For years I did hardcore workouts. HIIT, kettlebell classes, running, pushing myself to the limits, even if I needed to back off. I’ve been realizing lately that I needed to rethink the exercise narrative. Part of that was the Pandemic and my gym closing for a large chunk of 2020.
While I was fairly diverse in my workouts–running, biking, swimming, weights, hiking, HIIT, etc. Other than swimming it was kind of aggressive stuff. At some point I just realized that sometimes you need to listen to your body. Sometimes it’s ok to take an extra rest day, even if it wasn’t scheduled.
Listening to Body Positive and Anti-Diet Culture podcasts, I’ve been hearing this message like a broken record and it is finally sinking it. With recent flare ups of old back injuries (and postpartum hip issues that never really got better) I had to do different things. In January I started doing more yoga (I do the Down Dog Yoga app).
I’ve written before about my love/hate relationship with yoga. Years ago I forced myself to go once a week at the gym. And I enjoyed the class and often felt much better after but I never LOOKED FORWARD to it. In fact, I often dreaded it. Then when I was pregnant I stopped because I was having to modify too many of the movements and I felt frustrated. I never really picked it back up after having Logan because of time/desire/back issues.
I am glad that I’ve been trying it again. I’ve been doing 15 minutes of yoga almost every day for the last two weeks. I’ve skipped a few days here and there, but I am really enjoying the habit. I do the different “boosts” in the app according to my body pain (hip flexors, low back, hamstrings, etc) and feel better after. I am going to work up to 20 minutes a day and eventually 30….
So yoga is helping me. It’s gentle movement. Hopefully it will improve my flexibility and stability. I am also doing a lot of walking and “hiking” (I say it that way because hiking with a toddler is not intense).
I was listening to the Edit Your Life podcast and one of the hosts said she recently started doing gentle and restorative exercise because she felt like her previously routine wasn’t working anymore. She also said that she was “injuring her body just by living”. I can totally relate to that!
So happy we have a working oven! I am back to experimenting with sourdough. I have a book that I got when I first started trying sourdough and I’ve been trying different recipes in there, also making my own experiments with the traditional sourdough (trying different flour ratios, trying different amounts of sourdough starter).
It makes me happy. I enjoy it. It’s sometimes very time consuming, but I do have the original sourdough recipe down pretty good and don’t even have to look that the book much to make it.
It’s a fun hobby, you can’t rush it. And it is helping me kind of make peace with some food issues–like CARBS ARE BAD. Doing the keto diet definitely made it harder for me to feel at peace with food. Huge amounts of food were demonized and “Bad” and you know what? I disagree. Food isn’t bad. And freshly baked bread is pretty darn awesome.
One of the challenges I have always had in my life is not living in the moment. I am a planner. I plan everything out–future vacations, goals, etc. There is a saying:
“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
― Lao Tzu
This is beyond true for me. So in therapy, for years, I was told to work on “mindfulness” and “being present.” And I COULD NOT DO IT. At all. It was such a struggle for me. The *only* silver lining for 2020 was that I learned this lesson, finally. Am I an expert at it? No, but I am shocked and impressed with myself that I am doing so well with living in the NOW.
Before, my life was overbooked, over-scheduled, planned to the T. Weekends were crazy busy, booked for months out. I felt a constant level of stress and pressure and never felt like I had any downtime.
2020 completely changed that. There was no more living in the FUTURE. Or making future plans. Or making ANY plans. Shit got shut down. For months we felt like we were living in a limbo. There was a brief reprieve this summer when it felt like the pandemic lessened and things weren’t as bad. Then winter. Another shut down.
During 2020 I realized just how much I did before and that I never wanted to go back to that lifestyle again. I love taking my dog for a walk a few times a day. I like relaxing. I like having downtime and not having every minute booked. I like having OPEN weekends. Sure, I miss friends and family and hope we can all get together soon, but *this* quietness, is nice.
How are you working on yourself this year?
I can’t wait till we can go to a yoga class together!
Yes! And mask free! Lol
I have felt the same way about working out. Even though our gyms are open I still have not gone back yet. Every morning I do a yoga practice from Boho Beautiful – they are on you tube you should check them out. The content is amazing and she is really great. Bohobeautiful.life . I started last April and always thought yoga was just glorified stretch and now I seriously love it.
I will check them out. Thanks! I agree, doing yoga on a regular basis is great. It’s not just stretching, which IS good and I definitely need it. But it’s also building strength.
I have watched a few blog people spend over a decade doing what they see as effective exercise and then rolling from one injury to another. My personal opinion – because they are looking at CALORIES instead of range of motion, balance, flexibility, bone density, strength and cardiac health. Biking, swimming, walking are a lot safer for people still carrying a lot of extra weight with major knee and feet issues, but they are forever trying to run. And they are injured constantly. Also the “body slam” DVD’s. I finally stopped reading. . .
I think yoga is fabulous! I also love Pilates.
My current life is all about PT. Shoulder surgery last fall, recovery is usually a full year. My PT very kindly loaded my app with a variety of things. So I have my arm/shoulder series. But I also have a neck series that I do every night while wrapped in a heating pad/cape. And I have a great leg series from him too. (The app is MedBridgeGO and it has definitely spoiled me. He custom picks the exercises and puts them in the right order and sets the number of reps and number of sets. If it something I do on both arms or legs, they repeat as a second series. So I do all of the ones on one side in order and then it starts over on the other side. So fabulous.)
I’ve seen it too. I do think exercise is fantastic and I think you should mix it up with light and heavy. I think constantly doing “hard” is hard on your body though. I see the same bloggers, who are hardcore into the things like crossfit and never take breaks, or don’t do “easy” exercise like walking and yoga and swimming, and they are often injured.
I really want to try pilates!
I am doing PT too. It’s a big part of my “workout” right now. LOL
Sounds like you’re making some positive, and sustainable, changes in your life, Lisa – good for you! Any changes that allow room for FRESH BREAD are bound to be healthy, physically and mentally. I have never really gotten into yoga, and am guilty of hitting the cardio pretty hard, but running is my mental therapy and I just don’t want to give it up. I am much better about not stressing over times & distances like I used to, that just leads to injury in my case. I’d rather run slowly and regularly than faster and have to take weeks at a time off for rehab 🙁
I agree!!! In the early days I focused on speed, miles and trying to get faster. As I kept getting injured I realized that my body was NOT meant for that. So now when I run I focus on just doing it because I like it, it’s a stress reliever and I don’t care about taking walking breaks, going slow or how far I run.