A couple weeks back, I went to a lovely breakfast with the iStore. It was a wonderful morning of getting spoiled, complete with delicious food, and a gorgeous locale. It was for Mother’s Day, and the PR team went out of their way to make us feel special. Everything about the event was fantastic – from the rose gold cutlery to the incredible goody bag. That’s right, we got amazing presents, too. It was such a treat. One of the presents was a Fitbit AltaHR, which I had wanted for a long time and instantly fell in love with. Now that it’s not just love at first sight, I thought I’d share a little bit more about why I like it so much.
At the time of writing this, I have done 15 consecutive days of yoga. That is more than I’ve ever done before; I usually got bored and abandoned the daily yoga idea after a few days or a week. I find it so helpful to have great emails sent to me each day – a new routine, a new focus every day. It’s about more than the physical; the emotional and cognitive journey has already been profound. Even so, I was wondering if I’d stick with it once the month was over. Would I continue to find videos? Would I keep enjoying it without the daily changing routine? Parts of it are still so daunting. I struggle with many of the regular poses (like downward f-ing dog) and finish the 30 minute videos dripping with sweat. With some poses that I can only do while heavily modified, I sometimes feel like I’m not strong enough, not flexible enough.
I recently caught up with my friend Sadaf, and she commented that she saw that I was doing yoga now (she has for years). A part of me didn’t feel like I was good enough to be considered in the same league as I imagined she was in. I replied, “yeah, but I sorta suck at it”. She laughed and made the best possible comment. You can’t suck at yoga. It’s only once it came to the West that we started making it a competitive thing somehow, trying to be able to push ourselves into ever more complicated poses, outdoing the person on the next mat. It’s not about getting into the “perfect” tree, chair or crow pose, something that is mirrored in what the woman running the #YogaRevolution often says.
I have done yoga now and then, but never really managed to make it a part of my daily life. I’d get into it and enjoy it for a time, but then lose interest or focus on other things. Usually, my issue was boredom – how many sun salutations can you do before you’re well and truly sick of it? Of course yoga is more than that, but I’d usually find myself doing a set yoga routine for a short while before becoming bored and moving on to other exercise, which is why I’m so surprised that I’ve stuck with the daily yoga and really found myself enjoying it.
As I mentioned in my New Year’s goal post (heh, goal post), Cassey invited me and some awesome mommy bloggers to join her in a #YogaRevolution. It’s quite a cool concept; the woman organizing it has a yoga YouTube channel and this year for January she is doing 31 days of yoga. But it’s not just about the yoga, it’s also about boosting a mind-body connection. She sends daily emails to explain the videos as they come up, and each movement is beyond the pose, beyond replicating what we think it should look like, but really finding what feels good and works for ourselves and moving from there. It’s more introspective and enjoyable, while still obviously helping to tone, stretch and feel good.
There was a point on our trip to Knysna, driving along the single lane highway, when Dean was struggling to get our little car to overtake one of the many trucks along the route. Our Chevy Aveo does just fine most of the time, but loaded with 3 adults and a baby in her awesome car seat, plus the pram and all our baggage in the trunk/boot, it wasn’t quite as strong as we needed. Kris said it quite well in that moment – the car was overweight and underpowered. “Just like me”, I quipped from the backseat of the car. We all chuckled, but it’s been irritating me because it’s true.
I made a promise to myself (and to all of you) that I wouldn’t pass my body image stuff on to Harley. I don’t want her to grow up worrying about her weight, something that so many women (all women?) worry about. I also told myself that I’d give myself a year before worrying about getting back into shape after Harley came along – I figured it would take that long before we’d have a routine and stuff that let me carve time out of the day to go to the gym or at least do home exercise. But then I went for my post-baby checkup and I had actually lost weight. I even took pictures of my before and after body at that point. But I may have spoken too soon.
I made a conscious decision not to think about my weight for the first year of Harley’s life. I figured it would take that long for things to even out with her, and until then it was silly to imagine that I could stick to any eating or exercise plans. I was lucky enough to already lose 5 kgs six weeks after giving birth, but I think my little one is determined to make me slim.
I don’t generally care about the number on the scale; I don’t even know how much I weigh at the moment. Instead, I focus on how clothes fit and how comfy I feel in my own skin. I’m also determined not to let my body image determine my self image – I need to be empowered, and right now I feel good about my body; look what it accomplished. And I’m not even feeling the need to fake some positive body image at the moment. I feel pretty good about how I look, even post-baby. Plus, Harley has me on a three-pronged weight loss plan.