It's time. It's been time for quite some time, I know, but I had ignored it for way too long.
What's it time for?
Those awesome, obnoxious (dare I say slightly derranged, possibly somewhat ugly) pants.
Yes. I have invested in three pairs of cheap workout pants. They are the kind of pants that many have worn for a long time, that I always would roll my eyes at (mentally) and wonder what on earth is wrong with people who wear them.
Now, I own them. Now, I'm wearing them. I'm wearing them at this very moment. And, I'm rolling my eyes (mentally) at myself, wondering what on earth is wrong with me. They're so boisterous. I am not a boisterous individual by nature. I prefer to not be noticed most of the time. And here I am, in bright, loud, workout pants.
Why this change?
I have been wondering that for a while now, which is why I haven't actually talked much about it.
I've been going through a lot over the past years when she has been transforming. My transformations have been different. I went through the betrayal, abandonment, homelessness, emotional manipulation (and so many more things) associating with the ending of my marriage. I worked hard just to stay awake most of the days, to feed my kids, to work, to smile, to laugh, to cuddle, to hug, to pray, to hope, to cook, to clean, to breathe. I struggled through countless emotional days and weepy nights. I was on a rollercoaster like I had never known existed. I transformed, I know. I don't always see which ways I've transformed. It's rare I can detail the changes to anyone.
Some transformations have been by choice. Some have been necessity and God's sifting in my life to purify, change me, and mold me into the woman he's called me to be for the plan He has for me, whatever it is.
This change... this one is deliberate, an unexpected choice.
On Mother's Day, I had the blessing of being able to spend a long stretch of kid-free hours with my Bean (for those new around here, that would be my cousin Tarah, who has been one of my best friends since college). For the past couple of years, she's taken an active role in bettering herself on many levels, but one of them has been with physical health and fitness. One she's shed pounds and inches and gained so much confidence, energy, and enthusiasm.
I can't say that there was a single conversation we had, or a single activity we did, or any moment that I just hit this switch, but after that weekend, I decided it was my turn.
Mother's Day weekend, I decided it was time to tackle one of the most seemingly cumbersome transformations there are- physical. I decided it was time to pay more attention to my body, my meals, my exercise, my sleep. Instead of staying up two extra hours every night so that I could have quiet, alone time without my kids, I go to bed earlier. I read food packages, though I occasionally still eat something not as good for you. I have nearly all-together stopped drinking soda. I've been trying to not push myself so hard, especially with the rib that still hurts.
The most shocking thing though- the pants.
It's not necessarily the pants themselves (well, okay it kind of is), but what they represent. They were a treat to myself after I willingly joined a group of women on MommaStrong.com (for $2 a month, which wasn't a daunting investment so I couldn't think of any great excuses since I gave up soda after all, and NO this isn't a sponsored post) and completed 12 consecutive days of 12-18 minutes worth of workouts called Core Camp. I sweat my face off and I even enjoyed it. I wasn't daunted by the pain in my rib cage, because when it hurt too much, I modified. She (Courtney, founder of MommaStrong) said I could and should modify things. Instead of feeling guilty for doing that, I felt empowered. I felt smart.
Somewhere along the 12 days, while I powered my way clumsily through workouts in front of my kids who questioned what in the world I was doing and why, I realized I was looking forward to the workouts. I was looking forward to reclaiming this piece of myself. I was looking forward to taking control of yet another part of my life that felt overwhelming and cumbersome, daunting and embarrassing.
If you know me, I've never been one who talks about working out. I love to go on walks, and back before I went to college and had a bicycle, I loved to ride bike. That's about it. I lift my babies and babies at work. That's sort of a workout. I clean. That is slightly sort of a workout. But otherwise... nope. I had no desire to get sweaty and gross because I was too weak and fat and whatever else and it just seemed pointless. There was so much negative talk within myself and I didn't even realize it until I realized it was slowly being silenced.
I can think of fifty excuses (guesstimating) why I couldn't, shouldn't, didn't want to work out. No space. No time. No energy. No money. No privacy. No strength. No, no, no, no, no.
Then I said yes. I just gave in and said yes.
I'm proud of myself. Sure, I'm still overweight, I'm still out of shape, I'm still weak. My rib still bothers me and some days it hurts to take deep breaths. I'm still tired. I'm still busy and I certainly don't have the privacy. I still can't do a push up or a pull up, and my running distance is small.
I'm working on it. I'm working out.
My oldest recently asked me why I work out and why I exercise. I told him something along the lines of "I do it because it's good for me. It makes me stronger, healthier, and a better mom and a better person. And I'm the only mommy they have, so I better take good care of myself, for me, and for them.
With that let me tell you- if I can do it, you can do it. I have so many things working against me, so many reasons why it would be easier not to, so many reasons to just be complacent. They're legitimate, for the most part. I know we all have them.
But yeah... The pants.. they're super comfortable. They're still kind of ugly. But they're kind of awesome.