After 2 days of going a bit crazy and losing stuff, I was able to make time to do some exercise today and I feel so much better. I swear, you start a workout feeling like the world is against you and that you’ll never make it through but just keep at it, because the end result is the most invigorating feeling ever. Your body is so grateful that you pushed it and got the heart pumping.
My relationship with exercise has never been a good one. I get all gung-ho about it at the start and then I stop doing it after a few days. I have had this problem for a long, long time. That’s the reason I have such a bad relationship with my body. I used to stare at myself in the mirror and think, if only I could change the measurements of my thighs, my waistline, my everything. I may never have had such sever body dysmorphia like my brother or people I know did but I never liked myself. Every trip to buy clothes has always seemed like a death sentence to me. I immeadiately mumble “No, thanks, I have enough,” when in reality, my wardrobe is so limited, I basically wear a uniform.
Lately, I have been working at being more accepting of how I look. I don’t question my naturally tan colour, I don’t complain that my hair is so thick, I don’t fuss over how short I am. It’s taken a while to understand that this is the body I was given; my genetic combination have produced upper arms speckled with congenital bumps, thick hair everywhere, an asymmetrical face (though that’s probably from the accident), stubby fingers and big eyes.
What I have come to appreciate is the need to look after myself, how important health is. Clothes can be bought but if I’m not physically fit, I can’t walk as far, I can’t climb hills without feeling like my lungs are on fire, I can’t go places I one day hope I can. I cannot aspire to be the person I want to be if I don’t get healthy. I am not talking about being a size 2 or 4 or whatever, I’m talking about the ability to do the little things in life.
What if I need to run when there’s an emergency at the hospital? What if I need to help lift a patient up from their bed? What if I need to park a certain distance and walk all the way to work or the mall? What if I have to walk to class, up that ridiculous hill, if there is no other means of transportation than my own two feet?
Getting healthy, eating better, exercising.. that’s all stuff I have to work on slowly. The reason I failed the last times I tried this was because my heart wasn’t in the right place. I wasn’t able to commit because I wanted it for the wrong reasons. And also because I bit off more than I could chew.
Now, I start small. I make time to do walking exercises in my room, strength training and a bit of yoga to balance things out. I’m starting with 45 minutes for all of it, instead of pushing myself to doing an hour of cardio and then, strength training, and then, yoga. I do have some basic stamina because of my previous attempts, so 45 minutes is a good starting point for me. I’m not an expert on this but I can assure you, pushing yourself too hard, too fast is not going to work. Unless you have Jillian Michaels screaming in your face, you’re probably not going to last because your mind and your body cannot take it. Starting small and adding up stuff slowly is what is more likely to work, any doctor will tell you that.
Another easy way I found that gets me motivated is to reward myself. I set a goal/prize that I really want, and I tell myself, I’m not gonna buy it/get it/reward myself with it, unless I do a set number of days of exercise or eat a certain number of fruits or have breakfast daily or something. The prize has to be something really desirable for it to work. Be specific in what is it is. Don’t just say “I’ll buy something nice”, name it. Look at pictures of it every day, motivate yourself buy imagining the reward every single time you feel disheartened. If you want it enough, you’ll work for it.
If you enjoy the buddy system, get yourself committed to reporting to someone. I report to my brother. Aaron is a big support to me, especially since I have moved out. It’s easier to say you miss someone when you’re far away and realise how comfortable you were before. So, anyway, my brother has turned into a health enthusiast (I don’t use ‘freak’ because you should never be a ‘freak’ over anything. It’s not sane) for the past 5 years or so, and he’s always pushing me to get healthy. Long gone are the days when he teases me about being overweight (for the most part), he encourages me in what I’m trying to achieve now. If you have someone in your life that you can rely on to support you, ask that person to be your teammate in this.
I have kept at these goals for almost a week now and that’s saying a lot because I barely have time due to classes and the ease of simply eating fast food on a daily basis. Even having breakfast daily is tough, so I’m glad I force myself to do it. And also, I really want my reward, haha.
I have my MCR tomorrow with one of the weirdest surgical tutors so I would appreciate positive thoughts being beamed at me. Prayers and messages to the universe are very welcomed.