Wednesday, April 13, 2011

march/april: patience & a plan

New Year's Resolution: Lose 20 pounds. Months 3-4.

I've been thinking a lot about patience. Before I became a mother, I knew that patience would likely be one of my biggest challenges once I had kids (that, and getting up early in the morning). And lo and behold, I was right! (A plus to having children in your 30s instead of in your bounce-back, energetic, can-get-no-sleep-and-still-function-just-fine-thank you very much 20s: you know yourself better).

There's having patience with my kids, which some days is hard, and then there's having patience with myself, which is often harder. When Elan melts down for the tenth time in a day, I do get impatient, but I also can look at his little turned-down sad face and feel empathy for how difficult life is feeling for him right now. Same for Emry.

But when I have a melt-down type of day myself, it's difficult to muster the same sense of compassion for myself. And it's even more challenging to feel compassion for myself when I don't live up to the high standards and lofty goals I would like to meet, day in and day out. In a nutshell, I'm often too hard on myself (sound familiar?). So lately I've been thinking of patience as forgiving myself and others, over and over and over again. Many tiny little forgivings punctuating the course of my days. Because as annoying as it is when I forget to pay the credit card bill on time, it's not worth beating myself up over. I've got bigger fish to fry. (Not to mention a stellar record of getting late fees waived as a "one-time special exemption.")

This might sound like the lead-up to saying I haven't made any progress on my fitness, well-being & weight loss goal for the year. Which is actually not true. I've lost round about 6 pounds. Woo hoo! It is less than I had hoped for at this point, but most importantly I am seeing progress, and I am feeling so much stronger than I did in January. I make a point of reminding myself of this - notice how easy it feels to walk to Elan's preschool compared to how I was huffing and puffing back in January - because I see how easy it is to lose perspective on where you are versus where you came from. Recognizing the little victories along the way is just as important as making the final destination. Because, of course, once I get there, I'll find other goals for myself (no, not running a marathon - that's never going to make my life list).

March and April have been about patience and a plan. Have a plan, try my best to follow it, and practice lots of tiny forgivings when it doesn't go exactly that way. Life as improv as my mother-in-law says. We're practicing lots of that around here these days. Some things that have been working for me: I've been going to Zumba class, where I get to shake my groove thing (a happy work-out, I love it!). After a weekend of too many cupcakes, I did a super-chill mini cleanse by going 5 days without sweets except in liquid form (hot chocolate was allowed). I'm trying to move my body most days, even if it's just going for a walk with the boys. Extra points for wearing Emry in the Ergo.

My new goals for April are to take at least one Pilates mat class and to put Emry in childwatch at the gym at least one time. I've never left him with a non-family member so it might be a little challenging at first, and I know I need to get over that hump if I'm going to get more gym workouts in.

Please don't cry bubula, I promise they'll be nice to you.

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