A few months ago, I made a serious decision to start taking my health into my own hands. The first step was to better understand what I was eating and how it was affecting me. The second step was to start (and stick with) an exercise regimen. Definitely easier said than done, but since schedule is a tad more stable during the summer, I figured I should start developing the habit now.
Diet wasn’t any issue for me. After watching my grandmother undergo a double bypass a few years ago, I started to seriously moderate anything fast, fatty and fried and red meat and pork hadn’t been dietary staples since college. But the exercise was a real issue. I had no idea where to start. Outside of playing sports in high school and a brief love affair with yoga in college, I’d never really exercised. I could acquire a gym membership through my job but that felt like too much. And the community center in my neighborhood offers free classes 4 times a week but…nah. Long story short, I made every excuse under the sun.
But really there was no need. There was no one holding me accountable for my recent weight gain. My partner wasn’t complaining. My mother wasn’t telling me to get up and go. My girlfriends may have been the worst culprits of all. Any mention of working out and they started sounding like broken records one of them even said to me, “My hairdresser would kill me if I started going to the gym.”
Wait, what? Are we there? Are we sacrificing our health and wellbeing to keep our hair fly? Finally, I’d had enough. I peeled myself off of the sofa, in the midst of the most exciting NBA and NHL playoffs in a while, and started to drag my butt and all of its newfound girth to the free aerobics classes at the community center. And once I did start attending classes on a regular basis, I noticed an immediate change. Not in my body but my mood, my energy level and really, the way I felt about myself.
After letting go of the notion that health and weight are linked, I started working toward feeling better. I wanted to get rid of the nagging aches and pains that no woman in her mid twenties should be dealing with, not pounds. I wanted to understand my body and how to make it behave better and move more effectively. I’ve yet to step on a scale because it doesn’t matter to me. I’ve come to understand that a lighter me isn’t necessarily a happier me.