Right before I sprained my ankle last May, I had been working out some five or six days a week. An hour minimum each day. Some days ninety minutes. Some days up to 3-4 hours. I was undeniably hooked.
Then I sprained my ankle and it all unraveled. Just as it took nearly 39 years to really commit to regularly working out and eating properly, I felt like I was right back where I started. Off the wagon. And beating myself up for it. Regularly. Daily. Hourly. Every minute of every day.
It’s so easy to fall back into bad habits.
And that first step is so damn hard. You know it.
But last weekend, I made a commitment to my first Zumba class back since the ankle sprain. And I took a friend with me. Making that double commitment gave me the obligation to follow through. It’s one thing to disappoint myself, but quite another to disappoint a friend too.
It wasn’t one of my favorite instructors, quite frankly. He only became certified last year, and still loses his place during his routines. When he loses his place, how can I keep mine? But his class, invariably less punishing than my roster of favorite teachers, was exactly what I needed. A perfect entry back.
And I did it.
I had already planned to go back the next day, for a second class. Mystic’s daughter came with me. Again, the double commitment. And the follow-through.
Later that day, when I hit the grocery store with the kids, the cart quickly became filled with fresh fruit. Vegetables. Whole wheat this. Organic that. Our collection of favorite yogurts. And $84 later… (a series on eating healthily on a budget is coming soon to Sweetnicks).
When I talked last week about the trickle down effect, I wasn’t being glib. Having a good work-out makes me more conscious of what I eat later. Of how I move. Of what I choose to cook for dinner. Of how I pack the kids’ lunches. It all begins with that one domino.
Which is, of course, the hardest one to put in place.
Later that night, as I loaded up the dishwasher, I put the iPod onto my Zumba dance mix. Forty-eight songs that inspire. That keep you moving. That make you do anything but stand still. The kids came in and out, bopping to each one, and stopping to do a Zumba move or two with me.
When I woke up this morning, the rain pattered loudly outside. The sky was dark. The kids still sound asleep, preferring to snuggle under the covers more, instead of getting up to start their day.
It’s a day to play hooky. I didn’t want to start the day. I hate rain. And winter. And combined? No thank you. All day long, I keep my mind on just getting home so I can put my sweats on and pad around in thick cozy socks with the fireplace going.
But I had committed to going to Zumba tonight.
And so through the cold, dreary, wet, dark day, we will go.
Because I know how it makes me feel afterwards.
You can’t bottle that.
And you only know what I’m talking about if you’ve done it yourself.
Whether your goals are health and fitness inspired, or work-related, or involve child rearing, parenting, or heck, even crafting… just start.
It only takes that first step.
The rest will just fall into place.
One right after the other.
Now go on and check out what my fellow Eat. Live. Be girls are up to … Sarah, Joanne, and Patsy.
January 12, 2011 – Bonus Photos
When the kids and I got home today, this monster-sized box was sitting on our front steps. Chobani (follow them on Twitter @Chobani) is introducing a few new flavors, and if you “like” them on facebook, you get entered to win a taste. They weren’t kidding!
Madeline’s lunch tomorrow, actually ready tonight. I love when that happens.
PS – That photo on the top certainly wasn’t a depiction of today’s gloomy, grey weather. It was the sun last week right after we dropped Nick off at school. Madeline and I made a quick u-turn to grab a few pictures of it. It was too beautiful not to.
Back tomorrow. Make it awesome.
Congratulations! I started a raw diet many weeks ago and I’ve completely retrained my palate but it’s not easy. As you say, one step at a time and we WILL reach our goal. Mine was to feel better. So far, so good.
Sarah Caron says
I am so glad to hear you are back at it! Your commitment to your exercise routine and clean eating is nothing short of inspirational.
DANG! I already LIKE Chobani… let me know how the apple and cinnamon is ~ I’m intrigued by that one.
Cath – remind me and I’ll give you some Saturday night.
I’ve had the apple and cinnamon and it’s SUPER tasty! One of my new favorites.
I’m so glad you’re going back to zumba and feeling better about life and yourself because of it! Exercising definitely makes me more conscious of what I’m eating, especially running because I’m so passionate about it. I want to feel good on my runs and the only way to do that is to fuel my body properly. i definitely wasn’t as good about that in the recent past which, who knows, probably aided in leading to my injury.
And I’m so proud of you for going out in the gross weather and getting to the gym. Those are the hardest days to do it, but also the ones where you feel the most proud of yourself after.
Good for you for making the commitment and sticking to it! I know how much you enjoy Zumba, so that’s motivation enough to get to class! I hear you on the rainy, winter days though… I was ready to climb under the covers and be sick for the day (I could have done it too since I’ve been fighting a cold all week), but I got it together and made it through the day. Planning to get my workout in at lunchtime today… Love your inspiration photo! I need that printed out!
So glad to hear you have rediscovered your direction and motivation after such a series of unfortunate setbacks. The mantra at the gym where I teach has been, “The moment you stop making excuses, you begin to make changes!” So true, so true! I decided to practice what I preach, and joined the 12 week body challenge. My personal obstacle…eating healthy!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Christa aka the BabbyMama says
There’s such a great message here. It IS the hardest step putting that first domino into place, and that’s where people most often fail. But once it’s in place, it’s in place, and it’s almost always all easier from there.