I took a good long look in the mirror the other day and thought, I ain't gettin' any younger. Those white hairs and crow's feet are tell-tale signs that the bloom of youth has withered. Time is passing. So how will I spend the time I have remaining on this earth to the best advantage?
Note that I didn't say to "my" best advantage. I believe that, now that I've had children, that I can't simply think of what's best for me. It has to be what's best for the family unit. The kids rely on me and my husband for literally everything, from the roof over their heads to the food in their bellies. So we've got to make every choice count so we can be around to see them grow into their own adulthood.
I've recently upped my physical activity, adding in another, much harder, yoga class in an attempt to force my 40-something (ahem)-year-old body to be stronger. My back issues are well-documented and, frankly, bore me. I'm sick of having a bad back control me. And I want to enter into the spring feeling and looking better. I've gained more weight than I am comfortable with, so I've signed up with an online food and exercise tracking website where I keep count of the calories going in and going out.
And I'm developing a new attitude towards the back pain. I refuse to allow it to control me the way it has for the past decade. I'm trying to think of the pain as something separate from me, instead of a part of me. It's something that wants to control me. By setting it aside, even when it hurts, I've been able to reduce its hold on me.
Now, don't think I'm going to be out running a marathon or anything. I'm not stupid! But if I move a little more each day, by spring, I hope to have lost at least 10 pounds. Every pound down lessens the pain, I've found. I was in a lot of pain last week as these storms moved through, but instead of curling up on the bed with the heating pad and a painkiller, I went to yoga class. Best decision! By the end of class, I felt, if not great, then at least a lot better.
I've started physical therapy again and my therapist says yoga's the best thing I can be doing for my back issues. Yay! Once I get the pain to a manageable level, maybe I can then start adding in more aerobics so I can burn off this spare tire that seems to have attached itself to my midsection.
After all, who knows how much longer any of us have on this earth? I want to be like my mom -- healthy and active at 75. (She looks about 25 years younger than that, and she exercises and eats a healthy, simple diet every day. She's my role model!) If she can do it, so can I. After all, I need to be around at least that long for my kids. And by being healthy, exercising and eating right, I hope to live a long — and pain-free — life. Wish me luck!