Monday, February 9, 2009

Getting Fit

Losing weight and getting fit goes beyond wedding preparation. It's something most women struggle with their entire lives. Whether you need to lose weight for health reasons, want to fit into that sexy dress or are just sick of carrying those last 5lbs you don't remember gaining, getting fit is more than just getting your body back, it's also about getting healthy, mentally. We all have things we hate about ourselves, and I'm sure most of us would kill to look like any Victoria's Secret model. No cellulite, perfect abs, long legs, perky rack, slim almost drives you to eat that chocolate frosting right out of the can. I used to be one of those disgustingly fit girls you see at the gym. I could easily run 5 miles or more, I had a 24 inch waist and was 5'6 and everything I tried on looked good. Notice that I'm using past tense there. Since my days of dedicated fitness and healthy eating, I've slipped some. I like to blame age and marriage, because, it's there, and I can. But that's not really fair, is it? I have to blame myself. I have excuses, some legitimate (vestibular disorder, PCOS cramps, work) some complete bull (I have to watch Pride and Prejudice for the umpteenth time cuz it's cold out) and some, just part and parcel with life (it's Tuesday, it's been a long day, I have a headache and Nic and I want Mexican for dinner).

I find myself almost unrecognizable in so many ways-my body and looks, age-something friends of mine tend to confess they share with me about themselves. I think we all have this idea of what we should look like, and if we don't, we beat ourselves up over it. I'm this way, and I know it's not right, but that doesn't mean I can stop it. I think of myself the way I was back when the past tense was present tense, how I had looked and felt for years, how I was when I met my husband-fit, disciplined, blonde, tan. And now, I'm older, paler, with dark hair, no health discipline and considerably bigger-by 20lbs. I used to be able to sit down and have no stomach bulge, walk without thigh touchage, and I could wave my arms without fear of terrifying small children or low flying planes. I'm not a monster-but I'm no size 2. And that's exactly what I was for so many years.

I've decided to do something about it. Nic and I had quit the gym-it was 20 minutes away, had crazy waits, the staff was horrible and it was a hassle. After a year off from the gym and the only excerise I got was the ocassional trip to the park for a run if it wasn't freezing or muddy or too dark (the park closes at 4!) I was sick of being wishy washy about working out. We recently joined a 24 hour gym which is small, quiet, has great equipment and there is never a line. I find that when I get on the treadmill, I'm my own worst enemy already. I feel like a failure because at one time, I could run 8mph at a 3 incline for miles without feeling like someone put a death grip on my lungs. But, I push, because that's how I am. I push myself to stay on there for 3 miles, whether I walk, run or jog. I jog mostly. A decent 6mph pace for a mile, then I walk at an incline, and jog some more. I know it'll take time to get back in shape and start to see the results, and I know that working out is only half of it. But I've started doing something, which is better than the nothing I had been doing. Nic and I are also going to eat out less-we'll save money and we won't eat as much food, or the wrong food. The old Kristen knew how to prepare healthy tasty meals, and how to avoid calorie and fat traps when eating out, something I will have to re-learn, or remember.

One thing I do remember from being crazy fit was that it didn't come easy and that I put a lot of effort into looking and feeling good, and that when I hit the inevitable plateau, I had to do something to correct that. Despite the difficulties in motivation and making the right choices, getting fit and losing weight is actually really simple. Eat healthy, eat naturally, work out often, drink water and stay positive. There is no point comparing your thirty-something self with your twenty-something counterpart. And more importantly, accept who you are and try to be the best you can be, right here, right now.


Jennifer said...

I understand, I've been there (though well before the thirty-something mark). Going from a cross-country athlete to a sit on your butt and study student left me feeling tired and unhealthy.

But its all going to change (and has started to!). The hardest part is motivation and that's were friends can be a huge help...

I'm excited to read about your journey and hope that you'll enjoy reading about mine soon too!

Allie said...

What a refreshingly honest post about something I think every person deals with in one way or another!

I've learned that adding weight training into my workouts has really made a lasting impact, because the muscles continue to burn calories even after you are done working out. Good luck getting in shape!

I look forward to hearing a follow-up story of success from you!

Cyd said...

I have been a subscriber for a long time, but haven't popped over to comment much from Google Reader, but I just had to chime in today. Excellent post and excellent insight...I too am looking forward to your success!

Sissel said...

Just the push I needed...amen to your post. I share such a similar story...use to run 6 miles a day...very similar. Now finding the desire to workout daily is difficult and met with a hundred excuses only to be finally challenged with, "it's too late now." Not any more, thank you for writing this. Now I'm completely inspired to get off my arse and workout! Yay!

Kristen Nichols said...

Thank you all for your comments. I think so many women find themselves feeling just like this-and writing the post helped me get off my butt today and go for a run! No excuses tomorrow-there is no better time than right now! I hope you all keep me posted of your progress-There is going to be a reward at the end of july for the most inspiring body image story!

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