I’ve never enjoyed physical activity.
A band or chorus lesson during gym class made my entire week during middle and high school. Beginning in elementary school, Physical Education was my least favorite subject. We didn’t change into “gym clothes” until 5th grade, so from K-4 we had to plan our outfits around P.E. It really messed with my carefully cultivated style, which was definitely not “sporty.” And most of the time, we would just run laps around this tiny, kid-sized gymnasium. Even at five years old, the redundancy annoyed me. I’d much rather be reading or singing.
Looking back, I guess there were some “units” I found interesting. Of course, the infamous rainbow parachute tent game.
Also, that scooter/soccer game was fun. Oh! And jumping over hurdles. Rainbow Classics (Corinth, NY’s take on field day) was pretty sweet, too, although the thought of letting my teammates down with my lack of athletic skills made me cringe.
In middle school and high school, the dreaded yearly (or was it two times a year?) mile run made me wish I could sprain my ankle on command. I mean, bones heal, right? But somehow, even though I felt like the weakest person ever, I always finished and was never the last one.
Badminton, softball, and weightlifting weren’t bad, but P.E. was always lowest on the totem pole in regards to my classes. I would have rather been doing literally anything else.
The only reason I wasn’t a complete blob during my adolescent years, was because I danced between 1-5 hours a week for 10 years from ages 7-17, played Volleyball for 5 years, and had roles in seven theatre productions (if you’ve never done it, you’d be surprised how active being on stage actually is).
Here are some of the fabulous outfits I wore during my dance days:
Once I graduated high school, and mandatory Physical Education requirements were met during college, I ceased to work out. I would have the occasional burst of energy to be active and then it would just peter out.
I also am an emotional eater. Over the past year, I recovered a piece of myself I hadn’t realized I lost. In doing so, I’ve learned a lot about myself. One of those things is coming to terms with my eating issues. I was bulimic during high school and didn’t realize the severity of it until recently. I can remember trying to starve myself in 4th grade and hiding food in my room to eat in private. For years, I binged and purged and then binged some more.
When I was a kid - adolescence, my activity offset these behaviors. I fluctuated in weight quite a bit, but at 17/18 I was in the best shape I had been in. Then came 18 and I became way less active. I was getting my BA degree, balancing working, school, and a social life, and was in a loving, comfortable relationship with my now husband.
I gained weight and lost a lot of muscle.
I kept saying to myself, “You’ve got a while before your 25,” which is when experts say you should be in shape by as it’s harder to lose weight and get fit when you’re past that.
In March 2018, I turned 24. That prime time to get in shape is quickly closing and I wasn't anywhere near where I wanted to be. So, I’ve become determined to make a change.
I've already begun to correct eating habits I have had through nutrition programs, support groups (shout out to My Favorite Murder podcast for having the absolute best online communities), fitness trackers, and iPhone apps. I have a good understanding of what I can and can’t eat and work towards a weekly caloric deficit.
I know this road won't be easy. And I know it’s going to take a ton of work. But the time for excuses ended when I blew out those candles for my last year on this side of 25.
I finished Week One of Couch 2 5K last week, and I’m actually excited about this program. Running is something I’ve always hated, but secretly wanted to love. It seems so freeing, to carry yourself at a decent speed, barreling towards the ultimate destination of self-improvement. I've only experienced that "runner's high" a few times (last week included) and I've begun to crave that feeling.
I hope to run my first 5K within a year.
The hardest part is starting, and I’m braced for the race.