Sustainability & doing what you love

Friday, March 9, 2012 Permalink

Today’s post was going to coincide with the launch of my newly designed blog, but my brilliant blog host is still tweaking the site a tad, so I suspect we will go ‘live’ on the weekend. Yay!

Instead today I’m going to write about my mother. Well, sort of. (God, I can hear her hyperventilating from 300km away!)

Don't stop doing what you love.A fabulous blogger, Karen, who is very supportive of me and my blog (leaving regular comments) has just returned from some travel and other commitments so left a few comments on my blog posts overnight (well, overnight here in Oz). One of her comments was about my last post – where I talked about social media and weight loss, fitness etc. My comment about normalising certain behaviour resonated with her and she sent me a link to an old blog post of her own, where she referred to someone training for a marathon… “Cos that’s what everyone else is doing”.

HELLO!? Been there, done that, own the t-shirt! 

You may recall a post earlier this year, when I’d decided to follow advice I received and quit my ‘learn to run’ program. The exercise physiologist I mention in that post reads my blog and knew how much I hated the ‘Couch to 5km’ program. She also knew I liked other forms of exercise and encouraged me to DO WHAT I ENJOY. A novel approach, huh?

In Karen’s blog post she talks about working out what WE want. Again… D-oh?! Why don’t we do this? Why do we (and by we I mean me) ‘learn to run’ cos everyone else loves running and talks about it on Twitter?

For me, quitting running and focussing on what I wanted to do was very empowering. And, as a result of ‘quitting’ running, my fitness hasn’t suffered at all. I’m gymming five days a week. This week I’ve participated in my usual 5 x 45min classes at my local gym: Faux Zumba; Cardioblast (old style aerobics); Pump; Pilates; and Circuit class. Ta Da! And, I don’t mind going to any of them. Some I don’t LOVE love (Cardioblast can be hard, and I never know what to expect with Circuit!) but I know they’re good for me and I need to keep increasing my fitness.

She believed she could so she didI left a comment on Karen’s old blog post – saying that I recognised the need for whatever I do to be SUSTAINABLE. I mean, the sane part of me knows this thing I’m doing isn’t a diet. This is forever. I’ve exercised in ways that I’ve burned out previously and in ways that basically weren’t sustainable.

So… I’m back to thinking about my own (darling) mother (Hi mum!) who’s keen to lose a bit of weight. She doesn’t need to lose much – just a few kilograms. She’s quite fit and healthy, although had a knee replacement and so (sadly) is still troubled by that a few years later… and yet – her exercise schedule is amazing for a (sorry mum!) 68 year old woman.

She does marching (I don’t know what that involves and try not to snigger when she talks about it!); tai chi, yoga, Zumba for oldies; disco dancing (again, one can only imagine what this involves!); and hydrotherapy a couple of times a week. She’s also very good at doing the exercises her physiotherapist has given her and does a couple of extra sessions at a friend’s pool. And… before her knee operation she also walked with a neighbour at some ungodly hour every morning.

So, I wanna be like my mum when I grow up. She happily heads off to something almost every day. Obviously her schedule is more flexible now that she’s retired, but she enjoys her exercise classes and maintains a commitment to her fitness. Something I can only aspire to. BUT having said that, I think I’m on the right track by focussing on exercise I enjoy and incorporating it into my lifestyle as much as possible.

Is this a strategy that works for you?

20 Comments
  • Julia @ Boyfriends Make You Fat
    March 9, 2012

    This is such a lovely blog post. First, you are giving yourself credit, which you rarely do, and second, you give you mom a lot of credit, and that is just wonderful. My mom is an inspiration to me, too. She is such amazing shape – she finds time to keep herself fit with spinning and gardening, and she still works full time (more than full time, she runs her own restaurant). Go moms!

    • Debbish
      March 9, 2012

      Absolutely! Damn! I should have kept this post for Mother’s Day!

  • Amy Cooper
    March 9, 2012

    I love this… so many people forget to find an exercise they get enjoyment from and then wonder why they can’t get fit… the more you enjoy it, the more motivation you’ll have to keep going.

    And I have to say, you’re mum is an absolute inspiration and it is lovely that you admire her for her fitness 🙂

    • Debbish
      March 9, 2012

      Thanks Amy. I hope she doesn’t mind me talking about her!!!

  • Sara Mitchell (@healthdoneright)
    March 9, 2012

    Funny timing for this blog post. I was just talking to a coworker about how I used to be a runner, maybe up to three or four miles on each run. But once I finish up with my 90-day program, I want to pick up running again and work my way up to a half marathon (or even, God help me, a full marathon). But since I’ve never run more than four miles, perhaps I will hate long-long-long distance running! We’ll just have to see. I like the IDEA of being a marathon runner but maybe being a three-mile runner is sustainable for me and half-marathon training will make me suicidal.

    • Debbish
      March 9, 2012

      Sara, I’m the same – well, not even a 3 mile-runner… but I used to read about all of these people who set off on their morning run, or who were running in fun-runs or marathons and feel inadequate in some way. “I should be running too!” I’d think – so started the program. But I just didn’t enjoy it. In fact I dreaded it.

      Scary though that it took someone else to say ‘Well don’t do it if you don’t like it,’ for me to realise I didn’t HAVE to keep going!

      Deb

  • Liz Nelson (@leanlizzy)
    March 9, 2012

    I’m stoked that you’re doing some exercise five days a week and loving it. That’s what it’s all about. I wouldn’t be a fitness nut if I didn’t like to move lol xx

    • Debbish
      March 9, 2012

      True Liz and your advice back in Dec was very freeing!

  • loulou
    March 9, 2012

    a lovely post deb.

    “zumba for oldies” love it! I want to be there too 🙂

    x Loulou

  • Marion
    March 9, 2012

    Hi Deb! I totally agree with you. I’m all about loving exercise, which means finding things you like to do. For me, sustainability also involves lots of gym buddies and helping others learn at the gym. 5 days a week is very very good–but you already knew that. 😀

    🙂 Marion

  • Karen@WaistingTime
    March 9, 2012

    My mom rocks too:) She is my strength training partner. We work out together with a trainer twice a week. My mom has arthritis and a bad knee and still gets it done. And typically goes to the gym other days as well, doing a strength circuit class.

    • Debbish
      March 10, 2012

      I have to admit I wish my mum lived closer… though not sure we’d ‘train’ together!

      Deb

  • Carol @ Lucky Zucca
    March 9, 2012

    I think you’re on the right track too! Keep up the good work!! The biggest thing that made a difference for me is consistency. I plan my workout ahead of time also and that makes me regret it even more if I miss one.

    • Debbish
      March 10, 2012

      Thanks Carol – now I have workouts at the gym I’m trying to go to each week it’s making life SO much easier!

  • KCLAnderson (Karen)
    March 11, 2012

    I am STILL trying to catch up from being away…well, now I am trying to catch up from taking care of my grandma’s affairs. Anyway, thanks for the lovely shout-out, and for this awesome post. The point I take away from it is that it’s about doing what we can, consistently, and not having an all or nothing attitude (like your dear Mum). The thing is, I HAVEN’T been consistent and I’ve been doing NOTHING. The good news is that I don’t feel desperate about it…I know all I need to do is a little more, and more consistently. I don’t need to make proclamations and join challenges and get all badass about it.

    • Debbish
      March 11, 2012

      Hi Karen and I hope you are getting everything under control. The thing I’m most happy about over these past couple of months is that IF I can’t get to one of my classes I don’t get overly stressed and guilty about it. Once upon a time I would have thought the end was nigh and expected that I was sabotaging myself, whereas now – because my approach is quite consistent – I know that it will be fine and I’ll be back there the next day etc.

      Deb

  • Neen
    March 15, 2012

    Loved this post. My mantra is, if you can’t do what you’re doing today, every day, for the rest of your life, then what you’re doing is not going to work.

    • Debbish
      March 15, 2012

      True – though it took me a while to work that one out – sadly!

I'd love to hear your thoughts