Change can happen in an instant. Oh I’m not talking about my health destiny here, don’t worry the lightbulbs are still flickering. I just thought it may be nice to start the post from a philosophical stance. Nevertheless, a few things have come to my attention;
- Serendipity. My hot water system blew up. That meant I had to seek an alternate venue for showering. Ah ha ! The local gym of which I’m a member has showers. Clever universe I thought as I trotted my youngest daughter and her friend off to the gym to wash the school week off. I begrudgingly threw on joggers determined to squeeze in just a little workout before my blessed hot shower. We all arrived at the pool, I ran into a friend and it’s fair to say the only thing exercised was my jaw. But there’s more to the story – the friend (thanks Sue) encouraged me to join her back at the gym to do actual exercise the following Monday – see: More likely to exercise with a buddy – it’s true.
- Putting exercise in the diary. Following a lazy as hell weekend where my poor neglected dogs batted their eyelashes from the back door as I completed the usual washing, baking, kid wrangling, I felt the dread in the pit of my stomach as I received a reminder text from said friend on Sunday afternoon – I was not going to get away with this, at least not in the longer term. Exercise was happening.
- Knowing a good taskmaster. I wake up at 5am most mornings. But I don’t get up then, I check in on social media, I read, I think, and maybe I fall back to sleep, maybe I just stay warm in my far too comfortable bed. This morning there were early jobs that had to be done. It was 630am by that time and my youngest (the taskmaster) had joined me. “just 5 more minutes” I begged. “mum”. she told me “5 minutes at this time turns into 7am and 7am is too late to do what you have to do”. I couldn’t argue. The same taskmaster (aka voice of reason) follows me throughout the day be it in real life or just in my mind telling me how to adult in a reasonable fashion. She watched as I fussed about ‘getting ready’ for the gym class. She gently reminded me that we’d be late. We left.
- A sensible shop. I planned my shopping list to an inch of its life this week. Not only did I want to make sure we had some healthy dinners lined up for the week, I also wanted to ensure we had something good to stick into the food warmers (like squashed thermoses) for the nights I take my youngest daughter to gymnastics an hour north of home – because we don’t usually get home until 830pm that usually means a hangry kid, a flustered mum, and vial fast food. Provided that I can keep up the energy to cook an extra dinner the night prior to the gymnastics trips – or on the weekend and heat it up we’ll be OK. This one is an ongoing challenge that I’m determined to improve this week.
- Exercising with a buddy. Knowing that my friend was attending the class was the motivation I needed to actually turn up. And I did show up, despite the noise of my vicious inner critic along the path to the gym sneering and commenting through the entire trip “why are you doing this?” it said “you may die” “and you’ll most certainly make a fool of yourself”.
- The penny drops. As I struggled through the gym class, and I mean struggled I noticed just how critical this plight of health has become. Even though I did feel entitled to give myself just a little credit for surviving through what certainly was not a beginners class I noticed with clarity just how unfit I had become. This realisation succumbed my prior concerns about the jiggly bits around my waistline. I realised that I was truly struggling for breath and that things that exercises that would usually require some level of tenacity but I could accomplish were simply not going anywhere. I realised enough is enough.
- Variety. As I reflect on the day I recall that it’s actually been a pretty rounded day – albeit a day of learning. At the beginning of the week I study singing. I do so not only because I love the way music feels in my body (and that makes me feel good), I do it because it teaches me how to hold breath in my body, to project my voice and to approach the world with a sense of timing. Every single moment of those 40 minutes of singing lessons reverberate throughout my week – Sound decadent? Well let me put it this way – I haven’t had a panic attack since I started the lessons back in February.
Some great comments thus far about how others have found their health mojo;
“Sometimes it can just be about changing simple habits. On weekends I try to use my bike to get around whenever I can. I park at the far end of the carpark to get extra incidental exercise & I would go nuts without a couple of ‘structured’ exercise sessions a week – yoga, Pilates, gym etc. Health is a long term investment.”
“exercise is my thing, though I have been trying to eat vegetarian when I’m away, feeling good”
“good health is so complex. There’s a whole doctorate thesis that I want to distil here! Good health is that net that supports me, communities and connections. My definition has less to do with my individual diagnoses or conditions often used to apportion disease, and more to do with self-management and opportunity for participatory decision-making at every level. Good health is not limited to my own world view. My commitment to social justice, ethical living and kindness now give my health that position or supportive net for recovery. I’ve learnt that my health is about riding the wave, knowing that I’m supported by a “team” that helps my life-balance and realising that despite my every efforts there will be challenges. So more about doing things that matter than the number of trips to the pharmacy”
Please keep em coming.
And in the meantime I’ll keep writing about my journey back to good health (by my definition).
Changing My Health Destiny – Part 1 HERE