Tuesday, 14 July 2015

How to Succeed in Exercising (the Hard of Hearing Mommy way)

This piece is inspired by a paragraph in the book The Way I Hear It. Since February of this year, Curtis and I have been committed to changing some habits. Keep in mind that we aren't fitness experts, but this is what we've been doing for the last few months. These include re-evaluating our non-existent exercise regime, our eating patterns, and most importantly, our priorities.

Health is our first priority.
Looking unbelievably awesome is a bonus.

We choose to focus on health because we don't want our daughter to think we're perpetual couch potatoes. Right now is a time when she needs us to be the most active, physically engaging with her on bike rides to a simple runaround in the neighborhood. We still have our couch nights, just not for 4 hours every night. Maybe 2 hours is more like it.

Seven months later, what a difference eating healthy and exercise makes. I'm currently down 23lbs and Curtis is down 30+lbs (!!!!men lose weight faster than women!!!). The energy. Oh my gosh, the energy. We can get stuff done faster in half the time. That's more time to spend playing with Rachel.
On our Christmas cruise last year in December. Seeing photos of ourselves at our heaviest really kicked in reality!

There is a caveat as we have a hearing loss. We both don't care much for group exercise (at the moment). It's just too stressful to exercise with a bunch of people, blaring music, and a room full of bouncing people who you can't even lipread. I've done zumba classes before, and while it ended up being fun, I had a hell of a time trying to follow the instructor. My eyes were my lifesaver, and plus I had to feign excitement each time the instructor said "WOO HOO!".

The sweat is the worst part about exercising. It is such an unpleasant experience to work out when you're constantly worried about the sweat damaging your hearing aid/cochlear implant. Physically, I actually love sweat, it lets me know that I'm working myself as hard as I can. But if you sweat as excessively as I do, it can end up being a costly fix for my precious CI. No thanks!

Compounded with a toddler who loves to wake up early, being a parent means I usually try to incorporate my workout with Rachel's daily routine, while choosing an activity that allows me to protect my CI.
I wish I looked this awesome when jogging (Photo courtesy of Google)
How do I exercise the hard of hearing mommy way? Simple. Walking is my choice of activity. I usually try to do one new route a week, but otherwise, I try to log in a minimum of 7,000 steps a day, or measure it as 5 to 6km. There are some days when I do 10km without even realizing it! For me, walking is best done alone. I can pace (or challenge) myself when I need to. Given my history with asthma, I'm no match for the hardcore runner. During my walks, I have 'spurts' of jogging - this is actually something new to me right now and is currently in a trial & error stage. With walking, my head doesn't bobble up and down as much when I'm jogging. The magnet on my CI sometimes comes off if it's not tucked in tightly in my hair. I've considered using one of those tennis sweatbands, but I can't get over how silly I'd look with it on. My round face matched with one of those is bound to get some stares. (That, and me running with my mouth wide open due to breathlessness makes me look ridiculous)

We do our own strength training programs - it really, really hurt the first week. I probably pushed myself a bit too hard. Now it's not so bad. If I've got a 10 minute window, I'll try to fit in as many reps as I can. If I don't, I usually wait until Rachel's gone to bed. A reminder: my exercise routine doesn't include the weekly cleaning routine I have scheduled for myself.

We're very fortunate to have each other as we do this. It helps to have someone keep you accountable. Once a week, I chop up all our veggies and prepare all of our lunches - that advance planning definitely makes it easier to just grab and go. Even our fridge/freezer has gone through an extreme makeover. Our crisper usually had a few apples and oranges in it each week, maybe the odd pepper. Now, it's completely jam-packed with lettuce, spinach, cherry tomatoes, peppers, oranges, apples and pears. I wish I had a larger crisper! Pop is provided only if we have company over, and we have 'emergency' burger meat - beef and salmon, in case of last minute plans.
This took me less than 5 minutes to prepare for the week! Plan, plan, plan.
Stay tuned for before and after photos, once we've reached our target(s)! In the meantime, I can finally say that I fit into my pre-wedding jeans! WAHOOOOO!

No comments:

Post a Comment