What I want
I want to move. A lot. Outside, as much as possible.
I want to be healthy, not fit.
I want to work it all into my day, moving naturally, without a gym class in sight. Using the shopping, my kid, my commute, my housework, my down time, the way I sit, the way I align myself, the way I eat, the way I walk, the shoes I wear…using real life to move as we are designed to. To use by body as the amazing tool it really is.
I want to be strong and flexible enough to be healthy now (so I can easily run around after my pre-schooler and throw her up in the air, walk home with bags of shopping as I try to chase her, have the energy for my me-time once she is in bed) and as I get older. So I can be around, and at my best, for those I love.
It starts now, with this blog to help me keep track and to record my progress. And to spur me on if I feel like giving up! I have paid for this, it is public, so I have to keep going!
A full-time and exhausted (at times) single mum to a pre-schooler. Plus, I work full-time as a lecturer at a big uni here (and yes, that still makes me a full-time mum!). I’m in my mid 30s and have never been super fit, or done any extreme (or even semi-extreme) exercise. I have to be careful with my budget. As a child I had no outside hobbies, and grew up with no outdoorsy activities. I didn’t pursue ballet or martial arts or anything that would be a good foundation to what I am trying to do now. If I can do it, anyone can.
I noticed, after spending 2015 job hunting and sitting more than I have ever sat before, my tummy was huge! 4 years after having a baby and more or less snapping back into my pre-pregnancy shape, I wondered what was going on. I thought it was related to reaching my mid-30s. Spreading middle, creaky knees, bad back….that’s what awaits, right?
I spent many hours doing burpees, planks and crunches. I walk a lot anyway (to creche and to work and to the supermarket), like to swim, and later in the year joined a gym and started eating food I cooked (rather than food on the go). And my mid-section stayed the same. No, if I’m honest it got worse.
I always had a feeling that just going to the latest fad in exercise classes, or getting super fit super quickly, didn’t work, not in the long term. I could never put my finger on it, and my view now is coloured by what I have been reading (and feeling) recently, but I observed athletes with hip replacements and dodgy knees. Friends who do a lot of cross-training or running or whatever is in, and who seem as tired and unwell as those who don’t do those things (just a bit skinnier or stronger in certain muscles perhaps).
More about my inspiration is to come in a later post, but it all started when I contacted an old university friend who retrained as a personal trainer after having children. Turns out I have been doing it all wrong. Exercising, alignment, standing, stretching…even walking and wearing shoes wrong! My wonderful friend set me on this path towards Mutu, Katy Bowman and a complete change in mindset in how to treat my body well.
So, this blog is about getting healthy over the course of this year. About passing on good examples to my pre-schooler (wish I’d caught this earlier in the past 4 years when childhood habits and bones were actively forming and joints were more flexible, but I am starting now and it’s never too late).
I’m starting off with walking every day, outside, no matter what the weather, for at least an hour (which sounds so little when I type it – only one hour out of 24!). My pre-schooler needs to slowly get used to moving and not being carted around in a buggy. Which, to offer some defense, is somewhat of a necessity for longer for most single parents I know. Often carless, how else can we pick up the shopping or arrive places in time? But, more about that later too.
Follow me as I move more, eat better to support this, change the way I think about moving and get off my bum.