October 11, 2013

The "E" Word

I am referring to, of course, that words that strikes guilt into hearts, that causes grief and sighs to be heaved from the depths of our souls.  I mean the word "exercise" (and the fact that this word may also inspire feelings of accomplishment or enthusiasm has been disregarded for dramatic purposes.)

Yes, exercise.  Getting in shape, staying fit, working out.  It's all become increasingly popular in recent times as people become more aware of the obesity problem in America and the benefits that exercising can have for your health and general well being.  In light of this, I thought that I might as well throw out a blog post of my own on the subject.

I've never been one for sports or other strenuous physical activity.  The first time I started to exercise on a regular basis was back in the winter of 2011.  My dad had decided to get in shape, so my mom and my sisters and I reluctantly agreed to give it a try.  We started out with the Supreme 90 work out video series and might have gotten all the way through. Maybe.  I actually don't think we did.  Supreme 90 is a good set of videos, but not the best for beginners. 

Then summer came, and we stopped.  By the following winter, my dad had obtained the P90X series and as a New Year resolution we decided to do it.  We actually stuck with it that time and against my will, I found myself actually enjoying it all.  Getting to see the muscles developing in your arms and feel yourself becoming stronger is a great motivator. 

You would think that once we completed the full P90X that we could continue.  After all, we were starting to see results in the strength and endurance department.  Well, my mom did continue a bit and my one sister is in dance so that counts.  I quit though, for a few reasons.  One, it was getting to be warm out again and for whatever reason I have 0 motivation to exercise in the summer.

The biggest reason though was the weight loss, or lack there of.  Losing the freshman 15 was the main reason I agreed to exercise in the first place, and it just wasn't happening.  It is so frustrating and demotivating to exercise regularly, try to eat clean and count your calories and have absolutely no change in the scale.  In fact, I gained a few pounds.  I'm told it was muscle building up and that you gain weight before you lose it, but the scale wasn't going back down.  So I said forget this.

I'm back in it this fall though, due in part to the fact that my dad is a physical fitness trainer now (read, sort of a guilt trip).  The other part is due to a small group of friends who have also decided to be more dedicated with eating right and exercising.  Together we formed a small community to share work out tips and motivate each other (read, even larger guilt trip).

Mostly though, I've decided to exercise again because I've finally come to the decision that I don't care how much I weigh.  I miss feeling strong, I missed how it felt to just feel good about yourself.   It's a strange phenomena that there are quite a few women out there who don't lose weight while exercising and counting calories, but as soon as the stop paying attention to counting (eating in moderation - yes.  Worrying about it or counting - no) the pounds started to drop. 

So if I lose weight, great.  If I don't, I'm okay with that too.  After reading some very inspirational blog posts and facebook statuses I've decided that what the scale tells me doesn't matter.  What matters is that I feel good about myself.  That I'm fit, and strong and that I am happy with who I am. 

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