Monday, March 21, 2011

Back in the Saddle


            Friday was both warm and sunny—a double blessing after a very snowy and sickness prone winter. So after I walked my boys to the bus stop I took a jog—the first outdoor run since before Thanksgiving. I don’t wear headphones when I run outdoors. I use them on a treadmill because it SO boring and the music makes me feel a little less like a hamster in a wheel. This is primarily for safety—so I can hear cars and possible assailants (unpleasant but realistic). When my only accompaniment is the sound of my landing feet and the world around me I focus on my thoughts and sort through them. It’s like a sweaty appointment with a therapist.
            If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you might remember that back in January I made the foolhardy announcement that I going on a diet. I figured making that announcement public would keep me honest. I knew making a resolution was silly. I believe that January is the worst possible time to make drastic changes in your life. Especially this January. Like a lot of the country we had record snowfalls and on top of that my kids managed to catch every bug that hopped onto the school bus. I spent more time talking on the phone with the school nurse than my mother this winter. 
            With the snow piled high and the kids constantly sick the idea of eating healthy or limiting portion size was a pipedream. When they were home on February break they wanted nothing but toast or chicken broth with pasta. So that’s what we ate—all of us. Even when I wasn’t sick (because even though Mom can’t get sick, this time around, Mom did) I was drinking tea and eating toast. Salads? Fresh steamed veggies? Lean protein? Fruit? Nope. Tea and toast.
            So when the weather man said that it was going to be sunny on my day off, I promised myself to lace up my Sauconys and hit the road. I started with a long brisk walk. I needed to warm up after being so sedentary for months. Then I told myself to jog to the end of the street. When I made it that far I set another goal and then another. When it was done I rewarded myself with a long slow stretch. I felt great. My body felt the way it was supposed to, not like the achy elderly feeling woman I was morphing into.
            I’ve packed on a winter layer this year and it’s time to bid it goodbye. My plan this time isn’t to drastically alter my life, and make unrealistic resolutions. This time I’m going to set one simple realistic goal at a time.