Yes! I’m lifting weights again! This is something I really enjoy but took a 4+ month hiatus from due to a severe case of West Nile virus this past summer. It was 19 weeks plus a day, actually, from my last workout with weights before falling ill and beginning a long recovery to feeling really up to the physical challenge of lifting weights again.
The desire to resume my weight lifting activity was there, for sure, but my health care provider told me even getting a massage would be too hard on my body. And honestly, when I really thought about it I knew my body was too physically exhausted to even think seriously about doing it. It was a good month before I could even resume a daily 20-minute walk, but as soon as I was able I committed to doing it. Every day. Again.
At the beginning of 2018 I decided that it was time to make my physical health a priority again. My youngest was then about 15 months old so I had a little more freedom to establish a routine. I committed to getting up early and exercising before the kids woke up. There were days when I was so tired, or didn’t wake up in time to complete a whole workout but I told myself that even on those days I would at least put on my workout clothes and go down to the treadmill and do at least five minutes. There were some days when I would hear the kids stirring before I could even begin my workout, but I still put on the workout clothes; it was the habit I was building, and let’s face it, it’s a heck of a lot easier to feel like working out if you’re not in your pyjamas!
That February, I also added meditation to my routine, my workout is always followed by a 16-minute meditation. In fact, my meditation now trumps my physical workout, meaning that if I’m running short on time, I reduce my physical activity to accommodate my meditation time–it has given me so much calm and mental clarity in my life, among other things, that it’s just not worth missing it, but this rarely happens.
I found that it was easier to maintain these habits if I didn’t skip weekends so my 5-day per week routine quickly became a very gratifying everyday routine. There were definitely days when I just wanted to be lazy but I also knew how much my body would thank me and how good it would feel once the workout was done and that reasoning always won. I also knew how easy it would be for one day of rest to turn into two and then three…
Then, on August long weekend I got really sick and all that had to pause for the long recovery. This past Sunday I picked up the weights again for the first time since that weekend and it felt great! Just some squats with the bar and some lunges using free weights. I knew I had to ease into this again, but I also really wanted that satisfying sore muscle feeling after a good workout, like, I want sitting down in a chair to feel like hard work, lol. Let me be clear, though, this is not about pushing my body beyond what it is capable of to the point of injury–I would not suggest that to anybody. I’m also convinced that having built these healthy habits into my life played a big part in allowing me to recover so quickly from that West Nile setback.
I did the same thing again on Tuesday and added some abdominal, pectoral, bicep and tricep stuff, just a quick whole body routine to get everything going again. I wanted to do the same thing again on Thursday but had come down with a bad cold and knew better than to push my body into something it wasn’t up for. Today, (Saturday), I was able to do a quick run to warm up, a total body weight routine, my meditation and BodyTalk Access routine and it feels so good! My body thanks me.
I will continue to ease back into the weights, building up that habit slowly, but surely. After all, that is the only way to build habits, one day at a time, one choice at a time.