The Challenges of Exercise

I love to cook and eat, I mean I l-ooooo-v-e it, I can’t help myself. However, loving to eat results in needing to exercise and has anyone noticed exercise is a challenge? I mean really, you have to get dressed, show up, face all those Workout Ken and Barbies who you think are staring at you while your sweating like a stuffed pig and looking like something short of dying on a machine that resembles something from the Jetson’s. Well yes, I say I have had those feelings just like everyone else and I say to hell with Workout Barbie, YES it is worth it.

Long ago I used to love to run, and run and run. Then I got older, had children and lost all track of what it mean to have free time. So, last year I took on the personal goal of participating in as many 5Ks as I could in a year. The goal was to start out walking, improve my time and eventually run. While I signed up for seven and completed four 5Ks last year, I did not end up running any of them, but I did end up motivating myself to workout at a gym (GASP!). While I was participating in these events and walking at the back of the pack with all the nice little old ladies, I noticed no one really cares about your time. They only care that you showed up and completed it. This was the general non-aggressive and relaxed attitude of all the walkers. I liked this attitude and decided this was a great way to approach the arch nemesis of the gym.

 People fall into two categories; those who enjoy group exercise and those who are independent exercisers. That’s me, independent, I hate group exercise I like to fly solo; even in a 5k your solo – you start it you have to complete it, no group effort required. The last half of 2011 I began the arduous solo task of working out at the YMCA. Now I will say that at first all the hard bodied Workout Ken and Barbies were perfect and never seem to sweat. Me on the other hand, I sweat like someone dumped a bucket over my head. However I kept reminding myself what my brother in law would say “if you aren’t sweating you aren’t working out” so I continued to sweat with great pride, knowing I was truly getting a good workout in.

In the end of 2011, with a loss of 20 pounds, I found myself more provoked to approach exercise in 2012; and less of a feeling I needed to stop eating. I showed up, I did my best and I completed each workout. I didn’t look so great doing it, I grunted and groaned, privately whined and complained, sweated and limped in pain, but I showed up.

 Moral of the story: Don’t be intimidated, you may not look the way others look, or like the way you look when you exercise, but show up – put one foot in front of the other and get there. Block everyone else out and focus on the task at hand and help yourself become healthier. Building self-confidence changes every aspect of your life. Besides, YOU ROCK just for SHOWING UP!

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