When I think of Italy, immediately I remember my 7 day trip to Rome 4 years ago. I think of the wonderful food, the streets, the Colosseum, Ancient Rome, the Vatican… Oh, the Sistine Chapel! It’s incredible in person.
When I think of sights I’d love to see in Italy, I think of Florence, Venice, Cinque Terra (five towns located on a cliff overlooking the ocean), Sicily, Turin… and always the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Yes, it’s beautiful. Yes, it took over a century to build… but it also reminds me of what I’ve nicknamed my own back.
The Tower of Pisa took 177 years to complete. A lot of money and thought went into the design, specially after a 4 decade construction halt because the soft soil around the foundations began to give. Did you know that the tower leaned 5.5 degrees (in 2001 prior to some restoration work)? My back has a curvature between 48-51 degrees! The Tower is a symbol for a continuous work in progress, one with no end. So am I.
I refuse to let my back dictate what I can and cannot do in life. I have no medical limitations or restrictions but I do limit high impact workouts, sports and running. For me, working out and keeping my weight down to my body’s ideal range is a necessity and it’s non-negotiable. I am not weight obsessed nor do I stress if I miss a workout. My body always lets me know that I over-did-it, put on a few lbs, or I’ve been lazy and haven’t done squat in 3 days (workout wise).
While I can’t “fix” my back, I can take precautions so it doesn’t get worse. Seriously, would you let someone cut you open from your neck to your tail bone, break you piece by piece and glue you back together with titanium rods? I don’t think so! You would do whatever it took so you could live a healthy life and not miss out on the important things; like holding your children for 6-9months.
It really bugs me when my friends complain about their weight, how they don’t have time to work out, or when they say… “it’s so easy for you because you are small already.” Seriously? In the past 5 years I have had two kids 15months apart. That means, that In a 3 1/2 year period I put on and took off about 70 lbs (73, but who is counting?) If you think that the weight came off by itself… or that I lost a huge amount of weight when the baby came out or thanks to breastfeeding, you are mistaken. The weight came off because of prioritizing, dedication, and allowing myself to be important enough to do something for me.
Selfish? Maybe. But I think it’s more selfish when I see a woman who chooses not to take care of herself and would rather take a pill to loose weight instead of eating healthy, exercising, and keeping her weight down to her own body’s ideal weight.
People always ask me: what do you do for exercise? After I had my first child, I needed a little motivation, so I joined the gym and did group exercise classes 3x a week, and cardio 2x a week. I worked out during my second pregnancy about 2-3x a week for the first 6-7 months. After that, my back said “stop!” 3 months after a second c-section I went back to group exercise classes. It’s what I needed to get back into a routine.
Two years ago I bought a home exercise program (Turbo Jam) because I couldn’t get to the gym due to my son’s nap schedule and I was just too tired at night. My children come first, so I found a way around it! (Kid sleeps, mommy works out). Last spring I did P90X for 12 weeks. While it was seriously hard, I felt better than ever. After a 2 month summer break I re-joined the gym and thanks to group exercise I found my groove again. Now, you can find me back at home and working out to Turbo Fire (some days I throw in P90x) because it’s fun and I get a great workout. Yes, there are
many days I don’t feel like excercising… but I grit my teeth and in the end, I feel much better.
In a culture that is so body obsessed, are we working out for the right reasons? I work out for my health because I can’t afford not to. It’s the responsible thing to do as a mother… to stay healthy for my family and set an example for my children. If I don’t take care of myself, who is going to take care of my children today, next year, five years from now… and the rest of their life? Yes, one day they will grow up and won’t need me as much. I want to be around to enjoy all of God’s plan for me, healthy and in one piece.
Photo credit: Wikipedia