Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Out of the wilderness

These days I feel as if I've just returned to civilization after the six-year long wilderness camping excursion that was my children's early years.

I now sleep all night long.

I shower several times a week and my legs are shaved with some regularity. I no longer sport a mustache. (You brunettes out there KNOW what I'm talking about.)

The kids leave me alone and play with each other for up to a half hour at a time.

I only wipe one child's bottom on a regular basis. 

My youngest turns three this week. I can see a diaperless, self-dressing future for him from here. Do you know what that means??? I will be able to leave the house without diapers and wipes. I will no longer have to wrestle clothes on a rabid porcupine hell-bent on just not cooperating.

This is a huge milestone.

For years, I've been too tired to maintain all but the most convenient of friendships: neighbors, church friends, family. For years, my appearance, fitness and general health have taken a back seat to my children's needs. For years, I've not made efforts to socialize widely because of the unpredictability of young children and the strong possibility that I'd fall asleep if I sat down anywhere.

My M.O. has primarily been to stick to a kid-centered schedule with as little deviation as possible to achieve the most peaceful environment for all involved, including myself. That has been my way of taking care of myself all these years.

Things are changing, though. At the beginning of the year, I was ready to quit my gym membership. The kids had had runny noses since Thanksgiving and it was impossible to take them to the gym. I thought my membership was up at the end of January. Turns out, it was up at the end of March. An employee there convinced me to stick it out until then and try some group exercise classes.

I then inadvertently walked into one of the toughest classes in the gym, kettlebell twice a week, with a Golden Gloves boxing champion for a trainer. I didn't think about how intimidating it would be to walk into a class alone for the first time. Right away, a few women approached me and encouraged me through my first few weeks. I didn't feel judged or inferior. I didn't have to hide my sense of accomplishment.

Since then, I've become more mindful of my eating habits using a fitness app called My Fitness Pal. I've lost 12 pounds, 7 inches off my waist, 3 inches off my hips and 2 inches off my thighs. And when kettlebell started to get easier, I increased my weights. When that got too easy, I started running.

Now, I used to tell people that if they ever saw me running, they better run, too, because something was chasing me (and it was probably a snotty child). I also used to sit in the breakfast nook in early January watching the newly resolved joggers going by and telling my husband "I wish I liked running."

Well, guess what? I don't like running. I love running. I want to do it every day, but I'm taking it slow to avoid injury. I'm using the Couch to 5K program and listening to podcasts that tell me when to run and when to walk. I'm on week 3. I've run three minutes in a row and didn't feel like dying. I am even considering doing the Rambling Rose Triathlon in October with my best friend and her daughter. Oh, who am I fooling, I will do this. I can do this. It will be special. (Jen, I'm all in!)

All this has opened my eyes to the process of change. Change often happens too slowly for my taste. But the good thing about blogging the way I do is the opportunity it provides to see where I've been, physically, mentally and emotionally. So in the spirit of recognizing change, I give a blast from the past ...

Screaming Uncle (yeah, it's as bad as it sounds!)

Till next time!


Monica said...

congratulations! there is even a change in your voice (your paper voice ;o). i felt really similar this past year. i finally had time to workout and take care of myself. it feels good to get back to the way i was some 15? years ago. good luck on the triathalon!

Josee said...

Thanks, Monica. the kids even workout with me sometimes. they beg to go jogging with me and I taught them how to do pushups!

~Ray said...

Josee, I am SO damn proud of you!!! I feel lucky to have met you, and (hopefully) been a source of encouragement! Change is HARD, and requires you to do the work.... every day. We wake up and make conscious decisions to change. Remember always how this feels to get your life and health back. You are such an inspiration! Keep at it! :)

KelleyAnnie @ Over the Threshold said...

Monica is quite right. I have noticed the difference myself and I am so happy for you. You're downright inspirational!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! Your story is all of our stories and you convey the emotion of transforming from the early childhood years to a time where you can exist as a whole independent person. I'm so glad you walked into kb and found the challenge and community that changed my life too. Keep up the good, hard work!