Mama with the Gym Hair: A Body Back Transformation Story Week 5

We survived spring break! We stayed in town and (I’m dating myself here) I became Cruise Director Julie and shuttled Elena and Daniel to various activities. Stroller Strides wasn’t in the cards for us because I’d just sold off our double stroller, so those early-morning Body Back classes were more important than ever to keep me sane before I had to be on for the day.

Our usual Saturday early morning activities were on hold during spring break, so I was able to go on the weekend as well. Yay for outdoor classes! Nikki taught one of the ones I went to; her class combined spring holidays, with one station dedicated to the Cliffs Notes version of the Ten Plagues (e.g. boils starts with b, so do a minute of burpees, which also start with b and are only slightly less fun). The last station was a very hoppy egg hunt. Most eggs had exercises inside--I think I did about 45 push-ups total--but some had treats; one of my eggs had a couple of tiny chocolate chip cookies.

Something I’ve learned these past few weeks is that if you make a tool easier to use, you’re more likely to use it. Journaling is a powerful tool for fitness and other goals, but my first approach was too clunky. I started journaling at the beginning of the session by jotting in my phone’s Notes app since I’m more likely to have my phone with me than a pen, and then handwriting my entries into a printout of the journal. At the end of the week, I’d scan the journal page to e-mail to Jeanine. That got a little unwieldy, especially when I wanted to go into detail about my food and activities and I had to squeeze my handwriting into a box on the printout. I ended up reconstructing some entries from memory, possibly inaccurately, because I wasn’t filling out my journal when I was actually eating. I streamlined the process by making a Google spreadsheet with the same format as the journal printout and I now make my entries right into the spreadsheet on my phone. Then I send the link for the spreadsheet to Jeanine at the end of the week. It fits my needs better than some of the free food journal apps I’ve tried.

One of my goals for my Transformation session was to hold a plank for a minute. I’m now up to two minutes! I use the middle height of my yoga blocks when planking, but I’ll practice next while using just my wrist support blocks, which are lower.

One of the things I appreciate about the classes is the chance to wind down after pushing hard for almost an hour. After stretching and cooling down, the instructor leads a meditation, a nice bit of quiet time before the rest of your day. Here’s one I like from a recent class.

Steady the Flame

If possible, sit around a lit candle. With eyes open, watch the flame and how it dances. Now, imagine that your breath can steady the flame. Make your breath smooth and gentle so as not to disturb the flicker. Imagine that the more peaceful your body, the more peaceful the flame. The best way to do this is to become still from within.

Find your inner peace and imagine you can share that peace with the candle. Do not be disturbed if an external sound or motion moves the flame. Use your personal quiet to bring the flame back. This teaches you to find peace even amongst the chaos of motherhood. Imagine that the light of the candle is energy. Draw from this energy and bring it within you to give you light throughout the day.