When my youngest son was 3, someone asked him if he was in preschool. His answer was, “I don’t go to school, I go to the gym!”
I guess you could say I was a bit of an exercise nut.
At least 4 days a week I was there, at California Family Fitness, kicking elliptical ass for an hour, then lifting weights, then doing a hundred million crunches on that crunch bench thingy. Always trying to push myslef harder, upping the speed, increasing weights or reps, or both, because I loved the way I felt after a really hard workout. I love that day-three muscle soreness. You know what I’m talking about? The lactic acid build up that makes it hurt so good?!…Yeeeah, you know the feeling. I looove that feeling!
Honestly? Canceling our gym membership before we left was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I put it off as long as I could and when the time came, I ran in, signed the papers as fast as possible, got back in my car and cried. Sobbed is probably a better descriptor . Saying goodbye to my gym was almost as hard as saying goodbye to my parents. Not even kidding. It had been such a huge part of my life, and I was worried about what things would look like without it. But not just that I couldn’t keep rocking a chick six-pack and arms that rivaled Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. No, there were other benefits to the gazillion hours I spent in that place that I really didn’t want to live without.
The gym enriched my life. No, really, I mean that. It made me a better person.
In case you haven’t noticed, I have… issues. I can be a little OCD. I struggle with depression (ok, I think it’s depression, it might just be that I’m a huge bitch). Also? I used to fiddle around with eating disorders and by ‘fiddle around’ I mean starve myself/stuff myself/gag myself with a toothbrush. I’m adorable. I know.
The thing about the gym was that it allowed me to work out alot of that junk in a healthy way. Exercise relieved anxiety which relieved my compulsiveness, it increased all the good chemically junk in my body and decreased the bad, which all but eliminated depression from my life, and it improved my body which improved my body image which certainly helped with eating problems. Working out just made me feel good. But the really huge things was that I used that time to pray. A big block of time to focus on God alone, with headphones in my ears and nothing but my own heart beat to distract me. That’s priceless.
I thought that I’d keep up on my good habits when we got settled in to life in Costa Rica. But I confess I haven’t. In fact, I don’t do a lot of the good things I used to do anymore. I don’t drink enough water, and I don’t feed myself very well, and I certainly don’t get that kind of time in with God. And everyday, I think to myself today is the day I’m going to start working out again. Every. single. day. I say, “You know what? I’m gonna go for a run today!” or “I’m gonna read a book while I ride my stationary bike!” And I hardly ever comply with my own wishes.
Seriously, I suck. What kind of person sucks at doing what they enjoy and want to do?! This is ridiculous.
The worst part is that I KNOW that what’s holding me back is the very same depression and ocd that would go away if I would get started on a new healthy routine and stay on it. And I KNOW that if I had a healthier body, I would stop grabbing handfuls of my own rear-end like a cheeseburger to demonstrate what a disgusting wreck I am and barraging myself with insults, which – as you might imagine – I am pretty darn good at.
It’s like I know what I should do but I don’t do it and what I shouldn’t do is exactly what I do do.
Whoa – that sounds familiar!
Anyway. I miss the gym. My mushy butt and soft belly and arms that flap like flamingo wings miss the gym. My heart misses the gym, on so many levels.
I guess I’m telling you all of this because I feel like if I put it out there then I can’t keep ignoring it. Ya know? Like, now I basically HAVE to go put on some running shoes and move my hind quarters because if I don’t then I’ll feel like a real douche. Ah…there’s nothing like a little bit of internet accountability to keep a girl on her game. Of course, if you ask me in a month how I’m doing I could totally lie because you’re wherever you are and I’m here in paradise/my own personal hell where no one can ever find me. But I won’t lie. Unless nothing’s changed….then I might….but probably not….
I am not about to throw myself off a bridge. And I’m not engaging in any eating disorder type activities as of late. I’m just thinking about it, and there’s a really big difference. As always, thanks for understanding and not freaking out and overreacting and getting me fired when I share stuff like this on my blog. You’re rad!
p.s. The “personal hell” thing was a joke. My life is awesome! Like, so awesome that if I start talking about how awesome it is, you’ll probably start feeling really bad about your own life, and that’s not cool. But I wanted you to know that I was just kidding.)