A few years ago I learned something about myself. A relative (you know who you are *wink*) told me about the term skinny fat. When she heard about this concept, also known as metabolically obese normal weight (MONW), she wondered if she knew anyone that fit that description. Lo and behold, she came up with my name. This is not a fact I am proud of, but I couldn’t be mad at her because this fact rang true.
You see, although my weight fell in a healthy range, my heart got little exercise. Now, I didn’t fit the exact medical description, but I was certainly on my way. I have experienced back problems since the age of 12 and had surgery at 17 to remove a ruptured disc. I feared exercise would further injure me, because every single time I attempted an exercise routine over the years I ended up hurting.
Last summer my husband performed in a 70.3 Ironman triathlon. I experienced soreness the next day from simply walking the mile down the beach with him to the swim start. Does it get any more pathetic than that? He has the little Ironman magnet on the back of his car and I feel like a hypocrite when I drive it.
I started exercising in March. Jason kept pestering me to do a post on the topic. I promised I would do it when I accomplished 4 months of consistent exercise. This week marks that time period…the longest I have ever stuck with and been successful with a routine. (Insert cheering sounds here.)
The beginning of the year I set a goal…simply to move. I asked a friend for help who mentioned she was interested in learning more about personal training. That’s what her husband does for a living. They came up with a plan for me. The routine had to be super easy and something I could do at home. You could call it Exercise for Dummies, Exercise 0.1, or the like, but I no longer care. For the first time in years I wake up without back pain because I have strengthened my core. I can walk for 45 minutes straight and know I can do even more.
Do I like the strength exercises? No, I despise them, but I love the results. I do really enjoy the walking, though. Many of my writing ideas come to me while I walk and I can use it as prayer time, too.
I would highly encourage you to find your motivator. Jason has been that for me. And watching my dad do physical therapy without complaint when he could hardly move. And having two sisters-in-law that teach Jazzercise. And having a friend to be accountable to. And finally, this video, made a lasting impact. I couldn’t get it out of my head. Watching it will be 9 minutes well spent if you need motivation for fitness.
My friend, Victoria, gave me some other great information. There is a new buzzword called the gamification of exercise. You can download apps on your phone such as Zombies, Run, Fleetly, Teemo, and Fitocracy. I might be motivated to actually run if zombies chased me! Making exercise a fun game can be a powerful catalyst.
I know the discouragement from failing. I will likely never accomplish a P90X workout, but I have met my goal and exceeded it. You’ll probably see me at the new YMCA come fall!
What has worked for you? What advice would you give someone starting out?