Do you think it’s weird that I totally LOVE to work out?
I do, too! It is weird. It is so, so weird.
Trust me when I say, I was NOT born this way.
I was a pretty *normal* little kid…active and happy, neither overweight nor underweight.
Then puberty hit. My body puffed up. I started using food to deal with my emotions. I no longer felt comfortable in my body AT ALL.
In junior high P.E. class we had to run (horrors!) 2.3 miles every other Friday. I dreaded that run and frequently came in dead last and exhausted.
I was so self-conscious that running, sports, any group physical activity became very uncomfortable for me.
As a cheerleader throughout high school, my weight struggles were impossible to hide. Sometimes I was at a normal/healthy weight (though not necessarily due to normal/healthy habits) and at other times I was overweight. It was embarrassing and I was ashamed.
By age 18 the shame had seriously damaged my self-esteem. I wasn’t having the sort of college experience I had imagined…I hid my body in baggy clothes and pretended that I didn’t care about looking good, wearing cute clothes, dating, etc.
Which was a lie--a big fat lie--because I did care.
That low point, however, was when I made a life-changing decision.
I made a decision that I would exercise in some form every single day for the rest of my life.
What? Every single day forever?? Isn't that a bit extreme?!
That decision stuck…amazingly! I became a person who works out every day. I began to see myself as a fit person.
And no, I don't think it is extreme to think in terms of moving my body every single day--I'm pretty sure that's what my body is designed to do.
(Full disclosure—yes, I have missed a day or two of working out in these past 30 years, but not many. It just doesn’t feel right for me to go without movement even if it's just a short walk.)
Still I did not, ahem, fall immediately in love with exercising. I simply saw it as a means to an end. I saw it as a way to lose weight, get healthier, and hopefully happier. I worked out because I wanted to experience the benefits of working out.
But somewhere along the way between the ages of 18 and 48, I did truly fall in love with moving my body. Exercise stopped being so tied to weight loss/weight management and more about the way it made me feel good in so many ways.
At some point I began to recognize and understand the following about moving my body:
It is the ultimate stress reliever and mood booster
I am strong and it feels good
I enjoy the challenge of pushing my limits
I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish something hard
It keeps me lithe and agile and is a true-blue fountain of youth
So why might this matter to you?
It matters if you see yourself as someone who hates to exercise; someone who is unathletic, overweight, and unhealthy…Or someone who doesn’t have the drive to stick to a commitment and make real, sustainable change.
Your perception of yourself can change and that, my friend, is a beautiful thing.
Decide who you want to be and act accordingly.