Hey Color Bees!!
It’s 5:45am on February 12th, 2024. As I drag my body from my warm bed to start my day I’m wrestling with my thoughts. After I drop the kids off at school next up is my workout. All I can think about right now is how “cold” it is outside and that I really don’t feel like exercising. My next thought is, “WHY DIDN’T ANYBODY TELL ME HOW HARD THIS WILL CONTINUE TO BE!?!”
Truly adapting to a new lifestyle that is.
How It Started
I first tried to become more active in December of 2021. Of course it was a part of my new year goals. I thought, I’d get a jump start and begin before January. I got a peloton bike and got riding! That lasted for 4 months until I was hit with some pretty terrible sciatic pain. I could not figure out what the cause of the pain was at the time and it really put a damper on things. I was doing all sorts of different stretches but it didn’t seem to help. I was honestly scared to move my body as much because I wasn’t sure what would make it worse. There were nights that I could not sleep because the pain was so horrible. That left me exhausted and with zero energy to get through my days. I saw my doctor and she offered some pain medication while I figured it out but had no real answer for the pain. I got a PT referral and I eventually discovered a herniated disc in my cervical spine through an MRI. That was the answer for some of the neck and arm pain I had experienced off and on but not the sciatic pain.
A Pit Stop
I did not get moving again until December 2022. And OF COURSE, it was a part of my new year goals again. I resolved to not quit this time because I had quit so many times before. While I was still happy to have my peloton, I felt as though I needed a super attainable workout goal that I could commit to without question. It was at that time that I made a goal to walk every day for about 20 minutes. Even if it ended up being a 10 minute walk, it was better than not moving at all. By committing to a daily walk, I noticed so much improvement in my sciatic pain. That daily walk helped me connect the dots. I was sitting down on my ass way too much and my glute muscles were weak. That combination of pressure and wear was a recipe for my sciatic pain.
Things Fall Apart
Sciatic pain was a new discomfort for me. Prior to 2020 I had never felt it before outside of pregnancy. But I also was not working from home, sitting for zooms all day while breast-feeding a baby. We all have our 2020 stories and this is a part of mine. I went from being a classroom teacher who was up walking around all the time , working on the floor with children to being on zoom primarily, which meant I was sitting. My computer and phone usage plus breast feeding with horrible posture totally wrecked my neck and made me less active with out noticing. Zoom had just become a way of life for teaching and I used the laptop a lot for my blog work.
Basically, pain brought me to movement.
Mentally it’s harder than it is physically. I feel like no one that I have seen so far talks about how deeply hard it is to start and continue a workout routine when it is just not who you are or rather, who you’ve been. What I mean by that is that a lifestyle of movement has not always been a part of your routine. No one really taught it to me or showed me a living example of what it means to embody health and wellness. If you are like me, you are figuring it out as you get older, and your body starts to say no to things no longer can tolerate. Truthfully our bodies probably have never loved the lack of movement and poor nutrition but we are likely at a place where we’re getting signals that are revealing the discomfort.
How It’s Going
Every single day, since I’ve made that decision to be more active, I resolved not to quit yet again. It is literally a daily decision, and it has not gotten easier for me, but I have remained committed. With walking and full body strength training, so many of my aches and pains have gone away. No more lower back pain that I’ve had for years and ignored, no sciatic pain, unless I am sitting for hours and hours and hours, and now I am working to strengthen my neck and shoulder muscles to provide some relief for my neck discomfort. It continues to be a challenge, but the more and more I feel better the more I understand that I can never go back. I am just doing my best! I encourage you to also just do your best. Think about what you and your body needs to feel better and do that. Commit and recommit to it daily. It may not necessarily get easier, but you will never regret taking care of your body with regular movement.
Start small and don’t quit! Try My Nightly Stretch Routine