“Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body.”– Arnold Schwarzenegger
So far, most of the posts here on this blog have been about eating food that, while good and delicious, is not very good for you. This is not all that my life is about. I am also pretty dedicated to living as healthy of a lifestyle as I can. That is exactly what it is now, is a lifestyle. This hasn’t always been the case though…
This journey started 5 years ago when I wound up tipping the scales at 188 lbs. Now, there are going to be a lot of “Body Positive” thoughts and opinions on this but hear me out. When you are 5’5″, it doesn’t matter how you spin it, almost 190 lbs is not good for you, or your internal functions. Your whole body suffers. For me, it was my knees, hips, back, and head, with constant migraines and consistently taking advil for other various aches and pains. That was when I decided it was time to make a change. I couldn’t live life like this.
What I did was I started tracking what I was eating and going to the gym. Nothing fancy or special. I would occasionally throw in some minor changes, such as cutting out gluten, but the changes were made based on what my body was feeling like at the time.
This has also been a slow process for many reasons and some setback as well, such as moving across the world and back, and my unhealthy obsession with craft beer and good food as you probably already know. It’s all about balance, as well as trial and error! What works for one person, will not work for another. So there are going to be things you try that will work and things that will not work.
One prime example of this is, being vegetarian, does not work for me, not even in the slightest. I do try to limit my meat intake during the week but I wound up putting on about 5 lbs trying to be vegetarian. I may have been doing it wrong too, but it simply, did not work for me.
The last year however, my fitness journey has kicked into high gear and I think I have finally, found my stride. What has led to this stride? Personal Traumas. I wish I could say that it was just my will to live my best life, but it wasn’t. It was the culmination of two very critical events and not having any other way to express my anger. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started running. I would run every day until I wasn’t angry any more. Those daily runs would help me get through the rest of my day and eventually did turn into a habit and into me wanting to live my best life. Exercise really is a very good mood leveler. Even if you do it for no other reason, do it because it will make you FEEL better.
You will have to put the work in. There is no miracle cure and there is no instant fix.
While there are various exercises that have come and gone, there are some that have stuck around and ones that I would highly recommend doing every day. They are low impact and aren’t so hard you will want to give up on them.
1. Pushups – Start with 4 sets of 10 and gradually increase them from there. They are low impact and work out not only your shoulders and pecks, but they work out your core as well. I started to see results once I got to 100+ a day.
2. Crunches – This can be done in various different way but they are the same as the pushups. Low impact, and I started seeing results at 100+ a day.
3. Plank – The dirty “P” word. Start at 30 seconds and work your way up from there. This works not only your core muscles but your glutes and thighs as well as I have discovered.
Obviously this is not my full time job and you can tell from my previous posts that I am not going to say no to a good dinner. But this journey is something that I am very proud of. I never in a million years thought that I would be here doing what I am doing. Not only that, it is something that I actually enjoy doing now, even though it is still a work in progress. It’s wild to think that I feel better now going into my 30’s than I did through most of my 20’s. It’s never too late to start, and it is never too little, what every you begin with, is better than doing nothing.