Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Two Weeks In & Two Weeks Away

So I'm at the beginning of my third week on the MuTu/Slimpod program and am definitely loving it so far. I'm noticing all these subtle changes in the decisions I make. Hopefully, the subtleties will turn into noticeable differences soon enough, but it's my attitude that has been most affected. I'm looking forward to loving the way I look, instead of focusing on hating how I look now. Switching out the negative for the positive. There's a lot to say in doing that.

The first two weeks of the MuTu System has definitely been easy going. Besides a few informational videos to watch, there's a six minute exercise video focusing on your core and general stretches. Six minutes! Hard to not make time for just six minutes during the day (even though I find most days I'm doing it right before bed, but the stretching feels great at that time and it really puts me in tune with how my body is feeling at the end of the day). I can actually feel these few exercises trying to pull those abdominal muscles back together, as with traditional planks and crunches actually push them out. I believe soon enough there will be more of a commitment with the MuTu (extra 20 minute workouts that will help burn calories instead of just focusing on the DR) and I'm definitely looking forward to that.

Along with eating better and the super easy 6 minute core exercises, I'm supposed to be walking outside every day for at least 20-30 minutes. This will most likely be the hardest thing to commit to, for obvious reasons. I live in Ireland and we're not known for our dry, sunshiney, perfect outdoor walking weather. But we are at a change of season now and this week is already gifting us some pretty nice sunny days. The walk today was so bright out, I found myself fumbling with the silly sun umbrella that attaches to Estlin's buggy every few minutes, depending on the direction we were facing. Poor thing was sneezing up a storm every time the sun was in her face! It's been an awful stormy winter here and I know I'm not the only one that is so looking forward to a somewhat decent summer. When the sun is shining, and it's warm and dry and calm, it's damn near perfect here in Co. Clare.

I've very much enjoyed this commitment to moving more outdoors. There's something to say in forcing ourselves to strive for more natural movement. As in, walking outside on normal terrain in the flattest shoes possible (or barefoot!) with correct posture. The overall point of MuTu is to fix a "mummy tummy" but a lot of that comes from having the right alignment in all of our movements. Heeled shoes cause us to lean forward and then over-correct. Treadmills and other exercise machines don't allow us to move naturally. If we correct our alignment and posture, our muscles will want to be where they're supposed to be. I invested in a nice pair of Converse this weekend (or should I say, Vinnie invested...) and can definitely feel the difference when I'm walking compared to my boots or runners. I find I am more aware of how my entire body feels during that movement. I can feel my core engaging and my shoulders pushing back. I can feel my muscles doing what they should be doing, whether I'm walking uphill or downhill. It's an enlightening experience, paying attention to how your body feels doing something as natural as walking, and being aware of doing it correctly.

I'm also finding the Slimpod to be extremely helpful. There are no strict diet guidelines, just the general idea to make better choices, or at least be aware of why and when you make bad choices. At the end of each day, I write down three noticeable changes in the choices I made, whether I moved more and ate better, etc. Then I listen to the quick 9 minute track on my iPod before falling asleep. It forces you to focus on the positive things, no matter how small, at the end of every day. This is so much more life-changing then the usual beating I can give myself for eating this or not doing that, generally focusing on the negative things I did during the day that aren't getting me closer to my goals. It's amazing to lay there in bed and think, "See how easy it was to not have that snack after dinner? Didn't it feel good to actually say no to that slice of pizza?" It's helped me realize that these things are possible, saying no and choosing better. It's a crazy concept, but I can actually feel good not having ice cream every night. Or cake. Mmmmmmm...cake...Sorry, I'm getting off track here.

One of my ultimate goals with using the Slimpod program would be to get rid of that constant sugar craving that I have and replace it with a craving for real, healthy food. This will most likely be one of the hardest things to accomplish for me because not only am I absolutely obsessed with sweet things, but I just adore baking in all its forms and feel so much joy and satisfaction with making a delicious cupcake and seeing friends and family enjoy it too. I'll definitely need to find the middle ground with this one. I don't want to have to give up an activity that I so thoroughly enjoy and am actually really good at, just because I can't control how much I indulge myself when I do bake.

It's almost Estlin's first birthday and there will be a party and there will be cake and sweets and goodies and all that jazz. And I will definitely, for sure, without a doubt, partake in said cake and sweets and goodies. I'm not going to feel guilty for that. As the date of the 27th of March approaches, I'm filled with so many emotions. One, I can't believe I have nearly a one year old daughter, and how amazing that little girl is, how perfect for me she has turned out to be, and what an incredible year she has given me. But lurking there in the shadows behind all that is the memory of that day and what I had so desperately wanted it to be and what it eventually ended up being instead and how even now, a year later, I can't seem to fully get out of that shadow. My daughter's birthday should and will be a wonderful, beautiful, happy occasion. But I've still got a lot of healing to do and I know I won't be able to shake that shadow just yet so instead I will distract myself with cake. Lots of delicious, rainbow colored cake...and for that one day I will over-indulge and I won't feel guilty in the hopes that all that sugary-sweetness will take away the awful bitter taste I have in my mouth for what should have been the happiest day of my life, yet was so far from it.

I'm nearly ready now to tell that story. Soon...

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