3.02.2011

Exercise Was a Four-Letter Word...


I HATE exercise.

I always have. I was one of those fortunate girls in high school and college that could maintain her trim 125 lb. figure with little to no effort. I can honestly count on one hand the times that I consciously exercised during that time of my life. Oh yeah, and I could eat anything that I wanted, too. Granted, I was really active. I walked a lot. My friends and I played physical games, like touch football and ultimate frisbee, at least once a week (and more during the summer). I felt good about myself and the way I looked, so I never felt the need to add a formal exercise period to my daily activities.

This isn't about me longing for the past, because, let's face it, my body will never be the same again, thanks to having kids. This is about me embracing the changes that have occurred and learning how to work with them.

That being said, I still hated exercise after getting married and having kids. I couldn't even understand when my friends said, "I love to exercise! I couldn't live without it!" I thought to myself, "She is obviously deluding herself. There's no WAY she actually likes getting tired and sweaty and out of breath and red-faced..." There were plenty of times when I had that niggling voice in the back of my head that told me, "You know, you really should think about trying to move a little more. I know you hate how your flub jiggles, and there's only one way to fix it: exercise." I tried really hard to ignore it and managed to give myself self-esteem complexes the size of Jupiter:

I'M OVERWEIGHT AND I HATE THE WAY I LOOK AND I'M MISERABLE, BUT I HATE EXERCISE AND I'M IMPATIENT AND WITH MY LUCK, IT PROBABLY WON'T HELP AT ALL, SO INSTEAD OF DOING SOMETHING TO IMPROVE MY SITUATION, I'M GOING TO CRY...AND CONTINUE TO HATE MYSELF.

Ridiculous? Quite. I tend to be highly irrational when I'm emotional.

Then, after having Lucas, I turned a corner. I stopped hating myself, which was a big step. I realized that yeah, I may not look ideal, but I was proud of my body for the things it had done. I loved it for being able to stretch and grow to accommodate my babies for 40 weeks, then work and LABOR to birth them. I marveled at how it adapted (essentially) back to "normal" after the radical changes it had undergone. A little bit of positive self-esteem went a long way: I acknowledged that niggling voice in my head and said, "OK, you're right. I need to exercise." Plus, Cole told me I had to get to a healthier weight before I could get pregnant again (which, unbelievably, is something I've wanted pretty much since right after I had Lucas...but that's another story), so that's a great motivator for me.

But what was I going to do? I don't like running. It gives me shin splints (which getting new shoes would fix, I guess), and it makes my lungs hurt and it makes me wheeze. Plus, I just don't think it's fun. We have Wii Fit, which is fun, but doesn't always leave me feeling like I accomplished anything. I didn't want to join a gym, because 1: I'm ridiculously cheap; 2: The idea of other people seeing me gross and sweaty, even if I don't know them from Adam, makes me cringe; 3: I'm not sure I could find the time or motivation to actually go. These same reasons applied to why I didn't sign up for a class a few times a week.

So, I needed to find something that I could do at home, wasn't too expensive, and wasn't running.

Solution #1

I LOVE this show. There were so many times that I wished they'd do a "Biggest Loser" for people who had to lose 50 pounds or less--I'd SO be there! This turned out to be essentially that. It has the same kind of workouts they use on the show (minus the killer treadmill workouts--remember my aversion to running), but I don't have to worry about anyone watching me. I've only done it a couple of times, but I can tell that it's something I'll keep doing. I actually woke up this morning with a craving to exercise.

Solution #2
My mom's ward had a R.S. activity in January about eating healthier and exercising, and one of the ladies had a friend who teaches Zumba come and do a class for us. It was AWESOME! I already love to dance, so it's a perfect exercise option for me. I'm even considering actually signing up for a real CLASS (I'm kind of a chicken, so I'd want someone else to sign up with me and I haven't found anyone yet). For now, though, this game is almost as good as the real thing.

So, I guess I figured out the secret to exercise: find something you enjoy, and keep with it! It's worked with me so far!

7 comments:

Natalie Sadler said...

I promise you, you will NEVER regret getting into exercising. It has made such a big difference in the way I sleep and feel and how much energy I have during the day. I thought I was delusional at first, but it got to the point where I looked forward to exercising every day! We invested in a treadmill--best $700 I have ever spent.

I miss exercising so much; however, having abdominal surgery makes it really difficult to get back into. I tried running and hit about 2 miles--bam. I was floored the next day with such pain that I was puking. Tried yoga--same thing, not because of intensity, but because of the way ALL yoga poses seem to stretch your abdominals. I feel like I can't do anything but walk, but that's TOO EASY!! It's driving me nuts.

It will get to the point for you where you feel so good that you never go back. If you really stick to it (it took me five months of pushing myself to exercise!), it will become a habit!

Parkers said...

Go you, Jessica! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Running and exercise is for my body what scriptures and prayer are for my spirit. I feel it in my mood and my energy when I miss a day. I seriously don't even do it for the body image thing anymore. After I met my goal weight, I kept running every day purely for the emotional stability that it gives me.

PS. I love The Biggest Loser too!

PPS. Also hear you about the baby thing. I've been craving another one since the minute Kaleigh was born. Dang c-section and having to give it awhile if I want to try for a VBAC.

Lindsey said...

Those are the two exercise strategies I have. I didn't realize what a killer workout a video game could give you, but those Biggest Loser trainers know what they are doing...obviously. I have two left feet, but Zumba is pretty fun on the wii too. I find myself wanting to get more points. I just wish my kids would nap better so I could Zumba without my husband home, I really don't dance!

Stephanie said...

DUDE! I want to try training with Bob and Jillian!

PS... just watched yesterday's episode. Mixed feelings about my red team.

Brittany said...

Hi,
I'll sign up for a class with you. I've always wanted to take a weekly excercise class.

that's what she said...

i love zumba!!! enjoy it-i'd totally do it with you if i lived closer. :)

Scott said...

Kim really like the EA active games for the Wii. They actually get her sweating which is more than the Wii fit did for her most of the time. although she wants to get an XBOX 360 for the Kinect as that seems easier without needed to hold a remote.

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