This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a while. A post I think of each time someone questions either my motives in exercise, or questions their own motives or abilities. It’s something I quite honestly would love to scream from the rooftops everywhere I go (so it’s safe to say I’m certainly headed down the right career path). So excuse the brief interruption from my normal running-rambles while I preach atop my soapbox.
Last week was a rest week, all around. It was week #4 of 16 in marathon training, and a cutback week, in both effort and mileage. My M, W, F fitness class I teach was off for the holiday, and my T, Th class took Th off for turkey consumption instead of Tabata squats. It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon, moping around the house for no apparent reason, that Rich made the observation that perhaps I was feeling “off” because I didn’t workout enough that week. It was true, 4 workouts instead of my normal 11 (5 classes I teach + 6 training workouts) left me feeling anxious, fidgety, and lethargic.
Thus, there is no denying, I am truly addicted to exercise.
Picture me as a beauty queen (which means I’d probably need heels and makeup, so go ahead and laugh at the thought). Now picture me on stage ready for the interview portion of the pageant. If I had one wish , what would it be? Not world peace. Not to feed all of the starving babies. Not to fix the hole in the ozone layer. No, it would be for EVERYONE in the world to regularly exercise and feel the same high I do afterwards. If they did, then world peace would happen naturally. People would share, there would be no greed, no famine. I swear. And instead of driving everywhere, we’d run, bike, walk, and even skip….not because we had to, but because we WANTED to, and naturally reduce our carbon footprints.
Today after I left after a great aerobics class with my T, Th group, I had to stop at the grocery store. I laughed at myself as I realized I was skipping across the parking lot. People stared, some smiled. Giggle all you want, strangers at Bi-Lo, my body feels freaking FANTASTIC today! I could have pulled out an impromptu step class on the parking lot curbside if anyone requested it.
I realize a lot of people think I’m obsessed (probably not here, I believe this would be considered preaching to the choir, but I digress). I’ve heard it numerous times recently. I say, so what if I am? Is something that only positively impacts me physically (I don’t over-train) and mentally, something that not only DOESN’T interfere with my family and personal life, but only improves it, a BAD thing? I think not. I love my body, and it would be a shame to keep it cooped up inside, on a couch or office chair all day long, simply because jumping around all day is not a norm in our lethargic society.
And let’s be clear, nothing about this frequent exercise has ANYTHING to do with my body image, body size, calories burned, etc. Yes, there was a time, really not that long ago, when I worked out solely for weight loss. It was a chore, it was hard, I hated it. I made excuses.
Then at some point, there was a light switch that went off. I realized, sure, a rocking bod and skinny jeans are nice, but they are just superficial. The size of my waist line and the number on the tag of my jeans does not define me. It never did, and it never will. Exercise goes so much deeper than that, literally. Not only do I feel amazing, physically and mentally, but my body is reaping so many rewards. I posted this on my facebook last night, but I’ll say it again: even if the scale NEVER moves, and your pants size NEVER changes, exercise and eating healthy still has significant benefits. Reduced risks of cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes. Increased productivity and lifespan. Better mental health. Just to name a few.
To be quite honest, and I realize I sound judgemental, but I don’t understand how anyone who is physically capable, choses NOT to move their body and break a sweat on an almost daily basis. Because quite honestly, they have NO IDEA what they are missing!!
So my friends, remember, don’t exercise for weight loss, exercise for your HEALTH. You deserve it! Who freaking CARES what size you are, what “society” says you should look like. LOVE your body, and by all means, TREAT IT WELL. Be proud of what it can do. What you can do.
So get moving. Use it or lose it. And NO excuses. Mr. Simmons said so!