There are so many cozy, lovely things about the fall season. Drives through the country to admire the changing colours in our landscape. The harvest of late tomatoes, squash and pumpkins, apples and root vegetables. Cool weather giving cause for us to layer up in comfy sweaters and jeans and boots, scarves, mitts and hats at the ready for mornings kissed by Jack Frost. We had a wonderful field trip to a local park with Griffin's kindergarten class, where the theme was squirrels. There was a fantastic puppet show and a trek through the forest with different learning activities centred around how the animals gather food, build their nests and so on. Amazing. And another field trip with Noah's school to Oldfield Orchard, where there was a tractor wagon ride and fresh pressed appe cider and a giant pumpkin patch. Halloween is fast approaching with the need for this mom to pull together costumes for a three year-old lollipop and a five year-old zombie. We will make finger cookies and ghost candle holders and decorate pumpkins, and hit our neighbourhood community hall for their annual bonfire and haunted house party. Oh, and our cat Sadie recently brought me home a little friend: a golden-crowned Kinglet. He was stunned and hung around for long enough that I got a lovely picture of him, but he was fine and flew away shortly thereafter. I am such a bird nerd and will totally be getting a super-zoom lens for my camera, specifically so I can capture these little dinosaurs for my viewing enjoyment. We have been landscaping too! SO MUCH going on for us. It's really a good time, if a little busy.
But this fall I am feeling something else as well.
In the spring I did a health and fitness program and lost about 15 lbs. By June, I was feeling great and on my way to being in the best shape I've been in since I was a kid. I was proud of myself - it took serious commitment and lifestyle change to pull it off. A big part of my fitness program were regular Jazzercise classes with the lady who developed the program. She's been teaching them for over 30 years and I love the dancing. The stuff it does for my body is great, but moving to music is a rediscovery for me since I found her classes again about 18 months back.
Fast forward to our new home, in our new 'hood across town, with the kids both in school over here and suddenly my routine doesn't give me a chance to get to her classes. I have tried a few run by someone else closer to home, and they're alright, but they take place during the only time I have to really get things done around the house. Combine that with the physiological response I seem to be having to the fall weather - meaning I just want to take hot baths and eat comfort food and sleep, the last of which never actually happens - and I am a groggy, unmotivated, NOT adrenaline-charged shell of my former self.
In addition to all of this, my summer was chaos! Houseguests almost every weekend and a summer pattern of food, drinks, swimming, food, drinks, swimming. Rinse and repeat. It was loads of fun being with my family and friends - really, some of the best times I've had in ages. But I am back up almost ten pounds and after repeated attempts to get back on track I keep letting myself down. Not fitting in the workouts. Snacking in the evening. Not getting enough water. Craving carbs and sugar. Just not managing to find it within to pull out of this rut.
I have had enough! I am not going to let this Christmas season take me down! I need motivation, positivity. Consistency. I miss the joy I feel when I am working out regularly and intensely. As someone prone to bouts of minor depression I have found nothing rivals this as my ideal solution. Time to readdict myself to a good routine. Let's get real, here. I don't want to spend my life being overweight - neither a little nor a lot. But far beyond that is just how much HAPPIER I feel when I am fit and active. You know what they say: If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
So I don't exactly have a plan yet. But I can tell you I will be running again and getting to a Jazzercise class once in a while. I may have to clean my house at night when I am tired and just want to get in a hot tub with a book, but somehow running with a stroller gets old after five years. I am going to have to use that time when the kids are in school for my workouts. Yeah, might have a double jogger for sale if you're interested...And since I love to cook, it's really just an issue of making a meal plan and sticking to it each week where nutrition is concerned. My staples for evening snack cravings while I was on-track were kale chips or fat-free Greek yogurt. I ate a lot of roasted vegetables; bean and greens soups. Carrots and hummous. I can do all that again.
What do you think? How do you stay motivated to keep moving in the autumn, when often it's dark upon waking and dark when you eat your dinner? How do you fit it in if you're a busy Mom with kids? What do you do when the urge to fill your crock pot with potatoes, bacon and wine hits? And don't tell me to get up at 5 AM to fit in a workout before the kids wake up. I'm an insomniac and rarely get to sleep before midnight. So that ain't gonna happen. I'm serious.
I challenge you to respond creatively to my query. The response that makes me laugh the hardest will earn its author a fancy postcard, which I will personally inscribe and mail immediately upon receiving an address to mail it to. Seriously, I am good at postcards, and I have some excellent ones. I want more discussion on my blog. So tell me what you think I need to do to get my energy back and my hibernating stores off and you could be the lucky winner!