Exercise. A word we are all quite familiar with but we sometimes choose to ignore, have no time for or basically have no interest in.
I have followed an exercise routine for well over a decade now which I had incorporated into my daily routine. Now don’t misunderstand me, I have no aspirations to become an athlete or a model, I just felt as though it was good for my health and to try and keep fit with a bit of cardio and the use of resistance bands with some Pilates.
After experimenting with so many different modes of exercise, I found what was comfortable and enjoyable for me and which had good benefits for my sore lower back. Although in the beginning I found myself looking for logical excuses to avoid exercising some days, I gradually became dedicated to myself and followed through five to six days a week.
Besides my routine I have always been a fairly active person — not one to sit much. This plan seemed to get neglected and mostly ignored when I began writing my first book Conflicted Hearts. Somehow the hours turned into days then months and I was finding with the shortage of time that I was waking up and getting right to work and the span of days and sometimes weeks were passing where I was neglecting my exercise routine.
I know as the months rolled by I was starting to feel less pulled together, muffin top was trying to make a home around my waistline and I began having more problems with my sore back and hips which would occasionally decide to lock up on me. I also found that the longer I ignored exercising, the harder it became to establish a disciplined pattern again.
I still went for little walks but the days I had previously spent on my feet, had become days that I sat on my butt working. I gained four pounds in the last year without even a change of diet and my body doesn’t even resemble its former shape. I blamed being busy and post menopause, in denial that my old simple little half hour exercise routine now lacking, certainly couldn’t be the cause of all the changes.
I thought back to when I was exercising. It had become so effortless that I was sure it wasn’t even doing anything much for me anymore without realizing it was that very routine which had kept me feeling good and my clothes fitting properly. It had become simply taken for granted.
Moving forward, I had begun to do some of the other little things I also engaged in as part of my old routine like lifting some light weights and occasionally picking up my hula hoop once in a while which I used to do for twenty minutes daily. I used to do all kinds of moves with that hoop and could keep that baby up and moving for as long as I wanted to without dropping it once.
When I returned from my winter vacation and re-organized my daily work schedule, I promised myself that I was going back to a committed routine to help me feel fitter. I implemented a morning routine once again before beginning my work because I decided it was important and I owed it to myself. No more sporadic, spare moments of exercise and broken promises I told myself each time I stepped on the scale. I picked up the hula hoop which I hadn’t used for months and in disbelief, I struggled to keep it going steady without it continuously falling to the floor. I was shocked that my auto pilot ability to manipulate that hoop had gone rusty. Then I attempted to follow through with my Pilates program which I had previously considered so effortless only to find that each move felt torturous to my abs.
Wow I thought, holy crap am I ever out of shape! What a wake up call this was. How easy it is to assume that things remain a constant because we take them for granted. Life moves on and if we neglect our bodies, they don’t come along for the ride. Lessons learned.
It’s only been two weeks now that I have disciplined (and scared) myself into a regular routine. Although I still panic when I look at the clock, knowing I should be working, I realize I am working. I am working on me! I am important to me and although I impose my own deadlines and have to deal with life’s punches in between, I decided to enjoy my fitness break and if it helps me feel better and motivated to continue on with everything else, it was important time spent.
I am also happy to report that I am once again in control of the hula hoop and my resistance Pilates isn’t nearly as painful — almost like riding a bike. With a little more practice and dedication we can accomplish what we thought was once lost. I have definitely learned not to take my body for granted. After all, I need it to work well for lots of things. In the past I thought I wasn’t doing much because I was so used to feeling good and fit but when I stopped, I found the benefits I had lost by not realizing the way I was before was because of the benefits of exercising.
Let us not get so busy that we forget to take care of us!
14 thoughts on “Getting Back In The Groove Part 2- EXERCISE”
Gosh, I haven’t done the hola-hoop in ages but I remember doing it in our back yard. Seems to me I could do it for hours, but that’s probably the memory of a ten year old. Time seems so long. Why not? There’s so much in front of us then.
Weight gain. I’ve noticed the same thing. Sitting at the computer for hours has produced in me a few pounds that I do not want. I’ve always done exercise so my problem was munching while at the computer: tea with a date square or cookies, a glass of wine with chips or crackers with cheese. I’ve cut that out and am watching what I put in my mouth pretty carefully. And No Munching allowed at my desk. 🙂
Lol Carol you are so cute. If I am working at my computer I have no urge to snack, it hits when I’m finally done for the night and I turn on the TV for a bit and try to be mindless. Coincidentally I like the same things as you do :). I don’t think middle aged spread is a myth, lol. As for the hula hoop…it is really like riding a bike, I try and do it while watching a taped half hour show instead of sitting. 🙂
Good for you, Deb. I struggle with the same. Who is this person who sits at a desk all day and lets the dishes pile up in the sink? Who is this woman who was an exercise trainer who resists exercise? I had some health problems the last year, but as I begin to feel stronger, I know I have to dedicate myself first to my inner life, second to my body, and third to writing. I know from experience there’s time for all of it, but try to convince the woman staring at the computer screen. Like now! I have to go make myself a salad. Thanks for inspiring me to do what makes me feel best.
I’m so glad Elaine if this post inspired you. I suppose it may serve as a wake-up call for some because it certainly was for myself. It is so easy for us to get lost in our work and leave everything to the way-side but I realized I had to re-prioritize to look after myself too. It’s so easy to get caught in a rut and assume everything stays in a same state of constant…because it doesn’t. 🙂
Some days I just can’t bring myself to exercise and totally get some of the struggles you go through. I’m going to go for a walk this afternoon and you helped motivate me!! Hugs xo
Lol, I know how tough it is. We sink ourselves into our work and almost look for things to distract us from it but so I have discovered, it really makes a difference…mentally and physically. Enjoy your walk! 🙂 xo
Oh you make me feel guilty! I know I should get an exercise programme going, but I spend all day being physically active (riding/walking while training riders) and the last thing I want to do is any more exercise when I get home – also cutting into my writing time. Unfortunately I’m so fit for what I do, just doing the same all day doesn’t keep those nasty things like muffin tops from developing – I’m just post-menopausal and noticing the difference! Arghhhh!
Lol Deb, you are already getting the best exercise with your daily routine! And yesssssss, I know all about those darned muffin tops – they don’t want to go away, on the flip side, they have given me great things to write about, lol. No holds back in my new book…Meno-What?
Yes, I’m looking forward to reading it!
I exercise daily… So I am used to that, but do you know how I do… I do it at home as I have a sort of stepping machine (which therefore may be linked to Pilates principles) and that way I Know I dont have to go out when I mean to stay at home ..
So: no excusses…;)
Anyway one you get on track it is part of your routine and quite effortless…
Best wishes DG,
Thanks Aq! Good for you! We have to keep our engines running … mentally and physically. 🙂
Deb, I know the feeling, Where on earth did those six pounds come from? Haha.. Grapes, yogurt,during the day. I have never been one to eat a whole sandwich. I’m more of a half of this and a half of that kind of girl.
But when we are writing we aren’t moving around like we should be. I have been disabled with chronic back pain since 1988 and somehow even with all the steroids and meds I had to take I got myself back into shape when I reached my forties. .
With the weather about to break here in Jersey I am going to have to try and walk in the afternoon around my little town. Mornings would be better but I am a little lets say wonky in the morning.
You have inspired me Deb. If I can keep my brain going with writing and social media why not keep my body as strong as I can too. I will let you know what happens. Thank you!.
Thanks Annie for visiting! Lol, I know, it’s tough to write and sit and find time to stay active. I noticed the ‘writer’s ass’ symptom escalate this past year, from less activity and abandoning exercise. I’m like you, not much of an eater, half this or that, sometimes I can’t even be bothered. It seems those menopause monsters really slow things down on top of this all. Hence, I felt compelled to write about that in my upcoming book – Meno-What? A Memoir – Memorable Moments of Menopause. So far my discipline is starting to pay off, so please do keep me updated on your progress. 🙂 xoxo