Now, I COULD feel really silly about admitting to all of you how I struggled to do such basic things, or how such amazingly simple things could make such a radical difference. But I am grown up enough to giggle at myself, and to realize that how good I feel these days is perfect proof of success. Proof that I have learned more about how I am wired, and that I do not beat myself up about that wiring (see how I publicly share it? LOL), but to work with it, and find success.
So, on to another little bit of magic! I knew that this next thing was a pretty “successful” thing last winter, but I hadn’t realized the level of success until just the other day. We were very fortunate to inherit a treadmill last year. This was a big part of making exercise work for me. I can’t afford the time and money for the gym (and even if I could, I really don’t like them!). I had exhausted my workout video collections, and just really wanted something simple, like walking. (Yes, I did Walk Strong and Walk Away the Pounds in the past. Drove me nuts after a while).
Anyway, I really really wanted the benefit of some consistent exercise in my life once more. We had changed bedrooms with our son to make room for a little boy we hope will join us from Haiti in the next year. I did try having the treadmill in our now smaller by 2/3’s room, but it just didn’t work. I finally had to give up. (The door wouldn’t shut, or I had to duck.)
The treadmill has spent time on our unheated kitchen porch, and in our living room, and in our son’s room. It’s now back on the kitchen porch. My poor husband who has hefted it all over this house, and I mean up and down stairs, suffered through all of my trial and error. But I knew I had to just keep trying until I found what worked.
I also had to find a way to fit something into my morning routine. I wanted to try a different approach this time. Instead of trying to suddenly be someone who walked 3 miles on the treadmill every day, I decided to be someone who tried to just get on it nearly every day, even for 5 minutes. That was my goal: do an imperfect workout every day.
I do a lot of scratch cooking around here, what with food allergies, and a desire to eat whole foods. So cooking breakfast, and getting myself and 3 kids ready for a day of school was already time consuming. I decided to start out by walking while the breakfast was in the oven. This was usually about 11-15 minutes if I got right on. After a while, I decided to try to run 30 seconds a couple times during my walk.
There was just one other wrinkle to work out. Walking on a treadmill is b.o.r.i.n.g. So I got brave, and asked a friend if she would like to virtually “work out with me” in the mornings. We would chat on the phone for part of our walk. If our timing didn’t totally mesh, it didn’t matter. It didn’t need to be perfect. We just needed to touch base. And cheer for each other.
It was magic.
And last week, so many, many months later, I realized that I was running nearly half of my walk, and craving a longer one. All of my mini and imperfect workouts had gradually made a difference. I am really reaping the benefit. I know this is making a big difference in my fall this year. I want YOU to feel this good too!
Is there something you can do imperfectly to get you moving this winter?