The journey I have been on over the last 12 months or so has been about getting healthy, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually too. I have come so far in that amount of time and that is due to great support from family and friends, help from professionals, strength and guidance from God and a heck of a lot of hard work myself.
I have had to continuously push myself. Even if I have been terrified, or tired, or unsure, I have had to step out into the unknown, try new things, get advice, read, study, work on myself, and be in many uncomfortable situations that I had shied away from many times before.
In many areas of my life I am reaping the rewards of all that hard work though. Right now I am able to cope with much more going on in my life than I could have this time last year. Much, much more – on all levels of life. Certainly not the least of these areas/levels is my physical health.
The goal I set myself about 2 years ago was to get healthy. I started off working really hard on my emotional and mental health, and as I mentioned, I have come a long, long way. Since the lead up to the surgery to remove my gastric band, I have turned my focus more to getting physically healthy. [However I will say that for me my emotional/mental health is inextricably linked to my physical health]. Little by little I have been changing my food habits. Doing it in ways I know will work for me and doing it in stages that feel “doable”. One at a time. Trying to make permanent change, not just finding a quick fix.
Then, in the last few weeks I have turned my attention to exercise. It is very possible to lose weight without exercising, but that then just becomes weight loss, not getting healthy. To have a healthy body you need to move your body. You need to push it, and test it, and stretch it. With going to the gym I am doing this. It’s hard. It’s VERY hard. Being so very overweight, carrying so much weight, puts a lot of strain and wear on my muscles and joints. It hurts – a LOT, and I sweat – a LOT [and I totally hate sweating, it’s so gross and feels so dirty], but I’m doing it! I have been working out at the gym three times a week and I have now done a total of 12 work outs [I only know this as the computer I scan in on at the gym tells me so].
That may not sound like much, and some times it doesn’t feel like much, but that’s 12 more than I had done a few weeks ago. That’s 12 times I decided to put the pain, discomfort and the easy option aside and pushed through to do something good for my body, and in turn my mind, emotions and spirit!
I’m working hard. Working at my own pace. Sometimes I feel so stupid blubbing around on the circuit. Everything wobbling. It’s embarrassing, and I feel like everyone there is judging me and laughing at me on the inside, but then I think about the quote above and I think to myself “You know what? It doesn’t matter if I can only manage to just keep moving on the cardio boards and not do all the exercises the others are doing. At least I am still moving. At least I am still getting a good heart rate. At least I am doing something!”
The sense of achievement I get at the end of each work out session is amazing. I feel like I have accomplished something. I am proud of myself for completing another work out and taking another step towards being healthy. In just the 12 work outs I have done I am already seeing the changes in my body. I’m not really dropping much weight but I think I am losing centimetres [will know later in the week when they measure me at the gym] and I am definitely building strength and muscle. I can see my muscle getting more toned in underneath my flesh. Now, I know I have a LONG way to go, but at least I am on my way! Seeing the toning of the muscles in my arms [under the flab] and the thinning out around my collar bones and shoulders – and apparently my butt [thanks for that mum!] is very encouraging. Very, VERY encouraging! People have also been commenting on how much more happy in myself I seem lately, despite all the stress I am under. It’s amazing what winning small battles can do for your confidence and happiness!
I’m on my way – and I am going to keep going.
[If you want to catch up on the history behind this post you can do so here. Start from the “confessions” post and read back until the most recent posts]