beyond touching toes

[written 10/28/12]

a couple years ago, i made a real effort to stretch regularly enough so that i could at least touch my toes without too much effort. i’ve always had tight hamstrings and it’s never been easy for me, even as a kid, when we’re all little elastic munchkins.

during the pregnancy and first few months after n was born, i did little to no stretching and lost that ability to touch my toes, which on top of all the body changes i’d been through that year, was a little depressing. it’s easy after giving birth, well it was for me at least, to think ‘ohhh now i’m old, i’ll never be the same body-wise’ etc etc.

so, before we went to japan over a year ago and since then fairly regularly, i’ve been stretching – maybe it’s 5 hours of yoga in a week, or one hour of cardio in a week, or maybe just a sun salutation or two every day for a few weeks – but something gets done.

on top of that, n and i walk to the park almost every day and/or i carry her for a good 10min of walking, and we often walk more too, with her holding my hand (or sometimes not as she is miss independent more and more..). i still use my ergo carrier too (love love it! hands-down the most important baby item to have, among a handful of other must haves) and as she’s a over twenty pounds, it’s no laughing matter to go for a good walk with her in it.

and on top of that, i’ve been trying to eat better. i’m still breastfeeding n (18 months and counting!), so i have all the more motivation to eat with health in mind. i eat a lot more fruit (it’s just too easy in bolivia, with fresh fruit vendors on every corner.) i try to have a green smoothie at least once a week, if not a few times a week. we’re so lucky to have a great local dairy company that makes delicious fresh yogurt every week (and cheeses too, hooray!) so that, with some chard or spinach, chia seeds, maybe some coconut oil or protein powder (made in bolivia too!), a banana, whatever other fruit we have, and ta-daaa, i’m full of energy for most of the day. sounds hokey, but i really can feel a difference in my mood and energy when i have the smoothies.

with all that said, what’s the end result? so far, a body that’s better than ever. i’m at my lowest weight in probably 10 years, after a minute or two of stretching, i can touch my toes no problem, and, get this, i can even do push-ups! like real ones, several of them in a row. ;D that might seem ridiculous, but i couldn’t even do a so-called ‘girl’ pushup a year ago.

it feels really good and so, part of the reason i’m writing this post, is to remind myself: don’t stop now! and as much as i enjoy the cardio and having to toss jeans because they’re too big for me now, i really really love yoga. it feels so great to stretch – like a giant sigh of relief and i find myself smiling a lot during my sessions. i do it at home, with videos/dvds, and though i’m often interrupted by nayrita (sometimes she joins me, which is so friggin’ cute, other times she decides that right at that moment she needs some milk from mama), whatever i can fit in makes such a difference to my day.

so. that’s where i am touching-toes-wise. my next goal is to do a handstand. or any kind of arm balance or inversion. that would be awesome. oh! and i also decided to join this 4-week plank challenge, though a week late. today i did a measly 1:16 minutes of plank. here’s hoping i can double that number in three weeks. so, that’s a short-term and long-term goal each.

i can’t imagine that this is all that interesting to anyone besides me ;) but i do intend to post photos soon too, so keep an eye out for that. happy sunday! ~ ~