My 3 big kids go to classes at our charter school on Wednesday mornings, and drop-off/announcement time is always a fun time for me to connect with the other moms. As I left this past Wednesday, I walked past a mom who looked very natural and fit. She had on a t-shirt and knee-length khaki shorts and tennis shoes with ankle socks.
I don't know why, but when I looked at her it hit me:
Taking care of myself is part of the job description.
When my husband married me I was fit as a fiddle. I worked out regularly and took good care of my body and my appearance. Four kids and too many snacks later, and I seriously have not maintained the same level of care.
The good news is that last week I started a walking plan that I saw in my Weight Watchers magazine. It's an 8-week program that basically takes you from a total couch potato to a regular 30-minutes-a-day (4 days a week) exerciser in 8 weeks. It's VERY gradual. Last week I walked 5 minutes on the treadmill and did 10 jumping jacks. This week it's 10 minutes on the treadmill plus 2 minutes jogging.
I did it Monday - well, we walked about an hour with our friends and I jogged 2 minutes on the way home. Tuesday my knees were really hurting. I told my friend Liz and she said to do 2 lunges on each leg each time I exercise, so I did that yesterday and today. I did the workout again yesterday and today and thankfully my knees are feeling good.
I added one other element into the workout yesterday: at the end, once I was done with the walking and jogging and stretching and lunges, I said from my heart, "Thank you, Lord." How blessed I am to be ABLE to exercise. To have a treadmill at home, so if the weather outside is frightful, I can still walk. To have walking shoes to wear. To have children who play nicely while I exercise (ahem - most of the time).
One other thing I'm thinking is that my shoes are seriously old and I need new ones. When I get the new ones, I'm going to make a chart that will have 400 boxes. I'll mark off a box every time I walk a mile, which will be a fun way to track how many miles I go as well as remind me when it's time to buy a new pair of walking shoes.