Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Motivation

Like most Americans, I struggle endlessly with making the right food choices, portion control, and getting enough exercise.  It feels like I'm always starting over and resolving to do better.  I'm not a dieter, I've known that for a long time, but I have tried to gradually make changes towards a healthier lifestyle.  I've done pretty well in food choices, and I can now say that over 50% of my weekly groceries are fresh produce (we buy our meat once a month at a Costco).  I've successfully transitioned my family to eating cookies and other desserts made with wholewheat, cut the salt and oil in most of my recipes, and started using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and regular yogurt (which was easy because it's delicious!).

However, exercise continues to be a challenge for me.  I got a pretty good start on healthy habits in 2009.  With Jason finally graduating from law school and being able to spend evenings and weekends at home, I found I had the time to start something.   Initially I joined a gym with the intention of going 3-4 days a week, and alternated swimming with cardio & weights.  That went alright, but as the weather warmed up, I decided that I would try to be a runner.  Jason has been running pretty regularly for over a year, and I'm always looking for ways to find common interests between us.  So after about three months of runnng (somewhat sporadically), I quit the gym since I was no longer going.  But alas, fall came and with it came stress and long hours at work, which led directly into the holiday season of parties, eating, and a lot less daylight by the time I arrive home.

By sheer luck, I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and snagged a free treadmill at the end of November, and so now I many less excuses for not doing something regularly.  I do want to be in shape, but it's hard to find the motivation.  Yes, I want to be able to run around with my kids and grandkids, that's always been a goal.  And yes, I'm sick of my exercise-obessed husband looking better than me.  (To understand this you must know that when we got married he was about 50 lbs. heavier and I was about 15-20 lbs. lighter, I'm not digging the role reversal).  But my primary motivation for getting up and onto the treadmill these days?

Excuse the pictures, I'm a terrible, terrible photographer, but I'm doing my best.

The lasting effect it will have on Dominic.  He so excited about exercising right now.  Yesterday he was reluctant to come home (as usual) when I picked him up from daycare.  He was just having too much fun.  In the past I've tried bribing him with TV, seeing Daddy, a snack, and anything I could think of that would induce him to stop kicking and thrashing and come quietly.  Well, yesterday all I said was, "Don't you want to come home and do your exercises?"  And boom!  He was practically running for the car. 

I can't tell you how adorable it is to watch him run on the treadmill (with a parent standing very close) and do his push-ups and sit-ups with daddy.  But I can show you...

I'm admittedly biased, but really, isn't that darling?  He is wearing his exercise clothes, that he picked out.  I'm not sure why, but he definitely feels that a hat and gloves complete the ensemble.  So now when I don't want to get out of bed, I remember that it's not only my health and habits that I'm influencing, it's his as well.  And that helps.

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