I never thought I’d enjoy exercise.
It just seemed so torturous. Pushing and pulling and doing the same thing over, and over, and over again until you are sweaty, out of breath, and exhausted. Wouldn’t it be much more fun to sit on the couch in front of the TV eating some delicious potato chips?
I hated gym class in high school. Absolutely hated it. The embarrassment of changing in front of all the skinny girls. The pain of trying to run without a proper sports bra. The awful sweatiness followed by the group shower. Come to think of it, it’s no wonder so many of us hate exercise!
But several times in my adult life I have bitten the bullet and taken up exercise and each time I have found I rather enjoy it. This time around has been the longest and most consistent. In 2009, I went to they gym at least 4 times a week without fail. The only exception was one week when I went on vacation and walked up and down the beach instead. I even went to the gym on Christmas Eve and New Years Day. I must give my boyfriend a lot of credit for this. We go together, though we do different things. And he always wants to go. Without exception. It is immensely helpful to live with someone who is supportive of healthy habits, be it eating or exercise.
My job is incredibly demanding. I have very tight deadlines, long hours, and difficult clients. I work anywhere from 60 to 80 hours a week, often on weekends, and often long days. I thought about joining a gym for a long time before I did it. While I waited, I got bigger and bigger.
The spark that made me just do it was being transferred cross country to a new city. I moved from New England to the Southwest. I decided that I needed to eliminate my horrid 45 minute commute, thus gaining 1.5 hours a day which I could dedicate to the gym. And that’s what I did. My new commute is 5 minutes each way and no matter how busy I am, I always go to the gym. No excuses. Period.
I may come home and work later, but I am unavailable from 5-7pm. Other people have these kinds of restrictions on their time because of their children. I don’t have children, but I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to have these 2 hours a day to myself. I deserve this. I need it to maintain my sanity and health. I tell myself this often. The gym has saved me from burnout over this stressful year. I never would have made it without taking that time for myself.
Another great thing about exercise: the more you do, the more you can do. I find that incredibly rewarding. When I first started, I couldn’t do the stair climber for more than 4 minutes without getting a cramp and feeling like I may pass out. About 6 months later, I walked up 1,000 flights of stairs in 35 minutes. I play little games with myself and set little goals. The current game is learning to run. I am determined to run 5K. I know I will get there.
And of course, the most rewarding part for any female who wants to look better in clothes is the transformation of your body and fitting into smaller sizes.
My body doesn’t look anything like it did before I gained all that weight. It looks much better! I’m especially proud of the muscular thighs and calves I’m working on developing.
And for the first time in 5 years, I am free from the Plus Size stores. *Note to clothing manufacturers: There are a lot of fat people. These fat people have money. Please make them some decent clothes.*
Today I read that exercise reduces your desire for fatty foods! What could be better? Certainly not a bag of potato chips.
So that’s the thought I will end with today:
I actually enjoy exercise more than potato chips.