Sedentary

How often do you work out 60-90 minutes a week? Are you: Vigorous (5-7 days a week), Active (3-5 days a week), Moderate (1-3 days), Inactive (sporadic to never)

Every time I answer this question I feel bad about myself. I click “Moderate” but in my life right now that is wishful thinking. Honestly for the majority of my life it’s been wishful thinking.

I was never a sports girl, and my summer babysitters could encourage us staying inside and watching tv. I swam, but after swim team practice most of my time was spent laying around the pool and drinking sugary drinks and waiting for my next snack.

No really.

A few years ago I made some life changes, and thanks to medical advancements, helped to subside some genetic disorders that kept some weight on. After I had lost some weight I found it easier to exercise. I found it easier to do a lot of things, like walk up and down stairs. It’s amazing what 10 pounds can even do!

Losing weight is great, but I needed to be healthy, which means, active. For me, calories in and calories out did not equal a steady weight, it still doesn’t, my body works against me. Yet, I admit that as the scale has crept up in the last year, I use this as an excuse. It is easy to get caught in a  victim mentality when you have a disorder that keeps you fat.

Here’s what doctors, trainers, and well… anyone says, “Find some exercise you love, then it won’t feel like work.”

You know what I love? Sitting on the couch and eating cookies. Drinking beer and wine on my porch with friends. Laying by the pool with a good book. You know what else I like? Butter and warm rolls. Laying in a  hammock on a sunny day. Sure, I like walks too, but slow ones on a beach.

You know what I don’t like? exercise. So when “everyone” tells me to find a workout I love so it won’t feel like work I smile and nod and think, riiiiiight. I mean sometimes I sit on the patio because I’m too lazy to walk across the yard and climb into the hammock (which is a good core workout for those 3 seconds, by the way).

No seriously, it’s not in my blood. Working out, exercise, being active is a chore for me. And that’s okay.

One of the things I need to get through my thick scull is that exercise is not just for losing weight, it’s for always. Always and forever. We were meant to be active people. It’s fine that I want to relax, I do deserve a glass of wine with friends on my patio, that’s good for my soul, but so is exercise.

Over the last year as I have slowly become more sedentary (again) I realized I am also more agitated, more anxious, moody, and so on. I am impatient with my kids and more reactive, I don’t process and I am mindless with a lot of my life.

And here’s the thing I hate most about all of this. I did find a thing that I loved. 3 years ago I bought a groupon on a whim for Bikram Yoga Baltimore. I liked the idea of yoga, but monkey mind made the meditative and quiet aspect a problem. OMMMMMM, nope.

In Bikram Yoga the room is heated to about 100 degrees and I stand, sit, or bend in a pose and can’t do anything but breathe. Talk about getting into my body. I feel strong, I feel alive, I feel powerful. I also feel like I’m going to die. It’s great.

“Stretch, BREATHE, bend, BREATHE, come up, BREATHE (don’t pass out, don’t pass out). Bend forward (oh, God, tell my kids I love them) BREATHE!!!!” For 90minutes sweat drips from every pore of my body. In the winter I walk out of the studio, sit in my car, and I am literally steaming hot. What’s not to love?

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So why did I stop? Because habits die hard. And why do something that feels amazing and makes me feel confident when I can sit on the couch with potato chips and Netflix?

But here I am (smuhumhum) pounds later and I feel terrible about myself. Lazy, fat, insecure, no good…. I could go on and on. (PS- why does not exercising bring up my “you’re a terrible person” demons?) Anyway…

Next week is Holy Week, and I will go into the abyss with Jesus and down into the depth of hell of my body issues. Self care is on the way. Healthier, happier, less sedentary me is on the way. Oh, and if I happen to be able to fit into my clothes again by summer, that’d be great.

Who’s with me?!?

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The Definition of Insanity

I have heard it boasted many a time that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  Actually this is not true. According to Merriam-Webster the definition of insanity is as follows:

in·san·i·ty noun \in-ˈsa-nə-tē\

: severe mental illness : the condition of being insane

: something that is very foolish or unreasonable

But it is not true for other reasons too.  Every night I read with my 6 year old and every night she gets better, every night I expect a different result, and slowly, over time, I get one. But that’s not what got me pondering…

For the last 5 months I have been attending Bikram Yoga Baltimore regularly.  It started off with a groupon. I spent $40 for 20 classes. The walk-in price is $20 a class so I figured if I hated it, or flaked out (as I have been known to do with workout classes) it wasn’t such a big loss. But if I liked it, it was a hell of a deal.

So I went, then I went again, by the third time I was hooked.  I LOVED it. I was so hooked I used up almost all my groupon classes (you have four months to use them) and bought 50 more classes (which I have a year to use) at $10 a class.

I go about twice a week to Bikram Yoga, the room is heated to 105-115 degrees and is a series of 26 of the same postures in the same order. “And you like that?!?” People ask. Yes, I LOVE it. “Are you insane?” yes, I think I am. “But’s it’s so hot and sweaty doesn’t it smell?” Yes, it’s hot, yes, I sweat more than I ever have in my life, yes occasionally the room smells. But you also don’t care!

Today as I am feeling the blood rush back into my body after a compression pose I notice the woman next to me, it is her first class, and she is struggling. I thought back to my first class. This woman and I could have been sisters, similar coloring, same size, same hair. I leaned forward and grabbed the sides of my feet, this is insane, I thought, look how far I can bend, stretch, move, amazing.

Twice a week for five months I have done the same thing over and over again expecting different results, and I’m getting them. I feel strong and powerful, I hold my body higher and straighter, and am happier for it.

What have I to learn from this when it comes to ritual? We say that doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is insane, but each time I worship, come to the Lord’s Table, say the Lord’s Prayer, or sit in silence with the intention of hearing God, am I not changed?

Maybe it’s insane to the world, but maybe a little insanity is what we all really need… See you next week. Same place, same time.

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