I’m struggling with my body right now.
Although body image is part of that struggle (because isn’t it always?) I’m more concerned about my actual physical body than any concept thereof. Living in my own muscles and bones and organs and nerves is not going very well.
I’m not getting enough sleep. I feel bloated almost all the time. My energy levels aren’t terrible but the kids can literally run circles around me. Plus I just hurt.
I’ve always had a problematic back. It’s been crooked and tense for as long as I can remember. My hips are regularly out of alignment, my muscles have developed lopsided to compensate, which only reinforces the crookedness. I won’t even get into how messed up my feet are. Yikes. Seeing a good chiropractor or myopractor and/or getting regular massages helps immensely, but it also gets expensive and time consuming. So I rarely do that. I know, I know, self care isn’t selfish. Honestly, though, I’ve lived with the discomfort so long I kind of get used to it.
However, there’s a spot in my lower back that has been acting up for a couple years now, and lately it’s been especially bad. I often seize up when transitioning from bent over to standing upright. Depending on the day, picking up my 20 pound baby can be either effortless or excruciating.
I am way too young for this. Nor do I have time for it. I can’t just not pick up the baby…or do any of the other myriad things a mom of three small children does. I kind of need a functional back.
I’m still breastfeeding and intend to do so for a few more months at least. I’m also taking a couple medications that I’m sure are affecting how my body feels. Now is not yet the time for weaning the baby off the boob or weaning myself off meds, though, so I’ve been thinking about other options to help me feel better.
The obvious one: be more active. Because I’m not. Like, at all.
I know I’d feel better and have more energy if I exercised. But I don’t have enough energy to want to exercise in the first place…so I sit on the couch and eat cookies instead.
Which leads me to obvious option #2: put healthier things into my body.
Despite the fact the most of my recipe archives are cakes and other desserts, we really do eat well at our house. Our meals are mostly made from scratch. The bulk of our grocery budget goes to fresh produce and good quality dairy and meat. We rarely drink soda. I’m not too worried about my dietary habits on the whole.
However, my parents recently participated in the 30 Day Challenge that Simple Green Smoothies hosts every quarter, and they LOVED it. It’s starting up again tomorrow and is free to join, so at my mom’s encouragement I signed up. Why not, right? No matter how well I usually eat, I can always use more fresh green goodness in my diet.
In conjunction with the smoothie challenge, I’ve decided to revisit Yoga With Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Camp. Last time I did it, each day’s mantras and movements were exactly what I needed. It was so good for my body and soul; I’m sure it will be good for me again.
My goal isn’t to lose any weight or gain strength or stamina or anything like that. I simply want to be more comfortable. I want to be able to move more freely, with less pain and effort and more energy. Since smoothies and yoga are already things I enjoy, the only real “challenge” of the next 30 days will be carving out time to make it happen.
I’ll check in halfway through and let you know how I’m doing, and will follow up at the end of the month. If you’d like to join me, it’s not too late to sign up with Simple Green Smoothies. They’ll email you a shopping list and recipes so all you have to do is blend stuff and drink it. As for the yoga, you can find the Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel here. I love both of her 30 day series but she has a ton of other great videos.
This post isn’t sponsored, by the way. I just really like what these people do and want to share with people I like. Plus I could use some buddies to help keep me accountable.