Experiments in Health and Wellness

by a Human In Recovery

28 Days to a New Me: Day Three – Housework IS physical activity

on May 3, 2013

Yesterday I mentioned that I do not enjoy walking for walking’s sake. I need to have a destination. Honestly speaking, I’m not a physically motivated person. I’m more the epitome of “couch potato.” I really identified with my bloggy pal, Amy West when she wrote this:

You know what my favorite activity really is? Couching. Sitting my lazy ass on the couch, computer in my lap, second-screening something on TV or listening to music. . . . couch. It’s got an indent at one end of it that’s the exact shape of my ass.

I’m the stereotypical Biggest Loser fan who sits on her couch, season after season, watching and listening to all the contestents and the trainers, while frequently eating things that would wind up in a Temptation Challenge. I see aspects of me in most of the contestents’ personal stories: whether it’s hard-knock life circumstances, physical injury/health concerns, and certainly in story after story of those who are so emotionally shut-down and cut off that they either have their walls so high that even Bob, Jillian, and Dolvett have difficulty scaling the heights or they’ve buried themselves underneath so many layers of self-judgment and taken in every negative message available that they’re succumbing to The Swamp of Sorrows. If I remeber correctly, I think I actually submitted an application to the show at some point in the first three seasons, or maybe I just started to and never got through my own resistance.

Resistance. Yeah, that is really at the crux of many of my issues. There’s this resistance and I don’t understand why or what the root of it is. I just know that, in the past, I have given into it in its myriad, diverse forms.

So, here I am, at the end of Day Three, having reframed my expectations about what is “acceptable” physical activity.

I’m almot 44 years old, weigh close to 270 lbs, and am 5’3″ on a good day. Garfield and I could be undertall twins. Factored into all of that, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia I received in my late teens/early 20’s. Back when I would go out dancing at 10 p.m. and close the bar down, while being the only sober one in the joint because I spent the major portion of the night on the dance floor, with or without partners, who could be either gender, I didn’t care. I just wanted . . . NEEDED to dance. I would drink several pitchers of water while everyone else was dowing beer (Yuck! A taste I never acquired). I might occasionally have a mixed drink or two, but usually only if someone else was buying, since I had other financial priorities. Every Friday or Saturday night, occasionally both nights, I would dance away all the stress and tension of the week . . . then spend the next 24 – 48 hours as the only one with the symptoms of the world’s worst hangover.

Eventually, the painful consequences, as well as a second pregnancy where i subsequently wound up single-parenting a second child, put an end to the late night dance parties. I switched to worship dance and fellowship with spiritual seekers and others who participated in Messianic Dance. Physical movement as part of my expression of faith filled the need for self-expression through movement. However, after going all out in worship dance, I would experience the same kind of deep-seated fatigue and lightning strikes of shooting pain and bone deep aching in my body.

I let go of the seemingly irrepressible part of me that ALWAYS wants to move whenever music is on (it doesn’t even have to be “good” music, or so my daughter informs me) and I have been suppressing it for years.

Gradually, I just stopped moving. The depression that had always been Right. There. waiting to take over, slowly and insidiously infiltrated every aspect of my being. Except for the happy, excited, sure I was going to get it done and change my life moments. Which retrospectively, I can now identify most of those as manic/hypomanic episodes where I had this overwhelming sense that I had all the answers and could make the Worst. Plans. Ever. be The Very Thing To Turn My Life Around. In between were times filled with self-doubt, panic, and anxiety. I desperately grasped at anyone and everything to fill me and fix me. Of course that couldn’t ever happen because people and things just can’t do that. It has to come from a soul deep, spiritual connection and internal belief and acceptance of Divine love and acceptance.

And so, my internal reality began to shape my external reality. And not just in the physical shape of my body. It also shaped the physical environments I lived in. Oscar Madison had nothing on me. Chaoctic clutter in my living environment is an apparent manifestation of the internal chaos and clutter.

Change-happens-when-the

Now, that I’ve worked long and hard on the internals and have achieved a level of self-acceptance because I’m opening myself back up to Divine love and acceptance, the old tapes still play, the old patterns still exist, and the old habits are still entrenched, but there are holes in those walls and the cracks are showing. I think this is playing a huge part in me following through to actually get into the 28 Days group and everything else that is happening as a byproduct of my participation and engagement.

Therefore, I’m starting with small commitments and being propelled into much greater action. I walked another two miles after completing yesterday’s commitment. I also had a very difficult time sleeping last night and woke up this morning groggy and heavy-limbed, aching and fatigued. It didn’t help that my oldest daughter wasn’t here to be with my four year old so I could actually get outside, put on my headphones and walk it out.

So, I had to work with what I had and get creative. For sedentary me, washing dishes IS physically demanding for me in my current state AND they needed to be done before they piled up any worse. The New Me gets housework done too.

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4 responses to “28 Days to a New Me: Day Three – Housework IS physical activity

  1. […] 28 Days to a New Me: Day Three – Housework IS physical activity May […]

  2. nancytex2013 says:

    Good for you!! Whatever gets you moving is exercise — and it’s healthy, and wonderful, and will make you feel better, stronger, more alive. I kicked off my journey in Nov 2012 with a visit to the Biggest Loser Resort (yes, it’s a thing), in Malibu. That one week stay was a game changer for me (although it nearly killed me). I started my blog in January, after I decided to dedicate 2013 to my journey — with a comittment to workout every single day of this year. Come check it out… Maybe something in my sometimes painful, sometimes raw, sometimes funny journey may resonate with you. Today is my 125th consecutive day of sweat, and while I’m not at “my ideal weight”, I am healthy and very, very happy. I am so grateful for this experience. I wish you tremendous success on yours! Here is support and cheer you on!!!

  3. […] 28 Days to a New Me: Day Three – Housework IS physical activity (experimentsinhealthandfitness.wordpress.com) […]

  4. […] 28 Days to a New Me: Day Three – Housework IS physical activity (experimentsinhealthandfitness.wordpress.com) […]

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