WIAW: Thoughts on Exercise

For today’s “What I Ate Wednesday” I thought I would talk about exercise.

Everyday our society is bombarded with magazines, commercials, or news reports on different exercises. Whether that is Insanity, P90x, or false promises like “10 exercises for abs in 10 days!”

Breakfast: Eggs, bacon, spinach, avocado

I use to be obsessed, OBSESSED, with exercising. When I first started Cross Country my sophomore year in high school, it was just running. I didn’t push myself, I just went to practice, suffered through races, and that was that.

Then, in my junior year I took it more seriously. I joined a separate running group, would go to  XC in the evenings and do Insanity in the mornings. When the XC season ended, I would run with my running group in the morning and run by myself in the evenings. I would religiously do crunches or AB videos on YouTube before bed or right when I woke up. My thoughts were consumed with food and what exercise I could do to get rid of that food. Most of my high school years and first year of college were consumed with exercise. I didn’t stay up late with friends like everyone else. I went to bed at 9:30 so that I wouldn’t miss my 4:30 wake up call.

Lunch: BBQ chicken, some rice, and a steamed sweet potato

I thought if I exercise all the time I would achieve “a perfect body.”

But boy, have things changed.

Last March, I completed a half-marathon in Lexington. During the race all I could think about was how I just wanted to stop running. I was so tired. So after the race, I decided to take a break from exercising. I would go on walks, ride my bike, or do some classes at the fitness center on campus but I knew my body need to REST. I tried to run again in May but I quickly injured myself so I took some more time off. I think I ran like 3 times that whole summer.

In June, I started doing Crossfit and I haven’t looked back since. I tried Crossfit my freshman year of college but didn’t particularly enjoy it because I was so self-conscious.

What’s funny is that I am bigger now than I was when I was so “self-conscious” about the way I looked. But guess what…it’s OK. I am OK.

Snack: Pumpkin Pie juice from Zest and un-pictured apple 

Crossfit has taught me to embrace the body I have, to love how strong I am, and to look forward to how strong I am going to become. There are so many different shapes and sizes at my Crossfit gym and I LOVE it.

I have such a better mindset because of it. Sometimes I take a day off from exercising and then decide I don’t want to do anything for 2 or 3 days after that. In the past, this would have eaten me alive. But now, I enjoy my rest days. I have my whole life (God willing) to workout or not workout. Plus, God already loves me just the way I am, so why should I have the mindset that only exercise can “make me better?”

More eggs + sprouted toast

Now, this post isn’t meant to make you all go sign up for Crossfit. It’s supposed to remind you to find an exercise that YOU love and that YOU want to do. Whether that’s walking, biking, running, swimming, or Crossfit.

Since I have given myself some grace, I actually WANT to run. I don’t dread it and you shouldn’t dread you exercises either.

Dessert: This deliciousness 

As a society, we make exercise so darn complicated. It isn’t complicated.

Do what you love.

And with that, have a great Wednesday!