So far, I’ve written about writing, reading, growing up, job interviews….whatever. Pretty much everything, basically.
WELL, there is one thing I have yet to touch on…and that is fitness.
Recently, I’ve become a fit freak. Like, go to the gym three or four or five days a week, freak. I go for about an hour every day, or every other day, and lift weights, do some cardio, and admire my booty in the mirrors because damn I am proud of it, okay? Okay.
I’ve always been thin-ish with an athletic build. I used to tell myself that I had the body of a twelve-year-old boy. I’m sort of a stick straight, up and down kinda gal, with a little junk in the trunk. Because of this, I spent a lot of my teenage years being insecure about my small chest, broad shoulders, and lack of curves. I wanted to look like the tall, bodacious models that graced the cover of every Victoria’s Secret catalog–I wanted their long legs and slim torso with flat abs and curves and hips. But at a whopping 5’4….my body would, and will, never see the likes of that.
It took me a long time to realize that everyone’s body is different. And different is beautiful. When I started back to the gym in February, I decided against doing any type of cardio. I’ve seen those girls. I do not envy those girls. Fuck, I don’t even want to be those girls!! Sweating over the monotonous tempo of an elliptical while watching old re-runs of Law & Order: SVU (okay, so maybe I’m envious of that). I don’t know about you but that sounds terrible. Instead, I decided to start out with weights. I liked the challenge, it didn’t bore me, and I didn’t have to spend thirty minutes sweating my ass off to feel like I accomplished something.
* I just want to add that I am not claiming that cardio does not have it’s time and place when it comes to working out…I just fucking hate it, so I don’t do it. *
It took about three months for me to really see a change in my body, but when I did, it was an amazing feeling. My muscles looked mean. I looked like a badass. I carried myself differently, more confidently. I wasn’t afraid to get into the weight room with a bunch of dudes around me. I started to realize that the other people at the gym don’t give a shit what you’re doing. They’re in their own world, battling their own dysmorphia. It’s now October, eight months after I’ve started, and I feel like a damn goddess. This is how women should feel, every day. I wake up in the morning and I love what I see. Sure,there are days where I am an elephant and my arms are too flabby and my stomach is a prego food baby..whatever. We all have those days. But aside from that–ahem–one week of the month, I feel great. And I’m not ashamed of it!
But, here’s the catch. I don’t feel great because I am skinny (I HATE that word). I feel great because I feel fit. I don’t want to be skinny. I want to be fit, I want to be strong, I want to be dedicated, and I want that dedication to shine. It’s a lot of work to go to the gym. You have to do the most embarrassing looking things in front of complete strangers. You have to sweat, and groan, and fall down. You have to lift things that are heavy, and push yourself off the ground. You stink, your workout faces are ugly, and you most likely have calluses on your hands. But you must get back up. And when you go to sleep at night, there is something comforting about the hard work. It just feels good.
Going to the gym now is the highlight of my day. And sometimes it’s a good day and I walk away feeling pleased with myself. Sometimes it’s a bad day, and instead of just chalking it up as a loss, I make up for it before I leave. I do something to push myself harder. I make that bad workout just a little better. It’s made me stronger mentally and physically. It’s given me so much more confidence when it comes to day-to-day challenges. My anxiety levels are even much lower–I don’t find myself in a nervous panic as often.
And sure, I understand that fitness and exercise isn’t for everyone. But if you’re waiting for the motivation to come….it won’t. You have to stop waiting and just go do it! Don’t be afraid, don’t be nervous, and don’t feel gymtimidated. Hey, as long as you’re there, you’re one step towards a better you.
Eat clean, train mean.
Pick heavy things up and put them down.
~ whatever forever ~