Hi! It’s me again. Last time I shared with you all why I think having the right brain space is so powerful in cultivating a deep life, so today I want to dive into just one aspect of that. Part of why I do what I do now is because I want to be able to stay active for several more decades. This keeps me focused on what I want the most. Sure, I may want to eat half a dozen cookies right now, but it’s more important that I maintain good health as I age. I may want to spend several hours a day doing things that interest me, but I want to nurture great relationships with my kids even more. I may cuddle when I should be cleaning or exercise when I really just want to sit down with another cup of coffee.
I try hard to find that balance between doing too much and doing too little and staying focused on the things that matter most. For me, maintaining a strong and healthy body is just as much, if not more, of an investment in my future as it is in the present. Lifestyle plays an important role in long term health.
Physical fitness means different things to different people, so let me start out by giving you my definition of fitness. It is the ability to carry out everyday tasks without hurting or getting tired out. Now, less you think that this means nothing more than being able to walk from my couch, to my car, and to a desk where I’ll sit for eight hours, I will tell you upfront that it is not.
Maybe someday I will reflect on how my fitness journey has changed over the years, but I think simply sharing where I am at now is the most useful because I bet a lot of you are similar to me. I’m 33. I have three kids ages three and under. I’m a stay at home mom. Life can be exhausting. I have big dreams about the future.
Right now, my everyday tasks include carrying all three kids up and down the stairs – often two at a time (because I don’t yet desire to give up those morning and evening snuggles with the older ones), lifting children up repeatedly, holding my youngest for prolonged periods of time, corralling all three in a grocery store, completing most household chores with kids in tow, sweeping multiple times a day, picking up toys, giving countless piggy back and horsey back rides, and standing for hours in the kitchen because I love me some yummy, nourishing food.
If I’m going to do all this day after day then I need to be strong or my life just isn’t going to work. Being an exercise enthusiast, a couple years ago I studied to become a certified personal trainer and decided to use this knowledge to encourage other people to be as healthy as possible. That is where my previous blog, Fitness Grapevine, came into play. It was my place to share what I believed was the best information on health and fitness I could find, and always from my heart.
After Lia was born, I knew enough about how a body SHOULD work to realize that something was wrong with my core and I needed help, so I purchased a physical therapy program from Core Exercise Solutions to fix my diastasis and that pesky “mommy tummy” (read more about what was going on with my body here). I was completely humbled to learn that I wasn’t nearly as strong as I thought I was and I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought I did. With every part of my body and every movement broken down and analyzed by an expert, I had the opportunity to really learn. Experience is a great teacher, and this experience has revolutionized the way I think about exercise.
I am SO excited about the transformation at work in my body because my body is beginning to work the right way. Getting the right muscles to kick in and the wrong muscles to back off is foundational. My obsession isn’t about having a six-pack (I don’t) or seeing a certain number on the scale (it is misleading). It’s about learning how to move my body the way it was designed to move. It’s about squatting and hip hinging and pushing and pulling the right way, because these are movements I use dozens of times in a day and I will take them with me into the rest of my life. Lord willing, with due diligence on my part, I may will still be able to do physically challenging things when I am 75.
This is the reason that maintaining a healthy and strong body is so important to me. Desiring certain things in the future means I have to do certain things now. What’s more, I am a mom. I have three precious little girls relying on me to give them the best possible start in life. If my pursuit of good health teaches them anything, I hope it is the value of being nourished, both in body and in soul. I hope they learn to understand my brain space so they can develop a healthy one of their own.
I wish the same for you. Life is too precious to let little choices steal your ability to live big.