My history with exercise has 3 parts, a little bit like my 3 bodies! Good old number 3.
Part I: Active Years
For the first eleven years of my life, I really loved working out. I just didn’t know it was called “working out.”
I was a competitive gymnast and my idol was Nadia Comaneci. I watched her biographical movie, Nadia, no less than a dozen times. (Also, I am so thrilled to have found the movie on YouTube, because I’m sure my VHS has been lost in a move or 10!)
I also did tap, jazz, and ballet in ridiculous costumes (particularly the tap). If I find the photos, I will scan them. No shame. As a gymnast, I was allowed to skip ahead to the older, more experienced class. Of course I was proud of that!
After school became too much work and I had to give up gymnastics and dance, I played soccer, volleyball, and softball for my school’s teams. But I also started gaining weight, due to my emotional eating and bingeing. If you poke around here, you can see that those are still my problems.
I was S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D. School was very competitive and I’m a perfectionist. It’s a no-win situation. I dropped a lot of activity because I was studying too much and too depressed to go workout–or even take a walk– when I finished my work.
Part II: Working Out is Torture
As anyone who has been overweight knows, being the “big girl” is rarely fun. I felt ugly in almost every piece of clothing (forget a bathing suit) and it was difficult to do things with my family– which killed me. We were hiking in Colorado one summer and I complained, huffing and puffing my way up the mountain.
I got tired of it.
I joined Weight Watchers and learned to incorporate movement in my day. I walked more places and I put in my time on the elliptical machine (which I now hate, so don’t overdo those machines). I had a strict exercise schedule and nothing got in the way of it–not even fun things.
Exercise was working–I lost weight and reached my goal. But it was also torture. After a while, I hated my strict routine, but I felt trapped and thought if I stopped I would gain everything back immediately. I didn’t think there was another way to keep my new body other than by being chained to the gym.
I was wrong.
Part III: Working Out is Tough, But I Never Regret It
Fast forward 4 years. I have hormonal and metabolic damage from a combination of my previous eating disorder (In Part II) and current hypothyroidism. It blows.
I also have gained 50 pounds in the past year due to unsolved emotional eating, bingeing, and stress. I’m sure my cortisol levels would win an award. This also blows.
Working out is no picnic. I have to make myself do it. I have to work even harder than someone without metabolic damage or a thyroid issue. So, if I can do it with all my limitations, you can, too!
There’s one big lesson I learned about exercise throughout my body battles: It Does Not Matter As Much As You Think.
I am living proof that diet is more important– MUCH more important– than exercise. You need to get your eating habits in line and fuel it properly for your workouts before you even dream of your new body.
So why exercise?
- Stress relief
- Depression relief
- Better sleep
- Shape and tone your new body
- Socialize (or have alone time)
- Have more energy
- For……fun? (If you can fathom that)
I never thought I’d say that, for me, exercise is the “EASY” part now. I have to fight the bigger body battle: food. That’s why I’m here.
If you have questions, or need recommendations, please leave me a comment and/or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it for you. 🙂