Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 18, Reason 18: Because I Can

When you think about it, it's pretty obnoxious of me to complain about the struggle to eat healthy foods and exercise.

Unlike the majority of the world, I have easy access to an incredible array of healthy, fresh foods, 24 hours a day if I really want it.  I have no less than seven grocery stores within 5 minutes of my house.  They are stocked, between them, with enough food to feed a small city.  And while people starve around the world, I have the gall to complain that I don't feel like cooking or that I don't know what to make for dinner, or that it's too hard to find healthy and delicious meals that my kids will eat.

Unlike many people even right here in the U.S., I have enough money to purchase that food that is within easy reach of my home, a car to get there, and a well-stocked kitchen in which to prepare that food.  I can afford to buy healthy, high-quality food, unlike many people whose grocery budgets barely allow them to purchase the cheapest, most basic necessities.  I can run out at a moment's notice and come home with not only the ingredients for that recipe that just sounds so good I absolutely must make it tonight, but a bottle of wine to go with it.

Unlike people who are struggling just to survive, my biggest struggle on a daily basis is to just put on my workout shoes and spend an hour sweating.  While children do backbreaking labour to make those workout shoes somewhere in the world, I have the nerve to complain that they're rubbing on my big toe during my cardio kickboxing workout.

Unlike the many people grievously injured in wars, weakened by malnutrition and rampant illness, exhausted from the very struggle to stay alive, I am strong, healthy and whole.  I am physically capable of vigorous exercise, and I can work out for fun while others try to find the strength just to make it through the day.

I'm among the luckiest people on the planet, and I somehow think I have the right to complain about how hard it is to eat healthy and exercise.  I'm actually challenging myself to do it like it's some sort of major life accomplishment.

You know what that makes me?  An asshole.

Day 18, Reason 18: Because I am so freaking lucky that I can, so I should stop being an asshole.

The 30 Days, 30 Reasons No Scale Challenge.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 17, Reason 17: Exercising is a Perfectly Normal Thing to Do

Like many people of my generation I sometimes struggle to make myself exercise.  We didn't grow up thinking about having to work out; although Jane Fonda was already aerobicizing the ladies of America when I was a kid, I wasn't super aware of it.  My mom took the odd aerobics class, but exercising wasn't something I grew up with, at least not something I saw my parents do regularly.

It's not that we were sedentary.  My dad did go curling regularly, although many would argue it's more of a drinking game than a from of exercise, I've done it and it actually does require some effort.  My brothers played hockey and baseball.  I took dance.  But those things are all different from the concept of exercising for the sake of exercising.  Just doing it because it's a good thing for your body.

Certainly there's nothing wrong with getting your exercise from an activity that you enjoy; in fact, it's probably the better way to go about it.  But for most of us as adults, work and life take the place of activities done for enjoyment, and many of us drop those activities that kept our bodies moving as kids and teens.  It's entirely possible that those who don't drop them are happier than the rest of us in some way.  They're certainly happier that they don't have to force themselves to the gym to run on a treadmill.

To get to the point, anyway, I think it's a good thing that I am raising my kids to believe that exercising is just something people do.  That it's a normal part of my day, something I do to keep my body healthy.  They'll grow up thinking of exercise as a regular activity that hopefully becomes a part of their day as well, and not so much of a struggle that they have to force themselves to work out.  It's part of the reason I choose to exercise at home.  Well, that and I don't like to engage in public sweating.

Day 17, Reason 17: To teach my kids that exercising is a good, normal thing to do.

Check out the 30 Days, 30 Reasons No-Scale Challenge

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 16, Reason 16: Fewer "Sick Days"

Anyone who is a mom knows there is no such thing as a sick day.  You can be sick, but that doesn't mean you can take the day off.  Because kids still need feeding, cajoling out of bed and out the door to school, lunches made.  The dishwasher still needs emptying and the laundry folding and the toilets scrubbing.  There's still homework to oversee, lessons to attend, dinner to make, bedtime to handle.  And then, once the kids are in bed, you get to clean up the kitchen from dinner and pick up the trail of random junk they have left all over the house.

So yeah, sick days, not so much.

As a mom, you pretty much have to have the plague to really get to lie in bed for a few hours, usually after you've gotten the kids ready for school and out the door.  And while you take that time to rest, mom shit ain't gettin' done.  Nope, it's all just right there waiting for you, because the laundry fairy is a myth and so are kids who clean up after themselves.

So yeah, sick days, when you do take them - not even worth it.

Which therefore brings me to another of the perks of eating right and exercise: fewer illnesses.  When I eat right, when I work out regularly, when I take good care of my body, I don't get sick as easily.  And that's important because my children are walking germs.

Day 16, Reason 16: Moms don't get sick days, so I'd best stay healthy.

Check out the 30 Days, 30 Reasons, No Scale Challenge!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Day 15, Reason 15: Enjoying the Splurges

So let's just take a minute to acknowledge that I am halfway through this thing.  Day 15 of 30, and I haven't stepped on the scale once, which is even more amazing considering I didn't even hide it.  It's still sitting there on the bathroom floor, taunting me.

It's been somewhat harder than I thought it would be, and I'm starting to see the scale as something not entirely bad in terms of motivating me.  But I'll get into that in my recap at the end of the month.  As it stands, we're so far, so good.

On the reason my 15th reason.  You enjoy a splurge a lot more when you've earned it.  When you eat clean and healthy most of the time, and you work out daily, you not only really enjoy that occasional treat, you really feel you have earned it.

I love my Sunday brunch.  Bacon, bubbly, pancakes in maple syrup.  I love it.  I look forward to it all week.  And you know, I enjoy it a lot more when I have been eating healthy all week.  I don't feel bloated and gross when I sit down at the table.  And I don't eat as much as I would otherwise, I just savour each bite.

So, before I get too hungry thinking about brunch...here's my halfway point reason.

Day 15, Reason 15: Treats taste better when you feel like you've earned them.

Check out the 30 Days, 30 Reasons No Scale Challenge!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 14, Reason 14: Healthy Habits are for Life

Here's why I need to eat healthy all the time and serve the same healthy meals to my kids: because I am setting them up for life.

Already because of our efforts, Nolan and Aaron are better eaters than a lot of kids I know.  They're at the very least willing to try new things, and getting them to eat vegetables is not akin to a trip to the dentist for tooth removal.

We, Shaun and I, are responsible for giving them a foundation for healthy eating, and we can't expect them to eat anything that we ourselves wouldn't eat.  Man, do I struggle with that one.  I am NOT a good vegetable eater, but I have worked on it, and I am still working on it.  I now eat asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, and spinach, things I might not have touched as a child.  And that means my kids eat them too.  The more I can experiment with healthy eating, with finding the right recipes for veggies to make them at the very least palatable to the whole family, the better I am teaching my kids to eat.  And so I keep trying.

Except with broccoli.  I tried, I swear, but that is just nasty.

So the goal is to set my kids up with healthy habits now by modeling them in my own behaviour.  If mommy eats crap and doesn't care about her health, why should they?

Day 14, Reason 14: To teach my kids lifelong healthy eating habits.

Check out the 30 Days, 30 Reasons No Scale Challenge here!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 13, Reason 13: It's Good to be a Badass

I'm a mom of two little boys.  I'm a freelance writer working from home.  I'm boring.

There aren't a lot of opportunities in the life of a WAHM to feel like a badass.  I don't really do anything that's worthy of attention, although I think I deserve a medal for cleaning our bathrooms, which are often not far off from a Chernobyl-level hazmat disaster.  Every now and then you just want to feel like you're not the dullest, least exciting, least interesting person alive.

Back in the day when I was working out like mad and getting really strong, I got called a badass a lot.  That's about the most exciting word that's ever been used to describe me. I'll take it over pretty any day.  Badass.  Just say it out loud, it makes you feel stronger just pronouncing that word.

My life isn't going to get more exciting any time soon, and I'm ok with that.  I'm developing a taste for calm and quiet, what little of that I get with my boys around anyway.  I'm ok with a life that isn't going to make headlines or leave a whole lot to talk about.  I'm loved, and I love, and life, as they say, is beautiful in it's most basic form.

But it would still feel pretty damn good to be called a badass again.

Day 13, Reason 13: Damn, it feels good to be a badass.

Check out the 30 Days, 30 Reasons No Scale Challenge!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Day 12, Reason 12: A Better Reason to Wake Up Sore

Those of you who like me, are no longer what you'd call "young" will immediately know what I mean when I saw "waking up sore for no reason".

As you get older, you seem to develop an ability to injure yourself in your sleep.  You wake up with an achy back, a stiff neck, sore hips, sometimes even odder ailments.  For no reason other than that you're getting older and your body hates you.  In may case, it may be that my body hates that bottle of wine I consumed the night before, but that was really just to dull the getting old aches and pains from the day before.

Those of you who have worked out seriously know that even when you have been doing it for a while - if you're continuing to challenge yourself and work harder - you're occasionally going to wake up sore.  Really, really sore.  Like, can't lower yourself to the toilet to pee and can't raise your arms high enough to wash your hair kind of sore.  And the best part is, the second day is even worse than the first.

But as much as that soreness sucks, it sucks even more to be sore for no reason.  And if you do things right, you might even be able to reduce the amount of random getting old pain you experience.  Of course, it might just be that you don't notice anymore because your quads hurt so bloody much from the squats.

Day 12, Reason 12: Waking up sore for a good reason.

Check out the 30 Days, 30 Reasons, No Scale Challenge!