Hello, dear readers!
As I promised in my last weekly update post, I wanted to expand a little bit more on how my goal went to actually start working out again went last week. You see, I was doing really well, making working out a part of my lifestyle, until roughly last September/October. I fell off my routine, as if forgetting what I had learned and ingrained into my habits, slipping back into old routines of laziness and ignorance, when it came to fitness, eating well and an overall healthy lifestyle. I went the rest of 2018 in this rut, constantly beating myself up mentally, shoving my self-worth back into the dirt and gaining back all the weight I had lost and progress I had made in the process.
Of course, as the new year hit, I was also hit with the fever of wanting to improve again and determined to get back on track (but not fall into the trap of not making it past January). I made a new fitness program, found a free gym on the opposite side of town and was ready to go! Of course, one thing led to another, and week after week went by where I either hit the gym only one day instead of my goal of four, or worse, no days at all, not changing my eating habits and generally still feeling pretty shitty overall.
Until last week.
Last week, I was determined. Mentally, I sat myself down and told myself I was making excuses overall and I wasn’t going to make progress on my weight loss goals if I didn’t make working out and tracking my food a priority, not just something that fit my moods each morning. I realized that, even though it should not be this way and this is something I need to work on, too, that right now, mentally, I’m not strong enough to love myself the way I look right now. I started to love myself–truly love myself–once I adopted a more active lifestyle, then began to hate myself again once I stopped for these past few months. I want to love myself again and though I know I should love myself no matter what my appearance is, I also am in a better spot mentally when I work out on a regular basis, putting myself and my health first in that way.
So, I made a plan: get up at 9am, go straight to the gym, and then come home and do everything and anything else I needed to do before work, working out Monday through Thursday. Monday morning, life tried to throw a wrench and my boyfriend was unexpectedly home, and not exactly okay. At first, I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it to the gym, after making sure he was indeed okay. It was already 10:15am at this point. On my ideal schedule, I’d be coming home and getting ready to shower by that point. I knew I had a choice. I could either go to the gym in exchange for some of my PS4 time before work or I could skip it, setting the tone for the rest of the week (which I also shouldn’t do, treating every day as an opportunity, but I know myself well enough that, if I missed that work out, the rest of the week would lean towards that way).
So, I changed clothes and went to the gym. And I didn’t regret it at all.
Tuesday, life tried to get in the way again. My schedule changed thanks to a training I was required to go to, so I had to work 7:30am-4:00pm, instead of my usual 3pm-12am. Instead of skipping the gym since it didn’t follow my usual routine, I altered it, going to the gym as soon as I got home from work and before I ate dinner (and showered). Again, I made it a priority, something that I had to do, not just something I could do if I was in the mood.
Wednesday, I was up and ready to go. Thursday, I slept in an extra hour, but still didn’t let that prevent me from going to the gym. Sure, I didn’t always get to play as much Kingdom Hearts as I wanted, but it was totally worth it. Because not only did I push my body and enjoy a good, sweaty workout, but I noticed some other benefits I hadn’t tied into my workout schedule, but I think definitely have a direct correlation.
–> I slept better. Not only did I fall asleep quicker (something that I usually struggle with), but I also did a fairly good job at waking up on time feeling rested.
–> My mood improved. I wasn’t surprised by this, but it was just so refreshing to experience that again, as well.
–> I was motivated to straighten my hair. This might sound dumb, but I really like the way my hair looks when it’s straightened. But it takes a lot of work to do, so oftentimes, I just throw it up in a bun and be done with it. But after a solid workout in the morning and a hot shower, I’d go prep for dinner and then straighten my hair afterwards, because I already felt good and had been active. I wanted to present myself that way, too, and doing my hair was a large part of that (and coworkers noticed).
–> It motivated me to explore other areas where my health is lacking. Most notably, my mental and sexual health. I’m not sure how to improve my own self-loathing that has always been tied to my physical appearance thanks to being bullied as a kid and ridiculous female expectations ingrained into your mind from birth onward thanks to society. But I do know I have a warped sense of self I need to start working on, no matter what the scale says or what gains I do or do not make at the gym. But I’ve also used a hormonal IUD for the past year that, while a great mental comfort against a surprise pregnancy, it has seriously messed up my emotional state and my period still hasn’t fully regulated. So I’m looking into the FAM method to see if that is a better way to naturally take charge of my mental health, without using hormones or paying ridiculous amounts of money for pills. I’m not 100% sure of my decision until I do more research, but I definitely want to look into it more.
Working out reminds me that, if I’m going to spend time and effort in the gym, why wouldn’t I put that much effort in the kitchen? Or in other areas that reflect my health, like sleeping, my periods, my hormones and my mental state? I’m very grateful I found the gym that I’m going to and I’m excited to continue learning and improving my own training and routine. I know I’m not going always going to hit every goal, and some weeks will be more miss than hit, but I’m choosing to put my own health first mentally and it’s started to reflect in my daily habits–and that’s not a bad way to start.