Working out is definitely something I have a love hate relationship with. When I struggled with my eating disorder in high school and college, I used working out as a punishment. Now that I live a healthier lifestyle, working out has become a big part of my day to day tasks, but that doesn’t mean I always want to do it.
I’m not one of those of people who wakes up with the sun to workout. I don’t go to the gym or workout groups. I have two toddlers under the age of 4, so I work out when it works for their schedule, and I do it at home. I try to exercise 4-5 times a week, and my workouts range from 20 to 45 minutes. When my husband comes home from work he works out with weights, so I try and do a little of that with him too.
Whether I exercise the majority of the week or not, I’m a curvy size 10-12. I try to eat healthy, but I do enjoy certain foods. I don’t do a lot of added sugars, but I still eat foods I like. I find compromises. I don’t diet, I just make smarter choices when choosing my foods and proportions.
For me, this healthier lifestyle has been gradually getting better and better. I don’t eat things like white bread or drink soda anymore. I don’t put sugar in my coffee. I just add in little adjustments as I go, and I’ve been feeling a lot better. I’ve also talked about my healthy journey a bit before in Sorta Fit, Sorta Fat and Pursuit of Body Goals.
What I Love About Working Out
- Feeling Good. After every workout, I may be winded at first, but I feel better. I feel like I can breathe clearly, and I have more energy to continue with my day. All of my sluggish feelings are gone. It’s like drinking coffee for me. That warm first sip is like that minute plank. As soon as I’m done with it, I feel like I can handle my mommy business.
- Confidence Booster. After I get a good workout in, I instantly like my body more. This can be a slippery slope for me with my past, so I have to be careful to not overdo it. I never thought I could love my body unless I was “skinny.” Working out makes me love myself at my current size. I feel sexy and beautiful after a good workout. My confidence has made so many other aspects of life better. I’m more positive all around.
- Healthy is Best. I’ve been working out for almost a year, and I’ve gotten colds a lot less than I have in the past. Besides my hysterectomy and reproductive health issues from earlier in the year, I’ve never felt healthier all over. I don’t ache as bad. I just feel all over better. I know making smarter food choices has helped with health too, and I don’t think I could ever go back to how I was before.
What I Hate About Working Out
- Waking up with Dread. Every morning, I drag myself out of bed and get the coffee brewing while I make breakfast for everyone. Before I’m fully awake, I always think to myself I can skip a workout. I have an internal struggle with myself saying I’m too tired or I have too much to do. Luckily, I always convince myself that a workout will boost my mood once I get into it. It will make me feel better, but I do spend a decent amount of time internally arguing with myself before I just decide to do it.
- Mommy Time is Precious. I have so many things to do everyday. My kiddos are still toddlers and need me constantly. I workout where I can see them, and a lot of the time, I try to involve them in a fun way. I’m also coming on the other side of getting my son potty trained- that’s a battle in of itself. So, I have my day stretched thin. Somedays, working out seems like it’s impossible, and there have been times where I’ve had to skip it. I remind myself that it’s okay to miss a day. When you have cleaning, cooking, playtime, mealtimes, baths, naps, and all the little unexpected curve balls, workouts don’t always happen.
- Other People. I don’t know how to explain this nicely. I don’t like people. I don’t like people telling me what to do. I don’t like how women are always comparing themselves with each other, and I struggled with wanting to look like smaller women in the past. I hate the added pressure to look like this or that. I workout at home and not a gym for that reason. I don’t do mommy workout groups either. I’m sure there are very nice people in those groups, but I like being accountable for myself and doing it alone or with my husband. I just don’t like having someone tell me I need to do this or that to get a body that looks like I didn’t have kids. I hate that. I hate when people are like “wow, she doesn’t look like she had kids.” Good for that lady, but I don’t mind my plumper butt or hips. It doesn’t bother me that my curves changed, and I like maintaining them. It’s harmful for me to try to pursue a tiny body. I will shame anyone of their size, but I don’t like being asked if I want my pre-baby body back. It gets toxic for me, and I become obsessed. So, I finally found a way to work on my body while still loving myself.
I enjoy my workouts. They may seem minuscule to some, but I love the results I’ve seen. I haven’t lost a lot of weight necessarily, but I have gone down in sizes. I had to buy new jeans, and now I love the way my clothes fit. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I look at my body and cry in the bottom of closet with clothes all around me. Then, I remind myself I’m awesome and get dressed. It’s not always easy or fun, but at the end of the day, I like myself because of these changes I’ve been making.
With me, I avoid thinking about the numbers on the scale. I’m 180lbs and wear a size 12 in jeans. My weight goes up and down 3-5 lbs.
If someone asks me my weight, I usually have an uncomfortable giggle and just tell them. I know BMI says I’m super obese, and that doesn’t really bother me. I do hate hearing, “oh, you don’t look like your 180 lbs.” Every size and weight looks different depending on the person’s body. No two bodies are going to look exactly alike whether they are the same weight or not.
I try not to let a number define me. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from working out. My strength and appearance shouldn’t be centered around a number.