I’m starting to feel really bad for my body.
Call it My First 9-5, or laziness, or a sheer lack of self-discipline, but no matter what you call it, the fact remains the same: I’m out of shape.
I’ve gone through phases throughout my life. I’ve been a competitive dancer and a gym rat, added a thick coat of cheap beer to my body and topped it off with greasy hangover food. I’ve woken up early for spin classes and gone on the World Race—filling my body with strange food from all over the world.
But now I’m back to square one—my favorite foods surrounding me like a squishy blanket—spending 10 hours a day in front of my computer and poking at myself loathingly when my bikini body isn’t ready to go.
I’ve come up with several workout plans—convinced that the right combination of one healthy grocery trip, and buying a gym membership is enough to do the trick.
Carl laughed tonight saying that we’re our gym’s best customers. We’ve been paying 10 dollars a month for 6 months and have only gone twice.
Trying to get myself motivated, I vowed to run a 5K, even signing myself up for one. But by the time the Color Run rolled around, I hadn’t run in months, and I ended up walking the whole thing.
It’s kind of ridiculous, and so you have to laugh. But at the same time, I’m starting to feel really sorry for my body. My poor body has been ignored, neglected, and pumped full of things that aren’t good for her, and then she’s been chided and ridiculed when she doesn’t look the way I want her to—punished immediately with a grueling workout, and then neglected all over again.
But recently that’s begun to change. I’m starting to feel like a middle school bully who’s finally wising up to the consequences of her actions. In the past few months I’ve been developing a real love for my body and a desire to treat it with respect and care.
But the problem is my self-discipline. I have it, but it’s otherwise occupied. It’s working overtime in other areas of my life: My relationship with God, my relationships with people, my job, my writing, and civic responsibilities like cleaning the kitchen and paying my bills. It’s all I can do to not forget anything major, to keep my ducks in a row.
And the thought of adding another duck sounds impossible. My hands are full.
Not only that, but I don’t have patience for a slow start.
I’m a 0-60 kind of girl. I want to start at a sprint. And so when those moments come where I finally am motivated to get into shape, I take on too much. I commit to Jillian’s 30-Day Shred (which sounds like no big deal until you do once and want to throw up), or vow to eat healthfully for the rest of my life—in one decisive swoop.
I expect perfection immediately—poking at my body impatiently when the 20-minute run didn’t immediately zap any and all jiggle.
So tired from the grueling pace I’ve set, my discipline stretched thin, and instant results frustratingly absent, I give up. And then repeat the cycle a few months later—another failed attempt tucked discouragingly under my belt.
And this is just not the way I want to live.
I feel defeated. I feel like this is the one thing in my life I can’t do. And it makes me really sad.
And so tonight I went for a walk—hoping for some kind of exercise revelation—some way to work health back into my life.
I love walking. It soothes my mind and gives my soul space to breathe. I love the familiarity of my path—the fact that I just have to put one foot in front of the other, and my brain can go into hibernation.
And so I walked. I walked up and around my apartment complex, down a steep hill only to turn around and walk back up. My heart was pounding for the first time in a long time—reminding me that although I’ve given up, my body hasn’t.
And as I walked, I hatched a plan. And I think it’s a pretty good one.
I’ve got to start somewhere, and I’m in desperate need of a win. I need a gold star on my chest to prove to myself that I’m not always a quitter. I need to set a manageable goal, and I need to watch myself complete it.
So here’s what I’m going to do:
Part 1: I’m going to take a 30-minute walk, three times a week for a month. That’s 12 walks in the next month.
Part 2: I’m going to drink three glasses of water a day. I know that falls painfully short of where I’m supposed to be, but hey… it’s a start.
No extra credit for running 10 miles—no impossible goal.
Just two: walk and water. Three times a week, and three times a day.
And so here it goes. Day one of a month of health—a month of treating my body like someone I love—with care, respect and intention.
Want to join me?