I know that going to the gym helps my overall well being. I like pushing myself. I’ve grown tremendously. Things I once only dreamed of doing are now things I do all the time. I’m still not heading out to the Games or anything, but I’ve improved with continual practice.

It feels good to be able to move well. It’s impressive to see muscles on anybody and on me – dang impressive for an old fart. And so, I go to the gym without ever really questioning it. It’s what I do. I wake up and go to the gym. Period. No deciding. No debating. I just go.

I also know I have to eat better. I don’t have that choice any more. I’m pre-diabetic and if I don’t want to end up post-diabetic, I have to watch what I eat. I don’t get a cheat day. I can’t just decide I don’t want to do this now. I’m stuck with this if I want to stay on this side of the A1C line. And I do. So I eat and watch my carbs and try to choose better. No debating. This is just my life now.

I know I move better when I do yoga. I don’t do Hatha yoga or Vinyassa yoga. I do Yin yoga. It’s a practice that holds poses for minutes at a time, stretching as you sink into the pose and breathe in and out (through your nose when there isn’t too much pollen in the air). It helps with connective tissue stretching and allows you to move easier.

Somehow, I gave myself permission to choose on this one. I have no idea why. Probably because my routine wasn’t set in stone. There were no classes I had to attend or people would miss me. I have all my props right here at home and I can select from a range of over a bazillion YouTube videos. I have some favorite posting people who don’t annoy me as I’m trying to relax into the pose. It’s counter-productive to be annoyed while trying to do yoga.

I kept telling myself it was just an hour and I needed to get upstairs and stretch a little. Instead, I just debated myself and opted to not go upstairs, not stretch, not do the thing I knew would help. Last weekend, I finally forced myself upstairs and I was horrified.

All the things I could do once upon a time are gone. I’m not able to bend or move like I could a few months ago. Instead, I’m about as pliable as I was a couple years ago when I first got talked into doing some of this crap.

I know it is better to have this set of skills in my life for a variety of reasons. The most noticeable is that it makes going to the gym easier and that is why I finally got my unhappy ass back upstairs. But it makes the rest of my day better, too. It makes falling asleep and staying asleep easier. It just has a whole host of benefits.

When I’ve been awake for too long, I’m entirely capable of talking myself out of anything that seems like too much work. So, I have my alarm set for earlier on the days I go to the gym and I have been doing just a thirty minute routine before getting ready for the gym. That worked on Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday is my rest day. I do laundry instead of going to the gym. I could have gotten up and started the laundry and done a real whole hour yoga class. I didn’t. I decided around lunch time that my issue was I didn’t want to do a whole hour class. I have nothing better to do, but that was my sticking point.

So instead of blowing the whole thing off, I figured it was better to do a thirty minute practice than a zero minute one. And that’s what I did.

I have no idea how long it will take me to get the flexibility back. Since I’m perfectly willing to do this before I hit the gym, I should be able to get in five 30-minute sessions a week and then on my rest days, I can opt to either do some or no yoga. At least I can opt for that once I’m a little farther along the path of habit and routine. Right now, I really need to keep myself vigilant because otherwise I will be back to no yoga again.

And then there is meditation. I need to return to that as well. It is supposed to help with my scattered nervousness. At least that is the theory and it seemed to work that way when I actually did it. So, I tried some of that today, too.

I know how to be healthy. Why is it so much work?

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My life is interwoven and I can’t disconnect the pieces even if I try. This and that affect the other thing and all is one. It may be a mess sometimes, but it all comes together in one messy me.

I have a friend who is going minimalist. It is fun to watch and I’ve looked at several of her links. One showed a woman who had pared her wardrobe to just ten items. Apparently underwear doesn’t count, but purse and shoes do. She either slept in the nude or that didn’t count either. And she didn’t have any shorts, workout clothes, and especially no jeans in that wardrobe.

I counted the pieces of clothing I wore in one day. I worked out first thing in the morning, then I went to my office job which requires a certain standard of dress, and I finished up at home in a relaxed environment. I was over ten items of clothing in one day. The woman in the 10 items had one pair of shoes for everything and I had three pairs of shoes on my feet in one day.

It was listed as too extreme and a better choice would be to cut back to 33 items. I don’t know where that number came from, but that is the number chosen. Shoes still count. I don’t know if Europe experiences less of a temperature disparity between summer and winter or if these people picturing their 33 pieces forgot that summer is coming. However, there weren’t any outfits to wear in the 105⁰ with 98% humidity weather we experience here. There were outfits for our 30⁰ weather.

I counted, just to see, how many pairs of shoes I have. I have 72 but that includes slippers, water shoes, workout shoes, dress shoes, and casual shoes. I have two closets full of clothes and three dressers added to that. And my coats are in the coat closet.

It was mentioned that one could wear the same clothes for two to five days and as a challenge one was dared to try it. No one, said the post, would notice. As a woman in the middle of menopause and subject to the wild and crazy hot flashes that go with it, I have no idea what someone was supposed to do with stinky clothing. Was I to do laundry each evening in order to wear the same outfit again the next day? Was the challenge to see if I was visually or odiferously noticed?

Anyway, how does this connect with any other area of my life? I just posted about my workout this morning. I was distraught over the thing and had myself worked up into a complete tizzy over whether or not I should even attempt a trip to the gym. Was it even worth it? Was I too old, too feeble, too inept, too incompetent to even try this whole CrossFit thing.  CrossFit is extreme and for elite athletes and I’m old and out of shape.

But I promised myself I would be less out of shape and I am. After less than half a year, I’m in much better shape than when I started. But today was so scary I had almost talked myself out of the attempt.

No one would know I was just too scared to try today. I could have made up an excuse if anyone even asked, but why would anybody else care. It would be like wearing the same clothes. We are the center of our universe, but nobody else cares about our clothes, our workout schedule, or much of anything.

But that’s the point. I don’t dress for other people. I dress for me. I love my clothes and love mixing and matching and making outfits that are cute. I do this for me. Nobody cares – except me.

I go to the gym to get stronger. I will never be the strongest person there. I will never be the fittest person there. I’m old enough to be their mother and I sat on the sidelines of my life for too many years to get that all back. I go to the gym for me. Nobody cares – except me.

My life is complex and there are places I could improve. But it is all interconnected and the person who has to be satisfied at the end of the day is me.

If weeding out and donating most of my wardrobe would make my life better, that is something I should do. But I just spent ten minutes looking for the red sweater with the camera/picture appliqués on it and it must have gone out the door with the last purge. It sure would have looked cute with this dress and the red on Valentine’s Day would have been fun. But I don’t have it anymore.

I wish my minimalist friends the best of luck with their program. But part of what I do each day is go to the gym (for vanity’s sake as well as my health and I have shaped up quite nicely) and then put on some cute ass outfit and step out into the world looking good – for a woman my age.