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Joy, why not?

Ahhhhhh… it’s Thursday morning! It’s my favorite– kind of like mama’s weekend (cause we mamas know that Saturday and Sunday are more work than the rest of the week, and we’ve completely forgotten the excitement that once came with the words “Friday night.”) So… for me, it’s Thursday morning. My big weekly chores (bathrooms, mopping floors, and grocery shopping) are behind me. It is my workout rest day. So, since there aren’t too many dishes in the sink and most of the laundry is out of sight… I thought now would be a good time to evaluate and comment on the status of one of my thirteen goals for 2013.

Looking over my goals I see that I sure have a lot of work to do! However, I am coming along with #11 love my body… I am treating it so much better now because I’m back to exercising regularly. Early in February I was reading a reflective comment on facebook from my friend Lilly who asked the question “are we denying ourselves joy?” She talked about how she sometimes avoid doing things outside of her comfort zone even though she knows that the effort will be rewarded and in the end she will be happier to have done so. As I read this I had a light bulb moment and asked myself why was I denying myself the joy of a good workout? Sure, it is more comfortable to do nothing… especially when you have not been exercising for a few months. But, how does my body feel when I make the effort to exercise it? Great! And how do my mind and heart feel when I know I have done something good for me? Very happy. I realized that I was denying myself a joy that could easily be mine if I simply decided that it was worth my time… and that I was worth the joy.

Fast forward… I’m now on day 46 of the Les Mills Body Combat 60 Day Challenge which includes various mixed martial-arts based workouts 5 times a week. It is awesome! I love that the schedule is already made for me and that it includes a different workout almost every day of the week. Some days are 30 mins, some 45 mins, and some are 60 mins. For me, I think it really helps to be able to say “wow, a did the long one today!” or “hey, tomorrow it’s a short one, I can do this!” Mixing it up works for me. I plug this pre-made schedule into my week making my “rest” days on Thursday and Sunday which I’m finding is perfect. (Never mind the family walking through the living room on Saturdays wondering what Mom is doing and when she will be done… it is good for them to see me huffing and puffing and sweating, right?) So, I’m just super happy about this.

Three years ago I was introduced to Les Mills Body Combat at the gym. I found it empowering! I felt strong when I did it. I congratulated myself for making it through each intense work out. I saw that I can do hard things! Since that inspiring time, things changed at the gym, and then the gym closed. However, I was thrilled to learn that the program was available via Beachbody and it has felt heaven sent for me. I love the classes and the memories it brings to me of the people who encouraged me when I was just getting started. I can go back to those motivating feeling but save a ton of time (and money) by working out in the morning in my own living room. I just get my workout clothes on first thing in the morning and get the exercise done right away– sometimes before the kids get up, sometimes when the big ones are already off to school.

Before I leave this topic, I should note that after the first 2 weeks I had not lost any weight. I suspected I even gained a little (not knowing for sure cause I didn’t weigh on Day One. However, my good friends assured me that I should keep going and give it time. They were right! I have lost five lbs so far and am certainly feeling healthier and stronger.

Don’t deny yourselves joy!

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