How often do you work out 60-90 minutes a week? Are you: Vigorous (5-7 days a week), Active (3-5 days a week), Moderate (1-3 days), Inactive (sporadic to never)
Every time I answer this question I feel bad about myself. I click “Moderate” but in my life right now that is wishful thinking. Honestly for the majority of my life it’s been wishful thinking.
I was never a sports girl, and my summer babysitters could encourage us staying inside and watching tv. I swam, but after swim team practice most of my time was spent laying around the pool and drinking sugary drinks and waiting for my next snack.
A few years ago I made some life changes, and thanks to medical advancements, helped to subside some genetic disorders that kept some weight on. After I had lost some weight I found it easier to exercise. I found it easier to do a lot of things, like walk up and down stairs. It’s amazing what 10 pounds can even do!
Losing weight is great, but I needed to be healthy, which means, active. For me, calories in and calories out did not equal a steady weight, it still doesn’t, my body works against me. Yet, I admit that as the scale has crept up in the last year, I use this as an excuse. It is easy to get caught in a victim mentality when you have a disorder that keeps you fat.
Here’s what doctors, trainers, and well… anyone says, “Find some exercise you love, then it won’t feel like work.”
You know what I love? Sitting on the couch and eating cookies. Drinking beer and wine on my porch with friends. Laying by the pool with a good book. You know what else I like? Butter and warm rolls. Laying in a hammock on a sunny day. Sure, I like walks too, but slow ones on a beach.
You know what I don’t like? exercise. So when “everyone” tells me to find a workout I love so it won’t feel like work I smile and nod and think, riiiiiight. I mean sometimes I sit on the patio because I’m too lazy to walk across the yard and climb into the hammock (which is a good core workout for those 3 seconds, by the way).
No seriously, it’s not in my blood. Working out, exercise, being active is a chore for me. And that’s okay.
One of the things I need to get through my thick scull is that exercise is not just for losing weight, it’s for always. Always and forever. We were meant to be active people. It’s fine that I want to relax, I do deserve a glass of wine with friends on my patio, that’s good for my soul, but so is exercise.
Over the last year as I have slowly become more sedentary (again) I realized I am also more agitated, more anxious, moody, and so on. I am impatient with my kids and more reactive, I don’t process and I am mindless with a lot of my life.
And here’s the thing I hate most about all of this. I did find a thing that I loved. 3 years ago I bought a groupon on a whim for Bikram Yoga Baltimore. I liked the idea of yoga, but monkey mind made the meditative and quiet aspect a problem. OMMMMMM, nope.
In Bikram Yoga the room is heated to about 100 degrees and I stand, sit, or bend in a pose and can’t do anything but breathe. Talk about getting into my body. I feel strong, I feel alive, I feel powerful. I also feel like I’m going to die. It’s great.
“Stretch, BREATHE, bend, BREATHE, come up, BREATHE (don’t pass out, don’t pass out). Bend forward (oh, God, tell my kids I love them) BREATHE!!!!” For 90minutes sweat drips from every pore of my body. In the winter I walk out of the studio, sit in my car, and I am literally steaming hot. What’s not to love?
So why did I stop? Because habits die hard. And why do something that feels amazing and makes me feel confident when I can sit on the couch with potato chips and Netflix?
But here I am (smuhumhum) pounds later and I feel terrible about myself. Lazy, fat, insecure, no good…. I could go on and on. (PS- why does not exercising bring up my “you’re a terrible person” demons?) Anyway…
Next week is Holy Week, and I will go into the abyss with Jesus and down into the depth of hell of my body issues. Self care is on the way. Healthier, happier, less sedentary me is on the way. Oh, and if I happen to be able to fit into my clothes again by summer, that’d be great.
Who’s with me?!?