(I bet you think you know where I’m going with this, don’t you? Let’s see if you’re right!)
The time had come. I had my second child. Four months had passed and I was still wearing some shirts that I wore in my pregnancy. One reason was because I was dealing with my larger chest, but another reason was because I was trying to hide any extra flab that my belly was hanging onto.
One day I looked in the mirror and realized that these shirts were actually making me look much bigger than I was. The shirts were indeed, dragging me down. The shirts that I wore in my pregnancy and first four months of my baby’s life had had their day. They had served their purpose for a season (nicely, I might add) but now, their purpose was over.
While I missed the luxury of the extra room in these shirts to hide some, *ahem* baggage, it was very freeing to get back into my old clothes. Maybe I didn’t fit exactly into those original shirts, but I was pretty close and at least I was moving in the right direction!
Some of you are holding onto an exercise schedule (or lack thereof) that served a purpose in a season of life, but now is no longer needed. Season of life changes are necessary and I’m a big proponent of having flexible, adjustable routines so that you maintain your “foot in the door”. However sometimes we hold onto those changes too long.
You must constantly evaluate your habits. Circumstances will change year to year (at a minimum) and you should adjust. I’ll give you a real life example.
I typically prefer a 4-5 day a week exercise schedule. (That’s when my kids are not nursing and are sleeping through the night and don’t require as much from me.) However, the first year of my kid’s life, it is very difficult for me to keep this schedule. So I give myself “permission” to adjust the routine down to 3 days and if I can add in more, then more power to me. Now. Kids grow up. I get a full night’s sleep. My children no longer nurse and need me around the clock. It is my responsibility to reevaulate my routine and make the necessary changes. It may not look EXACTLY what it did before I had the kids, but it can be an improvement from the temporary solution.
Let me give you a few more examples of where this might be applicable:
♦ Finances are rough. You had to chuck your gym membership because it wasn’t a necessity. However, 2 years later, you’ve dug yourself out of the hole and have some extra in the budget. You didn’t really find a good solution to not having a gym, so maybe it’s time to re-join.
♦ You and your husband have decided to homeschool your kids. You are busy during the day with teaching them and your evenings were filled with extra-curriculars. You stopped exercising (or did it minimally) because you weren’t able to fit it in. But now your kids are attending a school. Your schedule has freed up some.
♦ Work has had you working way over 40 hours a week. In order to get it all done, you stop your morning exercise class so you can hit the office early. The work project has now ended but you are finding yourself snoozing through that morning class.
♦ You’ve been tending to a sick parent. All your spare time was spent driving them to and from doctor’s appointments or taking care of their needs. You had no time to spend on exercising, so you gave it up for a bit. Now, your parent is on the road to healing and feeling much better. Instead of getting yourself back into your routine, you are finding yourself filling it with other things.
♦ You’ve moved. Be it across the county or across the country, moving is a HUGE task! Maybe you had to break up with your old gym and go in search of a new one. Maybe you haven’t unpacked your treadmill, weights or exercise DVDs. Make sure that you aren’t finding your exercise routine “unsettling” once your family finally GETS settled.
Some of you are stuck in the past. You are still wearing your maternity shirts and your kids are in preschool. Don’t be ashamed to make the adjustments for seasons of life, but be sure to adjust back when the time is right!