Do you exercise at home? I need advice.

Sometimes I feel like my body is just something that carries my mind around for me. My mind-body connection is tenuous.

I’ve decided that this is the year I’m going to get more active. I have a sedentary lifestyle – my work and my hobbies are very computer- and technology-based. Except for reading, which exercises my mind. So my mind is reasonably sharp, but my body is…less than sharp.

I’m fat. Most of the time I’m okay with it. Well, maybe ‘okay’ isn’t the right word. I don’t beat myself up about it too much. Not openly anyway. I believe in buying clothes that fit me as I am, not buying clothes I’ll shrink into someday. I believe in small improvements, not complete short-term overhauls I cannot possibly maintain.

But sometimes, I wish I didn’t have to eat to stay alive. That makes me so angry. The act of eating is – and should be – a pleasurable one. A life-sustaining act shouldn’t be filled with such guilt and shame and neurosis.

I know I need to move more. I’ve spent the last few weeks (months? years?) figuring out what I’d like to do to be able to introduce more activity into my life. Everything I want to do seems to have barriers: too expensive, not enough time, worry that I will look stupid in front of people who I wouldn’t give a shit about if I wasn’t feeling so vulnerable in front of them.

I can’t sit at my desk and listen to my ass grow bigger without trying to do something about it. I need this body for a long time.

So for now, I’ve decided to go with streaming fitness videos at home. I don’t want to buy a pile of DVDs, do them a few times and never use them again. I also figure I can start exercising in my bare feet at home – I haven’t had a good pair of running shoes in years. I’ve found a few sites online that I can join to access full-length workout videos in a number of genres. I’m also considering a Fitbit – I’ve heard good things about them, and seeing the stats of how much I move (or don’t move) in a day may encourage me to move a little more. That can’t be a bad thing.

Flora recently discovered my yoga mat and she likes to “ex-ter-cise” on it. (I love how she says exercise, and I never correct it.) She got it out to do some yoga (her latest issue of Chirp magazine came in and it featured simple yoga poses). She’s pretty good. I asked her if she’d do exercises with me, and she said she would. We’ll see if that happens or if it turns into me exercising and her doing colour commentary on my technique.

If you’re a fitness video junkie, which ones do you like? I like yoga and am intrigued by Pilates, but I know I need to do more traditional cardio stuff too.

Any advice is welcome. This stuff is so new to me, and maybe just a bit intimidating.

Remember the living, as well as the dead

Dara Squires (@ReadilyAParent) wrote a thought-provoking piece published in the Western Star (a newspaper based in Corner Brook, Newfoundland) today: Of statues and soldiers … and the ones left behind. It is a fictionalized account of a child whose father has come home from another military deployment and is suffering from an untreated case of PTSD. Mark (the child) is sad that while his father is now home, he really isn’t home yet – his ‘mind is still over there’.

These statistics from her article scare me. Bolding is mine:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects eight per cent of all Canadian soliders. For those in heavy combat areas that number goes as high as 25 per cent. For every soldier affected, there is a family: wife, children, parents, siblings that also deal with the damage — to their family member, their lives, and their homes. This is not just a military issue. This is an issue that affects our communities, our schools, our workplaces.

Mark isn’t real. Reality is even harsher. Soldiers with PTSD are two to four times more likely to become divorced than those without. Family members are at risk of developing secondary PTSD. About half of veterans with PTSD will physically assault a family member. Almost all will verbally assault spouses and children. The New Veterans Charter addresses some of the complex family needs of those being treated for PTSD. But without personnel to treat the veterans themselves, services for their families are hard to access.

While mental health services in Canada are lacking at best, shouldn’t we make mental health support for our veterans a higher priority? They risked their lives to fight for the freedom and safety of others. Shouldn’t we be doing a better job supporting them in their reintegration into civilian society? Military families shouldn’t be afraid of what will happen after a soldier returns home. It’s agonizing enough to be afraid for them while they are away.

I have never served in the military, and I am truly grateful to the men and women who are brave enough to step forward and serve their country. When I see a “Support Our Troops” magnet on a car, I always think to myself, “Support our troops. Bring them home.” We need to do everything we can to keep our soldiers from having to go to war in the first place. When they do go, we need to offer real support when they return. Wearing our poppies, saying thank you and stopping to remember are important, valuable things to do. But they aren’t enough.We need better mental health services in this country. Especially for our military.

Commemorating the dead becomes meaningless if we cannot help those who are still here. We need to remember all of our soldiers, not just the fallen ones.

 

This is why you hire a pro to take your family portrait

Flora was home with the sniffles yesterday so I worked from home to be with her.

I started my day at the office so I got to do the cliché commuter thing and head back to Union station and wait an hour for the next train since I missed the train I was hoping to catch.

I may have whisper-screamed a very bad word when I watched the train drive away. I’m a lady so I won’t repeat it here.

After supper, we decided to all have a snuggle on the couch. Sick kids like to snuggle.

Flora then decided we should take a picture of the moment. I took some with the front-facing camera on my phone so I could try to compose them, and some with the regular camera so they were better quality.

Most pictures were shaky, blurry, blown-out messes (see the other one I posted on Flickr – we look kinda cute, but the picture looks awful), but this one makes me smile.

It also reminds me to get a family portrait taken by a professional. When we’re all dressed and not flopped at unflattering angles on the couch in weird light.

Moving forward, looking back

February, being the shortest month, always moves quickly. It’s usually a relief when it’s over because then we’re that much closer to spring and nicer weather.

It’s still a relief for those reasons this year, but it’s also felt even shorter due to our upcoming move.

The move we’re making tomorrow.

We spent the last half of January and all of February preparing for moving into our new home. We’ve had lots of help, but we’re still sitting here the night before with lots to do. Of course a lot of those things simply cannot be done until the movers come and take our (piles and piles of) boxes and empty our home.

Our first house. The house Sean and I became a married couple in. Where we raised our child from pregnancy to almost-ready-for-JK. (When did *that* happen?)

I’m excited to go to our new home, but I’m feeling a bit wistful and weepy about leaving this one. We’ve had a good run during the nine years we lived here: nice neighbours, a wonderful daycare provider who we’re heartbroken to leave, a nice sunny deck where we spent a lot of weekend afternoons hanging out.

I’m sure we’ll find those things in our new home, but the unknown is always scary.

There is still so much to do so I feel like I should be doing stuff besides writing and ruminating. If Sean and I get through tomorrow without wanting to kill each other, it will be a miracle. Moving really is one of the most stressful things you can do to yourself. I don’t know how all those HGTV-junkie types do it.

My word for 2012

Happy… Old Year?

I’m a little behind. Forgive me, I’ve been busy.

Like so many other bloggers, I’ve chosen a word for 2012. I have a feeling 2012 is going to be a big year, and not just because there are theories that the world is going to end come December. (Personally I don’t buy it, but lots of people do so I have to acknowledge it.)

The word I’ve chosen for 2012 is:

create

  • I want to create  great content for hellomelissa.net
  • I want to create more in general
  • I want to create a happy, settled, comfortable home for me and my family
  • I want to create the life I want for myself, which will benefit my family

It’s a short list, but they’re pretty lofty ambitions. Wish me luck.

 

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.