Archive for the ‘Pilates’ Category

In various stages of my adult life, I have flirted with becoming a morning exerciser. The only time I was consistent with it for a long time was when I was working full time, going to graduate school full time, had a crazy long commute (minimum car time with 2 hours a day), and around 25 years old.

I have never been a morning person. It’s tough for me to get out of bed (although, now, I get out once Z is awake so there’s no slow rise for me any more). The idea of getting up at 5 to get a workout in is intimidating. When I was doing it at age 25 I was getting up at 4:30 and doing workouts like The Firm.

Anyway, the reason why I still flirt with this is because it’s the only way I can see being a consistent exerciser in my current life. It guarantees a time of day where life won’t interrupt (sans illness) and it starts my day off with a boost of energy and to my self-esteem.

The random attempts to morning exercise in the last few years have often been met with my crazy morning mind who convinces myself I’ll totally do it later that day. Crazy Morning Mind is a big fat liar.

So this is one of my bigger goals as of late. I’m still a little ragged from traveling so I’ll probably start in a few days. I’m posting about it to keep myself accountable.


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This morning I shared a delicious meal with Z at our favorite local diner. I wish all my meals were as satisfying. And it was diner food so not the epitome of health but I still walked away feeling good in my body – not low and weak like I am finding myself post-meals so often these days.

I am still questioning why I am doing this to my body so frequently – I think Megan nailed a huge aspect of it for me in the comments of my last post. Figuring out what my body truly wants and getting it all made is a chore.

So how do I get beyond that? My life is not going to get less busy being a mother to a delightful, busy bodied two year old. Like most of us, life is just pretty damn full. I am doing better to include moving my body (pilates and yoga mostly) a few times a week. Now I need to figure out how to feed my body the food it crave. I really want to feel more alive after a meal.

I am still flirting with the idea of making a list of foods/meals that I enjoy eating and that do not leave me feeling lethargic in the end. It makes me a tad nervous that it will bring out the dieter in me and, eventually, the rebel (heh, that sounds much cooler than it actual feels at the time). Heck, I couldn’t even food journal for a full day ala Geneen Roth because it stirred up too many diet memories and emotions. But it would give me something concrete to focus on before making a food choice. Stopping myself and thinking about what my body wants isn’t happening – maybe making myself look at a list will allow myself the time to connect with my body before feeding it.

It’s a bit like a menu – and I usually make choices at restaurants that I truly want. I may over eat them (although much better at this) but if I eat to satisfaction I don’t feel like crap afterward. Like my diner meal with Z today.

Writing this blog post has convinced me to at least try making a list. Hopefully it will help and not backfire.

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In my quest to shed the shoulds, I am also looking at my erratic relationship with exercise. My disordered eating and body image wonkiness (minus some typical teenage stuff) did not begin until I was 22, newly moved to LA, and just becoming interested in working out. I really got in to workout videos and created quite the collection for myself. My favorites were the older Firms, Tae Bo, and yoga. I am also a big fan of pilates and walks during cool weather (we have a great park walking distance from us).

I truly enjoyed these workouts but they were always used as and seen in a Lose Weight Light. I can’t ever say I have worked out just because I liked to. I was not an athletic child or teenager. Sure, I played in the dirt with the rest of them. I took gymnastics and some dance when I was young, but in a casual, fun way. But, other than that, I was a writer/actress/reader/homebody. I did not participate in sports, minus cheering on my boyfriend’s lacrosse team. I also became a smoker by age 16 (quit at 20), so you were more likely to find me smoking a Marlborough than moving my body in a way than created excessive sweat. I also remember hating to sweat because of physical movement (minus sex). Plus I was very thin and had a lot of attention from the boys. I am embarrassed to admit that completed me in many ways, in regards to my self-esteem and body image. But it is what it is.

Before I go off on a tangent about basing my self-worth on how sexual boys treated me and the things I let them say to me (i.e., “You’re body is perfect except your breasts are too small” – heh, he should see these mama’s milk girls now. Douchebag), let’s keep me on topic.

Which is, how do I restart my relationship with exercise? Since finally coming to terms that dieting is not going to bring me happiness and figuring out how to accept myself/eat “normally” will be the way to attain a bit of sanity, I have not worked out. At all. I am serious when I say those (above) workouts are enjoyable for me. That they make me feel good, especially when they are finished. I feel happily worked out, strong, and like I accomplished something. But when I think about working out all I hear in my head are The Shoulds. So I don’t work out because I feel like I am giving in to them, feeding them, supporting their existence.

How do I shake The Shoulds? I am doing OK dealing with them regarding my eating. Do I just work out because it is good for me (sounds like a Should, doesn’t it??) and hope that someday I will see it purely for the enjoyment factor and not for the possible body changing? Or do I work on my view of working out (and, if so, how? I see lots of resources on disordered eating but haven’t noticed similar ones for exercise. They must be out there.) and actually start working out once my view on exercise is healthier?

This is a lot to ponder. I am also going to search for some blogs, sites, what not that help in this area. Given that there are so many out there on disordered eating, fat and body acceptance, intuitive eating, etcetera then there must be something on how to love moving your body just to move it.

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I read through the first two months of postings on Good with Cheese and felt inspired. I got off my duff and did a pilates workout. Z and I then went to the park and had a great time.

Surrounding myself with healthy discussion of IE/body image, etc… is something I should try and do every day. It really made a difference today.

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I am not calorie counting or following a published plan made up by someone else. Structured plans scare me, even when I try and tell myself I can tweak them to suite me. I wish it wasn’t the case because life would be so much easier. But it is.

However, trying to lose weight while also trying to normalize my relationship with food does not work without goals. Flying by the seat of my pants isn’t working. Many IE books recommend letting all foods be “legal” foods and I feel I have done that. But I’m not going to buy boxes of food that I love ala Geneen Roth. #1 My finances just do not allow it and #2 I feel pretty OK with allowing all foods in to my life and don’t feel the need to eat chocolate chip cookies until I puke to get there.

I do feel a bit lost. Starting this blog has helped me to start focusing my thoughts around this whole thing (even with a 2 year old dancing/singing to her Jack’s Big Music Show CD next to me). And today I realized that I need to write some goals down. I think goals in my head often but usually they bop around and only sometimes occur to me at crucial points. So maybe having them here will help me keep them in check.

I will add to these as time goes on and I feel stronger with the changes I am making. Being a planner, I would love to write down every single detail of my “plan” until Yule and pretend I am going to review it come New Year’s. But I have lived with myself long enough to know I cannot manage to stay on a structured, anal plan like that for so long. And I’m not so good at the unstructured, anal-free plans at this time. Maybe someday…

Goals As of Right Now


  • Workout 4 times per week minimum.

  • Stop eating when full.

  • Wait to eat treats to see if I truly want them.

  • Eat 3 veggies/fruits.

Yes, 3 veggies/fruits is a pathetic number But it’s more than I get on many days so I am starting small. In the future I’d like to add a variety of colors and a larger number. I am just starting small.

I walked an hour on Monday and today I did an intermediate pilates DVD. I have had grapes and an orange pepper so far. And I staved off a craving for ice cream. But I am still thinking about it so a small bowl may be in my future. That’s one IE tool I am trying to incorporate – respecting cravings and allowing myself true cravings to avoid future overeating.

Mozying along.


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