When I wrote my 2013 By the Numbers post and compared it to my 2012 and 2011 posts, one thing was VERY obvious. I moved a LOT less in 2013. I also had one of the most challenging years of my life. I know that these two things are not necessarily related, but running and staying active has always helped me work through hard times. Part of me wonders if I would have been happier and less stressed last year if I had been exercising more. In fact, I know I would have.
Yes, I was busy juggling being a new mom, breastfeeding, and working full-time in 2013, and I am not trying to be hard on myself. I just realized in comparing those posts that even though I spent 9 months of 2012 pregnant and the other 3 months recovering from childbirth, I STILL worked out twice as much as I did last year. (299 workouts in 2012, 158 workouts in 2013). Wow. That is pretty amazing to think about.
The truth is, I thought I didn’t have the time last year. Yes, I spent a lot of time with my new baby and I don’t regret a single minute of those special moments. That was time well spent- I made memories that will last a lifetime. However, looking back now I realize that I did have time outside of my mommy duties, I just used it in other ways. Instead of taking a class at the gym while the baby slept I checked Facebook, watched TV and read blogs. Instead of going out for a quick 30 minute run in the morning I laid awake in bed, stressing about all the things I had to do later, or the next day, or next week. Or I could have been active with the baby but chose not to be. Instead of going for a short walk with him in the stroller when I got home from work I sat on the couch. There were actually a lot of parts of my day that were filled with meaningless activities, yet I thought I didn’t have “time.” I ALWAYS had an extra 10-30 minutes. I just didn’t choose to use that time doing something active or something that was good for my health. Hindsight is 20/20.
I want to do things differently in 2014. Exercise and being active makes me feel so good physically, mentally and emotionally. It makes me a better mom, wife, teacher, daughter, sister, friend, and just a better person in general. That is why I am going to try to complete a “365 Days of Fitness” Challenge in 2014!
My goal is simply to move my body in some way every day. Whether that means running, cycling, strength training, walking, going on the elliptical or rowing machine, doing yoga, spending some time stretching or rolling out my muscles, doing a workout DVD or video online. It could be quick squats, lunges, planks or crunches at home. It could even be playing outside with my son, or chasing him around the house. Some days that is quite a workout in itself! At the same time, I don’t want to put a crazy amount of pressure on myself. If I miss a day, no big deal. It’s about progress not perfection. It’s just a thought to keep in my mind to keep me moving, hopefully more than last year!
This is obviously not an original idea. When I posted a picture on Instagram and tagged it #365daysoffitness there were hundreds of posts that came up. I love that others have the same goal to be active in some way every day of the year. It’s fun to browse through the other pictures with that hashtag for motivation and ideas.
I will be posting monthly summaries with photos showing how I was active each day. If you want to follow along I’ll be posting most (but not all) of my daily activities on Instagram @katiespaulding1.
Now, does anyone else want to join me?! 🙂