habits with balance. Since last June I've been making changes and there's definitely desire in me to keep forward momentum. The other day I caught myself looking up a trending "healthy eating plan" (I'm pretty sure we used to call those "diets"). Looking over what I could find out about it (without having to buy the book), my head started to spin and my eyes started to bulge seeing the new language I would have to learn, the new math I would need to cipher with, and the litany of guidelines I'd have to shift into living within. It felt like one giant step into a sort of bondage and away from the freedom I've felt through the process of the last twelve months. Thankfully I had a moment of sobriety and remembered I've made seriously good strides in my eating habits - mostly in learning to really listen to my body and crowd out the junk and replace it with better, both thought and food - and don't feel like I need another "plan" to follow.
So what next, then? What's a forward step? Anthony and I took a bike ride yesterday morning which rounded out thirty miles of biking for me in the last three weeks. (Mostly) I didn't hate it and enjoyed those miles. Thinking on that brought me the spark of inspiration to realize that for this year ahead of healthy-habit-building (which runs from June to June for me), I want to start moving my body (I think we used to call that "exercise"). In the same ways I learned about a healthier way of eating, how my body responds, what it craves, and all of the thought patterns associated with it I want to learn myself as a mover. I have always been sedentary as habit. I mean I'm tough and I'm strong and I don't shy away from hard work, but there's this deeply ingrained aversion to exercise. Maybe it's the chubby girl in me from grade school that huffed and puffed behind almost everyone else running laps in gym class that still hangs out in my head and equates all exercise as being that kind of experience. Whatever it is, I want this year to find ways I like to move (I think that's crucial...if I don't like it, I ain't gonna do it), and then carve out a place for it in my thinking, intentions, and schedule.
I'm asking myself some questions and trying to build a plan on the "right now" answers. I've lived enough life to know change happens and answers to questions we ask ourselves can begin to shift. But how I answer in the now is what I'm basing the NOW plan on:
-What exercise do I already know I like to do? (riding bikes, Wii Fit, dancing with the kids)
-What exercise do I already know I DON'T like to do? (running, walking anywhere without a destination)
-What exercise am I genuinely interested in trying? (yoga, weight training)
-Do I like people to be with me? Or do I prefer to be alone?
-When are realistic times of the week that I will exercise?
-What do I need to move or shift over in my schedule to make the space for it to happen?
We are these amazing creations; spirit, body, mind, and soul. Our whole integrated self needs care. It would be so nice if there were one or two things we could do that cures what ails us, but that's never so. I'd love it if all I needed for health and wellness could be reduced to whether I ate a carrot or a doughnut today, but it can't be. So I'm going to give it the ol' college try of adding consistent exercise into my life these next eleven months. Some days I'll love it. I've loved riding bikes. Some days I'll hate it. Even yesterday, biking the same route for the third time in three weeks, it was HARD for me, like I hadn't done it at all before. But I can do hard things. I can build consistency. Heck, I'm consistently a lot of things I don't necessarily prefer. Now I know, though, that I can also make changes, that I can change.
We'll see what happens.