Get off the Couch
It has come to my attention that I am not doing the best job of taking care of me. I have fallen into bad habits, including but not limited to: too much fast food, not enough exercise, and general laziness (sitting on the couch a bunch). I do happen to be spoiled by my hubby extraordinaire in many ways and I’m sure he would exercise for me if he could, but unfortunately that’s all on me.
I am very good at giving myself permission to be lazy. I say things like “You deserve to __________ (eat that 3rd+ cookie, veg on the couch, watch another episode of Game of Thrones) because you ________ (had a hard day, cleaned the house, played chauffeur all week).” And sure I deserve some down time for all the things I do on a daily basis but I would catch myself saying “You deserve to” when I hadn’t really done anything that deserved a ‘mommy time-out’.
Monday’s and Wednesday’s were tough days during the school year. All activities that we had were scheduled on those evenings. This left Tuesday and Thursday and even most Friday’s open for ‘me time’. Having a night to do nothing is bliss but I started feeling like I was wasting some of those evenings playing silly games on my phone. Evening sleeping would have given me more health benefits than Candy Crush.
After going through a rough couple of years with anxiety and a little depression, I had come to view those empty nights as life savers. And for a time they were. There were times when sitting on the couch (even though I ‘knew’ exercise or meditation or anything would give me boost) was all I could do.
Some people can’t get out of bed, I can’t get off the couch. (I’m writing this on the couch right now even!) It is my safe place. It is my place to avoid the world (even though it is out in the open – I don’t get it either). And I will always love the couch but sometimes a safe place can also become a bit of a safety blanket or crutch.
I’ve made great strides in my overall daily outlook/mental health, and on most days I don’t need the safety of the couch.
But still I sit. And avoid. And make excuses.
And a lot of times I let myself be fooled because it takes less effort and I do know how to manipulate me. My favorite is: “I’ll do it later. I just need another minute.” Of course, later never comes.
Recently though, my doctor very nicely mentioned something about weight gained and overall health. I have Crohn’s so part of it was to make sure it wasn’t flaring but also because of things I was complaining to her about: my knees ache, my energy level is crap, and my mood is blah. She gave me a few tips and recommended some lifestyle changes. It was a bit of a wake up call. Not big enough though, because later that day I was back at Chick-Fil-A (and not for a salad).
I thought surely our big vacation later this summer, where I would be required to wear a swimsuit, would provide some motivation, But alas, no. The temptation of pizza or the couch always won out.
For some reason though, on Monday, I started a 21 day program (through Liberty Fitness) that has a fairly specific (but not stingy) diet and exercise plan to follow. What made me find the motivation and desire to sign up? I have no idea. I kind of want to be able to point to some miracle or change of thought that made me get off the couch and sign up. Maybe the timing of a friend (who is also a trainer) starting a new cycle is my miracle. Whatever it was, I’ll take it. My hope is: if I’m paying for it, there is someone holding me accountable, and I have Jason in my corner, I can make it through these 21 days and come out on the other side healthier, fitter, and more confident in a bathing suit.
With the 21 day program, exercise and diet are included, but I’m going to use these 3 weeks to get off the couch in other ways as well. Maybe I’ll play with the boys more, be more creative, read a book, crochet something, or even meditate. There’s a whole world to explore out there.