Do you ever get emotional and write an email to someone, really letting them have it, pouring out your feelings, venting your frustrations, then before hitting “send” you realize you feel better just from writing it? So you close the email without saving, without sending, and feel energized and satisfied?
Yeah, me neither. I always send it. Such is the case with this blog post. It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about. Writing it felt really good. I feel energized from the thought process. I feel better from the process of getting the thoughts out. I feel like I shouldn’t hit “send”, but I’m going to anyway. Because that’s how I am.
Alright, y’all, do you ever have an epiphany and it’s so ridiculous that you’re embarrassed to even admit that you didn’t realize it all along? No? Just me? (LiaR!)
As you know, I’m trying to lose a few inches around the midsection. I used to be in pretty great shape. You know, when I was 20… sixteen years ago. I had amazing metabolism, could eat Oreos for dinner and never gain an ounce. I was so lucky!!! Lucky? Oh yeah, did I mention that I also worked out 5-6 days a week? No? So, perhaps it wasn’t luck after all.
From age 20 to about 25, I was a total gym rat. My gym cost $90 a month, and on my entry level salary, this was a huge commitment. I needed to make the most of my financial commitment, so I went to the gym at 6 AM every morning before work and at least one day of the weekend. I ran, swam, or cycled almost every day followed by a strength session. I alternated daily between arms, legs, and abs, so as not to overuse any muscle group.
The notable thing is, I did all of this out of sheer enjoyment. I loved it. I didn’t go to the gym to be thin. I went because it was fun. I was never an atheletic person. I was miserable at anything that required coorindation. I am not a fast runner, swimmer, or cyclist. I simply enjoyed doing it.
Somewhere along the way, this all stopped. I took a new job with a long commute. I fell in love and got married. I went through two pregnancies. Now I have two beautiful children. All of these things make it harder to find time to exercise. Harder, but not impossible. The fact is, with conflicting priorities, I didn’t enjoy it as much. I’d rather help my kids get ready in the morning than go to the gym. I’d rather hang out with my husband in the evening than go to the gym. And frankly, I’d rather get a good night’s sleep than go to the gym.
So, I was thinking about all of this last week and something occurred to me. Without realizing it, I’d given up on myself. I started making excuses. I don’t have time. My metabolism has changed. I’ve had two kids and my body has changed.
I started focusing on being thin. Could I ever be in great shape again? Could I ever have flat, firm abs again? Should I eat this? Should I restrict that?
I need to get back to the point where I go to the gym every day because I love it. Thin happens. Fit happens. It starts by loving the process. It starts by making a commitment and finding joy. It starts by focusing on feeling good rather than looking good.
So I’ve been on a roll this week. On 5/7 I walked a 5k. On 5/9, I did 20 minutes of spinning then full-body strength training. On 5/10, I did 20 minutes of spinning then ab work. On 5/12, I did the stair climber followed by an intense arm workout. On 5/13 (today!), I did 20 minutes on the elliptical.
I can’t say that I’ve found my way back to that place from my 20s already, where I exercised out of joy and happiness. But I think I can get there.
Now, it’s Friday night and I don’t want to part ways on such a serious note. I just got finished watching Taylor Swift on Ellen, and their little skit in the beginning seriously had me laughing so hard. Squint! Try to get the straw! Don’t get in the puddle! You’re angry! You’re so angry that you’re pretty! You’re pretty and you’re angry about it!
You have to watch it.
Okay, did you watch it? If not, seriously, WATCH IT. I’m not kidding.
Okay, did you watch it? Good.