I was three pant sizes smaller and felt really energetic and healthy. I had worked extremely hard to get to that point – with daily workouts and a careful food intake. I got discouraged when I couldn’t lose another 7 lbs. and I took the progress I had made for granted. Slowly, I fell out of the good habits I had developed and my body reacted quickly to the change. Then, after much consideration, I decided to have one more child. The human body is an amazing tool. It is very adaptive, but still, has its limits. That’s why, after almost two years, I find myself in dire need of regaining health, one step at a time.
I’m not a dietitian, physical therapist, doctor, or trainer. I feel like the average mom wanting to be healthy again. My goals for this journey are modest. First, I’d like to be able to wear my wedding rings again. Second, I’d like to be able to move my body without random aches and pains. Finally, I’d like to stop wearing my maternity clothes. Once I achieve these goals, then I’ll think about running another race. I really enjoyed the experience I had three years ago and want to race again.
No fitness journey is the same. We all have beautifully different bodies. The intent of this article is not a “how to do this” article, but more a statement that we can all begin to take a little better care of our bodies. And, we will each accomplish this in a different way. I’m also hoping that talking about this so openly will hold me more accountable for my choices.
I have a very good friend who has lent me a daily fitness program. The workouts are on par, for intensity level, with the workouts I was doing three years ago – every single day. Right now, I can barely manage to complete one every four days. So, I’m choosing to be grateful that my body completed two workouts last week.
I already see some of the benefits from these workouts. As tough as they are for me to complete, I am gaining strength and endurance. I’m also regaining bits of flexibility. It’s as if my body is saying, “Oh, yeah, I remember how to move that way, but I need more practice.” And, I’ve also begun to lose just a tiny bit of weight. Nothing more than a pound or so, but then, my exertion hasn’t been that monumental.
This week, my personal goal is to complete three of these workouts. It’s my next step toward regaining my health.
I’m beginning to see that these fitness journeys really are just about steps – sometimes baby steps, but steps just the same. As long as we are stepping forward, our amazing bodies will gain in health and fitness. But, when we stop stepping, like I did, our bodies start to lose the fitness level we had achieved.
There are many small, healthful steps we can take to improve our overall health, and there are experts out there who will tell us what those steps are. Healthfinder.gov is a great website to find these steps. Yet, it is ultimately up to us to decide to take those steps, and to continue to take those steps. As we do, we will also begin to see the benefits and will be regaining health, one step at a time.