Back at the start of the year I joined in Deb’s 52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life. Each week Deb gave us challenges to think and write about. The first 12 weeks I did really well at keeping up with the exercise, and I learned so much about myself, my attitude changed, my outlook on life changed, and I got so busy doing the things I’d thought and written about, that I let the whole exercise drop by the wayside, even though completing it was one of my goals I’d laid out.
There were a few weeks I didn’t feel like I needed working on (my house is almost always tidy, a place for everything and everything in it’s place), but recently there was a block of challenges that I really feel I need to work on. It covered health and wellness, something that has in so many ways improved for me, while also taken a back seat. How is that possible? Read on my friend.
In week 32, Deb asked us to revisit our Wheel of Life activity from week 4. At the time, I listed the 8 areas of my life (and their rating in brackets) as Home (4), Family (3), Balance (4), Gratitude (4), Happiness (3), Health (2), Finance (3), Relationship (3).
Reading back, I feel like I probably could have given Home a 5. We love it here, the unit, the city, the location, we have everything at our finger tips. It is perfect for us.
My balance back then was a 4, because the only things I was balancing was work and home life. I wasn’t entirely happy with my work hours, but I felt I was heading in the right direction. Now, I’d probably say balance is down to a 3 at best.
Ironically, the balance is down because the health is up. Health would easily have moved to a 4 over the last 6 months. I’ve lost about 7kgs, I’m fitter than I’ve possibly ever been, I am a runner! I never dreamed I would be a runner, but I am and I can run about 7kms on a good day without walking.
Finance I’d now give a 4. We have managed to pay off a couple of loans and with my permanent position at work we are now saving money every week. A far cry from the start of the year where it seemed to go out faster than it came in.
Gratitude. This is a tough one. I’m still very grateful. I’m still thankful every day for the important things – my family, our health, the roof over our heads. But I always feel like there’s a “but…” at the end of it. Like, “I’m thankful for my son….but I wish I had another one as well.” And I am not sure that is true gratitude. I find myself a bit spiteful, and that is not even clos to gratitude. So what was a 4, is probably now at most a 3, maybe even a 2. This needs some work.
Happiness, Family and Relationship all ranked 3 back then. There were definitely things that needed to be worked on and in our own ways, I think we’ve improved them slightly. I know my running and fitness has in general made me a happier person (I think). Every week we go to the beach, I run, they play, we get coffee, we search for shells. It’s become our weekend ritual and I love it. I love the time on my own, to run, and the time with my 2 favourite boys at the end of my run. I think we are all quite happy, and feel like the amount of crankiness in the house has toned way down (am I imagining this husband, or do you think the same?). I think all of these could be upgraded to at least a 4!
It is really interesting to read back on all this. Back in January I hadn’t even thought about my fitness, and certainly hadn’t decided to start running again. To see where I am now is really quite amazing, and I’m glad I did this. I’ve come a long way!
In Week 33, Deb talked about getting our bodies moving. As I just mentioned, this is something I’ve actually managed to do, and have been doing for about 6 months now. I finally just got fed up with my clothes being tight, hating the way I looked in pictures, and I resolved NOT to go and buy bigger clothes. It started around March 24 (benefit of using Runkeeper, I can see my whole history!) with a few runs averaging about 3k. I would walk/run/walk/run and was averaging between 8:15/km and 9:15/km. Gradually I could run further before having to walk. Then I tried to focus on getting faster, until finally I broke the 7m/km barrier on June 22nd. I also play tennis, go to personal training, and do things I never thought I’d be able to, like run 7km straight! But it has been a long and hard road. It didn’t happen easily or overnight. I’m also now trying to incorporate some pilates at home thanks to youtube. If you can do it consistently for long enough, it will soon be hard to live without it.
Things that help me keep going:
Scenery/A View : To keep motivated with running I started getting up ridiculously early and driving to the beach to go for a run. It was the only way to keep going, watching the sun rise, the water sparkle and all the other fitness freaks surrounding me.
Group Personal Training: I pay a month in advance, I have set times to go, so I am not only held accountable, but I can’t slack off or just not show up.
Taking Measurements: I try to ignore the scale, it isn’t as accurate a representation of how much your hard work is paying off as taking measurements or judging by the fit of your clothes.
My Online Support Group: There are some awesome women/bloggers/twitterers online that will offer great support if you put yourself out there. Never judgment, just support and encouragement. It’s also motivating to see their activities and results and helps to keep you going.