Welcome to Becoming Me, a monthly blog series where I set out to answer questions developed by Christie Inge, HHC in an effort to dig a little deeper and get to the heart of some of my esteem, body, and food issues.
Last month, I tackled the issue of whether or not I have “off-limit” foods.
This month’s question:
What role does exercise play in your life?
I have a long history of a love/hate relationship with exercise. I was never very active as a child, aside from playground games like hopscotch and jumping rope. I opted for reading or games that involved sitting. I ran track one year (I was consistently in last place). I played softball a couple of years (I never learned how to slide because it scared me). I played basketball a couple of years, but it was never something I excelled at. I was usually the last picked in gym class for things like kickball or dodgeball. I just wasn’t athletic, and to me athletics = exercise.
I also hurt my knee pretty badly the summer before first grade. While playing a game of tag, I broke the bursa around my kneecap. I wasn’t able to bend my knee at all and ended up in the emergency room. I was on crutches most of the summer with my leg wrapped up tight. Ever since then, I always had a dull ache in my knee if I spent too much time on it. I went for MRIs when I was older, but they couldn’t find any lingering damage. But in my head, I had labeled myself as having a “bad knee”.
All sports stopped when I got to high school. By that time, I was down to just softball. The mentality shift between elementary school sports and high school sports was like a slap in the face. Plus, they wanted me to do something called “conditioning”. Yeah, I wasn’t having any of that once I realized it was lifting weights. Strength training was for people who were much more serious athletes than I was. Those people were hard core. I was definitely not that.
As I got older, I tried my hand at different things: yoga, Jazzercise, aerobics, workout books, DVDs and then I started dating this guy who was a runner. We started running together, and immediately my hate for running reared it’s head. It hurt, I was slow and I was not enjoying myself while I was doing it. He decided that despite my hate for running, he would keep me around and we got married.
Being with Dave (my husband), made me want to take better care of myself. I could see what an important part of his life running was and I wanted to be a part of that. Off and on over the years, I kept coming back to the running that was so important to Dave. I started and restarted the Couch to 5k program I don’t know how many times.
Eventually, running became important to me, too. The key was signing up for my first race. I ran my first 5k in June, 2009.
While I consider myself a runner, by no means does running come naturally to me. Or working out at all, for that matter. I am not one of those people who bound out of bed looking forward to the time when they can work out. I’ve never been that way, and I’m not sure if I ever will be. I am not at all intrinsically motivated when it comes to exercise.
I do realize that it makes me feel good. And I’m super proud of myself when I make it through a difficult run. But if given the choice between running and doing…well… pretty much anything else, I do anything else.
I always joke with Dave that my consistency is in my inconsistency.
The key for me is signing up for races. If I don’t have that tangible goal staring me in the face, I just don’t get off my butt. I am currently training for my 2nd half marathon. I currently have 21 races under my belt, 5 of those being triathlons.
My problem though, and I will be the first to admit it, is that I don’t push myself. I let myself off the hook way too easily. I don’t do what I need to do in order to improve on the activity I’ve chosen for myself.
This is the issue I’m working on right now. I really am trying to work on my consistency. I’ve started bringing strength training back into what I’m doing. I’m also trying to bring some speed work into my routine. All these things will make me a better runner, but only if I stick to them.
I recognize the importance that MOVEMENT…any kind of movement…plays in my life. It makes me feel better, stronger, and more energetic.
Right now, I’m working toward consistently going after those feelings, not just being happy remembering them.
Christie Inge, HHC is an intuitive eating and body image coach and is the creator of The Body Love Alchemy Community. After years on the diet and binge roller coaster, she realized that the answers she was looking for had nothing to do with the size of her blue jeans or the food on her plate. She set out onto a quest to make peace with food, her body and her weight once and for all. She began sharing her experiences on her popular, heartfelt blog. Overtime, she found that her greatest gift was helping women, just like her, overcome their struggles, too.
She has taken what she learned in the school of hard knocks and coupled that with what she has learned in her professional trainings to create a system that has helped thousands of women to make peace with food and to stop hating their bodies. She offers support, insight, and real world tools for creating a body and life you love. You can stay in touch with by subscribing to her inspirational weekly eLetter or join the conversation facebook and twitter.